Job 31:6
Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine integrity.
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31:1-8 Job did not speak the things here recorded by way of boasting, but in answer to the charge of hypocrisy. He understood the spiritual nature of God's commandments, as reaching to the thoughts and intents of the heart. It is best to let our actions speak for us; but in some cases we owe it to ourselves and to the cause of God, solemnly to protest our innocence of the crimes of which we are falsely accused. The lusts of the flesh, and the love of the world, are two fatal rocks on which multitudes split; against these Job protests he was always careful to stand upon his guard. And God takes more exact notice of us than we do of ourselves; let us therefore walk circumspectly. He carefully avoided all sinful means of getting wealth. He dreaded all forbidden profit as much as all forbidden pleasure. What we have in the world may be used with comfort, or lost with comfort, if honestly gotten. Without strict honestly and faithfulness in all our dealings, we can have no good evidence of true godliness. Yet how many professors are unable to abide this touchstone!Let me be weighed in an even balance - Margin, him weigh me in balances of justice. That is, let him ascertain exactly my character, and treat me accordingly. If on trial it be found that I am guilty in this respect, I consent to be punished accordingly. Scales or balances are often used as emblematic of justice. Many suppose, however, that this verse is a parenthesis, and that the imprecation in Job 31:8, relates to Job 31:5, as well as to Job 31:7. But most probably the meaning is, that he consented to have his life tried in this respect in the most exact and rigid manner, and was willing to abide the result. A man may express such a consciousness of integrity in his dealings with others, without any improper self-reliance or boasting. It may be a simple fact of which he may be certain, that he has never meant to defraud any man. 6. Parenthetical. Translate: "Oh, that God would weigh me … then would He know," &c. This is either,

1. An imprecation; or rather,

2. A submission to trial, as the following words show. The sense is, I am so far from being conscious to myself of any hypocrisy or secret wickedness, whereby I have brought these unusual judgments upon myself, as you traduce me, that I desire nothing more than to have my heart and life weighed in just balances, and searched out by the all-seeing God.

That God may know, Heb. and let him know (i.e. let him acknowledge and show that he knoweth and approveth); or let him make known to my friends and others, who censure or condemn me. Or, and he will know, (i.e. upon search he will find out; which is spoken of God after the manner of men)

mine integrity. So this is an appeal to God to be witness of his sincerity, and to vindicate him from the imputation of hypocrisy.

Let me be weighed in an even balance,.... Or "in balances of righteousness" (z), even in the balance or strict justice, the justice of God; he was so conscious to himself that he had done no injustice to any man in his dealings with them, that, if weight of righteousness, which was to be, and was the rule of his conduct between man and man, was put into one scale, and his actions into another, the balance would be even, there would be nothing wanting, or, however, that would require any severe censure:

that God may know mine integrity; God did knew his integrity, and bore a testimony to it, and to his retaining it, Job 2:3; but his meaning is, that should God strictly inquire into his life and conduct with respect to his dealings with men, as it would appear that he had lived in all good conscience to that day, so he doubted not but he would find his integrity such, that he would own and acknowledge it, approve of it, and commend it, and make it known to his friends and others, whereby he would be cleared of all those calumnies that were cast upon him. Some connect these words with the following, reading them affirmatively, "God knows mine integrity"; he knows that my step has not turned out of the way of truth and righteousness; that my heart has not walked after mine eye, in lustful thoughts and desires; and that there is no spoil, nor rapine, nor violence in my hand, that I should deserve such a punishment as to sow, and another eat: thus Sephorno.

(z) "in bilancibus justitiae", Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, so Junius & Tremellius, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.

Let me be weighed in an even balance, that God may know mine {d} integrity.

(d) He shows what his uprightness stands in, in as much as he was blameless before men and did not sin against the second table.

6. A solemn assertion before God the judge that his denial in Job 31:5 is true. The words are parenthetical.

Verse 6. - Let me be weighed in an even balance; literally, let him (i.e. God) weigh me in the balances of justice. The use of this imagery by the Egyptians has been already noted (see the comment on Job 6:2). It is an essential part of every Egyptian representation of the final judgment of souls by Osiris. Each man's merits are formally weighed in a balance, which is carefully depicted, and he is judged accordingly. Job asks that this may be done in his case, either immediately or at any rate ultimately. He would have the act performed, that God may know his integrity; or rather, may recognize it. (So Professor Leo.) Job has no doubt that a thorough investigation of his case will lead to a, acknowledgment and proclamation of his innocence. Job 31:6 5 If I had intercourse with falsehood,

And my foot hastened after deceit:

6 Let Him weigh me in the balances of justice,

And let Eloah know my innocence.

7 If my steps turned aside from the way,

And my heart followed mine eyes,

And any spot hath cleaved to my hands:

8 May I sow and another eat,

And let my shoots be rooted out.

We have translated שׁוא (on the form vid., on Job 15:31, and the idea on Job 11:11) falsehood, for it signifies desolateness and hollowness under a concealing mask, therefore the contradiction between what is without and within, lying and deceit, parall. מרמה, deceit, delusion, imposition. The phrase הלך עם־שׁוא is based on the personification of deceit, or on thinking of it in connection with the מתי־שׁוא (Job 11:11). The form ותּחשׁ cannot be derived from חוּשׁ, from which it ought to be ותּחשׁ, like ויּסר Judges 4:18 and freq., ויּשׂר (serravit) 1 Chronicles 20:3, ויּעט (increpavit) 1 Samuel 25:14. Many grammarians (Ges. 72, rem. 9; Olsh. 257, g) explain the Pathach instead of Kametz as arising from the virtual doubling of the guttural (Dagesh forte implicitum), for which, however, no ground exists here; Ewald (232, b) explains it by "the hastening of the tone towards the beginning," which explains nothing, since the retreat of the tone has not this effect anywhere else. We must content ourselves with the supposition that ותּחשׁ is formed from a חשׁה having a similar meaning to חוּשׁ (חישׁ), as also ויּעט, 1 Samuel 15:19, comp. 1 Samuel 14:32, is from a עטח of similar signification with עיט. The hypothetical antecedent, Job 31:5, is followed by the conclusion, Job 31:6 : If he have done this, may God not spare him. He has, however, not done it; and if God puts him to an impartial trial, He will learn his תּמּה, integritas, purity of character. The "balance of justice" is the balance of the final judgment, which the Arabs call Arab. mı̂zân 'l-a‛mâl, "the balance of actions (works)."

(Note: The manual of ethics by Ghazzli is entitled mı̂zân el-a‛mâl in the original, מאזני צדק in Bar-Chisdai's translation, vid., Gosche on Ghazzli's life and works, S. 261 of the volume of the Berliner Akademie d. Wissensch. for 1858.)

Job 31:7 also begins hypothetically: if my steps (אשּׁוּרי from אשּׁוּר, which is used alternately with אשׁוּר without distinction, contrary to Ew. 260, b) swerve (תּטּה, the predicate to the plur. which follows, designating a thing, according to Ges. 146, 3) from the way (i.e., the one right way), and my heart went after my eyes, i.e., if it followed the drawing of the lust of the eye, viz., to obtain by deceit or extortion the property of another, and if a spot (מאוּם, macula, as Daniel 1:4, equals מוּם, Job 11:15; according to Ew., equivalent to מחוּם, what is blackened and blackens, then a blemish, and according to Olsh., in מאוּמה...לא, like the French ne ... point) clave to my hands: I will sow, and let another eat, and let my shoots be rooted out. The poet uses צאצאים elsewhere of offspring of the body or posterity, Job 5:25; Job 21:8; Job 27:14; here, however, as in Isaiah, with whom he has this word in common, Job 34:2; Job 42:5, the produce of the ground is meant. Job 31:8 is, according to John 4:37, a λόγος, a proverb. In so far as he may have acted thus, Job calls down upon himself the curse of Deuteronomy 38:20f.: what he sows, let strangers reap and eat; and even when that which is sown does not fall into the hands of strangers, let it be uprooted.

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