Job 29

Job's Final Claim of Innocence

1 Job continued his discourse, saying:
2 If only I could be as in months gone by, in the days when God watched over me,
3 when His lamp shone above my head, and I walked through darkness by His light!a
4 [I would be] as I was in the days of my youth when God's friendship rested on my tent,b
5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,
6 when my feet were bathed in cream and the rockc poured out streams of oil for me!
7 When I went out to the city gate and took my seat in the town square,
8 the young men saw me and withdrew, while older men stood to their feet.
9 City officials stopped talking and covered their mouths with [their] hands.d
10 The noblemen's voices were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 When they heard me, they blessed me, and when they saw me, they spoke well of me.e
12 For I rescued the poor man who cried out for help, and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.f
13 The dying man blessed me, and I made the widow's heart rejoice.
14 I clothed myself in righteousness, and it enveloped me; my just decisions were like a robe and a turban.g
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.h
16 I was a father to the needy, and I examined the case of the stranger.
17 I shattered the fangs of the unjusti and snatched the prey from his teeth.
18 So I thought: I will die in my own nest and multiply [my] days as the sand.j
19 My roots will have access to water, and the dew will rest on my branches all night.
20 My strength will be refreshed within me, and my bow will be renewed in my hand.k
21 Men listened to me with expectation, waiting silently for my advice.
22 After a word from me they did not speak again; my speech settled on them [like dew].
23 They waited for me as for the rain and opened their mouths as for spring showers.
24 If I smiled at them, they couldn't believe [it]; they were thrilled atl the light of my countenance.
25 I directed their course and presided as chief. I lived as a king among his troops, like one who comforts those who mourn.