If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)If I rejoiced at the destruction.—He now proceeds to the realm of the wishes and thoughts, and is, therefore, far more thorough and searching with his own case than his friends had been.Job 31:29-30. If I rejoiced, &c. — I was so far from being malicious toward, and from revenging myself on, an enemy, which is the common and allowed practice of ungodly men, that I did not so much as delight in his ruin, when it was brought upon him by other hands. By this, and other passages of the Old Testament, (see Exodus 23:4; Proverbs 24:17-18,) we see that to love, forgive, and do good to our enemies, is not a duty peculiar to Christianity, but a part of that charity which now is, and ever was, by the law of nature, of indispensable obligation upon all men. Or lifted up myself when evil found him — Hebrew, התעררתי, hithgnorarti, stirred up himself, to rejoice and insult over his misery. Neither have I suffered my mouth — Hebrew, חכי, chicchi, my palate, which, being one of the instruments of speech, is put for all the rest; to sin by wishing a curse to his soul. The sense is, if any desire of his hurt did arise in me, I forthwith suppressed it, and did not suffer it to break forth in my uttering an imprecation against him.Matthew 5:44. True religion will lead a man to act out what is embodied in its precepts, whether they are expressed in formal language or not.
Or lifted up myself - Been elated or rejoiced.Exodus 23:4 Proverbs 24:17,18. Whence we may judge whether the great duty of loving and forgiving our enemies be a peculiar precept of Christianity, or whether it be a natural and moral duty, and a part and act of that charity which now is, and ever was, the duty of one man to another in all ages.
Lifted up myself, Heb. stirred up myself, to rejoice and insult over his misery.
or lifted up myself when evil found him; either the evil of sin, which sooner or later finds out the sinner, charges him with guilt, and requires punishment, or the evil of punishment for sin; which, though it may seem to move slowly, pursues the sinner, and will overtake him, and light upon him. Mr. Broughton renders the words, "and bestirred me when he found loss": loss in his family, in his cattle, and in his substance; now, when this was the case, Job did not raise up himself in a haughty manner, and insult and triumph over him, or stir up himself to joy and rejoicing, or to make joyful motions, as Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom interpret it; and by his gestures show that he was elated with the evil that had befallen his enemy; indeed so far as the fall and destruction of the wicked make for the public good, for the interest of religion, for the glory of God, and the honour of his justice, it is lawful for good men to rejoice thereat; but not from a private affection, or from a private spirit of revenge, see Psalm 58:10.If I rejoice at the destruction of him that hated me, or lifted up myself when evil found him:
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)29. at the destruction] Or, at the misfortune, ch. Job 12:5.
lift up myself] Or, exalted.Verse 29. - If I rejoiced at the destruction of him that hated me. "If at any time I was malevolent, if I wished evil to others, and rejoiced when evil came upon them, being (as the Greeks expressed it) ἐπιχαιρέκακος - if I so acted even in the case of my enemy - then," etc. The apodosis is wanting, but may be supplied by any suitable imprecation (see vers. 8, 10, 22, 40). Or lifted up myself - i.e. was puffed up and exalted - when evil found him. In the old world men generally regarded themselves as fully entitled to exult at the downfall of an enemy, and to triumph over him with words of contumely and scorn (camp. Judges 5:19-31; Psalm 18:37-42; Isaiah 10:8-1.4, etc.). There appears to be but one other passage in the Old Testament, besides the present, in which the contrary disposition is shown. This is Proverbs 17:5, where the writer declares that "he who is glad at calamities shall not be unpunished."
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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