IV. Job’s Concluding Soliloquy (29:1-31:40)
Job Recalls His Former Condition
29:1 Then Job continued his speech:
29:2 “O that I could be as I was
in the months now gone,
in the days when God watched over me,
29:3 when he caused his lamp
to shine upon my head,
and by his light
I walked through darkness;
29:4 just as I was in my most productive time,
when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent,
29:5 when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me;
29:6 when my steps were bathed with butter
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil!
29:7 When I went out to the city gate
and secured my seat in the public square,
29:8 the young men would see me and step aside,
and the old men would get up and remain standing;
29:9 the chief men refrained from talking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
29:10 the voices of the nobles fell silent,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
29:11 “As soon as the ear heard these things, it blessed me,
and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,
29:12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the orphan who had no one to assist him;
29:13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me,
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice;
29:14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me,
my just dealing was like a robe and a turban;
29:15 I was eyes for the blind
and feet for the lame;
29:16 I was a father to the needy,
and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;
29:17 I broke the fangs of the wicked,
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
29:18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home,
my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
29:19 My roots reach the water,
and the dew lies on my branches all night long.
29:20 My glory will always be fresh in me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
29:21 “People listened to me and waited silently;
they kept silent for my advice.
29:22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;
my words fell on them drop by drop.
29:23 They waited for me as people wait for the rain,
and they opened their mouths
as for the spring rains.
29:24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it;
and they did not cause the light of my face to darken.
29:25 I chose the way for them
and sat as their chief;
I lived like a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.