For from my youth he was brought up with me as [with] a
That is, the poor or the fatherless, one or both; as soon as he was at years of discretion, and was capable of observing the distressed circumstances of others, he had a tender and compassionate regard to the poor and fatherless, and acted the part of a father to them; was as affectionately concerned for them as if he had been their father, and took such care of them as if they were his children; see ( Job 29:16 ) ;
and I have guided her from my mother's womb;
the widow, by his counsel and advice; an hyperbolical expression, signifying how early he was a succourer of such persons, by giving his friendly advice, or needful assistance; the Vulgate Latin version renders it, "from my youth mercy grew up with me" a merciful disposition, a compassionate regard to the poor and fatherless; this was as it were connatural to him; for though there is no good disposition really in man, without the grace of God, of which Job might early partake, yet there is a show of it in some persons, in comparison of others; some have a natural tender disposition to the poor, when others are naturally cruel and hardhearted to them; and so Mr. Broughton renders the words to this sense,
``for from my youth this grew with me as a father, and from my mother did I tender it:''but the first sense seems best.