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Bible Commentaries
Job 29

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-25



Verses 1-25:

Job Relates His Former Prosperity and Rank

Job paused, after relating the sovereignty of the Lord and His wisdom and ways in dealing with men, but neither of his friends made reply. He then proceeded, through chapter 29, to relate and lament the passed days of his former fame and prosperity, as follows:

Verses 1, 2 continue Job’s parabolic address, lamenting, longing to live again, as in past months and years, "as in the days when God preserved him," from Satan’s mighty trials, from calamities long since fallen upon him, Job 2:6-10.

Verse 3 states that in those former days when he was preserved in God’s care, God’s candle shined upon his head and by Divine light he walked through darkness, as described Job 18:6; Psalms 18:28; Proverbs 24:20; Psalms 119:105; Psalms 119:130. Job attributed his former caravan travels by night to the safeguard of the Lord who provided him with plenty of torches and candles to light his way.

Verses 4, 5 add that he longed again to be as in the days of his youth when the secret (intimate friendship) of God hovered over his tabernacle or his tent to give him rest, protection and peace of mind; Then the Almighty was yet with him and his children were the joy and pride of his life about him, Proverbs 3:32; Psalms 31:20; Psalms 25:14; Genesis 18:17; John 15:15. Days pass that never come back again.

Verse 6 state that in those former. days Job washed his steps with butter, rich milk, ,or cream. Wherever he went or turned, pastoral life blessed him with the richest of milk and abundance of oil. As it is stated, "the rocks poured me out rivers of oil!" Olives bear the best oil, as they grow among the rocks, Deuteronomy 32:13-14. Oil is used, treasured for four things in the east: 1) For food, 2) For medicine, 3) For light, 4) For anointing the skin, Genesis 49:11; Deuteronomy 33:24; Job 20:17; Psalms 81:16.

Verses 7-10 describe the esteemed honor and awe in which Job had once been held. Verse 7 relates that as he passed from his residence through the street to the place where he set up his judicial-seat in the market place he was honored by the young, the old, and the noblemen; Verse 8, the young saw him and withdrew, hid themselves, stepped back respectfully; The aged arose, stood up with oriental respect, when he came into their presence; Verse 9, the princes (rulers) refrained from talking, in the middle of a speech, and laid their hand on their mouth, to give ear at Job’s approach; Verse 10 the nobles or emirs held their peace so that their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.

But, now, when God had permitted Satan to bring calamities on him, to test him for God’s glory, these pretended friends had pounced on him to tear and devour like a vulture on a dying calf, like a lion on a lonely lamb, like an hawk on a baby chicken, Isaiah 49:14; Psalms 55:11; Psalms 127:5; Job 4:2; Job 21:5; Ezekiel 3:26. Even the emirs or shieks were silent, in former days, when Job moved among them, Psalms 137:6.

Verses 11,12 relate that both those who heard reports of Job and those who had seen him in his former days of prosperity praised or extolled him for his virtue of human kindness to the needy and his fellowman, Luke 4:22; Psalms 72:12. He delivered the poor that cried, the fatherless, and those so impoverished that they had no one to help meet their bills. As a compassionate judge, he refused to imprison any for failing to pay his pledge on time, Nehemiah 5:2; Proverbs 21:13; Proverbs 24:11-12; Jeremiah 22:16.

Verse 13 witnesses that Job counted it a blessing to help the widow who was impoverished and ready to perish, to sell herself and her children into slavery to pay bills and have food and shelter; He helped her, let her go free, filling her heart with a song of joy, Job 22:9; Proverbs 31:6.

Verse 14 adds that Job put on righteousness, was dressed or clothed in holy conduct, so that his presiding decisions of judgment of others was like a robe and diadem, of oriental-like. grandeur, that adorned his reputation as a good man, Isaiah 41:10; 1 Chronicles 12:18; Zechariah 3:5; See also Deuteronomy 24:13; Psalms 132:9; Romans 13:14; Ephesians 6:14.

Verses 15, 16 relate that he was: 1) eyes to the blind. 2) feet, or support, to the lame, to strengthen and help them, Numbers 10:31; Numbers 3) he was a father to the poor, the orphans, and 4) he knew not the strangers, he conscientiously helped when he found them in need, Proverbs 29:7; Hebrews 12:13; Numbers 10:31; Psalms 41:1.

Verse 17 declares that he broke the jaws of the wicked, a term used regarding the controlling of a wild beast, Job 4:11; Psalms 3:7. He was of compassionate help to the oppressed, but terrible in judgment against the oppressor. In breaking the jaw of the wicked oppressor plucking the spoil out of his teeth, his devouring, he broke his jaws so that he would oppress no more.

Verse 18 relates that Job then said, in his heart, "I shall die in my nest," or with his family gathered around him; His days did multiply or increase "as the sand," as his health was restored and he lived to be 140 years of age, Job 42:16; Psalms 30:6; Numbers 24:21; Genesis 22:17; Habakkuk 1:9.

Verse 19 states that Job had been blessed so that his root, life support, was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay fresh all night on his branch, continually fed or irrigated by them, as opposed to "his roots shall be dried up beneath," Job 18:16. Prior to this affliction, Job, God’s perfect man, had had vigorous health, Job 1:1; Job 1:8; Job 2:3; Job 2:6-10. See also Psalms 1:3; Jeremiah 17:8; Hosea 14:5; Hosea 14:7.

Verse 20 witnesses that at that time Job’s glory or renown was fresh, current, very good, like his bodily health. His bow, or strength was continually renewed and strong in his control, a thing that supported his renown, esteem, or prominence, in the earth, Jeremiah 49:35; Genesis 49:24.

Verse 21 recounts Job’s former dignity and respect in public and in public assemblies, as recounted v.7-10, as young men would step back at his approach, the aged arose and stood in his presence until he was seated in oriental respect, other rulers would stop talking at his presence, and the nobles, emirs, and arab sheiks kept silent with their tongues cleaving to the roof of their mouth.

Verse 22 explains that when he would speak in former days his speech fell on them like wanted rain. None contradicted him as his feigned friends now did in his afflictions, Amos 7:16; Deuteronomy 22:2; Song of Solomon 4:11.

Verse 23 adds that the masses once waited for his counsel and judgments as dry soil waits for rain; and they opened their mouths wide, as panting, waiting for the "latter rains," that came in March and brings forth the harvest to ripen in May or June, Psalms 119:131. Between March and October little or no rain fell in that Arab land, Deuteronomy 5:7.

Verse 24 states that if Job laughed the masses did not believe he had put aside his virtue of gravity, esteemed so highly in the east. They understood his pleasant serenity of countenance that followed from his trust in God, even in the days of his reigning prosperity and vigorous health, Proverbs 16:15; Psalms 104:15; This was the opposite of the "fallen countenance" of sinful Cain, Genesis 4:5-6.

Verse 25 concludes Job’s brief autobiographical testimony of his pre-calamity days of life. He chose out the ways of the people, as a counselor to them in former days, seeking their best interest in life, Genesis 41:40; Judges 11:8. He sat as a king supreme in the midst of his army, respected and loved, as one who continually comforts the mourning; Even as he foreshadowed Jesus Christ, Isaiah 1:4; Hebrews 2:18.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 29". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-29.html. 1985.
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