Job 31:7
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
if my step has turned aside from the way and my heart has gone after my eyes, and if any spot has stuck to my hands,

King James Bible
If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to mine hands;

American Standard Version
If my step hath turned out of the way, And my heart walked after mine eyes, And if any spot hath cleaved to my hands:

Douay-Rheims Bible
If my step hath turned out of the way, and if my heart hath followed my eyes, and if a spot hath cleaved to my hands:

English Revised Version
If my step hath turned out of the way, and mine heart walked after mine eyes, and if any spot hath cleaved to mine hands:

Webster's Bible Translation
If my step hath turned out of the way, and my heart walked after my eyes, and if any blot hath cleaved to my hands;

Job 31:7 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

1 I have made a covenant with mine eyes,

And how should I fix my gaze upon a maiden!

2 What then would be the dispensation of Eloah from above,

And the inheritance of the Almighty from the heights -

3 Doth not calamity overtake the wicked,

And misfortune the workers of evil?

4 Doth He not see my ways

And count all my steps?

After Job has described and bewailed the harsh contrast between the former days and the present, he gives us a picture of his moral life and endeavour, in connection with the character of which the explanation of his present affliction as a divinely decreed punishment becomes impossible, and the sudden overthrow of his prosperity into this abyss of suffering becomes to him, for the same reason, the most painful mystery. Job is not an Israelite, he is without the pale of the positive, Sinaitic revelation; his religion is the old patriarchal religion, which even in the present day is called dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m (the religion of Abraham), or dı̂n el-bedu (the religion of the steppe) as the religion of those Arabs who are not Moslem, or at least influenced by the penetrating Islamism, and is called by Mejânı̂shı̂ el-hanı̂fı̂je (vid., supra, p. 362, note) as the patriarchally orthodox religion.

(Note: Also in the Merg district east of Damascus, which is peopled by an ancient unmixed race, because the fever which prevails there kills strangers, remnants of the dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m have been preserved despite the penetrating Islamism. There the mulaqqin (Souffleur), who says the creed into the grave as a farewell to the buried one, adds the following words: "The muslim is my brother, the muslima my sister, Abraham is my father (abı̂), his religion (dı̂nuh) is mine, and his confession (medhebuh) mine." It is indisputable that the words muslim (one who is submissive to God) and islm (submission to God) have originally belonged to the dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m. It is also remarkable that the Moslem salutation selâm occurs only as a sign in war among the wandering tribes, and that the guest parts from his host with the words: dâimâ besât el-Chalı̂l̂ lâ maqtû‛ walâ memnû‛, i.e., mayest thou always have Abraham's table, and plenty of provisions and guests. - Wetzst.)

As little as this religion, even in the present day, is acquainted with the specific Mohammedan commandments, so little knew Job of the specifically Israelitish. On the contrary, his confession, which he lays down in this third monologue, coincides remarkably with the ten commandments of piety (el-felâh) peculiar to the dı̂n Ibrâhı̂m, although it differs in this respect, that it does not give the prominence to submission to the dispensations of God, that teslı̂m which, as the whole of this didactic poem teaches by its issue, is the duty of the perfectly pious; also bravery in defence of holy property and rights is wanting, which among the wandering tribes is accounted as an essential part of the hebbet er-rı̂h (inspiration of the Divine Being), i.e., active piety, and to which it is similarly related, as to the binding notion of "honour" which was coined by the western chivalry of the middle ages.

Job begins with the duty of chastity. Consistently with the prologue, which the drama itself nowhere belies, he is living in monogamy, as at the present day the orthodox Arabs, averse to Islamism, are not addicted to Moslem polygamy. With the confession of having maintained this marriage (although, to infer from the prologue, it was not an over-happy, deeply sympathetic one) sacred, and restrained himself not only from every adulterous act, but also from adulterous desires, his confessions begin. Here, in the middle of the Old Testament, without the pale of the Old Testament νόμος, we meet just that moral strictness and depth with which the Preacher on the mount, Matthew 5:27., opposes the spirit to the letter of the seventh commandment. It is לעיני, not עם־עיני, designedly; כרת ברית עם or את is the usual phrase where two equals are concerned; on the contrary, כרת ברית ל where two the superior - Jehovah, or a king, or conqueror - binds himself to another under prescribed conditions, or the covenant is made not so much by a mutual advance as by the one taking the initiative. In this latter case, the secondary notions of a promise given (e.g., Isaiah 55:3), or even, as here, of a law prescribed, are combined with כרת ברית: "as lord of my senses I prescribed this law for my eyes" (Ew.). The eyes, says a Talmudic proverb, are the procuresses of sin (סרסורי דחטאה נינהו); "to close his eyes, that they may not feast on evil," is, in Isaiah 33:15, a clearly defined line in the picture of him on whom the everlasting burnings can have no hold. The exclamation, Job 31:1, is spoken with self-conscious indignation: Why should I... (comp. Joseph's exclamation, Genesis 39:9); Schultens correctly: est indignatio repellens vehementissime et negans tale quicquam committi par esse; the transition of the מה, Arab. mâ, to the expression of negation, which is complete in Arabic, is here in its incipient state, Ew. 325, b. התבּונן על is intended to express a fixed and inspection (comp. אל, 1 Kings 3:21) gaze upon an object, combined with a lascivious imagination (comp. Sir. 9:5, παρθένον μὴ καταμάνθανε, and 9:8, ἀπόστρεψον ὀφθαλμὸν ἀπὸ γυναικὸς εὐμόρφου καὶ μὴ καταμάνθανε κάλλος ἀλλότριον), a βλέπειν which issues in ἐπιθυμῆσαι αὐτῆν, Matthew 5:28. Adulterium reale, and in fact two-sided, is first spoken of in the third strophe, here it is adulterium mentale and one-sided; the object named is not any maiden whatever, but any בּתוּלה, because virginity is ever to be revered, a most sacred thing, the holy purity of which Job acknowledges himself to have guarded against profanation from any lascivious gaze by keeping a strict watch over his eyes. The Waw of וּמה is, as in Job 31:14, copulative: and if I had done it, what punishment might I have looked for?

The question, Job 31:2, is proposed in order that it may be answered in Job 31:3 again in the form of a question: in consideration of the just punishment which the injurer of female innocence meets, Job disavows every unchaste look. On חלק and נחלה used of allotted, adjudged punishment, comp. Job 20:29; Job 27:13; on נכר, which alternates with איד (burden of suffering, misfortune), comp. Obadiah 1:12, where in its stead נכר occurs, as Arab. nukr, properly id quod patienti paradoxum, insuetum, intolerabile videtur, omne ingratum (Reiske). Conscious of the just punishment of the unchaste, and, as he adds in Job 31:4, of the omniscience of the heavenly Judge, Job has made dominion over sin, even in its first beginnings and motions, his principle.

The הוּא, which gives prominence to the subject, means Him who punishes the unchaste. By Him who observes his walk on every side, and counts (יספּור, plene, according to Ew. 138, a, on account of the pause, but vid., the similar form of writing, Job 39:2; Job 18:15) all his steps, Job has been kept back from sin, and to Him Job can appeal as a witness.

Job 31:7 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

If my

Psalm 44:20,21 If we have forgotten the name of our God, or stretched out our hands to a strange god...

mine heart

Numbers 15:39 And it shall be to you for a fringe, that you may look on it, and remember all the commandments of the LORD, and do them...

Ecclesiastes 11:9 Rejoice, O young man, in your youth; and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth, and walk in the ways of your heart...

Ezekiel 6:9 And they that escape of you shall remember me among the nations where they shall be carried captives...

Ezekiel 14:3,7 Son of man, these men have set up their idols in their heart, and put the stumbling block of their iniquity before their face...

Matthew 5:29 And if your right eye offend you, pluck it out, and cast it from you...

cleaved

Psalm 101:3 I will set no wicked thing before my eyes: I hate the work of them that turn aside; it shall not stick to me.

Isaiah 33:15 He that walks righteously, and speaks uprightly; he that despises the gain of oppressions, that shakes his hands from holding of bribes...

Cross References
Job 9:30
If I wash myself with snow and cleanse my hands with lye,

Job 17:9
Yet the righteous holds to his way, and he who has clean hands grows stronger and stronger.

Job 23:11
My foot has held fast to his steps; I have kept his way and have not turned aside.

Ecclesiastes 11:9
Rejoice, O young man, in your youth, and let your heart cheer you in the days of your youth. Walk in the ways of your heart and the sight of your eyes. But know that for all these things God will bring you into judgment.

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