Job 31:23
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
For I was in terror of calamity from God, and I could not have faced his majesty.

King James Bible
For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

American Standard Version
For calamity from God is a terror to me, And by reason of his majesty I can do nothing.

Douay-Rheims Bible
For I have always feared God as waves swelling over me, and his weight I was not able to bear.

English Revised Version
For calamity from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his excellency I could do nothing.

Webster's Bible Translation
For destruction from God was a terror to me, and by reason of his highness I could not endure.

Job 31:23 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

16 If I held back the poor from what they desired,

And caused the eyes of the widow to languish,

17 And ate my morsel alone

Without letting the fatherless eat thereof: -

18 No indeed, from my youth he grew up to me as to a father,

And from my mother's womb I guided her -

The whole strophe is the hypothetical antecedent of the imprecative conclusion, Job 31:22, which closes the following strophe. Since מנע דּבר ממּנוּ, cohibere aliquid ab aliquo (Job 22:7), is said as much in accordance with the usage of the language as מנעו מדּבר, cohibere aliquem ab aliquo (Numbers 24:11; Ecclesiastes 2:10), in the sense of denegare alicui aliquid, there is no reason for taking מחפץ דּלּים together as a genitival clause (a voto tenuium), as the accentuation requires it. On חפץ, vid., on Job 21:21; it signifies solicitude (what is ardently desired) and business, here the former: what is ever the interest and want of the poor (the reduced or those without means). From such like things he does not keep the poor back, i.e., does not refuse them; and the eyes of the widow he did not cause or allow to languish (כּלּה, to bring to an end, i.e., cause to languish, of the eyes, as Leviticus 26:16; 1 Samuel 2:33); he let not their longing for assistance be consumed of itself, let not the fountain of their tears become dry without effect. If he had done the opposite, if he had eaten his bread (פּת equals פּת לחם) alone, and not allowed the orphan to eat of it with him - but no, he had not acted thus; on the contrary (כּי as Psalm 130:4 and frequently), he (the parentless one) grew up to him (גּדלני equals גּדל לּי, Ges. 121, 4, according to Ew. 315, b, "by the interweaving of the dialects of the people into the ancient form of the declining language;" perhaps it is more correct to say it is by virtue of a poetic, forced, and rare brevity of expression) as to a father ( equals לאב כּמו), and from his mother's womb he guided her, the helpless and defenceless widow, like a faithful child leading its sick or aged mother. The hyperbolical expression מבּטן אמּי dates this sympathizing and active charity back to the very beginning of Job's life. He means to say that it is in-born to him, and he has exercised it ever since he was first able to do so. The brevity of the form גּדלני, brief to incorrectness, might be removed by the pointing גּדּלני (Olsh.): from my youth up he (the fatherless one) honoured me as a father; and גּדּלני (instead of כּבּדני would be explained by the consideration, that a veneration is meant that attributed a dignity which exceed his age to the נער who was not yet old enough to be a father. But גּדּל signifies "to cause to grow" in such a connection elsewhere (parall. רומם, to raise), wherefore lxx translates ἐξέτρεφον (גּדּלתּי); and גּדלני has similar examples of the construction of intransitives with the acc. instead of the dat. (especially Zechariah 7:5) in its favour: they became me great, i.e., became great in respect of me. Other ways of getting over the difficulty are hardly worth mentioning: the Syriac version reads כּאב (pain) and אנחות; Raschi makes Job 31:18, the idea of benevolence, the subj., and Job 31:18 (as מדּה, attribute) the obj. The suff. of אנחנּה Schlottm. refers to the female orphan; but Job refers again to the orphan in the following strophe, and the reference to the widow, more natural here on account of the gender, has nothing against it. The choice of the verb (comp. Job 38:32) also corresponds to such a reference, since the Hiph. has an intensified Kal-signification here.

(Note: זכר and הזכיר, to remember; זרע and הזריע, to sow, to cover with seed; חרשׁ and החרישׁ, both in the signification silere and fabricari; לעג and הלעיג, to mock, Job 21:3; משׁל and המשׁיל, dominari, Job 25:2; נטה and הטה, to extend, to bow; קנה ;w and הקנה (to obtain by purchase); קצר and הקציר, to reap, Job 24:6, are all similar. In Arab. the Kal nahaituhu signifies I put him aside by going on one side (nahw or nâhije), the Hiph. anhaituhu, I put him aside by bringing him to the side (comp. ינחם, Job 12:23).)

From earliest youth, so far back as he can remember, he was wont to behave like a father to the orphan, and like a child to the widow.

Job 31:23 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

destruction

Job 20:23 When he is about to fill his belly, God shall cast the fury of his wrath on him, and shall rain it on him while he is eating.

Job 21:20 His eyes shall see his destruction, and he shall drink of the wrath of the Almighty.

Genesis 39:9 There is none greater in this house than I; neither has he kept back any thing from me but you, because you are his wife...

Psalm 119:120 My flesh trembles for fear of you; and I am afraid of your judgments.

Isaiah 13:6 Howl you; for the day of the LORD is at hand; it shall come as a destruction from the Almighty.

Joel 1:15 Alas for the day! for the day of the LORD is at hand, and as a destruction from the Almighty shall it come.

2 Corinthians 5:11 Knowing therefore the terror of the Lord, we persuade men; but we are made manifest to God...

by

Job 13:11 Shall not his excellency make you afraid? and his dread fall on you?

Job 40:9 Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him?

Job 42:5,6 I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now my eye sees you...

Psalm 76:7 You, even you, are to be feared: and who may stand in your sight when once you are angry?

Cross References
Nehemiah 5:15
The former governors who were before me laid heavy burdens on the people and took from them for their daily ration forty shekels of silver. Even their servants lorded it over the people. But I did not do so, because of the fear of God.

Job 13:11
Will not his majesty terrify you, and the dread of him fall upon you?

Job 30:15
Terrors are turned upon me; my honor is pursued as by the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud.

Job 31:3
Is not calamity for the unrighteous, and disaster for the workers of iniquity?

Psalm 88:15
Afflicted and close to death from my youth up, I suffer your terrors; I am helpless.

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