|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:9-15 All the defilements of the life come from a deceived heart. Lust is a fire in the soul: those that indulge it, are said to burn. It consumes all that is good there, and lays the conscience waste. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which, if not quenched by the blood of Christ, will consume even to eternal destruction. It consumes the body; it consumes the substance. Burning lusts bring burning judgments. Job had a numerous household, and he managed it well. He considered that he had a Master in heaven; and as we are undone if God should be severe with us, we ought to be mild and gentle towards all with whom we have to do.
Verse 10. - Then let my wife grind unto another; i.e. "let the wife of my bosom be brought so low as to be compelled to do the servile work of grinding the corn in the household of another woman." The condition of the female slaves who ground the corn was regarded as the lowest point in domestic slavery (see Exodus 11:5; Isaiah 47:2). And let others bow down upon her. Let them, i.e., claim the master's right, and reduce her to the extremest degradation There would be a just nemesis in this punishment of an adulterer (see 2 Samuel 12:11).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then let my wife grind unto another,.... Which some understand literally, of her being put to the worst of drudgery and slavery, to work at a mill, and grind corn for the service of a stranger, and be exposed to the company of the meanest of persons, and to their insults and abuses; as we find such as were taken captives and made prisoners by an enemy were put unto, as Samson, Judges 16:21; and it may be observed, that to grind in a mill was also the work of women, Exodus 11:5; as it was in early times; Homer (c) speaks of it as in times before him; but others take the words in a figurative sense, as if he imprecated that she lie with another man, and be defiled by him, as the Targum, Aben Ezra, and others (d); see Isaiah 47:1; and in like manner the following clause:
and let others bow down upon her; both which phrases are euphemisms, or clean and decent expressions, signifying what otherwise is not to be named; the Scriptures hereby directing, as to avoid unchaste thoughts, inclinations, and desires, and impure actions, so obscene words and filthy talking, as becometh saints: but there is some difficulty in Job's imprecating or wishing such a thing might befall his wife; it could not be lawful, if he had sinned, to wish his wife might sin also; or, if he was an adulterer, that she should be an adulteress; the sense is not, that Job really wished such a thing; but he uses such a way of speaking, to show how remote he was from the sin of uncleanness, there being nothing more disagreeable to a man than for his wife to defile his bed; it is the last thing he would wish for: and moreover Job suggests hereby, that had he been guilty of this sin, he must own and acknowledge that he would be righteously served, and it would be a just retaliation upon him, should his wife use him, or she be used, in such a manner; likewise, though a man may not wish nor commit a sin for the punishment of another; yet God sometimes punishes sin with sin, and even with the same kind of sin, and with this; so David's sin with Bathsheba was punished with Absalom lying with his wives and concubines before the sun, 2 Samuel 12:11; see Deuteronomy 28:30.
(c) Odyss. 7. v. 107. & Odyss. 20. v. 109. (d) So T. Bab Sotah, fol. 10. 1. & Luther, Schmidt apud Stockium, p. 414.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
10. grind—turn the handmill. Be the most abject slave and concubine (Isa 47:2; 2Sa 12:11).
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