|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 5. - If I have walked with vanity, or if my foot hath hasted to deceit. "If I have been a living lie, i.e. if, under a fair show of piety and righteousness of life, I have, as you my friends suppose, been all along a deceiver and a hypocrite, cloaking my secret sins under a mere pretence of well-doing, then the sooner I am exposed the better. Let me be weighed," etc. The painful suggestion of hypocrisy has been made by Job's friends repeatedly during the colloquy (Job 4:7-9; Job 8:6, 12; Job 11:4-6, '11-14; 15:30-35; 18:5-21; 20:5-29, etc.), and has deeply afflicted the patriarch. It is a charge so easily made, and so impossible to refute. All that the righteous man, thus falsely accused, can do is to appeal to God: "Thou, God, knowest. Thou, God, wilt one day show forth the truth."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If I have walked with vanity,.... Or with vain men, as Bar Tzemach interprets it, keeping company and having fellowship with them in their vain and sinful practices; or in the vanity of his mind, indulging himself in impurity of heart and life; or rather using deceitful methods to cheat and defraud others; for this seems to be another vice Job clears himself of, acting unjustly in his dealings with men, or dealing falsely with them:
or if my foot hath hasted to deceit; to cheat men in buying and selling, being ready and swift to do it, and in haste to become rich, which puts men oftentimes on evil ways and methods to attain it; see Proverbs 28:20.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
5. Job's abstinence from evil deeds.
vanity—that is, falsehood (Ps 12:2).
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