Job’s Final Defense

1 Then Job again took up his discourse and said,
2 "{O that I were} as [in] the months before, as [in] the days [when] God watched over me,
3 when his shining lamp [was] over my head-- by his light I walked through darkness--
4 as when I was in the days of my prime, when God's confiding [was] over my {house},
5 when Shaddai[was] still with me, my children [were] all around me,
6 when my paths were washed in sour milk, and [the] rock poured out streams of oil for me.
7 "At my going out [the] gate to [the] city, I secured my seat in the square.
8 Young men saw me and stepped aside, and [the] aged rose up [and] stood.
9 Officials refrained from talking, and they laid [their] hand on their mouth.
10 [The] voices of nobles were hushed, and their tongue stuck to their palate.
11 "When [the] ear heard and commended me, and [the] eye saw and testified in support of me
12 because I saved [the] needy who cried for help, and [I saved] [the] orphan for whom [there was] no helper.
13 [The] blessing of [the] wretched came upon me, and I caused [the] widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice [was] like a robe and a headband.
15 "I was eyes to the blind, and I [was] feet to the lame.
16 I [was] a father to the poor, and I investigated {the stranger's} legal dispute.
17 And I broke [the] evil one's jaw bones, and I made [his] prey drop from his teeth.
18 "And I thought, 'I will pass away in my nest, and like the phoenix I shall multiply [my] days.
19 My roots [were] open to water, and dew spent the night on my branches;
20 My glory [was] new with me, and {I was revitalized regularly}.'
21 "They listened to me and waited, and they kept silent for my counsel.
22 After my word, they did not speak again, and my word dropped down [like dew] upon them.
23 And they waited for me as [for] the rain, and they opened their mouth wide [as] for [the] spring rain.
24 I smiled for them [when] they had no confidence [in anything], and they did not extinguish the light of my face.
25 I chose their way, and I sat [as] head, and I dwelled like a king among the troops, like [one] who comforts mourners.