Job 31:27
And my heart has been secretly enticed, or my mouth has kissed my hand:
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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.And my heart hath been secretly enticed - That is, away from God, or led into sin.

Or my mouth hath kissed my hand - Margin, my hand hath kissed my mouth. The margin accords with the Hebrew. It was customary in ancient worship to kiss the idol that was worshipped; compare 1 Kings 19:18, "I have left me seven thousand in Israel - and every mouth which hath not kissed him." See, also, Hosea 13:2. The Muslims at the present day, in their worship at Mecca, kiss the black stone which is fastened in the corner of the Beat Allah, as often as they pass it, in going round the Caaba. If they cannot come near enough to kiss it, they touch it with the hand, and kiss that. An Oriental pays his respects to one of a superior station by kissing his hand and putting it to his forehead. Paxton. See the custom of kissing the hand of a Prince, as it exists in Arabia, described by Niebuhr, Reisebeschreib. 1, S. 414. The custom prevailed, also, among the Romans and Greeks. Thus, Pliny (Hist. Nat. 28:2) says, Inter adorandum dexterarm ad osculum referimus, et totum corpus circumagimus. So Lucian in the book, περὶ ὀρχήτεως peri orchēseōs, says, "And the Indians, rising early, adore the sun - not as we, kissing the hand - τὴν χείρα κύσαντες tēn cheira kusantes - think that our vow is perfect." The foundation of the custom here alluded to, is the respect and affection which is shown for one by kissing; and as the heavenly bodies which were worshipped were so remote that the worshippers could not have access to them, they expressed their veneration by kissing the hand. Job means to say, that he had never performed an act of homage to the heavenly bodies.

27. enticed—away from God to idolatry.

kissed … hand—"adoration," literally means this. In worshipping they used to kiss the hand, and then throw the kiss, as it were, towards the object of worship (1Ki 19:18; Ho 13:2).

Secretly; in my inward thoughts or affections, whilst I made open profession of my adherence to God and to the true religion. Enticed, or seduced, or deceived, by its plausible and glorious appearance, which might easily cheat a credulous and inconsiderate person to believe that there was something of a divinity in it, and so induce him to worship it. This emphatical expression seems to be used with design to teach the world this necessary and useful truth, that no mistake or error of mind would excuse the practice of idolatry. Or my mouth, Heb. and my mouth, which seems more proper here, because the secret error of the mind, without some such visible action and evidence as here follows, had not been punishable by the judges.

Kissed my hand, in token of worship; whereof this was a sign, whether given to men, as Genesis 41:40 Psalm 2:12, or to idols, 1 Kings 19:18 Hosea 13:2. And when the idols were out of the reach of idolaters, that they could not kiss them, they used to kiss their hands, and, as it were, to throw kisses at them; of which we have many examples in heathen writers; of which see my Latin Synopsis on this place. And mine heart hath been secretly enticed,.... Drawn away by beholding the magnitude of these bodies, the swiftness of their motion, their glorious appearance, and great usefulness to mankind, to entertain a thought of their being deities; and privately to worship them, in secret acts of devotion, as by an honourable esteem of them as such, reverence and affection for them, trust and confidence in them; for, as there is a secret worshipping of the true God, so there is a secret idolatry, idolatry in the heart, and setting up of idols there, as well as worshipping them in dark places, in chambers of imagery, as the Jews did, Ezekiel 8:12;

or my mouth hath kissed my hand; idols used to be kissed by their votaries, in token of their veneration of them, and as expressive of their worship of them; so Baal and Jeroboam's calves were kissed by the worshippers of them, 1 Kings 19:18. Kissing is used to signify the religious veneration, homage, and worship of a divine Person, the Son of God, Psalm 2:12; and such deities especially that were out of the reach of their worshippers, as the sun, moon, and stars were, they used to put their hands to their mouths, and kiss them, in token of their worship; just as persons now, at a distance from each other, pay their civil respects to one another: instances of religious adoration of idols performed in this manner; see Gill on Hosea 13:2. Job denies that he had been guilty of such idolatry, either secretly or openly.

And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my {s} hand:

(s) If my own doings delighted me.

27. or my mouth hath kissed my hand] lit. and my hand hath kissed my mouth. The meaning is, if his hand touched his mouth “in order to wave the homage of the lips towards the object of adoration” (Con.). Pliny (quoted in Del.) says, Inter adorandum dexteram ad osculum referimus et totum corpus circumagimus. The worship of the heavenly bodies was widely spread in the East and in Arabia. The remarkable passage, Jeremiah 44:17 seq., shews that before the Exile worship of the “queen of heaven” had long been practised among all classes and in all the towns of Israel; comp. Ezekiel 8:16.Verse 27. - And my heart hath been secretly enticed, or my mouth hath kissed my hand. The sin of the heart is placed first, as the fens et origo mali the spiritual root of the matter. On this naturally follows the outward act which, in the case of idolatry, was commonly the act exactly expressed by the word "adore" - the movement of the hand to the mouth in token of reverence and honour (see Pliny, 'Hist. Nat.,' 28:2, "Inter adorandum dexteram ad osculum referimus, et totum corpus circumagimus;" and Minucius Felix, Octav., 2, Caecilius, simulacro Serapidis denotato, ut vulgus superstitiosum solet, manum ori admovens osculum labiis pressit"). 19 If I saw one perishing without clothing,

And that the needy had no covering;

20 If his loins blessed me not,

And he did not warm himself from the hide of my lambs;

21 If I have lifted up my hand over the orphan,

Because I saw my help in the gate:

22 Let my shoulder fall out of its shoulder-blade,

And mine arm be broken from its bone;

23 For terror would come upon me, the destruction of God,

And before His majesty I should not be able to stand.

On אובד comp. on Job 4:11; Job 29:13; he who is come down from his right place and is perishing (root בד, to separate, still perfectly visible through the Arab. bâda, ba‛ida, to perish), or also he who is already perished, periens and perditus. The clause, Job 31:19, forms the second obj. to אם אראה, which otherwise signifies si video, but here, in accordance with the connection, signifies si videbam. The blessing of the thankful (Job 29:13) is transferred from the person to the limbs in Job 31:20, which need and are benefited by the warmth imparted. אם־לא here is not an expression of an affirmative asseveration, but a negative turn to the continuation of the hypothetical antecedents. The shaking, הניף, of the hand, Job 31:21, is intended, like Isaiah 11:15; Isaiah 19:16 (comp. the Pilel, Isaiah 10:32), Zechariah 2:13, as a preparation for a crushing stroke. Job refrained himself from such designs upon the defenceless orphan, even when he saw his help in the gate, i.e., before the tribunal (Job 29:7), i.e., even when he had a certain prospect or powerful assistance there. If he has acted otherwise, his כּתף, i.e., his upper arm together with the shoulder, must fall out from its שׁכם, i.e., the back which bears it together with the shoulder-blades, and his אזרע, upper and lower arm, which is considered here according to its outward flesh, must be broken out of its קנה, tube, i.e., the reed-like hollow bone which gives support to it, i.e., be broken asunder from its basis (Syr. a radice sua), this sinning arm, which did not compassionate the naked, and mercilessly threatened the defenceless and helpless. The ת raphatum which follows in both cases, and the express testimony of the Masora, show that משּׁכמה and מקּנה have no Mappik. The He quiescens, however, is in both instances softened from the He mappic. of the suff., Ew. 21,f. פּחד in Job 31:23 is taken by most expositors as predicate: for terror is (was) to me evil as God, the righteous judge, decrees it. But אלי is not favourable to this. It establishes the particular thing which he imprecates upon himself, and that consequently which, according to his own conviction and perception, ought justly to overtake him out of the general mass, viz., that terror ought to come upon him, a divine decreed weight of affliction. איד אל is a permutative of פחד equals פחד אלהים, and אלי with Dech equivalent to אלי (יבא) יהיה, comp. Jeremiah 2:19 (where it is to be interpreted: and that thou lettest no fear before me come over thee). Thus also Job 31:23 is suitably connected with the preceding: and I should not overcome His majesty, i.e., I should succumb to it. The מן corresponds to the prae in praevalerem; שׂאת (lxx falsely, λῆμμα, judgment, decision equals משׂא, Jer. pondus) is not intended otherwise than Job 13:11 (parall. פחד as here).

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