Job 29:12
Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.Because I delivered the poor that cried - This is spoken of himself as a magistrate or judge - for the whole description relates to that. The meaning is, that when the poor man, who had no means of employing counsel, brought his cause before him, he heard him and delivered him from the grasp of the oppressor. He never made an appeal to him in vain; compare Proverbs 21:13; Proverbs 24:11-12.

And the fatherless - The orphan who brought his cause before him. He became the patron and protector of those whose natural protectors - their parents - had been removed by death; compare the notes at Isaiah 1:17.

And him that had none to help him - The poor man who had no powerful patron. Job says that, as a magistrate, he particularly regarded the cause of such persons, and saw that justice was done them - a beautiful image of the administration of justice in patriarchal times. This is the sense in which our translators understood this. But the parallelism seems rather to require that this should be applied to the fatherless who had no one to aid him, and the Hebrew, by understanding the ו (w) conjunctive as meaning "when," will bear this construction. So it is understood by Rosenmuller, Umbreit, Herder, and Noyes.

12-17. The grounds on which Job was praised (Job 29:11), his helping the afflicted (Ps 72:12) who cried to him for help, as a judge, or as one possessed of means of charity. Translate: "The fatherless who had none to help him." I delivered from his potent oppressor. They did not honour me for my great wealth or power, but for my impartial justice and pity to the afflicted, and courage in maintaining their cause and right against their mighty adversaries.

None to help him; none that would own or help them, partly because they were poor, and unable to recompense them for it; and partly because their enemies were great, and likely to crush both them and their helpers; which made Job’s virtue more glorious.

Because I delivered the poor that cried,.... This honour and esteem he had not because of his grandeur and riches, because of his worldly wealth and substance, but because of the goodness of his disposition, and because of the good he did to men, his acts of pity and compassion to the poor, and of the justice he did to all men; the poor and the afflicted, when they cried to him for help, he delivered them out of the hands of their oppressors:

and the fatherless; the care and defence of which belongs to judges and civil magistrates, see Psalm 82:1;

and him that had none to help him; as the poor and fatherless seldom have; there is power on the side of the oppressors of them, but they have few or none to take their parts, and to be their comforters, Ecclesiastes 4:1; in these instances Job imitated God, and was a follower of him, as a dear child of his; who, when this and the other poor man cries unto him, he hears, saves, and delivers out of all their troubles; he is the helper, yea, the father of the fatherless, and the judge of the widow; and, when there is no help from men, he is a present help in times of need.

Because I delivered the {i} poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

(i) Because his adversaries did so much charge him with wickedness, he is compelled to render account of his life.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
12. and him that had none to help him] Perhaps, the fatherless, that had none to help him, only two classes being referred to, the “poor” and the “fatherless.”

Verse 12. - Because I delivered the poor that cried (compare the Instructions of Amen-em-hat: "Because I have made the afflicted ones free from their afflictions, so that their cries are heard no more" ('Records of the Past,' vol. 2 p. 12). And again the Inscription of Ameni-Amenemha: "No little child have I injured; no widow have I oppressed; no fisherman have I hindered; no shepherd have I detained; no foreman have I taken from his gang to employ him in forced labour" (ibid., vol. 12:63). And the fatherless, and him that had none to help him (compare what is said of the ideal king in Psalm 72:12-14," He shall deliver the needy when he crieth; the poor also, and him that hath no helper. He shall spare the poor and needy, and shall sabre the souls of the needy. He shall redeem their soul from deceit and violence: and precious shall their blood be in his sight"). Championship of the poor was anciently regarded as characteristic of the wise, good, strong ruler. Job 29:1211 For an ear heard, and called me happy;

And an eye saw, and bear witness to me:

12 For I rescued the sufferer who cried for help,

And the orphan, and him that had no helper.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me,

And I made the widow's heart rejoice.

14 I put on justice, and it put me on;

As a robe and turban was my integrity.

Thus imposing was the impression of his personal appearance wherever he appeared; for (כּי explic.) the fulness of the blessing of the possession of power and of prosperity which he enjoyed was so extraordinary, that one had only to hear of it to call him happy, and that, especially if any one saw it with his own eyes, he was obliged to bear laudatory testimony to him. The futt. consec. affirm what was the inevitable consequence of hearing and seeing; העיד, seq. acc., is used like הזכּיר in the signification of laudatory recognition. The expression is not brachylogical for ותּעד לּי (vid., on Job 31:18); for from 1 Kings 21:10, 1 Kings 21:13, we perceive that העיד with the acc. of the person signifies to make any one the subject of assertion, whether he be lower or higher in rank (comp. the New Testament word, especially in Luke, μαρτυρεῖσθαι). It was, however, not merely the outward manifestation of his unusual prosperity which called forth such admiration, but his active benevolence united with the abundant resources at his command. For where there was a sufferer who cried for help he, relieved him, especially orphans and those who had no helper. ולא־עזר לו is either a new third object, or a closer definition of what precedes: the orphan and (in this state of orphanhood) helpless one. The latter is more probable both here and in the Salomonic primary passage, Psalm 72:12; in the other case ואשׁר אין־עזר לח might be expected.

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