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Job Continues

I Long for the Past

29 Job said:

I long for the past,
    when God took care of me,
and the light from his lamp
showed me the way
    through the dark.
I was in the prime of life,
God All-Powerful
    was my closest friend,
and all of my children
    were nearby.
My herds gave enough milk
    to bathe my feet,
and from my olive harvest
    flowed rivers of oil.
When I sat down at the meeting
    of the city council,
the young leaders stepped aside,
while the older ones stood
10     and remained silent.

Everyone Was Pleased

11 Everyone was pleased
    with what I said and did.
12 When poor people or orphans
cried out for help,
    I came to their rescue.
13 And I was highly praised
for my generosity to widows
    and others in poverty.
14 Kindness and justice
    were my coat and hat;
15 I was good to the blind
    and to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I defended them in court,
    even if they were strangers.
17 When criminals attacked,
I broke their teeth
    and set their victims free.

18 I felt certain that I would live
a long and happy life,
    then die in my own bed.
19 In those days I was strong
    like a tree with deep roots
and with plenty of water,
20     or like an archer’s new bow.
21 Everyone listened in silence
    to my welcome advice,
22 and when I finished speaking,
    nothing needed to be said.
23 My words were eagerly accepted
    like the showers of spring,
24 and the smile on my face
    renewed everyone’s hopes.
25 My advice was followed
as though I were a king
    leading my troops,
or someone comforting
    those in sorrow.