Job 31:21

21 if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, knowing that I had influence in court,

Read Job 31:21 Using Other Translations

If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless, when I saw my help in the gate:
if I have raised my hand against the fatherless, because I saw my help in the gate,
“If I raised my hand against an orphan, knowing the judges would take my side,

What does Job 31:21 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 31:21

If I have lifted up my hand against the fatherless
Either in a menacing way, threatening what he would do to them; which, from a man of wealth and authority, a civil magistrate, a judge, is very terrible to the poor and fatherless; or in order to strike him, which would be to smite with the fist of wickedness; or give a signal to others, by lifting up the hand to smite, as Ananias gave orders to smite the Apostle Paul; or thereby to give his vote against the fatherless wrongly, suffrages being sometimes made by lifting up the hands; or hereby Job signifies, that he was so far from doing the fatherless any real injury, that he had not so much as lifted up his hand, and even a finger against him:

when I saw my help in the gate;
in the court of judicature held in the gate of the city, as was usual; though he knew he had the bench of judges for him, or they would give sentence in his behalf, and against the fatherless, if he did but hold up his hand, or lift up a finger to them, so ready would they be take his part and be on his side; yet he never made use of his power and interest to their detriment, or took such an advantage against them.

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