|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:16-23 Job's conscience gave testimony concerning his just and charitable behaviour toward the poor. He is most large upon this head, because in this matter he was particularly accused. He was tender of all, and hurtful to none. Notice the principles by which Job was restrained from being uncharitable and unmerciful. He stood in awe of the Lord, as certainly against him, if he should wrong the poor. Regard to worldly interests may restrain a man from actual crimes; but the grace of God alone can make him hate, dread, and shun sinful thoughts and desires.
Verse 22. - Then let mine arm (rather, my shoulder) fall from my shoulder-blade. Job was, perhaps, led to make this rather strange imprecation by the fact that, in the disease from which he was suffering, portions of bone sometimes detach themselves and come away. And mine arm be broken from the bone. My forearm, i.e, detach itself from the bone of the upper arm, and come away from it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Then let mine arm fall from my shoulder blade,.... With which the upper part of it is connected; let it be disjointed from it, or rot and drop off from it; a dreadful calamity this, to lose an arm and the use of it, to have it full off immediately, as a judgment from God, and in just retaliation for lifting up an hand or arm against the fatherless; as Jeroboam's arm withered when he put it forth from the altar, and ordered hands to be laid upon the prophet for crying against the altar, 1 Kings 13:4; and mine arm be broken from the bone; from the channel bone, as the margin of our Bibles, or rather from the elbow, the lower part of the arm and so may be rendered, "or mine arm", &c. Eliphaz had brought a charge against Job, that the arms of the fatherless had been broken, and suggests that they had been broken by him, or by his orders, Job 22:9; and Job here wishes, that if that was the case, that his own arm was broken: such imprecations are not to be made in common, or frequently, and only when a man's innocence cannot be vindicated but by an appeal to the omniscient God; an instance somewhat like this, see in Psalm 137:5.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
22. Apodosis to Job 31:13, 16, 17, 19, 20, 21. If I had done those crimes, I should have made a bad use of my influence ("my arm," figuratively, Job 31:21): therefore, if I have done them let my arm (literally) suffer. Job alludes to Eliphaz' charge (Job 22:9). The first "arm" is rather the shoulder. The second "arm" is the forearm.
from the bone—literally, "a reed"; hence the upper arm, above the elbow.
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