Job Continues His Speech
Job continued to speak:
I wish my life could be the same as it was a few months ago,
when God watched over me and cared for me.
God’s light shined above me,
so I could walk through the darkness.
I wish for the days when I was successful,
when I enjoyed God’s friendship and blessing in my home.
God All-Powerful was still with me then,
and my children were all around me.
Life was so good that I washed my feet in cream
and had plenty of the finest oils.*
Those were the days when I went to the city gate
and sat in the public meeting of the elders.
When the young men saw me coming, they stepped out of my way.
And the old men stood up to show they respected me.
The leaders of the people stopped talking
and put their hands over their mouths.
10 Even the most important leaders were quiet,
as if their tongues were stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 All who heard me said good things about me.
Those who saw what I did praised me,
12 because I helped the poor when they cried out.
I helped the orphans who had no one to care for them.
13 People who were dying asked God to bless me.
My help brought joy to widows in need.
14 Right living was my clothing.
Fairness was my robe and turban.
15 I was like eyes for the blind,
like feet for the crippled.
16 I was like a father to the poor.
I helped people I didn’t even know win their case in court.
17 I stopped evil people from abusing their power
and saved innocent people from them.
18 I always thought I would live a long life,
growing old with my family around me.
19 I was like a healthy plant with roots that have plenty of water
and branches that are wet with dew.
20 I thought each new day would bring more honor
and be full of new possibilities.
21 In the past people listened to me.
They waited quietly for my advice.
22 When I finished speaking, they had nothing more to say.
My words fell gently on their ears.
23 They waited for my words as they would for rain.
They drank them in like rain in the springtime.
24 I smiled at them, and they could hardly believe it.
My smile made them feel better.
25 I was their leader and made decisions about their future.
I was like a king among his troops, comforting those who were sad.
* 29:6 I had plenty of the finest oils Literally, “Around the anointed rock near me were streams of oil.” This probably means Job had so much olive oil that there were streams of oil running down the altar from the part Job gave as a gift to God. 29:17 Literally, “I shattered the teeth of the crooked and snatched the victims from their teeth.” 29:20 Literally, “My glory is new with me and my bow in my hand renewed.” The words “glory” and “bow” might both refer to a rainbow—the promise of good weather after a storm. Or this might be understood as, “My soul feels new every day, my hand always strong enough to shoot a new bow.”