Wesley's Notes on the Bible
Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
29:2 Preserved - From all those miseries which now I feel.
When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
29:3 Darkness - I passed safely through many difficulties, and dangers, and common calamities.
As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
29:7 Seat - When I caused the seat of justice to be set for me. By this, and several other expressions, it appears that Job was a magistrate. Street - In that open place, near the gate, where the people assembled for the administration of justice.
The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
29:10 Cleaved - It lay as still as if he had done so.
When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
29:11 Witness - Gave testimony to my pious, and just, and blameless conversation.
Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow's heart to sing for joy.
I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
29:14 Put on, and c. - Perhaps he did not wear these: but his steady justice was to him instead of all those ornaments.
I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
29:18 Multiply - See how apt even good men are, to set death at a distance from them!
My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
29:20 Glory - My reputation was growing every day. Bow - My strength which is signified by a bow, Gen 49:24 1Sam 2:4, because in ancient times the bow and arrows were the principal instruments of war.
Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
29:22 Dropped - As the rain, which when it comes down gently upon the earth, is most acceptable and beneficial to it.
And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
29:24 Laughed - Carried myself so familiarly with them, that they could scarce believe their eyes and ears. Cast not down - They were cautious not to give me any occasion to change my countenance towards them.
I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.
29:25 I chose - They sought to me for advice in all difficult cases, and I directed them what methods they should take. Sat - As a prince or judge, while they stood waiting for my counsel. A king - Whose presence puts life, and courage, into the whole army. As one - As I was ready to comfort any afflicted persons, so my consolations were always welcome to them.