Job 31:13
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"If I have denied justice to any of my servants, whether male or female, when they had a grievance against me,

New Living Translation
"If I have been unfair to my male or female servants when they brought their complaints to me,

English Standard Version
“If I have rejected the cause of my manservant or my maidservant, when they brought a complaint against me,

New American Standard Bible
"If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me,

King James Bible
If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

Holman Christian Standard Bible
If I have dismissed the case of my male or female servants when they made a complaint against me,

International Standard Version
"If I've refused to help my male and female servants when they complain against me,

NET Bible
"If I have disregarded the right of my male servants or my female servants when they disputed with me,

New Heart English Bible
"If I have despised the cause of my male servant or of my female servant, when they contended with me;

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"If I have abused the rights of my servants, male or female, when they have disagreed with me,

JPS Tanakh 1917
If I did despise the cause of my man-servant, Or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me--

New American Standard 1977
“If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves
            When they filed a complaint against me,

Jubilee Bible 2000
If I had despised the right of my manslave or of my maidslave, when they contended with me;

King James 2000 Bible
If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

American King James Version
If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

American Standard Version
If I have despised the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, When they contended with me;

Douay-Rheims Bible
If I have despised to abide judgment with my manservant, or my maidservant, when they had any controversy against me:

Darby Bible Translation
If I have despised the cause of my bondman or of my bondmaid, when they contended with me,

English Revised Version
If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me:

Webster's Bible Translation
If I despised the cause of my man-servant or of my maid-servant, when they contended with me;

World English Bible
"If I have despised the cause of my male servant or of my female servant, when they contended with me;

Young's Literal Translation
If I despise the cause of my man-servant, And of my handmaid, In their contending with me,
Study Bible
Job's Final Appeal
12"For it would be fire that consumes to Abaddon, And would uproot all my increase. 13"If I have despised the claim of my male or female slaves When they filed a complaint against me, 14What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?…
Cross References
Ephesians 6:9
And masters, do the same for your slaves. Give up your use of threats, because you know that He who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with Him.

Deuteronomy 24:14
"You shall not oppress a hired servant who is poor and needy, whether he is one of your countrymen or one of your aliens who is in your land in your towns.

Deuteronomy 24:15
"You shall give him his wages on his day before the sun sets, for he is poor and sets his heart on it; so that he will not cry against you to the LORD and it become sin in you.

Job 31:14
What then could I do when God arises? And when He calls me to account, what will I answer Him?
Treasury of Scripture

If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant, when they contended with me;

the cause

Exodus 21:20,21,26,27 And if a man smite his servant, or his maid, with a rod, and he die …

Leviticus 25:43,46 You shall not rule over him with rigor; but shall fear your God…

Deuteronomy 15:12-15 And if your brother, an Hebrew man, or an Hebrew woman, be sold to …

Jeremiah 34:14-17 At the end of seven years let you go every man his brother an Hebrew, …

Ephesians 6:9 And, you masters, do the same things to them, forbearing threatening: …

Colossians 4:1 Masters, give to your servants that which is just and equal; knowing …

when (In ancient times slaves had no action at law against their owners; but Job admitted them to all civil rights, and permitted them to complain even against himself.)

(13) If I did despise.--In Job 22:8, Eliphaz had insinuated that Job had favoured the rich and powerful, but had oppressed and ground down the weak. He now meets this accusation, and affirms that he had regarded his own servants even as brethren, because partakers of a common humanity.

Verse 13. - If I did despise the cause of my manservant or of my maidservant. Job now disclaims a fourth sin - the oppression of his dependants. Eliphaz had taxed him generally with harshness and cruelty in his relations towards those weaker than himself (Job 22:5-9), but had not specially pointed to this kind of oppressiveness. As, however, this was the commonest form of the vice, Job deems it right to disclaim it, before addressing himself to the several charges brought by Eliphaz. He has not ill used his slaves, either male or female. He has not "despised their cause," but given it full consideration and attention; he has heard them when they contended with him; he has allowed them to "contend;" he has been a just, and not a hard master. The slavery of which he speaks is evidently of a kind under which the slave had certain rights, as was the case also under the Mosaic Law (Exodus 21:2-11). If I did despise the cause of my manservant, or of my maidservant,.... Whether it was a cause that related to any controversy or quarrel among themselves when it was brought before him, he did not reject it, because of the meanness of the contending parties, and the state of servitude they were in; but he received it and searched into it, heard patiently what each had to say, examined them thoroughly, entered into the merits of the cause, and either reconciled them, or passed a righteous sentence, punished the delinquent, and protected the innocent; or, if it was a cause relating to himself, any complaint of their work, or wages, or food, or clothing, as it seems to be from what follows:

when they contended with me; had anything to complain of, or to object to him on the above account, or any other, where there was any show or colour of foundation for it; otherwise it cannot be thought he would indulge a saucy, impudent, and contradicting behaviour in them towards him: masters in those times and countries had an unlimited, and exercised a despotic power over their servants, and used them with great rigour, and refused to do them justice upon complaints; but Job behaved as if he had had the rules of the apostle before him to act by in his conduct towards his servants, Ephesians 6:9; and even condescended to submit the cause between him and his servants to other judges or arbitrators, or rather took cognizance of it himself, heard patiently and carefully what they had to allege, and did them justice. 13-23. Job affirms his freedom from unfairness towards his servants, from harshness and oppression towards the needy.

despise the cause—refused to do them justice.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.
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