Ira Michaelson – Treasures from the Tanakh – Job 31:1-40


Does not he see my ways and number all my steps? If I have walked with falsehood and my foot has hastened to deceit; Let me be weighed in a just balance, and let God know my integrity! – Job 31:4-6

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  1. Dan and heidi says

    The question you put fourth to the listeners is this: Does the motivation of the heart matter when it comes to the obligation to keep the Law? First of all i am young and not a scholar, so i do not speak with authority, rather just my opinion as of today. Tomorrow it may change if i learn something that causes me to rethink my position. That being said, i think the question is flawed. It is not an “either or” legalism vs love of law, but rather an “and both” answer. Not exclusive but rather inclusive. If a person starts to keep Gods instructions out of obligation, will they not eventually learn the character of God and fall in love with his law due to its justness and completeness? If a person falls in love with God and follows thier heart, if the love is genuine, will they not eventually seek to keep the letter of the law? Either motivation leads to the other. It is to a persons great detriment to be stuck in either side, unwilling to grow and learn. I did a concordance search for “said in his heart” and it was quite revealing, so many trainwrecks in the bible start with “and he said in his heart…” So it appears that ultimately it would be best to obey the letter of the law rather than follow ones “feelings”, and eventually the proper motivations will take root and bring fourth fruit.

  2. Dan and heidi says

    Oh, by the way, thank you SO much for both of your efforts on this Job series! It has been fantastic, and we deeply apreciate the translational assistance you two bring to the text.
    It helps a great deal with some of the more difficult to understand passages!! I am looking forward to whatever book you guys do next. Also i thought the photo on this episode from the “book of the dead” with the feather of “truth” was HILARIOUS and quite clever indeed 😉

  3. jono vandor says

    The study notes on Job 31 in my Oxford Jewish Study Tanakh notes the following:

    Many scholars have compared Job’s confession of innocents with the negative confession in the Egyptian Book of the Dead from the Egyptian New Kingdom (1555-1085 BCE). In the latter text the deceased declares – before Osiris, the divine ruler of the realm of the dead (who himself has overcome death), and forty-two judges – the deceased person’s innocence of thirty-six offenses, including both murder and shortcomings with respect to religious sites.

  4. Jade says

    Since one of the commands in the Torah is to love God with all that we are (Deut 6:5-7), and that the commandments are to be on our hearts, wouldn’t a lack of love for God actually be breaking the instructions of God? Or by keeping the instructions of God when our heart is against it, wouldn’t that also be disobeying His instructions? Then it seems like the actions of obedience would be empty and worthless if there were no love motivating the act. Just a thought.

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