Job now moved a step forward in his reply. He was still without a solution. That of his friends he utterly repudiated. In order to prepare the way for the utterance of a solemn oath of innocence, he first looked back at old and lost days in order to compare them with his present condition.
In this chapter we have his description of the past. It is introduced with a sigh, Oh that I were as in the months of old.
That condition is described first in its relation to God. They were days of fellowship in which Job was conscious of the divine watchfulness and guidance. Then in one sentence which has in it the sob of a great agony, he remembered his children-
My children were about me.
He next referred to the abounding prosperity, and, finally, to the esteem in which he was held by all classes of men, even to the highest. The secret of that esteem is then declared to have been his attitude toward men. He was the friend of all who were in need. Clothed in righteousness, and crowned with justice, he administered the affairs of men so as to punish the oppressor and relieve the oppressed. He then described his consciousness in those days. It was a sense of safety and strength. Finally, he returned to a contemplation of the dignity of his position when men listened to him and waited on him, and he was as a king among them.
the Second Week after Epiphany