Job 29:16
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.

New Living Translation
I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help.

English Standard Version
I was a father to the needy, and I searched out the cause of him whom I did not know.

New American Standard Bible
"I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know.

King James Bible
I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
I was a father to the needy, and I examined the case of the stranger.

International Standard Version
I was a father to the needy; I diligently inquired into the case of those I didn't know.

NET Bible
I was a father to the needy, and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;

New Heart English Bible
I was a father to the needy. The cause of him who I did not know, I searched out.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
I was father to the needy. I carefully investigated cases brought by strangers.

JPS Tanakh 1917
I was a father to the needy; And the cause of him that I knew not I searched out.

New American Standard 1977
“I was a father to the needy,
            And I investigated the case which I did not know.

Jubilee Bible 2000
I was a father to the needy; and the cause which I did not know I searched out.

King James 2000 Bible
I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

American King James Version
I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

American Standard Version
I was a father to the needy: And the cause of him that I knew not I searched out.

Douay-Rheims Bible
I was the father of the poor: and the cause which I knew not, I searched out most diligently.

Darby Bible Translation
I was a father to the needy, and the cause which I knew not I searched out;

English Revised Version
I was a father to the needy: and the cause of him that I knew not I searched out.

Webster's Bible Translation
I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

World English Bible
I was a father to the needy. The cause of him who I didn't know, I searched out.

Young's Literal Translation
A father I am to the needy, And the cause I have not known I search out.
Study Bible
Job's Former Blessings
15"I was eyes to the blind And feet to the lame. 16"I was a father to the needy, And I investigated the case which I did not know. 17"I broke the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth.…
Cross References
Job 4:3
"Behold you have admonished many, And you have strengthened weak hands.

Job 24:4
"They push the needy aside from the road; The poor of the land are made to hide themselves altogether.

Proverbs 29:7
The righteous is concerned for the rights of the poor, The wicked does not understand such concern.

Isaiah 22:21
And I will clothe him with your tunic And tie your sash securely about him. I will entrust him with your authority, And he will become a father to the inhabitants of Jerusalem and to the house of Judah.
Treasury of Scripture

I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

a father

Job 31:18 (For from my youth he was brought up with me, as with a father, and …

Esther 2:7 And he brought up Hadassah, that is, Esther, his uncle's daughter: …

Psalm 68:5 A father of the fatherless, and a judge of the widows, is God in …

Ephesians 5:1 Be you therefore followers of God, as dear children;

James 1:27 Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To …

the cause

Exodus 18:26 And they judged the people at all seasons: the hard causes they brought …

Deuteronomy 13:14 Then shall you inquire, and make search, and ask diligently; and, …

Deuteronomy 17:8-10 If there arise a matter too hard for you in judgment, between blood …

1 Kings 3:16-28 Then came there two women, that were harlots, to the king, and stood …

Proverbs 25:2 It is the glory of God to conceal a thing: but the honor of kings …

Proverbs 29:7 The righteous considers the cause of the poor: but the wicked regards …

Verse 16. - I was a father to the poor (comp. ver. 12, and see below, ch. 31:16-22): and the cause which I knew not I searched out; rather, the cause of him that I knew not I searched out (see the Revised Version). When men were quite unknown to him, Job still gave to their causes the utmost possible attention, "searching them out," or investigating them, as diligently as if they had been the causes of his own friends. I was a father to the poor,.... Not in a literal sense; for his children were rich as well as himself, while he had them; but in a civil sense, he was the patron of the poor; he was an advocate for them, he took their part, he pleaded their cause, defended their persons, and secured the little property they had; he had the pity and compassion of a father for them, and supplied their wants; he fed them and clothed them; he did not eat his morsel alone, but gave them part of it, and warmed them with the fleece of his flock:

and the cause which I knew not I searched out; any cause that was brought before him, he knew thing of before, and which, upon the opening of it, did not appear plain and easy, but had its difficulties; this he closely examined, and searched thoroughly into the merits of, till it appeared plain to him on which side the truth and justice of it lay; he did not hurry it over, and pass sentence, having only in a superficial manner considered it, as is too often the case; but after a long examination of the contending parties, and of the witnesses on both sides, to whom he gave an impartial hearing, he pronounced the decisive sentence; see Proverbs 25:2. Some think this refers to his diligent search and inquiry after causes that were not brought before him; he did, not wait for application to be made to him, but hearing of, or upon inquiry finding, that there were persons oppressed and distressed by cruel men, he of himself voluntarily offered his assistance, searched into their cause, made himself master of it, and freed them from their distresses; so different were his behaviour and character from that of the unjust judge, Luke 18:1; though others, choose to render the words, "the cause of him that I knew not", &c. (t); of a stranger, of one that he had never seen before, of one that was most unknown to him in the world; the cause of such an one he took as, much pains with to get the true knowledge of, and do justice to, as of the dearest relation, the nearest neighbour, and the most intimate friend and acquaintance that he had.

(t) "quem non cognoveram", Junius & Tremellius, Michaelis; "ignotissimi", Schultens. 16. So far was I from "breaking the arms of the fatherless," as Eliphaz asserts (Job 22:9), I was a "father" to such.

the cause which I knew not—rather, "of him whom I knew not," the stranger (Pr 29:7 [Umbreit]; contrast Lu 18:1, etc.). Applicable to almsgiving (Ps 41:1); but here primarily, judicial conscientiousness (Job 31:13).29:7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence, integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men! it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.
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