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Job’s Final Defense

29 Then[a] Job again took up his discourse and said,

O that I were[b] as in the months before,
as in the days when God watched over me,
when his shining lamp was over my head—
by his light I walked through darkness—
as when I was in the days of my prime,
when God’s confiding was over my house,[c]
when Shaddaiwas still with me,
my children were all around me,
when my paths were washed in sour milk,
and the rock poured out streams of oil for me.
“At my going out the gate to the city,
I secured my seat in the square.
Young men saw me and stepped aside,
and the aged rose up and stood.
Officials refrained from talking,
and they laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The voices[d] of nobles were hushed,
and their tongue stuck to their palate.
11 “When the ear heard and commended me,
and the eye saw and testified in support of me
12 because I saved the needy who cried for help,
and I saved[e] the orphan for whom there was no helper.
13 The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a headband.
15 “I was eyes to the blind,
and I was feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor,
and I investigated the stranger’s[f] legal dispute.
17 And I broke the evil one’s jaw bones,
and I made his prey drop from his teeth.
18 “And I thought, ‘I will pass away in my nest,
and like the phoenix I shall multiply my days.
19 My roots were open to water,
and dew spent the night on my branches;
20 My glory was new with me,
and I was revitalized regularly.’[g]
21 “They listened to me and waited,
and they kept silent for my counsel.
22 After my word, they did not speak again,
and my word dropped down like dew upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled for them when they had no confidence in anything,
and they did not extinguish the light of my face.
25 I chose their way, and I sat as head,
and I dwelled like a king among the troops,
like one who comforts mourners.


  1. Job 29:1 Hebrew “And”
  2. Job 29:2 Literally “Who shall give me”
  3. Job 29:4 Literally “tent”
  4. Job 29:10 Hebrew “voice”; collective singular by context, governing a plural verb
  5. Job 29:12 Supplying the elided verb from the preceding parallel line
  6. Job 29:16 Literally “the one I knew not”
  7. Job 29:20 See NJPS; literally “my bow in my hand was new”