Job 31:13

Slaves

13 If I've rejected the just cause of my male or female servant when they contended with me,

Job 31:13 Meaning and Commentary

Job 31:13

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 ) ( Colossians 4:1 ) ; 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.

Job 31:13 In-Context

11 for that's a crime; it's a punishable offense;
12 indeed, it's a fire that consumes to the underworld, uprooting all my harvest.
13 If I've rejected the just cause of my male or female servant when they contended with me,
14 what could I do when God rises; when he requires an account, what could I answer?
15 Didn't the one who made me in the belly make them; didn't the same one fashion us in the womb?