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Job Remembers Better Days

29 Again Job took up his discourse saying:

“O that I could be as in the months gone by,
    as in the days when God watched over me,
when His lamp shone above my head,
when by His light I walked through darkness;
as I was in the days of my prime,
when God’s intimate friendship was upon my tent,
when Shaddai was still with me,
    and my children surrounded me;
when my steps were bathed with butter,
    and the rock poured out for me streams of oil.
When I went out to the city gate,
    and secured my seat in the public square,
young men would see me and hide,
    old men would rise and stand;
princes refrained from talking
    and put their hand over their mouths;
10 the voice of the nobles was hushed
    and their tongue stuck to their palate.

11 “When the ear heard,
    it called me blessed,
and when the eye saw me,
    it commended me;
12 for I saved the poor who cried for help,
and the orphan who had no one to help him;
13 the blessing of the dying man came on me,
and I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing;
    justice was as my robe and turban.
15 I was eyes for the blind
    and feet for the lame;
16 I was a father to the needy,
    and I investigated the case of one I did not know.
17 I broke the jaws of the unjust,
    and snatched the prey out of his teeth.

18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my nest,
    and multiply my days like the sand.
19 My roots reach the water,
    and dew lies on my branches all night.
20 My glory is fresh within me,
    and my bow is renewed in my hand.’

21 “People listened to me and waited,
    and kept silent for my advice.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;
my words fell on them drop by drop.
23 They waited for me as for the rain,
and opened their mouths as for spring rain.
24 When I joked with them, they hardly believed it;
they did not cause the light of my face to fall.
25 I chose their way and sat as their chief;
    I lived as a king among the troops;
    I was like one who comforts mourners.

Job’s Final Defense

29 Job continued his discourse:(A)

“How I long for the months gone by,(B)
    for the days when God watched over me,(C)
when his lamp shone on my head
    and by his light I walked through darkness!(D)
Oh, for the days when I was in my prime,
    when God’s intimate friendship(E) blessed my house,(F)
when the Almighty was still with me
    and my children(G) were around me,(H)
when my path was drenched with cream(I)
    and the rock(J) poured out for me streams of olive oil.(K)

“When I went to the gate(L) of the city
    and took my seat in the public square,
the young men saw me and stepped aside(M)
    and the old men rose to their feet;(N)
the chief men refrained from speaking(O)
    and covered their mouths with their hands;(P)
10 the voices of the nobles were hushed,(Q)
    and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.(R)
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me,
    and those who saw me commended me,(S)
12 because I rescued the poor(T) who cried for help,
    and the fatherless(U) who had none to assist them.(V)
13 The one who was dying blessed me;(W)
    I made the widow’s(X) heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness(Y) as my clothing;
    justice was my robe and my turban.(Z)
15 I was eyes(AA) to the blind
    and feet to the lame.(AB)
16 I was a father to the needy;(AC)
    I took up the case(AD) of the stranger.(AE)
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked
    and snatched the victims(AF) from their teeth.(AG)

18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house,
    my days as numerous as the grains of sand.(AH)
19 My roots will reach to the water,(AI)
    and the dew will lie all night on my branches.(AJ)
20 My glory will not fade;(AK)
    the bow(AL) will be ever new in my hand.’(AM)

21 “People listened to me expectantly,
    waiting in silence for my counsel.(AN)
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more;(AO)
    my words fell gently on their ears.(AP)
23 They waited for me as for showers
    and drank in my words as the spring rain.(AQ)
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it;
    the light of my face(AR) was precious to them.[a](AS)
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief;(AT)
    I dwelt as a king(AU) among his troops;
    I was like one who comforts mourners.(AV)

Footnotes

  1. Job 29:24 The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

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