Job 29

1 Iyov went on speaking:
2 "I wish I were as in the old days, back in the times when God watched over me;
3 when his lamp shone over my head, and I walked through the dark by its light;
4 as I was when I was young, and God's counsel graced my tent.
5 Then Shaddai was still with me, my children were around me;
6 my steps were awash in butter, and the rocks poured out for me streams of olive oil.
7 I would go out to the city gate and set up my seat in the open space;
8 when young men saw me they would hide themselves, while the aged arose and stood;
9 leaders refrained from speaking -they would lay their hands on their mouths;
10 the voices of nobles were silenced; their tongues stuck to their palates.
11 Any ear that heard me blessed me, any eye that saw me gave witness to me,
12 for I delivered the poor when they cried for assistance, the orphan too, who had no one to help him.
13 Those who had been about to die would bless me, and I made widows sing in their hearts for joy.
14 I clothed myself with righteousness, and it clothed itself with me; my justice was like a robe and a crown.
15 I was eyes for the blind, and I was feet for the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy, and I investigated the problems of those I didn't know.
17 I broke the jaws of the unrighteous and snatched the prey from his teeth.
18 "I said, 'I will die with my nest, and I will live as long as a phoenix;
19 my root will spread till it reaches water, and dew will stay all night on my branch;
20 my glory will always be fresh, my bow always new in my hand.'
21 "People would listen to me; they waited and were silent when I gave advice.
22 After I spoke, they didn't talk back; my words were like drops [of dew] on them.
23 They waited for me as if for rain, as if for spring rain, with their mouths open wide.
24 When I joked with them, they couldn't believe it; and they never darkened the light on my face.
25 I chose their way [for them], sitting as chief; I lived like a king in the army, like one who comforts mourners.
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