16 "If I have denied the desires of the poor or let the eyes of the widow grow weary, 17 if I have kept my bread to myself, not sharing it with the fatherless- 18 but from my youth I reared them as a father would, and from my birth I guided the widow- 19 if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing, or the needy without garments, 20 and their hearts did not bless me for warming them with the fleece from my sheep, 21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court, 22 then let my arm fall from the shoulder, let it be broken off at the joint. 23 For I dreaded destruction from God, and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.

Matthew Henry's Commentary on Job 31:16-23

Commentary on Job 31:16-23

(Read Job 31:16-23)

Job's conscience gave testimony concerning his just and charitable behaviour toward the poor. He is most large upon this head, because in this matter he was particularly accused. He was tender of all, and hurtful to none. Notice the principles by which Job was restrained from being uncharitable and unmerciful. He stood in awe of the Lord, as certainly against him, if he should wrong the poor. Regard to worldly interests may restrain a man from actual crimes; but the grace of God alone can make him hate, dread, and shun sinful thoughts and desires.