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the Week of Proper 2 / Ordinary 7
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Bible Commentaries
Job 29

Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New TestamentsSutcliffe's Commentary

Verses 1-25

Job 29:3 . When his candle shined upon my head; that is, when the light of his countenance shone upon me, in every form of patriarchal prosperity. This figure seems to be borrowed from the lights in ancient tabernacles; and of course, anterior to the time that Moses illuminated the tabernacle with seven lamps.

Job 29:4 . When the secret of God was upon my tabernacle. Rabbi Salom says, the angels, who crowd the sanctuary like a cloud. Psalms 34:7. Isaiah 4:4-5. There peace and joy shone upon my soul, and judicial honours awaited me in the gate.

Job 29:5 . When my children were about me, as hopeful branches of my house. These are often the sweetest days of parental bliss, for heavier cares come with riper years.

Job 29:9 . Princes laid their hand on their mouth; that is, elders and magistrates kept silence, to hear the wise and equitable opinion of the bench. A cool and comprehensive mind often suggests a superior idea, to which all men at once accede.

Job 29:16 . The cause which I knew not I searched out; for the wicked hide all they can. Many good estates are mortgaged and lost; and when the children cry out of wrong, they are not heard. The Jobs are few among lawyers that will risk any thing to gain back a part to the injured family.

Job 29:18 . I shall multiply my days as the sand. Hebrews חול chol, which designates both the sand and the palm. The Latin, partly following the LXX, reads, “I shall multiply my days as the palm,” which like the oak and the cedar, exists for ages, Isaiah has the same idea of longevity in the latter day. “As the days of a tree are the days of my people, and mine elect shall long enjoy the work of their hands.” As sands are counted by number, not by days, this seems to be the true reading. Exodus 15:27.

Job 29:25 . Dwelt as a king in the army. Two of Job’s three friends have the title of king in the LXX: it was then common to the heads of tribes.


Job, feeling a hope in God, sighs for restoration, as in the former days. But like David, he sighs first for power to go and worship where the secret of God was upon his tabernacle. Psalms 63:1-2; Psalms 84:2. The patriarchal affluence, of washing his steps in butter, was the secondary request; for what is life without a God!

While his friends, in this dark and bitter day, were assaying to probe a guilty conscience, that rectitude of Job in having been eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, a husband to the widow, and a father to the orphan, shed a cheering radiance on all his gloom. Though we magnify grace, and grace alone, yet those moral reflections embolden a confidence to which a mind conscious of derelictions in duty cannot have equal claims.

God reigns in heaven to do good to man. Such also was the life of our blessed Saviour; “he went about doing good.” The members of his mystical body should imitate his exemplary virtues. The relative situations of life should inculcate benevolence in every form. The rich have need of the poor, while the aged and the blind have natural claims on the public for bread. Add to this, the Lord has promised to deliver the man who has pity on the poor, in the day of trouble. Yea, the Lord himself will memorialize the cup of cold water in the great day of retribution. Hear this, oh christian, and be steadfast and unmoveable, always abounding in the work of the Lord. In so doing you taste of pleasures pure and divine.

Bibliographical Information
Sutcliffe, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 29". Sutcliffe's Commentary on the Old and New Testaments. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/jsc/job-29.html. 1835.
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