|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 11. - For this is an heinous crime. The crime of adultery subverts the family relation, on which it has pleased God to erect the entire fabric of human society. Hence, in the Jewish Law, adultery was made a capital offence (Leviticus 20:10; Deuteronomy 22:22), both in the woman and in the man. Among other nations the adulteress was commonly punished with death, but the adulterer escaped scot-free. In modern communities adultery is mostly regarded, not as a crime, but as a civil wrong, on account of which an action lies against the adulterer. It is an iniquity to be punished by the judges; literally, it is an iniquity of judges; i.e. one of which judges take cognizance.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For this is an heinous crime,.... Adultery; it is contrary to the light of nature, and is condemned by it as a great sin, Genesis 20:9; as well as contrary to the express will and law of God, Exodus 20:14; and, though all sin is a transgression of the law of God, and deserving of death; yet there are some sins greater and more heinous than others, being attended with aggravating circumstances; and such is this sin, it is a breach of the marriage contract and covenant between man and wife; it is doing injury to a man's property, and to that which is the nearest and dearest to him, and is what introduces confusion into families, kingdoms, and states; and therefore it follows:
yea, it is an iniquity to he punished by the judges; who might take cognizance of it, examine into it, and pass sentence for it, and execute it; and, if they neglect do their duty, God, the Judge of all the earth, will punish for it in the world to come, unless repented of: "for whoremongers and adulterers God will judge", Hebrews 13:4; the punishment of adultery was death by the law of God, and that by stoning, as appears from Leviticus 20:10; and it is remarkable, that the Heathens, who were ignorant of this law, enjoined the same punishment for it; so Homer (e) introduces Hector reproving Paris for this sin, and suggests to him, that if he had his deserved punishment, he would have been clothed with a "stone coat", as he beautifully expresses it; which Suidas (f) explains, by being overwhelmed with stones, or stoned; as Eustathius (g).
(e) Iliad. 3. v. 57. (f) In voce (g) In Homer. ibid.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. In the earliest times punished with death (Ge 38:24). So in later times (De 22:22). Heretofore he had spoken only of sins against conscience; now, one against the community, needing the cognizance of the judge.
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