Job 31:15
Did not he that made me in the womb make him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?
Jump to: BarnesBensonBICambridgeClarkeDarbyEllicottExpositor'sExp DctGaebeleinGSBGillGrayGuzikHaydockHastingsHomileticsJFBKDKellyKingLangeMacLarenMHCMHCWParkerPoolePulpitSermonSCOTTBWESTSK
(15) Did not he that made me in the womb make him?—He here meets the charges of Eliphaz (Job 22:6-7; Job 22:9).

31:9-15 All the defilements of the life come from a deceived heart. Lust is a fire in the soul: those that indulge it, are said to burn. It consumes all that is good there, and lays the conscience waste. It kindles the fire of God's wrath, which, if not quenched by the blood of Christ, will consume even to eternal destruction. It consumes the body; it consumes the substance. Burning lusts bring burning judgments. Job had a numerous household, and he managed it well. He considered that he had a Master in heaven; and as we are undone if God should be severe with us, we ought to be mild and gentle towards all with whom we have to do.Did not he that made me in the womb make him? - Had we not one and the same Creator, and have we not consequently the same nature? We may observe in regard to this sentiment, (1.) That it indicates a very advanced state of view in regard to man. The attempt has been always made by those who wish to tyrannize over others, or who aim to make slaves of others, to show that they are of a different race, and that in the design for which they were made, they are wholly inferior. Arguments have been derived from their complexion, from their supposed inferiority of intellect, and the deep degradation of their condition, often little above that of brutes, to prove that they were originally inferior to the rest of mankind. On this the plea has been often urged, and oftener felt than urged, that it is right to reduce them to slavery. Since this feeling so early existed, and since there is so much that may be plausibly said in defense of it, it shows that Job had derived his views from something more than the speculations of people, and the desire of power, when he says that he regarded all people as originally equal, and as having the same Creator. It is in fact a sentiment which people have been practically very reluctant to believe, and which works its way very slowly even yet on the earth; compare Acts 17:26. (2.) This sentiment, if fairly embraced and carried out, would soon destroy slavery everywhere.

If people felt that they were reducing to bondage those who were originally on a level with themselves - made by the same God, with the same faculties, and for the same end; if they felt that in their very origin, in their nature, there was that which could not be made mere property, it would soon abolish the whole system. It is kept up only where people endeavor to convince themselves that there is some original inferiority in the slave which makes it proper that he should be reduced to servitude and be held as property. But as soon as there can be diffused abroad the sentiment of Paul, that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men," Acts 17:26, or the sentiment of the patriarch Job, that "the same God made us and them in the womb," that moment the shackles of the slave will fall, and he will be free. Hence it is apparent, how Christianity, that carries this lesson on its fore-front, is the grand remedy for the evils of slavery, and needs only to be universally diffused to bring the system to an end.

And did not one fashion us in the womb - Margin, Or, did he not fashion us in one womb? The Hebrew will bear either construction, but the parallelism rather requires that given in the text, and most expositors agree in this interpretation. The sentiment is, whichever interpretation be adopted, that they had a common origin; that God would watch over them alike as his children; and that, therefore, they had equal rights.

15. Slaveholders try to defend themselves by maintaining the original inferiority of the slave. But Mal 2:10; Ac 17:26; Eph 6:9 make the common origin of masters and servants the argument for brotherly love being shown by the former to the latter. I considered that he was, though my servant, yet my fellow creature, made by the same God, and therefore one of God’s subjects, whom I could not abuse without the injury of his supreme Lord.

Did not one fashion us in the womb, Heb. did he not form us in one womb? not in one individual womb, but in a womb of the same kind, in a human womb, with a body and soul of the same nature and quality, a reasonable and immortal creature, and made after God’s image, no less than myself, to whom therefore I owed some respect for God’s sake.

Did not he that made me in the womb make him?.... And her also, both his manservant and maidservant: these were made, by the Lord as Job was, and in a like place and manner as he himself; though parents are the instruments of begetting children, and of bringing them into the world, God is the Maker of men, as at the beginning, and all are alike made by him, in whatsoever rank, condition, and circumstance of life, whether masters or servants; and they are all fabricated in the same shop of nature, the womb of a woman:

and did not one fashion us in the womb? that is, he who is the one God, according to Malachi 2:10; God is one in nature and essence, though there are three Persons in the unity of the Godhead; and this one God, Father, Son, and Spirit, is the Creator of all men and things; hence we read of "Creators", Ecclesiastes 12:1; and, though one God makes the bodies and creates the souls of men now as at the first, and all are formed and fashioned by him, high, low, rich and poor, bond and free; and they have all the same rational powers and faculties of soul, Psalm 33:15; as well as the same curious art and skill are employed in forming and fashioning their bodies and the members of them, in the lower parts of the earth, in their mother's womb; yea, they are fashioned "in one womb" (h), as the words will better bear to be rendered according to the position of them in the original and the accents; not indeed in the same identical womb, but in a like one: there are two words in the original here, both translated "womb"; the one signifies the "ovarium", in which the conception is made; the other designs the "secundine", in which the fetus is wrapped or covered; for so it may be rendered, "did he not cover us?" &c. (i); though Jarchi, Aben Ezra, Ben Gersom, and others, interpret it of the one God as we do: Job's reasoning is, that seeing he and his servants were equally the workmanship of God, and both made in the womb by him, and curiously fashioned alike, and possessed of the same rational powers, it would be unreasonable in him to use them ill, who were his fellow creatures; and should he, he might expect the Maker of them both would highly resent it. Macrobius (k), an Heathen writer, gives a remarkable instance of the care heaven, as he expresses it, has of servants, and how much the contempt of it is resented thereby; and reasons much in the same manner concerning them as Job does here, that they are men, though servants; are of the same original, breathe in the same air, live and die as other men.

(h) , Sept. "in utero uno", Munster; so Beza, Drusius, Michaelis. (i) Saturnal. l. 1. c. 11. (k) Vid. Hackman. Praecidan. Sacr. p. 193.

Did not he that made me in the womb make {l} him? and did not one fashion us in the womb?

(l) He was moved to show pity to servants, because they were God's creatures as he was.

Job 31:15The same manner of birth, by the same divine creative power and the same human agency, makes both master and servant substantially brethren with equal claims: Has not He who brought me forth in my mother's womb (also) brought forth him (this my servant or my maid), and has not One fashioned us in our mother's belly? אחד, unus, viz., God, is the subj., as Malachi 2:10, אחד (אב) אל (for the thought comp. Ephesians 6:9), as it is also translated by the Targ., Jer., Saad., and Gecat.; whereas the lxx (ἐν τῇ αὐτῇ κοιλίᾳ), Syr., Symm. (as it appears from his translation ἐν ὁμοίῳ τρόπῳ), construe אחד as the adj. to בּרחם, which is also the idea of the accentuation (Rebia mugrasch, Mercha, Silluk). On the other hand, it has been observed (also Norzi) that it ought to be האסחד according to this meaning; but it was not absolutely necessary, vid., Ges. 111, 2, b. אחד also would not be unsuitable in this combination; it would, as e.g., in אחד חלום, not affirm identity of number, but of character. But אחד is far more significant, and as the final word of the strophe more expressive, when referred to God. The form ויכוּננּוּ is to be judged of just like ותּמוּגנוּ, Isaiah 54:6; either they are forms of an exceptionally transitive (as שׁוּב, Psalm 85:5, and in שׁוב שׁבות) use of the Kal of these verbs (vid., e.g., Parchon and Kimchi), or they are syncopated forms of the Pilel for ויכנננּוּ, ותּמגגנוּ, syncopated on account of the same letters coming together, especially in ויכנננו (Ew. 81, a, and most others); but this coincidence is sought elsewhere (e.g., Psalm 50:23; Proverbs 1:28), and not avoided in this manner (e.g., Psalm 119:73). Beside this syncope ויכוּננּוּ might also be expected, while according to express testimony the first Nun is raphatum: we therefore prefer to derive these forms from Kal, without regarding them, with Olsh., as errors in writing. The suff. is rightly taken by lxx, Targ., Abulwalid, and almost all expositors,

(Note: Also in the Jerusalem Talmud, where R. Johanan, eating nothing which he did not also share with his slave, refers to these words of Job. Comp. also the story from the Midrash in Guiseppe Levi's Parabeln Legenden und Ged. aus Thalmud und Midrasch, S. 141 (Germ. transl. 1863): The wife of R. Jose began a dispute with her maid. Her husband came up and asked the cause, and when he saw that his wife was in the wrong, told her so in the presence of the maid. The wife said in a rage: Thou sayest I am wrong in the presence of my maid? The Rabbi answered: I do as Job did.)

not as singular (ennu equals êhu), but as plural (ennu equals ênu); The Babylonian school pointed ויכוּננוּ, like ממנו where it signifies a nobis, ממּנוּ (Psalter ii. 459, and further information in Pinsker's works, Zur Geschichte des Karaismus, and Ueber das sogen. assyrische Punktationssystem). Therefore: One, i.e., one and the same God, has fashioned us in the womb without our co-operation, in an equally animal way, which smites down all pride, in like absolute conditionedness.

Job 31:15 Interlinear
Job 31:15 Parallel Texts

Job 31:15 NIV
Job 31:15 NLT
Job 31:15 ESV
Job 31:15 NASB
Job 31:15 KJV

Job 31:15 Bible Apps
Job 31:15 Parallel
Job 31:15 Biblia Paralela
Job 31:15 Chinese Bible
Job 31:15 French Bible
Job 31:15 German Bible

Bible Hub

Job 31:14
Top of Page
Top of Page