Job xxix.

Notes & Commentary:

Ver. 2. Me. Job perceiving that his friends made no reply, (Calmet) and yet did not appear satisfied, (Haydock) explains how he had behaved in prosperity, in answer to the insinuations of Eliphaz; (chap. 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. (Calmet) — He wishes to be restored to his former state, for his own vindication, (Haydock) and that he might exercise the works of mercy. (Ven. Bede)

Ver. 4. Youth. Hebrew, 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. (Calmet) — Septuagint, “when God made the visit of my house,” (Haydock) and filled it with blessings, like that of Obededom, 2 Kings 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, [Natural History?] ix. 41.) — Oil. These hyperbolical expressions denote the utmost fertility, Genesis xlix. 11. (Calmet) — Septuagint have “milk.” On all sides, Job could behold his rich pastures and cattle, (Haydock) so that he might have washed his feet in butter and milk. The rocks also were covered with olive trees; (Menochius) or the stone used for a press made the oil gush forth. (Cajetan) (Sa)

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

Ver. 11. Gave. Septuagint, “winked,” through approbation. (Calmet)

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. (Calmet)

Ver. 17. Prey, which he had extorted from the poor. (Menochius)

Ver. 18. Nest, in security, and among my children. (Calmet) — Palm-tree. Septuagint, “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, (Haydock) as appears from the word stelechos, “a shoot (Calmet) or trunk.” (Menochius) — 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, (Calmet) would have been very (Haydock) beautifully applicable to a future resurrection. (St. Clement, ep. 1 Cor.; St. Ambrose, de fide Res. ii. 59, &c.) See Solin, xlii.; Tacitus, 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, [Natural History?] xiii. 4., and xvi. 44.) — Yet the Scripture never elsewhere uses the term éul for this tree. The moderns generally translate, “I shall multiply my days like the sand,” which is a very common expression. (Calmet, Diss.) — The following verse seems, however, favourable to the sense of the Septuagint and Vulgate, 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. (Haydock)

Ver. 19. Harvest. Protestants, “branch.” (Psalm i. 3., and Isaias xviii. 4.) (Haydock)

Ver. 20. Bow, strength. I thought my glory would never end. (Menochius)

Ver. 23. Shower, in autumn, at which season only, and in spring, it rained in those countries. (Calmet) (Deuteronomy xi. 14.) (Menochius) — It would, of course, be very acceptable after the drought of summer, Proverbs xvi. 15.

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

Ver. 25. With. Hebrew, “in his army, like one comforting people in mourning.” (Haydock) — Job was not merely as, or like a king, but also one in effect; exercising the power, (ver. 7.) and wearing the royal robes, ver. 14. (St. Isidore; Ven. Bede, &c.) (Worthington)

Bible Text & Cross-references:

Job relates his former happiness, and the respect that all men shewed him.

1 Job also added, taking up his parable, and said:

2 Who will grant me, that I might be according to the months past, according to the days in which God kept me?

3 When his lamp shined over my head, and I walked by his light in darkness?

4 As I was in the days of my youth, when God was secretly in my tabernacle?

5 When the Almighty was with me: and my servants round about me?

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

7 When I went out to the gate of the city, and in the street they prepared me a chair?

8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the old men rose up and stood.

9 The princes ceased to speak, and laid the finger on their mouth.

10 The rulers held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to their throat.

11 The ear that heard me, blessed me, and the eye that saw me, gave witness to me:

12 Because I had delivered the poor man that cried out; and the fatherless that had no helper.

13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me, and I comforted the heart of the widow.

14 I was clad with justice: and I clothed myself with my judgment as with a robe and a diadem.

15 I was an eye to the blind, and a foot to the lame.

16 I was the father of the poor: and the cause which I knew not, I searched out most diligently.

17 I broke the jaws of the wicked man, and out of his teeth I took away the prey.

18 And I said: I shall die in my nest, and as a palm-tree shall multiply my days.

19 My root is opened beside the waters, and dew shall continue in my harvest.

20 My glory shall always be renewed, and my bow in my hand shall be repaired.

21 They that heard me, waited for my sentence, and being attentive held their peace at my counsel.

22 To my words they durst add nothing, and my speech dropped upon them.

23 They waited for me as for rain, and they opened their mouth as for a latter shower.

24 If at any time I laughed on them, they believed not, and the light of my countenance fell not on the earth.

25 If I had a mind to go to them, I sat first, and when I sat as a king, with his army standing about him, yet I was a comforter of them that mourned.