|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 Yet the sensible comfort of this state is often withdrawn for a season; and commonly this arises from sinful neglect, and grieving the Holy Spirit: sometimes it may be a trial of a man's faith and grace.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 5. - When the Almighty was yet with me. These are terribly sad words. Job, in his afflictions, has come to look on the Almighty as no longer "with him " - no longer on his side; but rather against him, an enemy (see Job 6:4; Job 7:19; Job 9:17; Job 10:16, etc.). When my children were about me (comp. Job 1:2, 4, 5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
When the Almighty was yet with me,.... Not merely by his powerful and providential presence, as he is with all men; but in a special manner by his gracious presence, which is a wonderful and distinguishing favour; but sometimes the people of God are without it, at least they think so, and which was now Job's case, see Job 23:2; and therefore he desires he would return to him, and show him his face and favour:
when my children were about me; as olive plants about his table, in their youth; when he looked at them with great delight and pleasure, as his growing hopes; and, when grown up, and were not far from him, but were round about him, and lay near his heart, and whose welfare, temporal and spiritual, he was solicitous for; but now they were all taken away from him, and were no more: the word for "children" signifies also "servants" (t), and may take in them, of whom he had many to do his work and business; to attend upon him, to wait his orders, and execute them, and guard his person; but now many of them were slain by the Sabeans and Chaldeans, and by fire from heaven; and those he had were very disrespectful to him, see Job 19:15.
(t) "juvenes mei", Tigurine version; "vel famuli vel filii", Mercerus, Drusius; so Jarchi.
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