|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:1-6 Job proceeds to contrast his former prosperity with his present misery, through God's withdrawing from him. A gracious soul delights in God's smiles, not in the smiles of this world. Four things were then very pleasant to holy Job. 1. The confidence he had in the Divine protection. 2. The enjoyment he had of the Divine favour. 3. The communion he had with the Divine word. 4. The assurance he had of the Divine presence. God's presence with a man in his house, though it be but a cottage, makes it a castle and a palace. Then also he had comfort in his family. Riches and flourishing families, like a candle, may be soon extinguished. But when the mind is enlightened by the Holy Spirit, when a man walks in the light of God's countenance, every outward comfort is doubled, every trouble is diminished, and he may pass cheerfully by this light through life and through death. Yet the sensible comfort of this state is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arises from sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes it may be a trial of a man's faith and grace. But it is needful to examine ourselves, to seek for the cause of such a change by fervent prayer, and to increase our watchfulness.
Verse 4. - As I was in the days of my youth; literally, in the days of my autumn - by which Job probably means the days of his "ripeness" or "full manhood" - which he had reached when his calamities fell upon him. When the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; or, the counsel of God; when, i.e., in my tent I held sweet counsel with God, and communed with him as friend with friend (comp. Psalm 25:14, "The secret of the Lord is with them that fear him; and he will show them his covenant;" and Proverbs 3:32, "For the froward is abomination to the Lord: but his secret is with the righteous").
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
As I was in the days of my youth,.... Either taken literally, he being one like Obadiah, that feared God from his youth upward, 1 Kings 18:3; or figuratively, for his former state of prosperity, when he was like a tree in autumn laden with ripe and rich fruit, and in great abundance; and so some render the words "in the days of my autumn", or "autumnity" (r); though it may respect the time of his first conversion, the infancy and youth of his spiritual state, who, when first regenerated, was as a newborn babe, and then became a young man, and now a father in Christ, his living Redeemer: and Job wishes it was with him as in his youth, or in the early days of his conversion, at which season, generally speaking, there are great zeal and fervency of spirit, a flow of love and affection to God and the best things; large discoveries of his love, much sensible communion with him, and enjoyment of his presence; wherefore such returning seasons are desirable; see Jeremiah 2:2;
when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle; either the secret power and providence of God, which was upon his house and family, and all that belonged to him; or the secret of his love, which was manifested to him, and is from everlasting to everlasting on them that fear the Lord, as Job did; who had secret communion with God, his fellowship was with him; he dwelt in the secret place of the Almighty, and was taken into his secret chambers, where he had the greatest familiarity with him, see Psalm 25:14. Some observe the word for "secret" is used for an "assembly" (s), and take the sense to be, that the assembly of the saints and people of God was in his tabernacle or house; there they met together for religious worship, and where Job had often a comfortable opportunity, and wishes for the same again, see Psalm 42:1.
(r) "in autumno dierum mearum", Hottinger. Thesaur. Phiolog. p. 507. "in diebus autumnitatis meae", Schultens; so the word signifies in Arabic, vid. Golium, col. 1415. Lud. Capell. in loc. (s) "in societate Dei", Pagninus, Beza; "societas Dei", i.e. "con gregatio", Bolducius; so Jarchi.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
4. youth—literally, "autumn"; the time of the ripe fruits of my prosperity. Applied to youth, as the Orientalists began their year with autumn, the most temperate season in the East.
secret—when the intimate friendship of God rested on my tent (Pr 3:32; Ps 31:20; Ge 18:17; Joh 15:15). The Hebrew often means a divan for deliberation.
Job 29:4 Parallel Commentaries
Job 29:4 NIV
Job 29:4 NLT
Job 29:4 ESV
Job 29:4 NASB
Job 29:4 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible