Job 29

Man - Unto Adam in the day in which he was created. And in him, to all his posterity. Said - God spake it, at first to the mind of man, in which he wrote this with his own finger, and afterwards by the holy patriarchs, and prophets, and other teachers, whom he sent into the world to teach men true wisdom. Behold - Which expression denotes the great importance of this doctrine, and withal man's backwardness to apprehend it. The fear of the Lord - True religion. Wisdom - In man's wisdom, because that, and that only, is his duty, and safety, and happiness, both for this life and for the next. Evil - From sin, which is called evil eminently, as being the chief evil, and the cause of all other evils. Religion consists of two branches, doing good, and forsaking evil; the former is expressed in the former clause of this verse, and the latter in these words; and this is the best kind of knowledge or wisdom to which man can attain in this life. The design of Job in this close of his discourse, is not to reprove the boldness of his friends, in prying into God's secrets, and passing such a rash censure upon him, and upon God's carriage towards him; but also to vindicate himself from the imputation of hypocrisy, which they fastened upon him, by shewing that he had ever esteemed it to be his best wisdom, to fear God, and to depart from evil. Preserved - From all those miseries which now I feel. Darkness - I passed safely through many difficulties, and dangers, and common calamities. Seat - When I caused the seat of justice to be set for me. By this, and several other expressions, it appears that Job was a magistrate. Street - In that open place, near the gate, where the people assembled for the administration of justice. Cleaved - It lay as still as if he had done so. Witness - Gave testimony to my pious, and just, and blameless conversation. Put on, &c. - Perhaps he did not wear these: but his steady justice was to him instead of all those ornaments. Multiply - See how apt even good men are, to set death at a distance from them! Glory - My reputation was growing every day. Bow - My strength which is signified by a bow, Gen 49:24 1Sam 2:4, because in ancient times the bow and arrows were the principal instruments of war. Dropped - As the rain, which when it comes down gently upon the earth, is most acceptable and beneficial to it. Laughed - Carried myself so familiarly with them, that they could scarce believe their eyes and ears. Cast not down - They were cautious not to give me any occasion to change my countenance towards them. I chose - They sought to me for advice in all difficult cases, and I directed them what methods they should take. Sat - As a prince or judge, while they stood waiting for my counsel. A king - Whose presence puts life, and courage, into the whole army. As one - As I was ready to comfort any afflicted persons, so my consolations were always welcome to them.
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