|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-8 Job did not speak the things here recorded by way of boasting, but in answer to the charge of hypocrisy. He understood the spiritual nature of God's commandments, as reaching to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is best to let our actions speak for us; but in some cases we owe it to ourselves and to the cause of God, solemnly to protest our innocence of the crimes of which we are falsely accused. The lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world, are two fatal rocks on which multitudes split; against these Job protests he was always careful to stand upon his guard. And God takes more exact notice of us than we do of ourselves; let us therefore walk circumspectly. He carefully avoided all sinful means of getting wealth. He dreaded all forbidden profit as much as all forbidden pleasure. What we have in the world may be used with comfort, or lost with comfort, if honestly gotten. Without strict honestly and faithfulness in all our dealings, we can have no good evidence of true godliness. Yet how many professors are unable to abide this touchstone!
Verse 3. - Is not destruction to the wicked? The inheritance of the wicked is "destruction" - ruin both of soul and body. This is what I should have to expect if I yielded myself to the bondage of lust and concupiscence. And a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity? The rare word neker (גכר), translated here by "strange punishment," seems to mean "alienation from God" - being turned from God's friend into his enemy (comp. Buxtorf, 'Lexicon Hebraicum et Chaldaicum,' who explains גכר by "alienatio;" and the comment of Schultens on Job 31:3, "Necer, a Deo alienatio").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Is not destruction to the wicked?.... It is even to such wicked men, who live in the sin of fornication, and make it their business to ensnare and corrupt virgins; and which is another reason why Job was careful to avoid that sin; wickedness of every sort is the cause of destruction, destruction and misery are in the ways of wicked men, and their wicked ways lead unto it, and issue in it, even destruction of soul and body in hell, which is swift and sudden, and will be everlasting: this is laid up for wicked men among the treasures of God's wrath, and they are reserved that, and there is no way of deliverance from it but by Christ:
and a strange punishment to the workers of iniquity; the iniquity of fornication and whoredom, Proverbs 30:20; who make it their business to commit it, and live in a continued course of uncleanness and other sins; a punishment, something strange, unusual, and uncommon, as the filthy venereal disease in this world, and everlasting burnings in another; or "alienation" (y), a state of estrangement and banishment from the presence of God and Christ, and from the society of the saints, to all eternity; see Matthew 25:46.
(y) "et abalienatio", Munster; "et alienatio", V. L. Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, Schmidt.
Job 31:3 Parallel Commentaries
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