Job’s Final Defense

1 Job continued his discourse:
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2 “How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me,
3 when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness!
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4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
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5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,
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6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
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7 “When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square,
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8 the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet;
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9 the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands;
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10 the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
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11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me,
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12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13 The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.
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14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
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16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.
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17 I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.
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18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
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20 My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
21 “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel.
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      22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears.
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      23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.
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      24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.a
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        • Œ 29:24 - The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.
          25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.
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