Job 31:30
Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
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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.Neither have I suffered my mouth - Margin, as in Hebrew, palate. The word is often used for the mouth in general, and especially as the organ of the voice from the use and importance of the palate in speaking. Proverbs 8:7. "For my palate (חכי chikiy) speaketh truth." It is used as the organ of taste, Job 12:11; compare Job 6:30; Psalm 119:103.

By wishing a curse to his soul - It must have been an extraordinary degree of piety which would permit a man to say this with truth, that he had never harbored a wish of injury to an enemy. Few are the people, probably, even now, who could say this, and who are enabled to keep their minds free from every wish that calamities and woes may overtake those who are seeking their hurt. Yet this is the nature of true religion. It controls the heart, represses the angry and revengeful feelings, and creates in the soul an earnest desire for the happiness even of those who injure us.

30. mouth—literally, "palate." (See on [532]Job 6:30).

wishing—literally, "so as to demand his (my enemy's) soul," that is, "life by a curse." This verse parenthetically confirms Job 31:30. Job in the patriarchal age of the promise, anterior to the law, realizes the Gospel spirit, which was the end of the law (compare Le 19:18; De 23:6, with Mt 5:43, 44).

My mouth, Heb. my palate, which being one of the instruments of speech, is put for another, or for all the rest. The sense is, If any secret passion or desire of his hurt did arise in me, I forthwith suppressed it, and did not suffer it to grow and break forth into an imprecation of hurt to him.

Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin,.... Which, as it is the instrument of speech, is often the means of much sin; particularly of cursing men, and expressing much bitterness against enemies; but Job laid an embargo upon it, kept it as with a bridle, restrained it from uttering any evil, or wishing any to his worst adversaries; which is difficult to do, when provocations are given, as follows:

by wishing a curse to his soul; not to his soul as distinct from his body, being the superior excellency and immortal part; that it be everlastingly damned, as wicked men wish to their own souls, and the souls of others, but to his person, wishing some calamity might befall him, some disease seize upon him, or that God would take him away by death: Job would never suffer himself to wish anything of this kind unto his enemy.

Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul.
30. The verse, which is parenthetical, reads,

(Yea, I suffered not my mouth to sin,

To ask, with a curse, his life).

He was so far from rejoicing in the evil that befell his enemy that he had never permitted himself even in hasty anger to throw out an imprecation against him. On the obligation of love to enemies comp. Proverbs 24:17 seq., Proverbs 25:21 seq.

Verse 30. - Neither have I suffered my mouth to sin by wishing a curse to his soul. Much less, Job means, have I gone beyond the thought to the word, and imprecated a curse upon him with my mouth, as the manner of most hen is towards their enemies (see 2 Samuel 16:5; 1 Samuel 17:43; Nehemiah 13:25; Psalm 109:28; Jeremiah 15:10, etc). Job 31:3029 If I rejoiced over the destruction of him who hated me,

And became excited when evil came upon him -

30 Yet I did not allow my palate to sin

By calling down a curse upon his life.

The aposiopesis is here manifest, for Job 31:29 is evidently equal to a solemn denial, to which Job 31:30 is then attached as a simple negative. He did not rejoice at the destruction (פיד, Arab. fêd,

(Note: Gesenius derives the noun פיד from the verb פיד, but the Arabic, which is the test here, has not only the verb fâda as med. u and as med. i in the signification to die, but also in connection with el̇feid (fêd) the substantival form el-fı̂d ( equals el-môt), which ( equals fiwd, comp. p. 26, note) is referable to fâda, med. u. Thus Neshwn, who in his Lexicon (vol. ii. fol. 119) even only knows fâda, med. u, in the signif. to die (comp. infra on Job 39:18, note).)

as Job 12:5; Job 30:24) of his enemy who was full of hatred towards him (משׂנאי, elsewhere also שׂנאי), and was not excited with delight (התערר, to excite one's self, a description of emotion, whether it be pleasure, or as Job 17:8, displeasure, as a not merely passive but moral incident) if calamity came upon him, and he did not allow his palate (חך as the instrument of speech, like Job 6:30) to sin by asking God that he might die as a curse. Love towards an enemy is enjoined by the Thora, Exodus 23:4, but it is more or less with a national limitation, Leviticus 19:18, because the Thora is the law of a people shut out from the rest of the world, and in a state of war against it (according to which Matthew 5:43 is to be understood); the books of the Chokma, however (comp. Proverbs 24:17; Proverbs 25:21), remove every limit from the love of enemies, and recognise no difference, but enjoin love towards man as man. With Job 31:30 this strophe closes. Among modern expositors, only Arnh. takes in Job 31:31 as belonging to it: "Would not the people of my tent then have said: Would that we had of his flesh?! we have not had enough of it," i.e., we would eat him up both skin and hair. Of course it does not mean after the manner of cannibals, but figuratively, as Job 19:22; but in a figurative sense "to eat any one's flesh" in Semitic is equivalent to lacerare, vellicare, obtrectare (vid., on Job 19:22, and comp. also Sur. xlix. 12 of the Koran, and Schultens' Erpenius, pp. 592f.), which is not suitable here, as in general this drawing of Job 31:31 to Job 31:29 is in every respect, and especially that of the syntax, inadmissible. It is the duty of beneficence, which Job acknowledges having practised, in Job 31:31.

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