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Job 31:16-18



16 If I have withheld [mana`] the poor [dal] from their desire [chephets], or have caused the eyes [`ayin] of the widow ['almanah] to fail [kalah];

17 Or have eaten ['akal] my morsel [path] myself alone, and the fatherless [yathowm] hath not eaten ['akal] thereof;

18 (For from my youth [na`uwr] he was brought up [gadal] with me, as with a father ['ab], and I have guided [nachah] her from my mother's ['em] womb [beten];) KJV-Interlinear



16 'If I have kept the poor from their desire, Or have caused the eyes of the widow to fail, 17 Or have eaten my morsel alone, And the orphan has not shared it 18 (But from my youth he grew up with me as with a father, And from infancy I guided her), NASB



The calamities of life fall hardest on the slaves, the poor, the orphaned, and the widows. It is these groups that cannot fend for themselves, and of which the world often times takes advantage.


In the previous verses, Job expresses how he has treated those who were employed by him. Some with high positions or rank within his organization, and many who held lesser rank or positions in his employ. Whether a skilled or an unskilled worker, their position in life was never used by Job to his advantage over them in their positions of disadvantage.


Job grew up as a man of wealth and means. He possessed both wealth, intellect, ad position within society. He could have used his good fortune to elevate himself (snobbishly) over those who were of a lesser stature in life. But Job did not look condescendingly down on anyone.


If someone in need came to him with a request, he fulfilled it. Some folks of means might withhold small amounts of money, a blanket, or even a small portion of food from someone simply because they were too busy, or they just did not want to take the time (waste their time) on someone who was obviously 'beneath' their own level in society.


But Job treated everyone as he would treat the members of his own family. He did not make everyday a Christmas day, but used prudence and discretion and common sense in his dealings with people.


With the poor who had no resources for their own self-care, with orphans who lacked parental guidance and support, with widows who lacked the male driving force and stability in their life, Job dealt with all in a compassionate and sensible manner.


From his youth, from a very early age, from the womb, from infancy, which is an expression which means 'all of his life as far back as he can remember,' he has dealt with people in this manner.


We know nothing about his younger years, but from the day of ones birth, when a person who grows up with manners and empathy toward others, reflects on his parents and the training he received as a young man. It also reflects on the foundations of his personal character.

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End Of Lesson

Study to show thyself approved (mature) unto God, a workman that needs not to be ashamed, rightly dividing (studying/discerning), the Word of truth.

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