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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

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Text Commentary

1There were thirty tables set up in my house, available at all 2hours, for the exclusive use of strangers: I had also twelve other 3tables laid for widows; and if any stranger appeared asking for charity, he had to be fed at table before being given what he needed 4– for I would not allow anyone to leave my door empty-handed. 1 Lit. ‘with an empty bosom’. Not infrequently ‘bosom’ was used metaphorically for the fold of the garment above the girdle in which valuables were stowed (e.g. Prov. xvii. 23; Luke vi. 38 ): hence the natural meaning here is what we mean by the phrase ‘with his pockets empty’. However, it is just possible that in this particular context the sense intended was ‘with an empty stomach’, though such an extended meaning for ‘bosom’ would be unusual, if not unparalleled. In any case we are dealing with an exact quotation from Job xxxi. 34 in the Septuagint version, which understands the whole passage rather differently from what is implied by the Hebrew original. 5And I had three thousand five hundred yoke of oxen; and from them I picked out five hundred yoke and allocated them to ploughing 6in any field of anyone who could use them; and what they produced 2 Lit. ‘and their fruit’. I set apart for the poor at their table. 7And I had fifty bake-houses, from which I provided what was necessary for the service of the beggars' table.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘with an empty bosom’. Not infrequently ‘bosom’ was used metaphorically for the fold of the garment above the girdle in which valuables were stowed (e.g. Prov. xvii. 23; Luke vi. 38 ): hence the natural meaning here is what we mean by the phrase ‘with his pockets empty’. However, it is just possible that in this particular context the sense intended was ‘with an empty stomach’, though such an extended meaning for ‘bosom’ would be unusual, if not unparalleled. In any case we are dealing with an exact quotation from Job xxxi. 34 in the Septuagint version, which understands the whole passage rather differently from what is implied by the Hebrew original.

2 Lit. ‘and their fruit’.

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