As I was in the days of my youth
Either taken literally, he being one like Obadiah, that feared God from his youth upward, ( 1 Kings 18:3 1 Kings 18:12 ) ; or figuratively, for his former state of prosperity, when he was like a tree in autumn laden with ripe and rich fruit, and in great abundance; and so some render the words "in the days of my autumn", or "autumnity" F18; though it may respect the time of his first conversion, the infancy and youth of his spiritual state, who, when first regenerated, was as a newborn babe, and then became a young man, and now a father in Christ, his living Redeemer: and Job wishes it was with him as in his youth, or in the early days of his conversion, at which season, generally speaking, there are great zeal and fervency of spirit, a flow of love and affection to God and the best things; large discoveries of his love, much sensible communion with him, and enjoyment of his presence; wherefore such returning seasons are desirable; see ( Jeremiah 2:2 Jeremiah 2:3 ) ;
when the secret of God [was] upon my tabernacle;
either the secret power and providence of God, which was upon his house and family, and all that belonged to him; or the secret of his love, which was manifested to him, and is from everlasting to everlasting on them that fear the Lord, as Job did; who had secret communion with God, his fellowship was with him; he dwelt in the secret place of the Almighty, and was taken into his secret chambers, where he had the greatest familiarity with him, see ( Psalms 25:14 ) . Some observe the word for "secret" is used for an "assembly" F19, and take the sense to be, that the assembly of the saints and people of God was in his tabernacle or house; there they met together for religious worship, and where Job had often a comfortable opportunity, and wishes for the same again, see ( Psalms 42:1-4 ) .
F18 (yprx ymyb) "in autumno dierum mearum", Hottinger. Thesaur. Phiolog. p. 507. "in diebus autumnitatis meae", Schultens; so the word signifies in Arabic, vid. Golium, col. 1415. Lud. Capell. in loc.
F19 (dwob) "in societate Dei", Pagninus, Beza; "societas Dei", i.e. "con gregatio", Bolducius; so Jarchi.