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Job’s Past Greatness and Happiness
Job mournfully recalls the days of God’s favour, and the prosperity and honour he once enjoyed. In this chapter we have the picture of a great and worthy chieftain looked up to and respected by all. It confirms the description of Job’s importance in Job 1.
3. Candle] RV ’lamp’; a figure of God’s favour.
4. Days of my youth] RV ’ripeness of my days.’ Secret] RM’ friendship.’ Tabernacle] RV ’tent.’
6. A figure of prosperity: cp. Deuteronomy 33:24.
7. Through the city] RV ’unto the city.’ Job went with other elders to administer justice at the city gate. Observe that Job did not live in the city; his usual abode was in his camp. But he was influential in the city, just as a great Arab prince is sometimes in our own times.
8. Hid themselves] because of the awe which Job inspired.
11. Gave witness to me] i.e. to my goodness, which it saw.
14. Lit. ’Justice clothed itself in me.’ He was the very personification of justice. Diadem] RM ’turban.’
16. The cause which I knew not] RV ’the cause of him that I knew not.’
18. As the sand] RM ’as the phœnix.’ This was a fabulous bird alluded to in Egyptian, Hebrew, and Arabian tradition. It was supposed to be immortal, burning itself in its nest every thousand years and renewing its life in the flames.
19, 20. The verbs should be read in the future tense.
19. By] RV ’to’: cp. Psalms 1:3.
Dew] cp. Proverbs 19:12; Deuteronomy 32:2; The dew was an emblem of prosperity in a land where rain was infrequent.
20a. The respect paid him would not fail him.
20b. His physical powers should endure: cp. Genesis 49:24, ’His bow abode in strength.’
21-25. These vv. would more naturally follow Genesis 49:10, and some think this was their original position.
22. Dropped upon them] as refreshing rain: cp. Deuteronomy 32:2.
23. The latter rain] the spring rains as contrasted with those of the autumn.
24. If I laughed, etc.] RM ’I smiled on them when they had no confidence,’ i.e. to encourage them.
24b. They failed to remove his cheerfulness.
25. Job speaks as if he used to be the natural guide and comfort of his fellow-men.
These chapters form a section by themselves, in which Job reviews his life. He first of all draws a picture of his past prosperous career, when he was happy and respected (Job 29). With this he contrasts his present condition, when men he once despised now hold him in contempt, and he is in pain and sorrow and disgrace (Job 30). Finally, he reasserts his innocence of wickedness in any form (Job 31).
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Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Job 29". "Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20