Job 29

Listen to Job 29
1 Moreover Job continued[a]* his parable, and said,
2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
3 When his candle[b] shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
10 The nobles[c] held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
17 And I brake the jaws[d] of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
20 My glory was fresh[e] in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
24 If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the 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.

Footnotes 5

  • [a]. continued: Heb. added to take up
  • [b]. candle: or, lamp
  • [c]. The nobles...: Heb. The voice of the nobles was hid
  • [d]. the jaws: Heb. the jawteeth, or, the grinders
  • [e]. fresh: Heb. new

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 29

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