New American Standard Bible
Because I feared the great multitude, And the contempt of families terrified me, And kept silent and did not go out of doors?
King James Bible
Did I fear a great multitude, or did the contempt of families terrify me, that I kept silence, and went not out of the door?
Darby Bible Translation
Because I feared the great multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and went not out of the door, ...
World English Bible
because I feared the great multitude, and the contempt of families terrified me, so that I kept silence, and didn't go out of the door--
Young's Literal Translation
Because I fear a great multitude, And the contempt of families doth affright me, Then I am silent, I go not out of the opening.
Job 31:34 Parallel
CommentaryBarnes' Notes on the Bible
Did I fear a great multitude - Our translators have rendered this as if Job meant to say that he had not been deterred from doing what he supposed was right by the fear of others; as if he had been independent, and had done what he knew to be right, undeterred by the fear of popular fury, or the loss of the favor of the great. This version is adopted also by the Vulgate, by Herder, and substantially by Coverdale and Luther. Another interpretation has, however, been proposed, and is adopted by Schultens, Noyes, Good, Umbreit, Dathe, and Scott, which is, that this is to be regarded as an imprecations, or that this is the punishment which he invoked and expected if he had been guilty of the crime which is specified in the previous verses. The meaning then would be "Then let me be confounded before the great multitude! Let the contempt of families cover me with shame! Let me keep silence, and let me never appear abroad!" The Hebrew will admit of either construction, and either of them will accord well with the connection. The latter, however, regarding it as an imprecation, seems to me to be preferable, for two reasons:
(1) It will accord more forcibly with what he had said in the previous verse. The sense then would be, as expressed by Patrick, "If I have studied to appear better than I am, and have not made a free confession, but, like our first parent, have concealed or excused my faults, and, out of self-love, have hidden mine iniquity, because I dread what the people will say of me, or am terrified by the contempt into which the knowledge of my guilt will bring me with the neighboring families, then am I content my mouth should be stopped, and that I never stir out of my door any more."
(2) This interpretation seems to be required, in order to make a proper close of his remarks. The general course in this chapter has been to specify an offence, and then to utter an imprecation if he had been guilty of it. In the previous verses he had specified crimes of which he had declared himself innocent; but unless this verse be so regarded, there is no invocation of any corresponding punishment if he had been guilty. It seems probable, therefore, that this verse is so to be regarded. According to this, the phrase "Did I fear a great multitude" means, "Then let me be terrified by a multitude - by the opinions of the world, and let this be the punishment of my sin. Since by the fear of others I was led to hide my sin in my bosom, let it be my lot to lose all popular favor, and feel that I am the object of public scorn and contempt!"
Or did the contempt of families terrify me - Let the contempt of families crush me; let me be despised and abhorred by them. If I was led to hide sins in my bosom because I feared them, then let me be doomed to the total loss of their favor, and become wholly the object of their scorn.
That I kept silence - Or let me keep silence as a punishment. That is, let me not be admitted as a counsellor, or allowed to express my sentiments in the public assemblies.
And went not out at the door - That is, "Let me not go out at the door. Let me be confined to my dwelling, and never be allowed to appear in public, to mingle in society, to take part in public affairs - because by the fear of the world I attempted to hide my faults in my bosom. Such a punishment would be appropriate to such an offence. The retribution would be no more than a suitable recompense for such an act of guilt - and I would not shrink from it."
LibraryWhether virtue is in us by Nature?
Objection 1: It would seem that virtue is in us by nature. For Damascene says (De Fide Orth. iii, 14): "Virtues are natural to us and are equally in all of us." And Antony says in his sermon to the monks: "If the will contradicts nature it is perverse, if it follow nature it is virtuous." Moreover, a gloss on Mat. 4:23, "Jesus went about," etc., says: "He taught them natural virtues, i.e. chastity, justice, humility, which man possesses naturally." Objection 2: Further, the virtuous good consists …
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica
Whether Confession is According to the Natural Law?
"You shall not follow the masses in doing evil, nor shall you testify in a dispute so as to turn aside after a multitude in order to pervert justice;
2 Chronicles 32:18
They called this out with a loud voice in the language of Judah to the people of Jerusalem who were on the wall, to frighten and terrify them, so that they might take the city.
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