Job Series Daily Reading Week Six
Week Six – Day 26
27 And Job continued his discourse:
2 “As surely as God lives, who has denied me justice,
the Almighty, who has made my life bitter,
3 as long as I have life within me,
the breath of God in my nostrils,
4 my lips will not say anything wicked,
and my tongue will not utter lies.
5 I will never admit you are in the right;
till I die, I will not deny my integrity.
6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it;
my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live.
7 “May my enemy be like the wicked,
my adversary like the unjust!
8 For what hope have the godless when they are cut off,
when God takes away their life?
9 Does God listen to their cry
when distress comes upon them?
10 Will they find delight in the Almighty?
Will they call on God at all times?
11 “I will teach you about the power of God;
the ways of the Almighty I will not conceal.
12 You have all seen this yourselves.
Why then this meaningless talk?
13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked,
the heritage a ruthless man receives from the Almighty:
14 However many his children, their fate is the sword;
his offspring will never have enough to eat.
15 The plague will bury those who survive him,
and their widows will not weep for them.
16 Though he heaps up silver like dust
and clothes like piles of clay,
17 what he lays up the righteous will wear,
and the innocent will divide his silver.
18 The house he builds is like a moth’s cocoon,
like a hut made by a watchman.
19 He lies down wealthy, but will do so no more;
when he opens his eyes, all is gone.
20 Terrors overtake him like a flood;
a tempest snatches him away in the night.
21 The east wind carries him off, and he is gone;
it sweeps him out of his place.
22 It hurls itself against him without mercy
as he flees headlong from its power.
23 It claps its hands in derision
and hisses him out of his place.”
Notes on Job 27
This chapter concludes the three dialogues of speeches that Job has with his three friends. Zophar has remained silent and not participated in the third cycle.
“IN THIS THIRD CYCLE of dialogues, the spiritualist,
Eliphaz, is left to enumerate the offenses in the indictment (22: 5– 11).
Bildad the traditionalist has nothing new to say, as his mere six verses attest. He is left blithering the unsatisfying conclusion, “OK, man is nothing more than a maggot.”
Zophar, the rationalist, has nothing at all to say in the third series. The absence of a speech by Zophar reveals that rationalism has been silenced.
The series concludes in chapter 27 as Job defiantly rejects all accusations; he will never budge from his integrity.” (John Walton)
Job 27:1-12- Job speaks directly to his friends as he is concluding the third cycle of dialogues between them. Job is vehemently denying their accusations that they have made and is willing to go to great lengths to do so.
“Job takes an oath (Job 27:1–6). Once again, Job stood fast in affirming his integrity (10:1–7; 13:13–19; 19:23–27; 23:2–7); but this time, he gave an oath: “As God lives” (27:2). Among Eastern people in that day, taking an oath was a serious matter. It was like inviting God to kill you if what you said was not true. Job was so sure of himself that he was willing to take that chance.
Job also repeated his charge that God was not treating him fairly (“[He] has denied me justice,” v. 2 NIV). Job had asked God to declare the charges against him, but the heavens had been silent. Job had called for an umpire to bring him and God together, but no umpire had been provided.
So Job declared that, as long as he lived, he would defend himself and maintain his integrity. He would not lie just to please his friends or to “bribe” God into restoring his fortunes. (Satan would have rejoiced at that!) Job had to live with his conscience (“heart,” v. 6) no matter what his friends said or his God did to him.” (Warren Wiersbe)
Verses 1-6 are very important. Job’s is answering the accusations that have come over the past 25 chapters of the book. His friends have declared over his suffering that it is the wicked that suffer thus Job must be wicked. Job steadfastly is standing against his friends accusations of wickedness. To do so means that Job must then defend his own integrity.
His defense begins in with what he has said and will say; Vs.4 “my lips will not say anything wicked, and my tongue will not utter lies.”
Job is saying he cannot lie, thus to admit that his friends are right would be a lie. He states in vs. 5 “I will never admit you are in the right; till I die, I will not deny my integrity.” The verb admit in this verse means to declare someone righteous or innocent. It is a word used in legal matters. Job declares that he will never ever admit that his friends are right.
Vs. 6 I will maintain my innocence and never let go of it ;my conscience will not reproach me as long as I live. Job states that he has been innocent and will be innocent in the future.
Verses 7-10-After three rounds of discussions with his friends we can assume that Job sees his so called friends now as his enemies. “May my enemy be like the wicked, my adversary like the unjust! His friends have accused him of being wicked and now Job says let them be treated like the wicked.
Job 27:13-23- “Job turns to discuss the fate of the wicked, a topic overworked by the counselors. His comments show that he understands it as well as they do. But Job makes the counselors, and not himself, the implied objects of the destiny described.”Reformed Study Bible
Vs. 13 “Here is the fate God allots to the wicked, the heritage a ruthless (or wicked) man receives from the Almighty.”
Their destiny is fatal. Their children don’t have enough to eat and are overwhelmed by plagues.
Though the wicked may appear to prosper having more silver and clothing than the upright, in the end their bank accounts and closets will be given to the righteous. Vs.16 Though he heaps up silver like dust and clothes like piles of clay,17 what he lays up the righteous will wear and the innocent will divide his silver.
“They go to bed wealthy and wake up poor. Terrors pour in on them like flash floods— a tornado snatches them away in the middle of the night, A cyclone sweeps them up—gone! Not a trace of them left, not even a footprint. Catastrophes relentlessly pursue them; they run this way and that, but there’s no place to hide—” Job 27:19-22 in the Message
Week Six – Day 27
Interlude: Where Wisdom Is Found
28:1There is a mine for silver
and a place where gold is refined.
2 Iron is taken from the earth,
and copper is smelted from ore.
3 Mortals put an end to the darkness;
they search out the farthest recesses
for ore in the blackest darkness.
4 Far from human dwellings they cut a shaft,
in places untouched by human feet;
far from other people they dangle and sway.
5 The earth, from which food comes,
is transformed below as by fire;
6 lapis lazuli comes from its rocks,
and its dust contains nuggets of gold.
7 No bird of prey knows that hidden path,
no falcon’s eye has seen it.
8 Proud beasts do not set foot on it,
and no lion prowls there.
9 People assault the flinty rock with their hands
and lay bare the roots of the mountains.
10 They tunnel through the rock;
their eyes see all its treasures.
11 They search the sources of the rivers
and bring hidden things to light.
12 But where can wisdom be found?
Where does understanding dwell?
13 No mortal comprehends its worth;
it cannot be found in the land of the living.
14 The deep says, “It is not in me”;
the sea says, “It is not with me.”
15 It cannot be bought with the finest gold,
nor can its price be weighed out in silver.
16 It cannot be bought with the gold of Ophir,
with precious onyx or lapis lazuli.
17 Neither gold nor crystal can compare with it, nor can it be had for jewels of gold.
18 Coral and jasper are not worthy of mention;
the price of wisdom is beyond rubies.
19 The topaz of Cush cannot compare with it;
it cannot be bought with pure gold.
20 Where then does wisdom come from?
Where does understanding dwell?
21 It is hidden from the eyes of every living thing,
concealed even from the birds in the sky.
22 Destruction and Death say,
“Only a rumor of it has reached our ears.”
23 God understands the way to it
and he alone knows where it dwells,
24 for he views the ends of the earth
and sees everything under the heavens.
25 When he established the force of the wind
and measured out the waters,
26 when he made a decree for the rain
and a path for the thunderstorm,
27 then he looked at wisdom and appraised it;
he confirmed it and tested it.
28 And he said to the human race,
“The fear of the Lord—that is wisdom,
and to shun evil is understanding.”
Notes on Job 28
“Here is a magnificent hymn in praise of wisdom. Wisdom is extolled as the noblest divine trait. God knows wisdom fully and employs it in all of his ways, but its abode is hidden from mankind. This hymn consists of three pericopes plus a conclusion:
human skill in mining technology (vv. 1– 11); wisdom’s value, beyond purchase (vv. 12– 19); God’s knowledge of wisdom (vv. 20– 27); wisdom for mankind (v. 28).
This hymn comes at the end of the disturbed third cycle. Since its abstract, reflective tone does not match well any of the speakers, it is taken to be a piece that stands outside the dialogue. It functions as a bridge between the dialogue and the groups of speeches that are coming.” (John Hartley)
As said in the previous chapter and notes the three cycles of dialogues between Job and his friends have ended. As chapter 28 begins we see a different type of literary style being used. We see many elements in this chapter that are found in the book of Proverbs which is an example of wisdom literature. Job is lamenting at the lack of wisdom that has been seen in the discussion between he and his friends and begins a personal search for wisdom.
“But where shall wisdom be found?” (Job 28:12). “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell?” (v. 20 NIV). Job asked these questions because he was weary of the cliches and platitudes that his three friends were giving him in the name of “wisdom.” His friends were sure that their words were pure gold, but Job concluded they were tinsel and trash. The three men had knowledge, but they lacked wisdom.” (Warren Wiersbe)
- You can’t mine for wisdom– Job 28:1-11- “Job takes us deep into the earth where brave men are mining gold, iron, copper, and precious stones. Precious metals and precious stones are often used in Scripture as symbols of wisdom (Prov. 2:1–10; 3:13–15; 8:10–21; 1 Cor. 3:12–23). Once you have found it, you must “refine” it in the furnace and “mint” it for practical use. Paul said that the opposite of God’s wisdom is man’s wisdom—“wood, hay, and stubble”—materials that are not beautiful, durable, or valuable (1 Cor. 3:12). You can find wood, hay, and stubble on the surface of the earth; but if you want real treasures, you must dig deep. Job describes how men work hard and face great danger to find material wealth. They tunnel through hard rock and risk their lives to get rich. Why will men and women not put that much effort into gaining God’s wisdom?”
- Wisdom’s Worth– Job 28:12-19- Vs. 12,”But where can wisdom be found?Where does understanding dwell? “ This is the question that Job poses. And right off after posing the question Job shares with us one of the problems. We mere mortals don’t understand the importance and value of wisdom and thus it rarely is found in our midst. In fact you don’t find wisdom in the sea or the debts of the earth. Wisdom can’t be bought with gold or silver and the jewels of this world don’t compare to its worth or value.
- Wisdom comes from God – Job 28:2—28- Vs. 20 “Where then does wisdom come from? Where does understanding dwell? “Job reiterates the question to emphasize its importance. He then tells us that wisdom is hidden from all eyes(vs. 21). Death’s knowledge of wisdom consists in only hearing about it through rumors (vs. 22). Only God knows the way to wisdom and understands where it lives (vs. 23). God can see everything in heaven and earth and from that vantage point He understands wisdom (vs. 24). 27,”He looked at wisdom and appraised it; He confirmed it and tested it.” Wisdom begins with God. God looks at us humans and says, “The fear of the Lord -that is wisdom” (v. 28). Job is letting us know that wisdom has a spiritual source and is more than a collection of facts. God not only recognizes wisdom and presents it to us but He is telling us that wisdoms value has been appraised, its direction and path confirmed and its lessons and worth have been tested. Wisdom comes from God alone.
“Job’s experience verifies the concluding principle of this hymn that a human being finds true wisdom only in fearing God. This wisdom is a spiritual wisdom that transcends human knowledge, but that does not mean that it is irrational. The converse is true. It is intelligible, for it is the portal into the vast resources of God’s wisdom. That is why Yahweh can dialogue with Job and offer him insight into his own wonderful ways. ” (John Hartley)
Week Six – Day 28
Job begins his lament….
29:1 Job continued his discourse:
2 “How I long for the months gone by,
for the days when God watched over me,
3 when his lamp shone on my head
and by his light I walked through darkness!
4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
5 when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me,
6 when my path was drenched with cream
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
7 “When I went to the gate of the city
and took my seat in the public square,
8 the young men saw me and stepped aside
and the old men rose to their feet;
9 the chief men refrained from speaking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
and those who saw me commended me,
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help,
and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13 The one who was dying blessed me;
I made the widow’s heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;
justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy;
I took up the case of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked
and snatched the victims from their teeth.
18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots will reach to the water,
and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20 My glory will not fade;
the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
21 “People listened to me expectantly,
waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers
and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
the light of my face was precious to them.
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;
I dwelt as a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.
Notes on Job 29
“Job has decided how he will rest his case. He takes a daring step in a final attempt to clear himself. He swears an avowal of innocence. His oath forces the issue, for the oath compels God either to clear him or to activate the curses. Even if God continues to remain silent, that would be an answer, for if the curses Job utters are not activated, the entire community would be convinced that Job is innocent. So after swearing this avowal of innocence, Job will sit in silence, awaiting God’s answer. This avowal of innocence consists of three distinct parts:
Job’s remembrance of his former abundant life (ch. 29), a lament (ch. 30), and an oath of innocence (ch. 31).
The author has composed a wonderful piece by stretching the structure of a psalm of lament. At the beginning he has placed Job’s reminiscence of his past glory (ch. 29). And at the conclusion he has elaborately expanded an oath of innocence, an element that appears in some psalms of lament (e.g., Ps. 7: 4– 6 [Eng. 3– 51; 17: 3, 5). 1 The entire speech may be labeled an avowal of innocence. The oath of innocence is the focal point of the avowal, for by it Job demands from God a legal judgment on his character. The remembrance portrays by contrast the depth of Job’s affliction as expressed in the lament. These two elements also reveal Job’s motivation for uttering the oath. And the lament seeks to move God to respond”
“Job begins his avowal of innocence with a detailed description of his former stature in the community. Then he had intimate fellowship with God. The community recognized God’s favor in his life and showed him their highest respect. But Job did not rest in his glory; he diligently helped the poor and unfortunate. Confident that he pleased God, he looked for a long, prosperous life. This remembrance serves to portray the depth of his shame as he will express it in his lament (ch. 30).” (John Hartley)
This chapter is divided into 5 sections.
- God’s blessing (vs.1-6) God watched over Job. Job acknowledges that great blessings came from God’s protective gaze. God’s attention was like a lamp that shone upon Job giving him direction and courage. This light did not diminish even when Job walked through darkness. In the prime of his life Job had the pleasure of children, God’s presence, and above all His intimate friendship. Job tells how he longs for those times when he was so blessed. Everywhere he went it was full of cream and olive oil. These are symbols of blessing and abundance.
- Job’s respect (vs. 7-10) Job was in the prime of his life and received due respect at the city gate and square. These were the places of commerce and government in the city and in both arenas Job was respected. Young and old men alike recognized Job’s position. Men who themselves were well respected would be silent in Job’s presence. As the author of Job tells us, “he was the greatest man among all the people of the East”( vs. 1:3).
- Job’s justice (vs. 11-19 ) “Whoever heard about Job blessed him, and those who saw him commended him. Job is claiming that the high respect he was given was due to his zealous pursuit of righteousness. He showed mercy toward the afflicted. When he heard the poor and the orphan crying for help, he came to their aid. Patriarchal religion (and ancient Near Eastern society) taught that widows, orphans, and the poor— the powerless members of society— came under God’s special concern. When the wicked lorded it over them and the wealthy enriched themselves at their expense, the only weapons these poor had were their pleas to God for help. They were too poor to take any legal recourse against these oppressors. Consequently, the mark of a righteous person was that he heard the cries of these miserable creatures and acted to rescue them.” (John Hartley)
Job wore righteousness like it was his own clothing. He was the eyes to the blind, feet to the lame, father to the needy, advocate for the stranger and protector of the victims.
- 4. Job’s hope ( vs.19-20) Job’s hope was that the result of his righteousness would be long life
and continued blessing. He believed that he would flourish like a tree planted by water. This is a biblical image of righteousness and prosperity found in the Psalms and Jeremiah. Job could not even imagine that his blessing would end. The bow is a symbol of power and manly strength and Job believed that his strength would be like a new bow always at hand.
- Job’s dignity (vs. 21-25) Job remembers the good times, but the memory is not a blessing.
The memory accentuates the great losses that he has endured. Job, in his weakened state
with unfathomable losses, remembers the days that people treated him with dignity. People
stood in line to be able to listen to him and receive his advice. Job’s counsel left people
speechless, and they felt like his words fell on their ears like a soft rain. They longed for what
he had to say because his words had life on them like the spring rains. His smile didn’t just
light up Job’s face, but it was like a light to everyone who saw it.
“Job’s musings conclude by equating his high social standing to the role of a chief or king. The
passage’s imagery nuances the specific form of control he exercised: he chose their way, and he was like a king among his troops. These phrases suggest unquestioned loyalty from his followers and portray Job as a compassionate leader, not an oppressive tyrant over unwilling subjects.” (John Walton)
Job 29-31 is a lament. Job begins the lament by allowing us to see the depth of what he
has lost. We have learned the facts of how he has lost crops, servants, children and health, but now we see how he has also lost respect, dignity, position and his vocation.
Week Six – Day 29
Job continues his lament…
30:1“But now they mock me,
men younger than I,
whose fathers I would have disdained
to put with my sheep dogs.
2 Of what use was the strength of their hands to me,
since their vigor had gone from them?
3 Haggard from want and hunger,
they roamed the parched land
in desolate wastelands at night.
4 In the brush they gathered salt herbs,
and their food was the root of the broom bush.
5 They were banished from human society,
shouted at as if they were thieves.
6 They were forced to live in the dry stream beds,
among the rocks and in holes in the ground.
7 They brayed among the bushes
and huddled in the undergrowth.
8 A base and nameless brood,
they were driven out of the land.
9 “And now those young men mock me in song;
I have become a byword among them.
10 They detest me and keep their distance;
they do not hesitate to spit in my face.
11 Now that God has unstrung my bow and afflicted me,
they throw off restraint in my presence.
12 On my right the tribe attacks;
they lay snares for my feet,
they build their siege ramps against me.
13 They break up my road;
they succeed in destroying me.
‘No one can help him,’ they say.
14 They advance as through a gaping breach;
amid the ruins they come rolling in.
15 Terrors overwhelm me;
my dignity is driven away as by the wind,
my safety vanishes like a cloud.
16 “And now my life ebbs away;
days of suffering grip me.
17 Night pierces my bones;
my gnawing pains never rest.
18 In his great power God becomes like clothing to me;
he binds me like the neck of my garment.
19 He throws me into the mud,
and I am reduced to dust and ashes.
20 “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer;
I stand up, but you merely look at me.
21 You turn on me ruthlessly;
with the might of your hand you attack me.
22 You snatch me up and drive me before the wind;
you toss me about in the storm.
23 I know you will bring me down to death,
to the place appointed for all the living.
24 “Surely no one lays a hand on a broken man
when he cries for help in his distress.
25 Have I not wept for those in trouble?
Has not my soul grieved for the poor?
26 Yet when I hoped for good, evil came;
when I looked for light, then came darkness.
27 The churning inside me never stops;
days of suffering confront me.
28 I go about blackened, but not by the sun;
I stand up in the assembly and cry for help.
29 I have become a brother of jackals,
a companion of owls.
30 My skin grows black and peels;
my body burns with fever.
31 My lyre is tuned to mourning,
and my pipe to the sound of wailing.
Notes on Job 30
“As the books of Job, Jeremiah, and Habakkuk clearly show, God has a high threshold of tolerance for what is appropriate to say in a prayer. God can “handle” my unsuppressed rage. I may well find that my vindictive feelings need God’s correction – but only by taking those feelings to God will I have the opportunity for correction and healing.”
Phillip Yancey, The Bible Jesus Read
“After recounting his past blessings and the respect he had in the assembly, Job laments the depths of his shame and the severity of his suffering. He is deeply distressed that he is scorned by all, even the desert rabble. He also cries out from the piercing pains that torment him. It is very distressing to Job that he sees God’s mighty hand behind his suffering. Moreover, God’s silence to his pleas exasperates him. In anguish he laments like a psalmist who sings a psalm of lament to the tune of the harp and flute.
This lament is artfully structured in relationship to his remembrance (ch. 29). In the lament Job speaks of the shame caused by external forces, then of his personal distress, while in his remembrance he recounted his personal blessings and then the honor others bestowed on him. The three sections of this lament are Job’s present disgrace (vv. 1– 15); an accusation against God (vv. 16– 23); and a self-lament (vv. 24– 31).” (John Hartley)
This chapter is carefully structured so that it parallels and corresponds to the last chapter. Point by point Job laments how what he enjoyed as a blessed man in chapter 29 has now been lost and is being grieved in chapter 30.
Disgrace (vs. 1-15) Job recounts how his dignity has been mocked. The insults are made even harder to bear because they are not coming from the elite of society, but from those he would considered the scum of the earth. Job would have considered their fathers inappropriate to work with his dogs tending livestock, and now their sons mock and taunt him. Job finds it crushing to have to suffer insults from those who are thieves and exiles. Job who once had a powerful name faces jeers from a nameless gang who deride his name in song. Facing the worst indignities, Job laments, “They detest me and keep their distance; they do not hesitate to spit in my face.”
Job spoke in the previous chapter about his strength being like a new bow always at hand. Now in chapter 30 he speaks of the loss of his strength as God afflicting him and unstringing his bow. Job is totally overwhelmed, his dignity driven away, his safety vanished.
Accusation (vs.16-23) Job suffers daily an inward sense of loss as his life is withering away. Job suffers nightly physical pain in his bones that prevent him from sleeping and a restrictive pain that chokes him like a tight garment around his neck. Job turns this lament towards God who he says is reducing him to dust and ashes. And then in a torrent of accusations Job turns his lament on God. “I cry out to you, God, but you do not answer; I stand up, but you merely look at me. You turn on me ruthlessly; with the might of your hand you attack me.” (vs. 20-21)
Job instead of being like a tree planted and rooted by the water as he mentioned in chapter 29, now sees himself as uprooted and tossed around by the winds and the storm. With bitterness and sarcasm Job laments, “I know you will bring me down to death.”
Lament (vs. 24-31)
Job, who with tears helped the poor and the needy, now faces evil when he looks to others for help. He grieves how can one answer cries of anguish by hurting an already broken man. Job had hoped that he who had shown compassion to others would find light or compassion at the end of the tunnel. Unfortunately all Job can see is only evil at the end of his tunnel.
Job is heart sick and physically sick. There is agitation in his stomach, he has a burning fever, and his complexion has grown dark and peeled.
“Job concluded his plaintive rehearsal of his present remorse by stating that his joy had turned to grief (30:31). His harp and flute, instruments for expressing joy (cf. 21:12), now played only funeral dirges in accompaniment to people weeping in grief. The last five verses alternate between emotional pain (30:27, 29, 31) and physical pain (30:28, 30). The urchins mocked, spit, and attacked; God remained silent; friends were unsympathetic; and Job groaned in pain. Such was the plight of Job—the former plutocrat*.” (Roy Zuck )
*plutocrat-someone who exercises power by wealth
Week Six – Day 30
Job’s Lament continues…
31:1“I made a covenant with my eyes
not to look lustfully at a young woman.
2 For what is our lot from God above,
our heritage from the Almighty on high?
3 Is it not ruin for the wicked,
disaster for those who do wrong?
4 Does he not see my ways
and count my every step?
5 “If I have walked with falsehood
or my foot has hurried after deceit—
6 let God weigh me in honest scales
and he will know that I am blameless—
7 if my steps have turned from the path,
if my heart has been led by my eyes,
or if my hands have been defiled,
8 then may others eat what I have sown,
and may my crops be uprooted.
9 “If my heart has been enticed by a woman,
or if I have lurked at my neighbor’s door,
10 then may my wife grind another man’s grain,
and may other men sleep with her.
11 For that would have been wicked,
a sin to be judged.
12 It is a fire that burns to Destruction[a];
it would have uprooted my harvest.
13 “If I have denied justice to any of my servants,
whether male or female,
when they had a grievance against me,
14 what will I do when God confronts me?
What will I answer when called to account?
15 Did not he who made me in the womb make them?
Did not the same one form us both within our mothers?
16 “If I have denied the desires of the poor
or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
17 if I have kept my bread to myself,
not sharing it with the fatherless—
18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would,
and from my birth I guided the widow—
19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,or the needy without garments,
20 and their hearts did not bless me
for warming them with the fleece from my sheep,
21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,knowing that I had influence in court,
22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
let it be broken off at the joint.
23 For I dreaded destruction from God,
and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.
24 “If I have put my trust in gold
or said to pure gold, ‘You are my security,’
25 if I have rejoiced over my great wealth,
the fortune my hands had gained,
26 if I have regarded the sun in its radiance
or the moon moving in splendor,
27 so that my heart was secretly enticed
and my hand offered them a kiss of homage,
28 then these also would be sins to be judged,
for I would have been unfaithful to God on high.
29 “If I have rejoiced at my enemy’s misfortune
or gloated over the trouble that came to him
30 I have not allowed my mouth to sin
by invoking a curse against their life—
31 if those of my household have never said,
‘Who has not been filled with Job’s meat?’—
32 but no stranger had to spend the night in the street,
for my door was always open to the traveler
33 if I have concealed my sin as people do,[b]
by hiding my guilt in my heart
34 because I so feared the crowd
and so dreaded the contempt of the clans
that I kept silent and would not go outside—
35 (“Oh, that I had someone to hear me!
I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me;
let my accuser put his indictment in writing.
36 Surely I would wear it on my shoulder,
I would put it on like a crown.
37 I would give him an account of my every step;
I would present it to him as to a ruler.)—
38 “if my land cries out against me
and all its furrows are wet with tears,
39 if I have devoured its yield without payment
or broken the spirit of its tenants,
40 then let briers come up instead of wheat
and stinkweed instead of barley.”
The words of Job are ended.
Notes on Job 31
“After having reminisced about the glory of his former days and having lamented his present disgrace, Job swears an oath of innocence in a final move to prove that he is not guilty of any wrongdoing. The oath requires God either to activate the curses of the oath or to clear the swearer. Should God remain silent, Job would be declared innocent by not being cursed. A common formula for an oath of innocence is, “May God do such to me, if I do (or do not do) so and so.” The swearer usually suppresses the actual curse either with evasive language or abbreviated formulas, no doubt fearful of the very verbalizing of a specific curse. But Job is so bold that four times he specifies the curse that should befall him if he be guilty (vv. 8, 10, 22, 40). His wreckless bravery reflects his unwavering confidence in his own innocence.”
Job lists 14 sins that he has not committed.
- Lust (vv. 1– 4) Job says he has made a covenant with his eyes so that he will not entertain lust.
- Falsehood (vv. 5– 6) Job says God can weigh him on the scales that measure honesty.
- Covetousness (vv. 7– 8) Job says if his heart or hands have participated in taking from others, then let what he has in terms of crops be given to another.
- Adultery (vv. 9– 12) Job calls adultery a fire and says he has never entertained that fire. Job says he has not lusted after another woman than his wife. He calls down an oath that if he has to let his wife serve and sleep with another man.
- Mistreatment of one’s servants (vv. 13– 15) Job recognizes that it is God to whom he must give an account, and he formed both Job and his servants. Job asks how could he not treat them justly when they too are created by God.
- Lack of concern for the poor (vv. 16– 18) Job defends the way that he has treated the poor, orphans and widows. He has been conscientious to share and to give.
- Failure to clothe the poor (vv. 19– 20) Job states that no one lacked clothes or warmth because he did not give.
- Perversion of justice against the weak (vv. 21– 23) Job says because he believes in God’s glory and in his justice, he would never mistreat the orphan, or lie in court. He calls down a punishment upon himself if he has ever done so.
- Trust in wealth (vv. 24– 25) Job states that he has not trusted in his wealth or made silver or gold his security. He goes even farther saying that the wealth he has known has not been the source of his joy.
- Worship of the heavenly bodies (vv. 26– 28) Job has not worshipped the sun or moon secretly or publicly.
- Satisfaction at a foe’s misfortune (vv. 29– 30) Job has not cursed his enemies or rejoiced in their downfall. His mouth has not participated in a sin against his enemy
- Failure to extend hospitality to a sojourner (vv. 31– 32) Job has been hospitable to the traveler who needed a place to stay the night.
- Concealment of a sin without confession (vv. 33– 34) Job has not hidden his sin
- Abuse of the land (vv. 38– 40b). Job calls on God to curse his land with weeds instead of crops if he has misused the land that God has given him.
List of sins-John Hartley. The Book of Job (The New International Commentary on the Old Testament)
In verses 33–37, Job asked God (“my adversary” or “accuser”= judge) to give him three things: a hearing, an answer to his charges, and a document to prove his innocence. If God couldn’t do these things, then Job was willing that God send the curses included in Job’s oath. Job was prepared to give God an accounting of his every step if that’s what it would take to bring the case to an end. Job had nothing to hide; he was not a hypocrite, cringing for fear of the people (vv. 33–34). (Warren Wiersbe)
Read again the vow of innocence that Job makes in verses 35-37, “Oh, that I had someone to hear me! I sign now my defense—let the Almighty answer me; let my accuser put his indictment in writing. Surely I would wear it on my shoulder.” Job makes this vow after defending himself chapter after chapter. After making this vow it says that Job had no more words.