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Job 31:13

    Job 31:13 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

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

    American King James Version (AKJV)

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

    American Standard Version (ASV)

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

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    If I did wrong in the cause of my man-servant, or my woman-servant, when they went to law with me;

    Webster's Revision

    If I have 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;

    English Revised Version (ERV)

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

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 31:13

    The cause of my man-servant - In ancient times slaves had no action at law against their owners; they might dispose of them as they did of their cattle, or any other property. The slave might complain; and the owner might hear him if he pleased, but he was not compelled to do so. Job states that he had admitted them to all civil rights; and, far from preventing their case from being heard, he was ready to permit them to complain even against himself, if they had a cause of complaint, and to give them all the benefit of the law.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 31:13

    If I did despise the cause of my man-servant - Job turns to another subject, on which he claimed that his life had been upright. It was in reference to the treatment of his servants. The meaning here is, "I never refused to do strict justice to my servants when they brought their cause before me, or when they complained that my dealings with them had been severe."

    When they contended with me - That is, when they brought their cause before me, and complained that I had not provided for them comfortably, or that their task had been too hard. If in any respect they supposed they had cause of complaint, I listened to them attentively, and endeavored to do right. He did not take advantage of his sower to oppress them, nor did he suppose that they had no rights of any kind. It is evident, from this, that Job had those who sustained to him the relation of servants; but whether they were slaves, or hired servants, is not known. The language here will agree with either supposition, though it cannot be doubted that slavery was known as early as the time of Job. There is no certain evidence that he held any slaves, in the proper sense of the term, nor that he regarded slavery as right; compare the notes at Job 1:3. He here refers to the numerous persons that had been in his employ in the days of his prosperity, and says that he had never taken advantage of his power or rank to do them wrong.
    Book: Job