Job 29

1 Job again took up his parable, and said, 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 on my head, and by his light I walked through darkness, 4 as I was in the ripeness of my days, when the friendship of God was in my tent, 5 when the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me, 6 when my steps were washed with butter, and the rock poured out streams of oil for me, 7 when I went out to the city gate, when I prepared my seat in the street. 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves. The aged rose up and stood. 9 The princes refrained from talking, and laid their hand on their mouth. 10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to the roof of their mouth. 11 For when the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it commended me: 12 because I delivered the poor who cried, and the fatherless also, who had no one to help him, 13 the blessing of him who was ready to perish came on me, and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy. 14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me. My justice was as a robe and a diadem. 15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame. 16 I was a father to the needy. The cause of him who I didn’t know, I searched out. 17 I broke the jaws of the unrighteous, and plucked the prey out of his teeth. 18 Then I said, ‘I shall die in my own house, I shall number my days as the sand. 19 My root is spread out to the waters. The dew lies all night on my branch. 20 My glory is fresh in me. My bow is renewed in my hand.’ 21 “Men listened to me, waited, and kept silence for my counsel. 22 After my words they didn’t speak again. My speech fell on them. 23 They waited for me as for the rain. Their mouths drank as with the spring rain. 24 I smiled on them when they had no confidence. They didn’t reject the light of my face. 25 I chose out their way, and sat as chief. I lived as a king in the army, as one who comforts the mourners.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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.

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