2 “Oh, that I were as in the months of old, As in the days when God watched over me, 3 When His lamp shone upon my head And by His light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in the prime of my days, When the friendship and counsel of God were over my tent, 5 When [a]the Almighty was still with me And my boys were around me, 6 When my steps [through rich pastures] were washed with butter and cream [from my livestock], And the rock poured out for me streams of oil [from my olive groves]. 7 “When I went out to the gate of the city, When I took my seat [as a city father] in the square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, The aged arose and stood [respectfully]; 9 The princes stopped talking And put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voices of the nobles were hushed, And their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths. 11 “For when an ear heard [my name mentioned], it called me happy and fortunate; And when an eye saw [me], it testified for me [approvingly], 12 Because I rescued the poor who cried for help, And the orphan who had no helper. 13 “The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, And I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. 14 “I put on [b]righteousness, and it clothed me; My justice was like a robe and a turban! 15 “I was eyes to the blind And I was feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy; I investigated the case I did not know [and assured justice]. 17 “And I smashed the jaws of the wicked And snatched the prey from his teeth. 18 “Then I said, ‘I shall die in my nest, And I shall multiply my days as the sand. 19 ‘My root is spread out and open to the waters, And the dew lies all night upon my branch. 20 ‘My glory and honor are fresh in me [being constantly renewed], And my bow gains [ever] new strength in my hand.’
21 “They listened to me and waited And kept silent for my counsel. 22 “After I spoke, they did not speak again, And my speech dropped upon them [like a refreshing shower]. 23 “They waited for me [and for my words] as for the rain, And they opened their mouths as for the spring rain. 24 “I smiled at them when they did not believe, And they did not diminish the light of my face. 25 “I chose a way for them and sat as chief, And dwelt as a king among his soldiers, As one who comforts mourners.
Job 29:14Blameless and upright as Job had been—and God had so pronounced him—his misunderstood afflictions had caused him to get dangerously off-center. Instead of keeping his mind focused on God and justifying Him, he is giving his whole thought to justifying himself. Instead of humility there is self-righteousness. In this chapter he uses pronouns referring to himself fifty times. But when he was able to see himself as God saw him, he loathed himself and repented “in dust and ashes” (42:6).