Job 31:36
Surely I would take it on my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 31:36. Surely I would take it — The book, or writing, containing the charges against me; upon my shoulder — As a trophy, or badge of honour; and bind it as a crown to me — I would be so far from being ashamed or terrified, that I would glory, and rejoice, and triumph in it, nay, and openly expose it to be read by all, well knowing that so groundless and impotent an accusation would only serve the more to clear my innocence.31:33-40 Job clears himself from the charge of hypocrisy. We are loth to confess our faults, willing to excuse them, and to lay the blame upon others. But he that thus covers his sins, shall not prosper, Pr 28:13. He speaks of his courage in what is good, as an evidence of his sincerity in it. When men get estates unjustly, they are justly deprived of comfort from them; it was sown wheat, but shall come up thistles. What men do not come honestly by, will never do them any good. The words of Job are ended. They end with a bold assertion, that, with respect to accusation against his moral and religious character as the cause for his sufferings, he could appeal to God. But, however confident Job was, we shall see he was mistaken, chap. 40:4,5; 1Jo 1:8. Let us all judge ourselves; wherein we are guilty, let us seek forgiveness in that blood which cleanseth from all sin; and may the Lord have mercy upon us, and write his laws in our hearts!Surely, I would take it upon my shoulder - That is, the book or bill which the Almighty would write in the case. Job says that he has such confidence that what God would record in his case would be in his favor, such confidence that he had no charge of hypocrisy against him, and that he who knew him altogether would not bring such an accusation against him, that he would bear it off triumphantly on his shoulders. It would be all that he could desire. This does not refer to what a judge would decide if the cause were submitted to him, but to a case where an opponent or adversary in court should bring all that he could say against him. He says that he would bear even such a bill on his shoulders in triumph, and that it would be a full vindication of his innocence. It would afford him the best vindication of his character, and would be that which he had long desired.

And bind it as a crown to me - I would regard it as an ornament - a diadem. I would bind it on my head as a crown is worn by princes, and would march forth exultingly with it. Instead of covering me with shame, it would be the source of rejoicing, and I would exhibit it every where in the most triumphant manner. It is impossible for anyone to express a more entire consciousness of innocence from charges alleged against him than Job does by this language.

36. So far from hiding the adversary's "answer" or "charge" through fear,

I would take it on my shoulders—as a public honor (Isa 9:6).

a crown—not a mark of shame, but of distinction (Isa 62:3).

I would take it, i.e. that book containing my charge or accusation.

Upon my shoulder; as a trophy or badge of honour. I should not fear nor smother it, but glory in it, and make open show of it, as that which gave me the happy and long-desired occasion of vindicating myself, which I doubt not fully to do. Surely I would take it upon my shoulder,.... The bill of indictment, the charge in writing; this he would take up and carry on his shoulder as a very light thing, having nothing weighty in it, no charge of sin and guilt to bear him down; nothing but what he could easily stand up under, only some trifling matter, which could not be interpreted sin; for anything of that kind would have been a burden too heavy for him to have borne: or else his sense is, that should he be convicted of any sin, he would openly confess the charge, acknowledge the sin in the most public manner, that being visible which is borne upon the shoulder; and would also patiently bear the afflictions and chastisements that were laid upon him for it: though rather the meaning is, that he should take up and carry such a bill, not as a burden, but as an honour, as one bears a sword of state, or carries a sceptre as an ensign of royalty on his shoulder; to which the allusion may be in Isaiah 9:6; not at all doubting but it would turn out to his glory; which is confirmed by what follows;

and bind it as a crown to me, or "crowns" (q), having various circles of gold hung with jewels; signifying that he would not only take his bill or charge, and carry it on his shoulder, but put it on his head, and wear it there, as a king does his crown; which is an ornament and honour to him, as he should reckon this bill, seeing it would give him an opportunity of clearing himself effectually.

(q) "diademata", Montanus; "corollas", Tigurine version; "coronas", Vatablus, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a {b} crown to me.

(b) Should not this book of his accusations be a praise and commendation to me?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. upon my shoulder] If Job but possessed the Almighty’s indictment against him he would not hide it as a thing that caused him shame, he would bear it in triumph before the world as that which was his greatest honour. He would even wear it as a diadem upon his brows, as that which would give him kingly dignity and adornment. The language expresses the strongest assurance of innocence and that the indictment could in truth contain nothing against him.Verse 36. - Surely I would take it upon my shoulder - the place of honour (see Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 22:22) - and bind it as a crown to me; i.e. adorn my head with it, as with a diadem. 29 If I rejoiced over the destruction of him who hated me,

And became excited when evil came upon him -

30 Yet I did not allow my palate to sin

By calling down a curse upon his life.

The aposiopesis is here manifest, for Job 31:29 is evidently equal to a solemn denial, to which Job 31:30 is then attached as a simple negative. He did not rejoice at the destruction (פיד, Arab. fêd,

(Note: Gesenius derives the noun פיד from the verb פיד, but the Arabic, which is the test here, has not only the verb fâda as med. u and as med. i in the signification to die, but also in connection with el̇feid (fêd) the substantival form el-fı̂d ( equals el-môt), which ( equals fiwd, comp. p. 26, note) is referable to fâda, med. u. Thus Neshwn, who in his Lexicon (vol. ii. fol. 119) even only knows fâda, med. u, in the signif. to die (comp. infra on Job 39:18, note).)

as Job 12:5; Job 30:24) of his enemy who was full of hatred towards him (משׂנאי, elsewhere also שׂנאי), and was not excited with delight (התערר, to excite one's self, a description of emotion, whether it be pleasure, or as Job 17:8, displeasure, as a not merely passive but moral incident) if calamity came upon him, and he did not allow his palate (חך as the instrument of speech, like Job 6:30) to sin by asking God that he might die as a curse. Love towards an enemy is enjoined by the Thora, Exodus 23:4, but it is more or less with a national limitation, Leviticus 19:18, because the Thora is the law of a people shut out from the rest of the world, and in a state of war against it (according to which Matthew 5:43 is to be understood); the books of the Chokma, however (comp. Proverbs 24:17; Proverbs 25:21), remove every limit from the love of enemies, and recognise no difference, but enjoin love towards man as man. With Job 31:30 this strophe closes. Among modern expositors, only Arnh. takes in Job 31:31 as belonging to it: "Would not the people of my tent then have said: Would that we had of his flesh?! we have not had enough of it," i.e., we would eat him up both skin and hair. Of course it does not mean after the manner of cannibals, but figuratively, as Job 19:22; but in a figurative sense "to eat any one's flesh" in Semitic is equivalent to lacerare, vellicare, obtrectare (vid., on Job 19:22, and comp. also Sur. xlix. 12 of the Koran, and Schultens' Erpenius, pp. 592f.), which is not suitable here, as in general this drawing of Job 31:31 to Job 31:29 is in every respect, and especially that of the syntax, inadmissible. It is the duty of beneficence, which Job acknowledges having practised, in Job 31:31.

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