Job 31:38

38 “if my land cries out against me and all its furrows are wet with tears,

Read Job 31:38 Using Other Translations

If my land cry against me, or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
"If my land has cried out against me and its furrows have wept together,
“If my land accuses me and all its furrows cry out together,

What does Job 31:38 mean?

John Gill's Exposition of the Bible
Job 31:38

If my land cry against me
Some think that this verse and ( Job 31:39 Job 31:40 ) stand out of their place, and should rather follow after ( Job 31:34 ) ; and some place them after ( Job 31:25 ) ; and others after ( Job 31:8 ) ; but this is the order of them in all copies and versions, as they stand in our Bibles; and here, after Job had expressed his desire to have a hearer and judge of his cause, and his charge exhibited in writing, and his confidence of the issue of it, should it be granted, returns to his former subject, to clear himself from any notorious vice he was suspected of or charged with; and as he had gone through what might respect him in private life, here he gives another instance in public life, with which he concludes; namely, purging himself from tyranny and oppression, with which his friends had charged him without any proof; and he denies that the land he lived on was possessed of, and of which he was the proprietor, cried against him as being unjustly gotten, either by fraud or by force, from others; or as being ill used by him either as being too much cultivated, having never any rest, or lying fallow; and so much weakened and drained of its strength, or neglected and overrun with weeds, thorns, and thistles; or on account of the dressers and tillers of it being badly dealt with, either overworked, or not having sufficiency of food, or their wages, detained from them; all which are crying sins, and by reason of which the land by a figure may be said to cry out as the stone out of the wall, and the beam out of the timber, because of the sins of spoil, violence, oppression, and covetousness, ( Habakkuk 2:11 ) ;

or that the furrows likewise thereof complain;
or "weep" F1, on account of the like ill usage. Jarchi, and so the Midrash, interpret this of not allowing the forgotten sheaf and corner of the field to the poor, and detaining the tithes; and of ploughing and making furrows with an ox and an ass together; but the laws respecting these things were not yet in being; and if they had been, were only binding on Israelites, and not on Job, and the men of his country.


FOOTNOTES:

F1 (Nwykby) "defleant", Pagninus, Montanus; "flent", Beza, Piscator, Cocceius
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