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Tuesday, July 23rd, 2024
the Week of Proper 11 / Ordinary 16
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Bible Commentaries
Job 29

Old & New Testament Restoration CommentaryRestoration Commentary


Job Chapter 29

Job 29:1 "Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,"

Job 29:2 "Oh that I were as [in] months past, as [in] the days [when] God preserved me;" In this chapter, we see Job looking back to the way things were before Satan attacked him. We must keep in mind, that Job was not aware that this attack he had experienced was from Satan. We see in the verse above, that Job was aware that God had protected and blessed him in times past.

Job 29:3 "When his candle shined upon my head, [and when] by his light I walked [through] darkness;" Job had lived in a darkened world, but the Light that God had shined on him, made the area where Job was very bright. Job had fellowship with God in His Light.

Job 29:4 "As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God [was] upon my tabernacle;" The relationship that Job had with God had been special from the time of his youth. Psalms 25:14 "The secret of the LORD [is] with them that fear him; and he will shew them his covenant." Proverbs 3:32 "For the froward [is] abomination to the LORD: but his secret [is] with the righteous." This just meant that Job knew things about God that the secular world did not know.

Job 29:5 "When the Almighty [was] yet with me, [when] my children [were] about me;" Job knew that the Almighty had been with him before, and that now, it appeared He was not. He had no idea why this was so, however. The greatest loss to Job, besides losing his fellowship with God, was the loss of his children. He remembered back to the joyful times with his children.

Job 29:6 "When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;" It seemed, that his entire life was running smooth. Rocky ground, generally, is not a good place to produce anything. The olive tree seems to flourish among the rocks, however. This was saying that God had poured His blessings upon Job, and even the rocks produced plentiful oil for him. In a spiritual sense, Jesus is the Rock, and the oil symbolizes the Holy Spirit.

Job 29:7 "When I went out to the gate through the city, [when] I prepared my seat in the street!"

Job 29:8 "The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, [and] stood up." This was just saying that the old and young, alike, had great respect for Job. The young men hid, because they feared Job would teach them the way of righteousness. The standing up of the old men showed they respected him for his wisdom.

Job 29:9 "The princes refrained talking, and laid [their] hand on their mouth." This was saying they guarded their words around Job. They actually stopped talking, so they might hear a word of wisdom from Job. It appeared, that Job was a man of esteem. Possibly, he had a high rank in the community.

Job 29:10 "The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth." The nobles were as the princes, though of high rank themselves, they bowed to someone with more authority. It appears, to me, that the respect that Job got was from the things he said, because everyone stopped speaking when he appeared.

Job 29:11 "When the ear heard [me], then it blessed me; and when the eye saw [me], it gave witness to me:" This was speaking of the speech of Job being fair. Perhaps, he was in a position as a judge. Even the poor were glad to see Job, because they knew he was no respecter of persons.

Job 29:12 "Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and [him that had] none to help him."

Job 29:13 "The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy." It appears, that Job was the champion of the poor and the widow. Job had some position of great authority, because these verses spoke of him delivering the poor and the widow.

Job 29:14 "I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment [was] as a robe and a diadem." This was a statement admitting that his righteousness was not his own. He had put on the righteousness of God. That is exactly what the Christian does. We give our sins to Christ, and He clothes us with His righteousness. This judgement was, also, righteous, put on Job from God. This meant his judgement was righteous. Jesus, not only puts His robe of righteousness on the true believer, but gives them a crown of gold. "Diadem" means head dress.

Job 29:15 "I was eyes to the blind, and feet [was] I to the lame." The kings had appointed people, who they called their eyes and ears, to watch over the people. I believe that is what Job was saying, here, but he was doing this for the blind and the lame, not for the king. Job helped them and guided them.

Job 29:16 "I [was] a father to the poor: and the cause [which] I knew not I searched out." This was just saying that Job saw to it that they had their needs taken care of. If he even heard of someone in trouble, he searched them out, and helped them.

Job 29:17 "And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth." Job was saying that he was just as tough on the wicked, as he was kind to the innocent. Many people would like to be what Job said he had been, here, but they do not have the money or the power to do it. Job, it appears, had both.

Job 29:18 "Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply [my] days as the sand." Job had felt that he would live and die at home with the blessings of God abounding upon him.

Job 29:19 "My root [was] spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch." This is what happens to make a very strong tree. The roots spread and go deep. It would take a tremendous wind to topple that tree. That was what Satan had done to Job. He sent the strongest attack that God would allow him to. Job was so grounded in God, he would not be moved.

Job 29:20 "My glory [was] fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand." "His glory being fresh in him" means that God renewed it every day. His light shined brighter every day. It seemed, Job was prepared for anything.

Job 29:21 "Unto me [men] gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel." Job had become well known in his land for being a wise counselor. It appears, that people listened, when he talked. They knew his relationship with God.

Job 29:22 "After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them." This was saying after Job gave them advice, they did not talk back. Job’s words settled the matter.

Job 29:23 "And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide [as] for the latter rain." In that part of the world, the ground got very parched. The parched ground was very eager for the rain to come to give relief. The opening the mouth was like the vegetation drinking in all of the moisture they could. In the case of Job, here, the people anxiously awaited what he said. They drank in his message, and took it to heart. When you hear a good sermon today, you might say I drank in every word of it. That is what this was saying.

Job 29:24 "[If] I laughed on them, they believed [it] not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down." They never once thought that Job was making fun of them. They received what he said as being said in love. They never refused his counsel, or made him feel badly either.

Job 29:25 "I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one [that] comforteth the mourners." Job guided their way as a leader of an army would. The army that Job led was an army of believers under his command. He actually determined what direction his nation would go. They looked to him for comfort, as well as advice, and got it when it was needed.

Job 29 Questions

1. What was Job wishing for in Job 29:1-2?

2. What must we keep in mind about all of this?

3. Job had lived in a __________ world.

4. What made the place where Job lived so bright?

5. Quote Psalms 25:14.

6. Quote Proverbs 3:32.

7. What did Job 29:4 mean, then?

8. What did he call God in Job 29:5?

9. Aside from losing his fellowship with God, what was Job’s greatest loss?

10. In a spiritual sense, ________ is the Rock.

11. What is Job 29:7-8 saying about Job?

12. Who stopped talking, when Job came around?

13. What position did Job, probably, hold?

14. Job was the champion of the _______ and the ________.

15. Where did Job’s righteousness come from?

16. I was _______ to the blind, and _______ to the lame.

17. How did Job treat the wicked?

18. Where had Job thought he would live his life out?

19. What was Job saying in Job 29:19?

20. Job was well- known as a wise ___________.

21. Job compared their waiting for him to speak with what?

22. Quote Job 29:25.

Verses 1-6

Job 29:1-6


Job 29


This chapter is the first of a trilogy addressed to God.

"This chapter is part of Job’s continuing recourse to God, a reiteration of his first complaint. It is the first of a trilogy that consists of: (1) a description of Job’s former exaltation (Job 29), (2) a description of his present humiliation (Job 30), and (3) a final protestation of his innocence (Job 31)."

"In the whole circle of Job’s lamentations this is perhaps the most affecting." It cannot fail to touch the heart of any person who ever tasted the sorrows of being suddenly reduced from happiness, health, honor and glory to a status of disease, distress, dishonor and misery.

"We may only imagine what kind of an impression these last words of Job may have made upon his friends. Although obliged to be silent, they would not have admitted that they were vanquished, although the drying up of their thoughts and their involuntary silence was the proof of it."

Job 29:1-6


"And Job again took up his parable, and said,

Oh that I were as in the months of old,

As in the days when God watched over me;

When his lamp shined above my head,

And by his light I walked through darkness;

As I was in the ripeness of my days,

When the friendship of God was upon my tent;

When the Almighty was yet with me,

And my children were about me;

When my steps were washed with butter,

And the rock poured me out streams of oil."

In these verses, Job remembers particularly the fellowship with God, to whom he attributed all of the happiness and prosperity which he had enjoyed in those blessed days then gone forever.

"In the days when God watched over me" (Job 29:2). "The pathos of the whole book is in these words." Job recognized God as the source of all of his prosperity and happiness; and the misery that Job was experiencing at the time of this speech was due to his feeling that God was no longer watching over him.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 29:1. The Word parable means speech or discourse.

Job 29:2-3. I think it well again to call the reader back to the comments at Job 3:2-3. With those thoughts in mind we will expect to have Job go into many details in describing his affliction of body and mind. One of the most pathetic sources of grief is a reminiscent view of past scenes that were pleasant; pleasant but now gone, perhaps never again to be enjoyed.

Job 29:4-5. I believe this is the most pathetic passage in all of Job’s utterances. His mind went back to the time when the secret (intimacy) of God hovered over his home. The presence of the Almighty was in evidence all the time and made holy the joys he had in the family ties that kept his children about him. The smiles of their faces reflected the light of the good Lord who had given them to him. Even the expressions of pain that sometimes shadowed their countenances reminded him that they were his own flesh-and-blood offspring, and that he had another occasion of tendering to them his loving care to drive away those lines of anguish and make them give place to the beams of gratitude. Now they were all gone, never to come back as far as he knew.

Job 29:6. This is a figurative description of the better days gone by, when Job was abundantly blessed with the good things of life.

Verses 7-11

Job 29:7-11

Job 29:7-11


"When I went forth to the gate unto the city,

When I prepared my seat in the street,

The young men saw me and hid themselves,

And the aged rose up and stood;

And the princes refrained from talking,

And laid their hand on their mouth;

And the voice of the nobles was hushed,

And their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.

For when the ear heard me, then it blessed me;

And when the eye saw me, it gave witness unto me."

This paragraph reveals the great honor and respect accorded Job by the city fathers and princes who sat in the gate of the city. His mention of preparing his seat in the street suggests that he might, himself, have been one of the rulers of the city. His power and ability were recognized by all.

E.M. Zerr:

Job 29:7-8. The gates of ancient cities were the places where diplomatic conversations took place. Job had once been among those who took part in such gatherings. When he did so the young men hid themselves. That means they kept at a respectful distance because of their regard for him. And even the old men rose to their feet when he took his seat in their councils.

Job 29:9. Princes were not officials but men of outstanding influence. At the presence of Job they kept silence so great was their regard for him.

Job 29:10-11. This paragraph gives further account of the attention given Job.

Verses 12-17

Job 29:12-17

Job 29:12-17


"Because I delivered the poor that cried,

The fatherless also that had none to help him.

The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me;

And I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

50put on righteousness, and it clothed me:

My justice was as a robe and a diadem.

I was eyes to the blind,

And feet was I to the lame.

I was a father to the needy:

And the cause of him that I knew not, I searched out.

And I brake the jaws of the unrighteous,

And plucked the prey out of his teeth."

The impressive thing here is how effectively Job’s deeds emphasized his righteousness and compassion for the unfortunate. With a record such as Job claimed here, with the silence of his friends standing as an eloquent proof of what he said, it is almost inconceivable that they should have accused him of so many crimes during the dialogues. The two themes of this chapter are: (1) Job’s former security, and (2) his prominent and positive role in society; "And these two themes will be repeated in Job 29:18-25."

E.M. Zerr:

Job 29:12. This and some following verses will explain that the respect given to Job was not in the spirit of flattery. It was because he was a friend to the poor.

Job 29:13. Job helped the man ready to perish by supplying him with the needful things. This caused that man to pronounce his blessing on the benefactor. The Pharisees would "devour widows’ houses" (Matthew 23:14), but Job rejoiced the heart of the widow by supplying her with the necessities of life.

Job 29:14. Paul instructed the disciples to put on the Lord Jesus Christ (Romans 13:14), and Job wore the garment of righteousness.

Job 29:15. This means Job assisted those who could not see their way, or who were unable to travel in their needful walks of life.

Job 29:16. All known cases of destitution Job relieved. A call might come to him that was somewhat uncertain as to its worthiness. He did not dismiss it on the pretext that it was doubtful but made inquiry to learn if it was a worthy call.

Job 29:17. When it was necessary Job would use force to defend the helpless against the wicked who would rob them of their goods.

Verses 18-25

Job 29:18-25

Job 29:18-25


"Then I said, I shall die in my nest,

And I shall multiply my days as the sand:

My root is spread out to the waters,

And the dew lieth all night upon my branch.

My glory is fresh in me,

And my bow is renewed in my hand.

Unto me men gave ear, and waited,

And kept silence for my counsel.

After my words they spake not again;

And my speech distilled upon them.

And they waited for me as for the rain;

And they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.

I smiled on them, when they had no confidence;

And the light of my countenance they cast not down.

I chose out their way, and sat as chief,

And dwelt as a king in the army,

As one that comforteth the mourners."

"Although from a Pauline perspective we know that, `There is none righteous, no not one’ (Romans 3:10), the case of Job makes it clear that some men indeed are innocent and righteous." Sinless perfection, of course, was achieved by only One in the whole history of mankind. "Dost ask who that may be? Christ Jesus it is He"!

As Kelly wrote, "These chapters are remarkably like the closing speech of a skilled lawyer, summing up the evidence, presenting the facts, reinforcing the legitimacy of his plea." All along, Job has been wishing that there was a court where some judge or umpire might hear his plea and exonerate him; but, of course, there was no such court. God does not provide times when he may be arraigned, nor does he answer any human subpoenas.

The marvel about Job is that he went right on pleading his case before no visible audience whatever, except that of his skeptical and unbelieving friends. Yet God overruled the negative appearance of this situation and achieved the spread of Job’s complete lamentation upon the blessed pages of that Book that shall outlast heaven and earth! How marvelous is the justice of God!

In the days of his prosperity and happiness, Job had supposed that life would continue without intermission, with no interruption of his happiness and prosperity; and in the disasters that overwhelmed him, we must read an illustration of the eternal truth that, "Ye know not what shall be on the morrow" (James 4:14).

E.M. Zerr:

Job 29:18. Job believed that by following such a righteous course he would be permitted to end his days in his own home.

Job 29:19. Using a plant for illustration that sends its roots into the waters and lives, Job thought of his own past prosperity.

Verse 20. The bow was one means of defense in ancient times. Job’s successful defense was compared to one who always had his bow ready for action.

Job 29:21-25. This entire paragraph pertains to Job’s position of influence among the people. Please read my comments at Job 29:6-9. His advice was sought and followed without contention. But all of this was while he was prosperous, strong in body and able to serve others.

Bibliographical Information
"Commentary on Job 29". "Old & New Testament Restoration Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/onr/job-29.html.
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