|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:18-25 Being thus honoured and useful, Job had hoped to die in peace and honour, in a good old age. If such an expectation arise from lively faith in the providence and promise of God, it is well; but if from conceit of our own wisdom, and dependence on changeable, earthly things, it is ill grounded, and turns to sin. Every one that has the spirit of wisdom, has not the spirit of government; but Job had both. Yet he had the tenderness of a comforter. This he thought upon with pleasure, when he was himself a mourner. Our Lord Jesus is a King who hates iniquity, and upon whom the blessing of a world ready to perish comes. To Him let us give ear.
Verse 23. - They waited for me as for the rain; i.e. "they were as eager to heat' me speak as the parched ground is to receive the winter rain, which it expects and waits for and absorbs greedily." And they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain. They drank in my discourse as the spring vegetation drinks in the spring showers, known in the East generally as "the latter rains."
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And they waited for me as for the rain,.... The former rain, as appears by the following clause, which fell in autumn, about October, after seedtime, in order to nourish and cherish it, and bring it up; now as the husbandman waited for this, was in daily expectation of it, and greatly desired it, and longed for it; see James 5:7; so the people waited for Job, for his coming into their public assemblies, whether civil or religious, and longed to hear him speak, for their counsel and instruction, for their comfort and direction in all things they stood in need of:
and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain; which fell in the spring about March, in the time of harvest, which was of use to fatten the kernals of grain, and make them fuller, and the flour finer; now Job's hearers opened their mouths, as the dry and parched earth gapes for rain; or the husbandman, or the gardener, as the Targum, opens his mouth, and asks and prays for rain; or as a hungry and thirsty man opens his mouth to take in refreshment, or expresses thereby his desire of it; or as persons somewhat deaf open their mouths to hear the better, there being a way through the mouth to the internal ear, as anatomists (h) observe; which lies through the Eustachian tube, out of the palate, to the internal cavity of the ear, called the "concha"; wherefore such persons naturally open their mouths when they would hear attentively; all which expresses the eager desire of Job's hearers after his doctrine, which, like the rain, would be useful, profitable, and edifying to them; their view was not to indulge their curiosity, to please their ears, but to affect their hearts, and instruct their minds.
(h) Scheuchzer, ut supra. (Physic. Sacr. l. vol. 4. p. 759.)
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
23. Image of Job 29:22 continued. They waited for my salutary counsel, as the dry soil does for the refreshing rain.
opened … mouth—panted for; Oriental image (Ps 119:131). The "early rain" is in autumn and onwards, while the seed is being sown. The "latter rain" is in March, and brings forward the harvest, which ripens in May or June. Between the early and latter rains, some rain falls, but not in such quantities as those rains. Between March and October no rain falls (De 11:14; Jas 5:7).
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