Job 31:36
Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a crown to me.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 31:36. Surely I would take it — The book, or writing, containing the charges against me; upon my shoulder — As a trophy, or badge of honour; and bind it as a crown to me — I would be so far from being ashamed or terrified, that I would glory, and rejoice, and triumph in it, nay, and openly expose it to be read by all, well knowing that so groundless and impotent an accusation would only serve the more to clear my innocence.

31:33-40 Job clears himself from the charge of hypocrisy. We are loth to confess our faults, willing to excuse them, and to lay the blame upon others. But he that thus covers his sins, shall not prosper, Pr 28:13. He speaks of his courage in what is good, as an evidence of his sincerity in it. When men get estates unjustly, they are justly deprived of comfort from them; it was sown wheat, but shall come up thistles. What men do not come honestly by, will never do them any good. The words of Job are ended. They end with a bold assertion, that, with respect to accusation against his moral and religious character as the cause for his sufferings, he could appeal to God. But, however confident Job was, we shall see he was mistaken, chap. 40:4,5; 1Jo 1:8. Let us all judge ourselves; wherein we are guilty, let us seek forgiveness in that blood which cleanseth from all sin; and may the Lord have mercy upon us, and write his laws in our hearts!Surely, I would take it upon my shoulder - That is, the book or bill which the Almighty would write in the case. Job says that he has such confidence that what God would record in his case would be in his favor, such confidence that he had no charge of hypocrisy against him, and that he who knew him altogether would not bring such an accusation against him, that he would bear it off triumphantly on his shoulders. It would be all that he could desire. This does not refer to what a judge would decide if the cause were submitted to him, but to a case where an opponent or adversary in court should bring all that he could say against him. He says that he would bear even such a bill on his shoulders in triumph, and that it would be a full vindication of his innocence. It would afford him the best vindication of his character, and would be that which he had long desired.

And bind it as a crown to me - I would regard it as an ornament - a diadem. I would bind it on my head as a crown is worn by princes, and would march forth exultingly with it. Instead of covering me with shame, it would be the source of rejoicing, and I would exhibit it every where in the most triumphant manner. It is impossible for anyone to express a more entire consciousness of innocence from charges alleged against him than Job does by this language.

36. So far from hiding the adversary's "answer" or "charge" through fear,

I would take it on my shoulders—as a public honor (Isa 9:6).

a crown—not a mark of shame, but of distinction (Isa 62:3).

I would take it, i.e. that book containing my charge or accusation.

Upon my shoulder; as a trophy or badge of honour. I should not fear nor smother it, but glory in it, and make open show of it, as that which gave me the happy and long-desired occasion of vindicating myself, which I doubt not fully to do.

Surely I would take it upon my shoulder,.... The bill of indictment, the charge in writing; this he would take up and carry on his shoulder as a very light thing, having nothing weighty in it, no charge of sin and guilt to bear him down; nothing but what he could easily stand up under, only some trifling matter, which could not be interpreted sin; for anything of that kind would have been a burden too heavy for him to have borne: or else his sense is, that should he be convicted of any sin, he would openly confess the charge, acknowledge the sin in the most public manner, that being visible which is borne upon the shoulder; and would also patiently bear the afflictions and chastisements that were laid upon him for it: though rather the meaning is, that he should take up and carry such a bill, not as a burden, but as an honour, as one bears a sword of state, or carries a sceptre as an ensign of royalty on his shoulder; to which the allusion may be in Isaiah 9:6; not at all doubting but it would turn out to his glory; which is confirmed by what follows;

and bind it as a crown to me, or "crowns" (q), having various circles of gold hung with jewels; signifying that he would not only take his bill or charge, and carry it on his shoulder, but put it on his head, and wear it there, as a king does his crown; which is an ornament and honour to him, as he should reckon this bill, seeing it would give him an opportunity of clearing himself effectually.

(q) "diademata", Montanus; "corollas", Tigurine version; "coronas", Vatablus, Piscator, Cocceius, Michaelis.

Surely I would take it upon my shoulder, and bind it as a {b} crown to me.

(b) Should not this book of his accusations be a praise and commendation to me?

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
36. upon my shoulder] If Job but possessed the Almighty’s indictment against him he would not hide it as a thing that caused him shame, he would bear it in triumph before the world as that which was his greatest honour. He would even wear it as a diadem upon his brows, as that which would give him kingly dignity and adornment. The language expresses the strongest assurance of innocence and that the indictment could in truth contain nothing against him.

Verse 36. - Surely I would take it upon my shoulder - the place of honour (see Isaiah 9:6; Isaiah 22:22) - and bind it as a crown to me; i.e. adorn my head with it, as with a diadem. Job 31:3635 O that I had one who would hear me!

Behold my signature-the Almighty will answer me -

And the writing which my opponent hath written!

36 Truly I will carry it upon my shoulder,

I will wind it about me as a crown.

37 The number of my steps I will recount to Him,

As a prince will I draw near to Him.

The wish that he might find a ready willing hearer is put forth in a general way, but, as is clear in itself, and as it becomes manifest from what follows, refers to Him who, because it treats of a contradiction between the outward appearance and the true but veiled fact, as searcher of the heart, is the only competent judge. It may not be translated: et libellum (the indictment, or even: the reply to Job's self-defence) scribat meus adversarius (Dachselt, Rosenm., Welte) - the accentuation seems to proceed from this rendering, but it ought to be וכתב ספר; if כּתב governed by יענני were intended to be equivalent to יכתּב, and referred to God, the longing would be, as it runs, an unworthy and foolish one - nor: (O that I had one who would hear me ... ) and had the indictment, which my adversary has written (Ew., Hirz., Schlottm.) - for וספר is too much separated from מי יתּן by what intervenes - in addition to which comes the consideration that the wish, as it is expressed, cannot be referred to God, but only to the human opponent, whose accusations Job has no occasion to wish to hear, since he has already heard amply sufficient even in detail. Therefore הן (instead of הן with a conjunctive accent, as otherwise with Makkeph) will point not merely to תּוי, but also to liber quem scripsit adversarius meus as now lying before them, and the parenthetical שׁדּי יענני will express a desire for the divine decision in the cause now formally prepared for trial, ripe for discussion. By תּוי, my sign, i.e., my signature (comp. Ezekiel 9:4, and Arab. tiwa, a branded sign in the form of a cross), Job intends the last word to his defence which he has just spoken, Job 31:1; it is related to all his former confessions as a confirmatory mark set below them; it is his ultimatum, as it were, the letter and seal to all that he has hitherto said about his innocence in opposition to the friends and God. Moreover, he also has the indictment of the triumvirate which has come forward as his opponent in his hands. Their so frequently repeated verbal accusations are fixed as if written; both - their accusation and his defence - lie before him, as it were, in the documentary form of legal writings. Thus, then, he wishes an observant impartial hearer for this his defence; or more exactly: he wishes that the Almighty may answer, i.e., decide. Hahn interprets just as much according to the syntax, but understanding by תוי the witness which Job carries in his breast, and by ספר וגו the testimony to his innocence written by God in his own consciousness; which is inadmissible, because, as we have often remarked already, אישׁ ריבי (comp. Job 16:21) cannot be God himself.

In Job 31:36 Job now says how he will appear before Him with this indictment of his opponent, if God will only condescend to speak the decisive word. He will wear it upon his shoulder as a mark of his dignity (comp. Isaiah 22:22; Isaiah 9:5), and wind it about him as a magnificent crown of diadems intertwined and heaped up one above another (Revelation 19:12, comp. Khler on Zechariah 6:11) - confident of his victory at the outset; for he will give Him, the heart-searcher, an account of all his steps, and in the exalted consciousness of his innocence, he will approach Him as a prince (קרב intensive of Kal). How totally different from Adam, who was obliged to be drawn out of his hiding-place, and tremblingly, because conscious of guilt, underwent the examination of the omniscient God! Job is not conscious of cowardly and slyly hidden sins; no secret accursed thing is cherished in the inmost recesses of his heart and home.

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