Past glory; present humiliation (29:1-30:31)
Since the three friends have nothing more to say, Job proceeds to show that in the past he had indeed tried to fear God and avoid wrongdoing. So close was his fellowship with God in those days that he could call it friendship (29:1-4). He was blessed with family happiness and prosperity (5-6). He was one of the city elders and was highly respected by the whole community (7-10).
Most rulers were corrupt, favouring the rich and oppressing the poor, but Job's impartiality and honesty were well known everywhere (11-14). He helped those who were exploited and never feared to give a judgment against the oppressors, no matter how rich or powerful they were (15-17). Job felt that in view of such uprightness he could look forward to a bright future of continued contentment and success (18-20). He would have the same freshness as in former days, when he guided people with his wise advice and cheered them with his warm understanding (21-25).
But instead of the honour and happiness he expected, Job has shame and misery. The lowest of society mock him cruelly (30:1). These worthless people had been driven into the barren wastelands in punishment for their misdeeds, but now they return to make fun of him as he sits in pain and disgrace at the garbage dump (2-8). God allows them to humiliate him without restraint, and he cannot defend himself (9-11). He feels like a city that was once glorious but is now smashed and overrun by the enemy (12-15).
In addition to suffering cruel humiliation, Job has agonizing physical pain. He gets no relief, day or night. As he rolls in agony, his clothes twist around him and become covered in the filth of burnt garbage (16-19). He cries to God, but God only sends him more pain, as if torturing him to death (20-23).
With the desperation of a person sinking into certain ruin, Job cries out for help; but no one gives him the sympathetic assistance that he once gave others (24-26). Depressed in spirit and loathsome in appearance, tortured by pain and rejected by his fellows, he can do nothing but groan (27-31).
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Job 29". "Brideway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/
the Third Week after Easter