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Job Continues: My Glorious Past

29 Job continued his poems and said,

“If only my life could be like it used to be,
    in the days when Eloah watched over me,
        when he made his lamp shine on my head,
        when I walked through the dark in his light.
If only I were in the prime of my life again,
    when Eloah was an adviser in my tent.
When Shadday was still with me
    and my children were around me,
        my steps were bathed in buttermilk,
            and the rocks poured streams of olive oil on me.
When I went through the city gate
    and took my seat in the town square,
        young men saw me and kept out of sight.
            Old men stood up straight out of respect for me.
            Princes held back their words
                and put their hands over their mouths.
10 The voices of nobles were hushed,
    and their tongues stuck to the roofs of their mouths.

11 “Any ears that heard me blessed me.
    Any eyes that saw me spoke well of me,
12 because I rescued the poor who called for help
    and the orphans who had no one to help them.
13 I received a blessing from the dying.
    I made the widow’s heart sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it was my clothing.
    I practiced justice, and it was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes for the blind person.
    I was feet for the lame person.
16 I was father to the needy.
    I carefully investigated cases brought by strangers.
17 I broke the teeth of the wicked person
    and made him drop the prey out of his mouth.

18 “I thought, ‘I may die in my own house,
    but I will make my days as numerous as the sand.
19 My roots will grow toward the water,
    and dew will lie on my branches all night.
20 My power will be fresh every day,
    and the bow in my hand will remain new.’

21 “People listened to me eagerly,
    quietly waiting for my advice.
22 After I had spoken, they wouldn’t speak again.
    After all, my words fell gently on them.
23 They were as eager to hear me as they were for rain.
    They opened their mouths wide as if waiting for a spring shower.
24 When I smiled at them, they could hardly believe it,
    but the expression on my face did not change.[a]
25 I decided how they should live.
    I sat as their leader.
    I lived like a king among his troops,
    like one who comforts mourners.

Footnotes

  1. Job 29:24 Hebrew meaning uncertain.

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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