2 Oh, that I were as in the months of old, as in the days when God watched over me,
3 When His lamp shone above and upon my head and by His light I walked through darkness;
4 As I was in the [prime] ripeness of my days, when the friendship and counsel of God were over my tent,
5 When the Almighty was yet with me and my children were about me,
6 When my steps [through rich pasturage] were washed with butter and the rock poured out for me streams of oil!
7 When I went out to the gate of the city, when I prepared my seat in the street [the broad place for the council at the city’s gate],
8 The young men saw me and hid themselves; the aged rose up and stood;
9 The princes refrained from talking and laid their hands on their mouths;
10 The voices of the nobles were hushed, and their tongues cleaved to the roof of their mouths.
11 For when the ear heard, it called me happy and blessed me; and when the eye saw, it testified for me [approvingly],
12 Because I delivered the poor who cried, the fatherless and him who had none to help him.
13 The blessing of him who was about to perish came upon me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14 I put on [a]righteousness, and it clothed me or clothed itself with me; my justice was like a robe and a turban or a diadem or a crown!
15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
16 I was a father to the poor and needy; the cause of him I did not know I searched out.
17 And I broke the jaws or the big teeth of the unrighteous and plucked the prey out of his teeth.
18 Then I said, I shall die in or beside my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
19 My root is spread out and open to the waters, and the dew lies all night upon my branch.
20 My glory and honor are fresh in me [being constantly renewed], and my bow gains [ever] new strength in my hand.
21 Men listened to me and waited and kept silence for my counsel.
22 After I spoke, they did not speak again, and my speech dropped upon them [like a refreshing shower].
23 And they waited for me as for the rain, and they opened their mouths wide as for the spring rain.
24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence, and their depression did not cast down the light of my countenance.
25 I chose their way [for them] and sat as [their] chief, and dwelt like a king among his soldiers, like one who comforts mourners.
Job 29:14Blameless and upright as Job had been—and God had so pronounced him—his misunderstood afflictions had caused him to get dangerously off-center. Instead of keeping his mind stayed on God and justifying Him, he is giving his whole thought to justifying himself. Instead of humility there is only self-righteousness. In this chapter he uses pronouns referring to himself fifty times. But when he was able to see himself as God saw him, he loathed himself and repented “in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).
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