IV. Job’s Concluding Soliloquy
Job Recalls His Former Condition
1 Then Job continued his speech:
2 “O that I could be as I was
in the months now gone,
in the days when God watched over me,
3 when he caused his lamp
to shine upon my head,
and by his light
I walked through darkness;
4 just as I was in my most productive time,
when God’s intimate friendship was experienced in my tent,
5 when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me;
6 when my steps were bathed with butter
and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil!
7 When I went out to the city gate
and secured my seat in the public square,
8 the young men would see me and step aside,
and the old men would get up and remain standing;
9 the chief men refrained from talking
and covered their mouths with their hands;
10 the voices of the nobles fell silent,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11 “As soon as the ear heard these things, it blessed me,
and when the eye saw them, it bore witness to me,
12 for I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the orphan who had no one to assist him;
13 the blessing of the dying man descended on me,
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice;
14 I put on righteousness and it clothed me,
my just dealing was like a robe and a turban;
15 I was eyes for the blind
and feet for the lame;
16 I was a father to the needy,
and I investigated the case of the person I did not know;
17 I broke the fangs of the wicked,
and made him drop his prey from his teeth.
18 “Then I thought, ‘I will die in my own home,
my days as numerous as the grains of sand.
19 My roots reach the water,
and the dew lies on my branches all night long.
20 My glory will always be fresh in me,
and my bow ever new in my hand.’
21 “People listened to me and waited silently;
they kept silent for my advice.
22 After I had spoken, they did not respond;
my words fell on them drop by drop.
23 They waited for me as people wait for the rain,
and they opened their mouths
as for the spring rains.
24 If I smiled at them, they hardly believed it;
and they did not cause the light of my face to darken.
25 I chose the way for them
and sat as their chief;
I lived like a king among his troops;
I was like one who comforts mourners.