|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 24. - If I laughed on them, they believed it not; rather, if I smiled on them. If, as a mark of favour, I smiled on any, they thought it such graciousness and condescension that they could scarcely believe it possible. And the light of my countenance they cast not down. They never put me out of countenance, or made me sad and gloomy, by opposing my views and ranging themselves against me.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
If I laughed on them, they believed it not,.... Not that he at any time laughed at them, by way of derision; but when in a cheerful frame of mind, or in a merry mood, he used freedom and familiarity, and jested with them; but they could not believe that he did jest, or was in jest, he being a man always of such gravity and seriousness, that they concluded the smile on his countenance, and the pleasant turn of his expression, had a serious meaning in them; or such familiarity with them was so pleasing to them, that they could scarcely for joy believe that he did condescend to indulge such an air of pleasantry: or as Mr. Broughton renders it, and so some others to the same sense, "they would not be bold" (i); familiarity with them did not breed contempt, as it sometimes does; they did not presume upon it, and grow bold and insolent, and make him their equal, and jest with him again; but still there was an awe upon them, and they behaved with reverence to him; and to show how great it was is the design of the expression:
and the light of my countenance they cast not down; they did not ruffle his mind, or disturb the serenity of it; or cause him to change his countenance, through any bold and indecent behaviour towards him, encouraged by the freedom and pleasantry he used with them; they did not put him to shame, or provoke him to anger and displeasure by any unbecoming deportment; they kept their distance, they did not detract from his authority and majesty, or in the least lessen that, but behaved with the same reverence and regard to him they ever did; see Genesis 4:6.
(i) "non tamen sibi sumebant audaciam", Michaelis; "neque tam audaces fiunt", Reimar apud Schultens.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. When I relaxed from my wonted gravity (a virtue much esteemed in the East) and smiled, they could hardly credit it; and yet, notwithstanding my condescension, they did not cast aside reverence for my gravity. But the parallelism is better in Umbreit's translation, "I smiled kindly on those who trusted not," that is, in times of danger I cheered those in despondency. And they could not cast down (by their despondency) my serenity of countenance (flowing from trust in God) (Pr 16:15; Ps 104:15). The opposite phrase (Ge 4:5, 6). "Gravity" cannot well be meant by "light of countenance."
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