|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
29:7-17 All sorts of people paid respect to Job, not only for the dignity of his rank, but for his personal merit, his prudence, integrity, and good management. Happy the men who are blessed with such gifts as these! They have great opportunities of honouring God and doing good, but have great need to watch against pride. Happy the people who are blessed with such men! it is a token for good to them. Here we see what Job valued himself by, in the day of his prosperity. It was by his usefulness. He valued himself by the check he gave to the violence of proud and evil men. Good magistrates must thus be a restraint to evil-doers, and protect the innocent; in order to this, they should arm themselves with zeal and resolution. Such men are public blessings, and resemble Him who rescues poor sinners from Satan. How many who were ready to perish, now are blessing Him! But who can show forth His praises? May we trust in His mercy, and seek to imitate His truth, justice, and love.
Verse 9. - The princes refrained talking. The other head-men of the tribe, recognizing Job's superior rank and dignity, refrained from words as soon as he made his appearance, and in silence awaited what he would say. Perhaps we are scarcely to understand literally the further statement that they laid their hand on their mouth, which is probably as much an idiom as our phrase, "they held their tongues "(comp. Job 21:5).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
The princes refrained talking,.... Who were in court before Job came in, and were either talking with one another about indifferent matters, or were giving their opinion in a case before them; but no sooner did Job make his appearance, but they left off talking, and would not proceed any further; they laid a restraint upon their words, and curbed themselves from speaking any more till they had heard his opinion:
and laid their hand on their mouth; as a token of silence, Judges 18:19.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
9. (Job 4:2; see on Job 21:5).
Refrained talking—stopped in the middle of their speech.
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