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…?”