Job 29:11
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
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(11) When the ear heard me, then it blessed me.—This is a direct negative to the charges of Eliphaz in Job 22:6, &c. He has felt them too deeply to pass them by in total silence.

Job 29:11-12. When the ear heard me, then it blessed me — Prayed to God to bless me, and pronounced a blessing upon me, because of the integrity, justice, and wisdom which were observed in all my discourses and actions, and of the satisfaction which I gave to all; as well as on account of the relief which I afforded to the oppressed, by my equitable decrees in all causes which were brought before me. When the eye saw me it gave witness to me — Gave testimony to my pious, and just, and blameless conversation. Because I delivered the poor — From his potent oppressor. Men did not honour me for my great wealth or power, but for my impartial justice and pity to the afflicted, and courage in maintaining their cause and right against their mighty adversaries. The fatherless, and him that had none to help him — None would own or help them, partly because they were poor, and unable to recompense them for it, and partly because their enemies were great, and likely to crush both them and their helpers; which made Job’s virtue more remarkable.

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.When the ear heard me. - A personification for "they who heard me speak, blessed me." That is, they commended or praised me.

And when the eye saw me - All who saw me.

It gave witness to me - That is, the fixed attention to what he said and the admiration which was shown by the eyes of the multitudes, were witnesses of the respect and honor in which he was held. Gray has a beautiful expression similar to this when he says,

"He reads his history in a nation's eyes."

Job 29:11-13.See also Jeremiah 7:6; Malachi 3:5; James 1:27. Hence, God is himself represented as the vindicator of the rights of the widow and orphan:

A father of the fatherless,

And a judge of the widows,


11. blessed—extolled my virtues (Pr 31:28). Omit "me" after "heard"; whoever heard of me (in general, not in the market place, Job 29:7-10) praised me.

gave witness—to my honorable character. Image from a court of justice (Lu 4:22).

the eye—that is, "face to face"; antithesis to

ear—that is, report of me.

It blessed me, i.e. pronounced me to be a man blessed of God with eminent gifts and graces; or heartily prayed for God’s blessing upon me, because of that wisdom and integrity which they saw in all my actions, and of the satisfaction which I gave to all, and the relief which I gave to the oppressed, by my righteous and equitable decrees in all causes which were brought before me.

When the eye saw me, it gave witness to me; when my appearance gave them occasion to speak of me, they gave testimony to my pious, and just, and blameless conversation. So far was I from being, or being thought to be, guilty of those crimes wherewith you charge me; of which see Job 22:9.

When the ear heard me, then it blessed me,.... The ear of the common people assembled together to hear causes tried, and how they would go; when they heard Job give his opinion in court, or the definitive sentence passed by him as a judge, they all applauded his wisdom and justice; they highly praised and commended him; in which sense the word "blessed" is used, Proverbs 31:28; or they wished a blessing on him; they prayed for his welfare, as it becomes people to do for those that are in authority, especially wise and faithful magistrates; or they accounted him a blessed man, and called him so, Luke 1:48; as he was, both in a temporal sense, being blessed with a great plenty of earthly things, and also blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ, with an abundance of grace, and with a title to eternal glory; as well as he was blessed as a magistrate, with great wisdom, and with great integrity and uprightness in the discharge of his office:

and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me: of his gracefulness and gravity, of his honesty and faithfulness, of his good behaviour among his neighbours, and of his wise conduct in the courts of judicature.

When the {g} ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:

(g) All that heard me, praised me.

11. This verse may read,

For the ear that heard of me blessed me,

And the eye that saw me gave witness to me.

Those who had only heard of him by report “blessed” him, that is, “called him happy,” as one whom blessing and prosperity must follow because of his benevolence and mercy to the needy; and they who saw him as he lived among men bore testimony to his goodness—as Job 29:12 indicates.

11–17. The ground of this universal reverence—Job’s benevolent care of the poor and his strict justice to their cause.

Verse 11. - When the ear heard me, then it blessed me. Job, having described his reception by the nobles and chief men of the city, proceeds to speak of the behaviour of the common people. The former were respectful and attent, the latter rejoiced and made acclamation. Being of the class most exposed to oppression and wrong, they hailed in the patriarch a champion and a protector. They were sure of redress and justice where he was the judge. And when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me. The eye of the poor man lighted up with joy and rejoicing as Job sat down upon the seat of judgment, thus hearing witness to his fairness, candour, and integrity. Job 29:1111 For an ear heard, and called me happy;

And an eye saw, and bear witness to me:

12 For I rescued the sufferer who cried for help,

And the orphan, and him that had no helper.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me,

And I made the widow's heart rejoice.

14 I put on justice, and it put me on;

As a robe and turban was my integrity.

Thus imposing was the impression of his personal appearance wherever he appeared; for (כּי explic.) the fulness of the blessing of the possession of power and of prosperity which he enjoyed was so extraordinary, that one had only to hear of it to call him happy, and that, especially if any one saw it with his own eyes, he was obliged to bear laudatory testimony to him. The futt. consec. affirm what was the inevitable consequence of hearing and seeing; העיד, seq. acc., is used like הזכּיר in the signification of laudatory recognition. The expression is not brachylogical for ותּעד לּי (vid., on Job 31:18); for from 1 Kings 21:10, 1 Kings 21:13, we perceive that העיד with the acc. of the person signifies to make any one the subject of assertion, whether he be lower or higher in rank (comp. the New Testament word, especially in Luke, μαρτυρεῖσθαι). It was, however, not merely the outward manifestation of his unusual prosperity which called forth such admiration, but his active benevolence united with the abundant resources at his command. For where there was a sufferer who cried for help he, relieved him, especially orphans and those who had no helper. ולא־עזר לו is either a new third object, or a closer definition of what precedes: the orphan and (in this state of orphanhood) helpless one. The latter is more probable both here and in the Salomonic primary passage, Psalm 72:12; in the other case ואשׁר אין־עזר לח might be expected.

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