Job’s Check List – Job 31

In Job’s defense against his 3 friends, he give this last statement of self-defense.  This is in the form of an oath against himself if he is guilty of any of the grievances he mentions.  Many take the form of “if I ever X then may Y happen to me”.  In v. 35 he “signs off”, figuratively, on this self-defense.

The list of sins or grievances in perhaps not what we might expect.  Here they are by one method of listing – one could list more if some of the sins were subdivided.

  • Lust (v. 1-3)
  • Dishonesty (v. 5-7)
  • Adultery (v. 8-12)
  • Oppression (v. 13-15)
  • Lack of Compassion (v. 16-23)
  • Greed (v. 24-25)
  • Idolatry (v. 26-28)
  • Vindictiveness (v. 29-30)
  • Stinginess (v. 31-32)
  • Hypocrisy (v. 32-34)
  • Exploitation (v. 38-40)

 Is there anything surprising on this list? 

Compassion and justice is a strong theme in wisdom literature – even in Proverbs, where sometimes poverty is blamed on foolish choices, it is also blamed on oppression, and justice and compassion for the poor is commended.

How bold is Job to “sign off” on this list.   Would you be so bold?



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