Job 29

1 Job began speaking again.
2 If only my life could once again be as it was when God watched over me.
3 God was always with me then and gave me light as I walked through the darkness.
4 Those were the days when I was prosperous, and the friendship of God protected my home.
5 Almighty God was with me then, and I was surrounded by all my children.
6 My cows and goats gave plenty of milk, and my olive trees grew in the rockiest soil.
7 Whenever the city elders met and I took my place among them,
8 young men stepped aside as soon as they saw me, and old men stood up to show me respect.
9 The leaders of the people would stop talking;
10 even the most important men kept silent.
11 Everyone who saw me or heard of me had good things to say about what I had done.
12 When the poor cried out, I helped them; I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn.
13 People who were in deepest misery praised me, and I helped widows find security.
14 I have always acted justly and fairly.
15 I was eyes for the blind, and feet for the lame.
16 I was like a father to the poor and took the side of strangers in trouble.
17 I destroyed the power of cruel men and rescued their victims.
18 I always expected to live a long life and to die at home in comfort.
19 I was like a tree whose roots always have water and whose branches are wet with dew.
20 Everyone was always praising me, and my strength never failed me.
21 When I gave advice, people were silent and listened carefully to what I said;
22 they had nothing to add when I had finished. My words sank in like drops of rain;
23 everyone welcomed them just as farmers welcome rain in spring.
24 I smiled on them when they had lost confidence; my cheerful face encouraged them.
25 I took charge and made the decisions; I led them as a king leads his troops, and gave them comfort in their despair.

Job 29 Commentary

Chapter 29

Job's former comforts. (1-6) The honour paid to Job, His usefulness. (7-17) His prospect of prosperity. (18-25)

Verses 1-6 Job proceeds to contrast his former prosperity with his present misery, through God's withdrawing from him. A gracious soul delights in God's smiles, not in the smiles of this world. Four things were then very pleasant to holy Job. 1. The confidence he had in the Divine protection. 2. The enjoyment he had of the Divine favour. 3. The communion he had with the Divine word. 4. The assurance he had of the Divine presence. God's presence with a man in his house, though it be but a cottage, makes it a castle and a palace. Then also he had comfort in his family. Riches and flourishing families, like a candle, may be soon extinguished. But when the mind is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, when a man walks in the light of God's countenance, every outward comfort is doubled, every trouble is diminished, and he may pass cheerfully by this light through life and through death. Yet the sensible comfort of this state is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arises from sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes it may be a trial of a man's faith and grace. But it is needful to examine ourselves, to seek for the cause of such a change by fervent prayer, and to increase our watchfulness.

Verses 7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence, integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men! it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.

Verses 18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity, and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To Him let us give ear.

Chapter Summary


In this chapter Job gives an account of his former and wishes it was with him now as then; and which he describes with respect to his own person, and the favours he personally enjoyed, whether temporal or spiritual, Job 29:1-4; with respect to his family and domestic affairs, Job 29:5,6; with regard to the esteem he had from men of every age and station, Job 29:7-11; the reasons of which were the mercy and compassion he showed to the poor, the fatherless, and the widow, and the justice he administered in the execution of his office as a magistrate, Job 29:12-17; in which honour and prosperity he expected to have lived and died, Job 29:18-20; and which he further describes by the respect he had among men, and the power and authority he exercised over them, Job 29:21-25.

Job 29 Commentaries

Scripture taken from the Good News Translation - Second Edition, Copyright 1992 by American Bible Society. Used by Permission.