on Job 31 :15
Did not he that made me - make him? - I know that God is the Judge of all; that all shall appear before him in that state where the king and his subject, the master and his slave, shall be on an equal footing, all civil distinctions being abolished for ever. If, then I had treated my slaves with injustice, how could I stand before the judgment-seat of God? I have treated others as I wish to be treated.
on Job 31 :15
Did not he that made me in the womb make him? - Had we not one and the same Creator, and have we not consequently the same nature? We may observe in regard to this sentiment, (1.) That it indicates a very advanced state of view in regard to man. The attempt has been always made by those who wish to tyrannize over others, or who aim to make slaves of others, to show that they are of a different race, and that in the design for which they were made, they are wholly inferior. Arguments have been derived from their complexion, from their supposed inferiority of intellect, and the deep degradation of their condition, often little above that of brutes, to prove that they were originally inferior to the rest of mankind. On this the plea has been often urged, and oftener felt than urged, that it is right to reduce them to slavery. Since this feeling so early existed, and since there is so much that may be plausibly said in defense of it, it shows that Job had derived his views from something more than the speculations of people, and the desire of power, when he says that he regarded all people as originally equal, and as having the same Creator. It is in fact a sentiment which people have been practically very reluctant to believe, and which works its way very slowly even yet on the earth; compare Acts 17:26. (2.) This sentiment, if fairly embraced and carried out, would soon destroy slavery everywhere.
If people felt that they were reducing to bondage those who were originally on a level with themselves - made by the same God, with the same faculties, and for the same end; if they felt that in their very origin, in their nature, there was that which could not be made mere property, it would soon abolish the whole system. It is kept up only where people endeavor to convince themselves that there is some original inferiority in the slave which makes it proper that he should be reduced to servitude and be held as property. But as soon as there can be diffused abroad the sentiment of Paul, that "God hath made of one blood all nations of men," Acts 17:26, or the sentiment of the patriarch Job, that "the same God made us and them in the womb," that moment the shackles of the slave will fall, and he will be free. Hence it is apparent, how Christianity, that carries this lesson on its fore-front, is the grand remedy for the evils of slavery, and needs only to be universally diffused to bring the system to an end.
And did not one fashion us in the womb - Margin, Or, did he not fashion us in one womb? The Hebrew will bear either construction, but the parallelism rather requires that given in the text, and most expositors agree in this interpretation. The sentiment is, whichever interpretation be adopted, that they had a common origin; that God would watch over them alike as his children; and that, therefore, they had equal rights.
on Job 31 :15