Job 29

Job’s Final Defense

1 Job continued his discourse:
2 “How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me,
3 when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness!
4 Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house,
5 when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me,
6 when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil.
7 “When I went to the gate of the city and took my seat in the public square,
8 the young men saw me and stepped aside and the old men rose to their feet;
9 the chief men refrained from speaking and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 the voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 Whoever heard me spoke well of me, and those who saw me commended me,
12 because I rescued the poor who cried for help, and the fatherless who had none to assist them.
13 The one who was dying blessed me; I made the widow’s heart sing.
14 I put on righteousness as my clothing; justice was my robe and my turban.
15 I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame.
16 I was a father to the needy; I took up the case of the stranger.
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked and snatched the victims from their teeth.
18 “I thought, ‘I will die in my own house, my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots will reach to the water, and the dew will lie all night on my branches.
20 My glory will not fade; the bow will be ever new in my hand.’
21 “People listened to me expectantly, waiting in silence for my counsel.
22 After I had spoken, they spoke no more; my words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for me as for showers and drank in my words as the spring rain.
24 When I smiled at them, they scarcely believed it; the light of my face was precious to them.[a]
25 I chose the way for them and sat as their chief; I dwelt as a king among his troops; I was like one who comforts mourners.

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.

Cross References 48

  • 1. Job 13:12; Job 27:1
  • 2. S Genesis 31:30
  • 3. Jeremiah 1:12; Jeremiah 31:28; Jeremiah 44:27
  • 4. S Job 11:17; S Job 12:25
  • 5. S Job 15:8
  • 6. Psalms 25:14; Proverbs 3:32
  • 7. Psalms 127:3-5; Psalms 128:3
  • 8. Ruth 4:1
  • 9. S Job 20:17
  • 10. Psalms 81:16
  • 11. Genesis 49:20; S Deuteronomy 32:13
  • 12. ver 21; Job 5:4; Job 31:21; Jeremiah 20:2; Jeremiah 38:7
  • 13. 1 Timothy 5:1
  • 14. S Leviticus 19:32
  • 15. ver 21; Job 31:21
  • 16. S Judges 18:19; Job 40:4; Proverbs 30:32; Job 21:5
  • 17. ver 22
  • 18. Psalms 137:6
  • 19. S Job 4:4; Hebrews 11:4
  • 20. S Job 24:4
  • 21. S Deuteronomy 24:17; Job 31:17,21
  • 22. Psalms 72:12; Proverbs 21:13
  • 23. Job 31:20
  • 24. S Deuteronomy 10:18; S Job 22:9
  • 25. S 2 Samuel 8:15; S Job 27:6; Psalms 132:9; Isaiah 59:17; Isaiah 61:10; Ephesians 4:24; Ephesians 6:14
  • 26. S Job 19:9
  • 27. Numbers 10:31
  • 28. S Job 4:4
  • 29. S Job 24:4; Proverbs 29:7
  • 30. Exodus 18:26
  • 31. S Job 4:4; Proverbs 22:22-23
  • 32. Job 24:9
  • 33. S Job 4:10,11; S Psalms 3:7
  • 34. Psalms 1:1-3; Psalms 15:5; Psalms 16:8; Psalms 30:6; Psalms 62:2; Psalms 139:18; Proverbs 3:1-2
  • 35. S Numbers 24:6; S Job 14:9; Job 18:16; Jeremiah 17:8
  • 36. S Genesis 27:8; S Job 15:30; S Psalms 133:3
  • 37. Psalms 92:14
  • 38. Job 30:11; Psalms 18:34; Isaiah 38:12
  • 39. Genesis 49:24
  • 40. S ver 7,S 9
  • 41. ver 10
  • 42. Deuteronomy 32:2
  • 43. S Job 4:3
  • 44. S Numbers 6:25
  • 45. Proverbs 16:14,15
  • 46. S Job 21:28
  • 47. S Job 1:3; Job 31:37
  • 48. S Job 4:4

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. The meaning of the Hebrew for this clause is uncertain.

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

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