New English Translation
IV. Job's Concluding Soliloquy (29:1-31:40)
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.
King James Version
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;
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.
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.