Job 31:25
If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
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Job 31:25. If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great — Esteeming myself happy in the possession of it, though without God’s love and favour; because my hand had gotten much — Ascribing my acquisition of it to my own skill or industry, rather than to God’s goodness and mercy. And these sins Job the rather mentions, partly for his own vindication, lest it should be thought that God took away his property because he had abused it to pride, or luxury, or the oppression of others; and partly for the instruction of mankind in succeeding generations, that they might take notice of the evil of such practices, though by most men they are reputed laudable or harmless, or, at the worst, but light and trivial instances of misconduct.

31:24-32 Job protests, 1. That he never set his heart upon the wealth of this world. How few prosperous professors can appeal to the Lord, that they have not rejoiced because their gains were great! Through the determination to be rich, numbers ruin their souls, or pierce themselves with many sorrows. 2. He never was guilty of idolatry. The source of idolatry is in the heart, and it corrupts men, and provokes God to send judgments upon a nation. 3. He neither desired nor delighted in the hurt of the worst enemy he had. If others bear malice to us, that will not justify us in bearing malice to them. 4. He had never been unkind to strangers. Hospitality is a Christian duty, 1Pe 4:9.If I have rejoiced because my wealth was great - That is, if I have rejoiced as if I might now confide in it, or put my trust in it. He had not found his principal joy in his property, nor had he attempted to find in that the happiness which he ought to seek in God.

And because mine hand had gotten much - Margin, found. Prof. Lee translates this, "When as a mighty man my hand prevailed." But the usual interpretation is given in our translation, and this accords better with the connection. The word found better expresses the sense of the Hebrew than gotten, but the sense is not materially varied.

24, 25. Job asserts his freedom from trust in money (1Ti 6:17). Here he turns to his duty towards God, as before he had spoken of his duty towards himself and his neighbor. Covetousness is covert idolatry, as it transfers the heart from the Creator to the creature (Col 3:5). In Job 31:26, 27 he passes to overt idolatry. If I rejoiced, to wit, carnally and excessively, esteeming myself happy therein without God’s love and favour; for otherwise it is not only lawful, but a duty and gift of God, moderately and thankfully to rejoice in the good things of this life; of which see Deu 12:7 Ecclesiastes 2:24-26 3:12,13 5:18,19.

Because mine hand had gotten much; ascribing my wealth to my own wit or industry, rather than to God’s goodness and mercy. And these sins he the rather mentions, partly for his own vindication, lest it should be thought that God took away his estate because he had abused it to pride, or carnal confidence, or luxury, or the oppression of others, &c.; and partly for the instruction of mankind in succeeding generations, that they might take notice of the malignity and odiousness of these practices, which by most men are reputed either laudable or harmless, or at worst but light and trivial miscarriages.

If I rejoiced because my wealth was great,.... As it was, see Job 1:2; yet he did not set his heart upon it, please himself with it, indulge to a carnal joy on account of it, nor suffer it to engross his affections, or alienate them from God his chief joy; not but that a man may lawfully rejoice in the goodness of God unto him, in increasing his wealth, and praise him for it, who has placed him in such easy circumstances, and so comfortably provided for him and his family, and put him into a capacity to do good to others; and he may rejoice in what God has given him, and cheerfully partake of it, 1 Chronicles 29:13;

and because my hand had gotten much; though he had much wealth, he did not ascribe it to his own industry, and applaud his own wisdom and diligence, as men are apt to do, for all comes of God, and is owing to his blessing; he did not please himself when become rich, as if his own hand had found him much substance, as Ephraim did, Hosea 12:8.

If I rejoice because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much;
Verse 25. - If I rejoiced because my wealth was great, and because mine hand had gotten much. Job feels that it is wrong even to care greatly for wealth. He seems almost to anticipate the saying of St. Paul, that "covetousness is idolatry" (Colossians 3:5); and hence he passes on without pause from this sort of creature-worship to others common in his day (vers. 26, 27). which he likewise disclaims. Job 31:2524 If I made gold my confidence,

And said to the fine gold: O my trust;

25 If I rejoiced that my wealth was great,

And that my hand had gained much; -

26 If I saw the sunlight when it shone,

And the moon walking in splendour,

27 And my heart was secretly enticed,

And I threw them a kiss by my hand:

28 This also would be a punishable crime,

For I should have played the hypocrite to God above.

Not only from covetous extortion of another's goods was he conscious of being clear, but also from an excessive delight in earthly possessions. He has not made gold his כּסל, confidence (vid., on כּסלתך, Job 4:6); he has not said to כּתם, fine gold (pure, Job 28:19, of Ophir, Job 28:16), מבטחי (with Dag. forte implicitum as Job 8:14; Job 18:14): object (ground) of my trust! He has not rejoiced that his wealth is great (רב, adj.), and that his hand has attained כּבּיר, something great (neutral masc. Ew. 172, b). His joy was the fear of God, which ennobles man, not earthly things, which are not worthy to be accounted as man's highest good. He indeed avoided πλεονεξία as εἰλωλολατρεία (Colossians 3:5), how much more the heathenish deification of the stars! אור is here, as Job 37:21 and φάος in Homer, the sun as the great light of the earth. ירח is the moon as a wanderer (from רח equals ארח), i.e., night-wanderer (noctivaga), as the Arab. târik in a like sense is the name of the morning-star. The two words יקר הלד describe with exceeding beauty the solemn majestic wandering of the moon; יקר is acc. of closer definition, like תמים, Psalm 15:2, and this "brilliantly rolling on" is the acc. of the predicate to אראה, corresponding to the כּי יחל, "that (or how) it shoots forth rays" (Hiph. of הלל, distinct from יחל Isaiah 13:20), or even: that it shot forth rays (fut. in signif. of an imperf. as Genesis 48:17).

Job 31:27 proceeds with futt. consec. in order to express the effect which this imposing spectacle of the luminaries of the day and of the night might have produced on him, but has not. The Kal ויּפתּ is to be understood as in Deuteronomy 11:16 (comp. ib. iv. 19, נדּח): it was enticed, gave way to the seducing influence. Kissing is called נשׁק as being a joining of lip to lip. Accordingly the kiss by hand can be described by נשׁקה יד לפה; the kiss which the mouth gives the hand is to a certain extent also a kiss which the hand gives the mouth, since the hand joins itself to the mouth. Thus to kiss the hand in the direction of the object of veneration, or also to turn to it the kissed hand and at the same time the kiss which fastens on it (as compensation for the direct kiss, 1 Kings 19:18; Hosea 13:2), is the proper gesture of the προσκύνησις and adoratio mentioned; comp. Pliny, h. n. xxviii. 2, 5; Inter adorandum dexteram ad osculum referimus et totum corpus circumagimus. Tacitus, Hist. iii. 24, says that in Syria they value the rising sun; and that this was done by kissing the hand (τῆν χεῖρα κύσαντες) in Western Asia as in Greece, is to be inferred from Lucians Περὶ ὀρχήσεως, c. xvii.

(Note: Vid., Freund's Lat. Wrterbuch s. v. adorare, and K. Fr. Hermann's Gottesdienstliche Alterth. der Griechen, c. xxi. 16, but especially Excursus 123 in Dougtaeus' Analecta.)

In the passage before us Ew. finds an indication of the spread of the Zoroaster doctrine in the beginning of the seventh century b.c., at which period he is of opinion the book of Job was composed, but without any ground. The ancient Persian worship has no knowledge of the act of adoration by throwing a kiss; and the Avesta recognises in the sun and moon exalted genii, but created by Ahuramazda, and consequently not such as are to be worshipped as gods. On the other hand, star-worship is everywhere the oldest and also comparatively the purest form of heathenism. That the ancient Arabs, especially the Himjarites, adored the sun, שׁמשׁ, and the moon, שׂין (סין, whence סיני, the mountain dedicated to the moon), as divine, we know from the ancient testimonies,


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