King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Job > Old Testament > Home

Job 29

Job’s former comforts. (1-6) The honour paid to Job, His usefulness. (7-17) His prospect of prosperity. (18-25)

Job 29 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Job’s former comforts

1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,

2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;

3 When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;

4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;

5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;

6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;

The honour paid to Job, His usefulness

7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!

8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.

9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.

10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.

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

12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.

15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.

16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.

17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.

His prospect of prosperity

18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.

19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.

20 My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.

21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.

22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.

23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.

24 If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.

25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. Me. Job perceiving that his friends made no reply, (C.) and yet did not appear satisfied, (H.) explains how he had behaved in prosperity, in answer to the insinuations of Eliphaz; (C. xxii. 5.) and what miseries he now experienced; though he maintains these were not inflicted on account of his sins. He continues this discourse in the two next chapters. C. — He wishes to be restored to his former state, for his own vindication, (H.) and that he might exercise the works of mercy. Ven. Bede.

Ver. 4. Youth. Heb. also “autumn or winter,” which are seasons of repose, when people enjoy the fruits of their labours. — Tabernacle, and all consulted me as an oracle. C. — Sept. “when God made the visit of my house,” (H.) and filled it with blessings, like that of Obededom, 2 K. vi. 12.

Ver. 6. Butter. Many understand “cream.” But butter was used to anoint the body, as well as oil. Non omittendum in eo (butyro) olei vim esse, & Barbaros omnes infantesque nostros ita ungi. Pliny ix. 41. — Oil. These hyperbolical expressions denote the utmost fertility. Gen. xlix. 11. C. — Sept. have “milk.” On all sides, Job could behold his rich pastures and cattle, (H.) so that he might have washed his feet in butter and milk. The rocks also were covered with olive trees; (M.) or the stone used for a press made the oil gush forth. Cajet. Sa.

Ver. 7. To the gate. Sept. “early.” — Chair, or throne, where Job sat in judgment. H. — It appears evident that he was the prince in his city. Idumea had at first several petty kings at the same time. Gen. xxxvi. 15. C. — But Job had several princes (ver. 9. H.) under him. Pineda.

Ver. 11. Gave. Sept. “winked,” through approbation. C.

Ver. 16. Diligently, not passing sentence at random. I also endeavoured to do justice to those who durst not make any complaint. The prince ought to have an eye to all things. C.

Ver. 17. Prey, which he had extorted from the poor. M.

Ver. 18. Nest, in security, and among my children. C. — Palm-tree. Sept. “But I said, my youth shall grow old like the shoot of the palm-tree: I shall live a long time.” This is clearly the meaning of this version, (H.) as appears from the word stelechos, “a shoot (C.) or trunk.” M. — Yet as phoinix, signifies also “a Phœnician, and the phœnix,” some have explained this passage of the latter, which seems agreeable to the mention of a nest. Many fabulous accounts have been given of this bird, of which only one is supposed to exist at a time, rising from its parent’s ashes; which, if true, (C.) would have been very (H.) beautifully applicable to a future resurrection. S. Clem. ep. 1 Cor. S. Amb. de fide Res. ii. 59, &c. See Solin, xlii. Tacit. Ann. vi. This uncertain bird may have been confounded with the bird of Paradise. Palm-trees live a long time, and multiply shoots all round them surprisingly. Pliny xiii. 4. and xvi. 44. — Yet the Scripture never elsewhere uses the term eul for this tree. The moderns generally translate, “I shall multiply my days like the sand,” which is a very common expression. C. Diss. — The following verse seems, however, favourable to the sense of the Sept. and Vulg. though the heavy nature of sand, which “remains” in its place, might serve to express the confidence which Job had of continuing for a long time in the midst of prosperity. H.

Ver. 19. Harvest. Prot. “branch.” Ps. i. 3. Isai. xviii. 4. H.

Ver. 20. Bow, strength. I thought my glory would never end. M.

Ver. 23. Shower, in autumn, at which season only, and in spring, it rained in those countries. C. Deut. xi. 14. M. — It would, of course, be very acceptable after the drought of summer. Prov. xvi. 15.

Ver. 24. Earth, with neglect. C. — My attendants could scarcely believe their own eyes, through joy, (H.) when I assumed a more familiar air with them. C. — They still revered my authority. M.

Ver. 25. With. Heb. “in his army, like one comforting people in mourning.” H. — Job was not merely as, or like a king, but also one in effect; exercising the power, (v. 7.) and wearing the royal robes, v. 14. S. Isid. Ven. Bede, &c. W.