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29:1-3 Back then God watched over him, and illuminated his path. Note that the first thing Job misses is his close fellowship with God. "The sense that God had now left him was more painful than his other miseries" (Zuck p. 127).
29:2 "Months gone by": Suggests that several months had passed since disaster had struck.
29:4 Job had been in the prime of his life, and he had felt that God was truly his friend and protector. Job had clearly felt the "hedge" that God had placed around him.
29:5 God was with him then and so were his children.
29:6 Butter and oil were symbols of prosperity, ease, and plenty.
29:7-10 Job also had enjoyed social prestige. Apparently, Job had occupied a very important position in the community, He was highly respected not only by the young, but also by those older. In fact, even the powerful became quiet when he spoke. Remember, elders held court sessions at the city gate (Deut. 21:19; 22:15; Joshua 20:4).
29:11 People respected Job's wisdom and really listened to what he had to say. "Those who heard of him, or witnessed his activities, could testify to the fact that: he helped the poor, the desperate, the fatherless and widows (12-13); he exercised justice by assisting the handicapped-even strangers (14-16)" (Jackson p. 63). In modern language, Job says that he was the champion of the underdog. In fact, he helped despondent grieving widows to the point that they sang for joy.
29:14 "His exercise of justice was so consistent and so evident that they were like a robe and a turban" (Zuck p. 128).
29:15-16 He helped the needy to the point that he became to them a second father. He was so concerned with justice and righteousness that he even took upon himself the cases of complete strangers.
29:17 He was able to stop the wicked as they sought to take advantage of the less fortunate. "Job rescued the poor from their ruthless oppressors, but he also destroyed the power of the aggressor" (Strauss p. 287).
29:18 "Then I thought": "Due to his efforts in personal righteousness, Job had anticipated living a long, happy life with blessings abounding" (Jackson p. 63). Job had felt very secure in his blessings. The phrase "I shall die in my nest" may refer to Job dying surrounded by children, descendants and prosperity.
29:19-20 "He enjoyed refreshing stability (his root below ground spread out to the waters), prosperity (dew was on his branches above), glory (perhaps that word means 'an enviable reputation'), and strength (the bow was a symbol of strength, and its being renewed in the hand suggested perennial strength)" (Zuck pp. 128-129).
29:21-23 Job remembers how men had been eager for his counsel and had received it as refreshing rain.
29:24 "With cheerfulness, he was able to help others overcome discouragement" (Jackson p. 63). Notice how Job was not discouraged by their despondency but had been a source of strength to others.
29:25 People eagerly accepted his counsel, and followed his advice like men follow a chief or king.
The very fact that Job reflects on the past seems to infer that not only had Job lost heath, children, and wealth, but he had also lost all respect, standing and position in the community. No one wanted to listen to what he had to say anymore. In addition, Job may also be feeling betrayed. He had helped so many people in the past when they were down, yet now no one is helping him.
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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 29". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://studylight.org/
the Week of Proper 15 / Ordinary 20