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Job 31:16-20

Context

31:16 If I have refused to give the poor what they desired, 1 

or caused the eyes of the widow to fail,

31:17 If I ate my morsel of bread myself,

and did not share any of it with orphans 2 

31:18 but from my youth I raised the orphan 3  like a father,

and from my mother’s womb 4 

I guided the widow! 5 

31:19 If I have seen anyone about to perish for lack of clothing,

or a poor man without a coat,

31:20 whose heart did not bless me 6 

as he warmed himself with the fleece of my sheep, 7 

1 tn Heb “kept the poor from [their] desire.”

2 tn Heb “and an orphan did not eat from it.”

3 tn Heb “he grew up with me.” Several commentators have decided to change the pronoun to “I,” and make it causative.

4 tn The expression “from my mother’s womb” is obviously hyperbolic. It is a way of saying “all his life.”

5 tn Heb “I guided her,” referring to the widow mentioned in v. 16.

6 tn The MT has simply “if his loins did not bless me.” In the conditional clause this is another protasis. It means, “if I saw someone dying and if he did not thank me for clothing them.” It is Job’s way of saying that whenever he saw a need he met it, and he received his share of thanks – which prove his kindness. G. R. Driver has it “without his loins having blessed me,” taking “If…not” as an Aramaism, meaning “except” (AJSL 52 [1935/36]: 164f.).

7 tn This clause is interpreted here as a subordinate clause to the first half of the verse. It could also be a separate clause: “was he not warmed…?”



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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