Job 31:34

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?

Did I fear a great multitude?.... No, they did not deter him from confessing his sin in the most public manner, when sensible or convicted of it, and when such a public acknowledgment was necessary:

or did the contempt of families terrify me? no, the contempt he might suppose he should be had in by some families that knew him, and he was well acquainted with, did not terrify him from making a free and ingenuous confession of his sins:

that I kept silence; or "did I keep silence",

and went not out of the door? so as not to open his mouth by confession in public, but kept within doors through fear and shame; or else the sense is, that he was not intimidated from doing his duty as a civil magistrate, administering justice to the poor and oppressed; neither the dread of a clamorous mob, nor the contempt of families of note, or great personages, could deter him from the execution of his office with uprightness, so as to cause him to be silent, and keep at home; but without any regard to the fear of the one, or the contempt of the other, he went out from his house through the street to the court of judicature, took his place on the bench, and gave judgment in favour of those that were oppressed, though the multitude was against them, and even persons and families of note: or thus, though I could have put a great multitude to fear, yet the most contemptible persons in any family, so Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom interpret that phrase, the meanest person, or but a beggar, if his cause was just, terrified him; or such was the fear of God upon him, that he durst do no other than to do him justice; so that he could not open his mouth against him, or stir out of doors to do him the tease; injury; though perhaps it may be best of all, with Schultens, to consider these words as an imprecation, that if what he had said before from Job 31:24 was not true; if he was not clear from idolatry figurative, and literal, from a malicious and revengeful spirit, from inhospitality and unkindness to strangers, from palliating, excusing, and extenuating his sins; then as if he should say, may I be frightened with a tumult, or a multitude of people, and terrified with the public contempt of families; may I be as silent as a mope in my own house, and never dare to stir out of doors, or show my thee, or see face of any man any more: and then, before he had quite finished his account of himself, breaks out in the following manner.