on Job 31 :37
I would declare unto him the number of my steps - I would show this adversary the different stations I had been in, and the offices which I had filled in life, that he might trace me through the whole of my civil, military, and domestic life, in order to get evidence against me.
As a prince would I go near - Though carrying my own accusation, I would go into the presence of my judge as the נגיד nagid, chief, or sovereign commander and judge, of the people and country, and would not shrink from having my conduct investigated by even the meanest of my subjects. In these three verses we may observe the following particulars: -
1. Job wishes to be brought to trial, that he might have the opportunity of vindicating himself: O that I might have a hearing!
2. That his adversary, Eliphaz and his companions, whom he considers as one party, and joined together in one, would reduce their vague charges to writing, that they might come before the court in a legal form: O that my adversary would write down the charge!
3. That the Almighty, שדי Shaddai, the all-sufficient God, and not man, should be the judge, who would not permit his adversaries to attempt, by false evidence, to establish what was false, nor suffer himself to cloak with a hypocritical covering what was iniquitous in his conduct: O that the Almighty might answer for me - take notice of or be judge in the cause!
4. To him he purposes cheerfully to confess all his ways, who could at once judge if he prevaricated, or concealed the truth.
5. This would give him the strongest encouragement: he would go boldly before him, with the highest persuasion of an honorable acquittal.
on Job 31 :37
I would declare unto him the number of my steps - That is, I would disclose to him the whole course of my life. This is language also appropriate to a judicial trial, and the meaning is, that Job was so confident of his integrity that he would approach God and make his whole course of life known to him.
As a prince would I go near unto him - With the firm and upright step with which a prince commonly walks. I would not go in a base, cringing manner, but in a manner that evinced a consciousness of integrity. I would not go bowed down under the consciousness of guilt, as a self-condemned malefactor, but with the firm and elastic foot-tread of one conscious of innocence. It must be remembered that all this is said with reference to the charges which had been brought against him by his friends, and not as claiming absolute perfection. He was accused of gross hypocrisy, and it was maintained that he was suffering the judicial infliction of heaven on account of that. So far as those charges were concerned, he now says that he could go before God with the firm and elastic tread of a prince - with entire cheerfulness and boldness. We are not, however, to suppose that he did not regard himself as having the common infirmities and sinfulness of our fallen nature. The discussion does not turn at all on that point.
on Job 31 :37
31:37 Him - My judge, or adversary. My steps - The whole course of my life. A prince - With undaunted courage and confidence.