Job’s Final Claim of Innocence
1Job continued his discourse, saying:
2If only I could be as in months gone by,
in the days when God watched over me,
3when his lamp shone above my head,
and I walked through darkness by his light!
4I would be as I was in the days of my youth
when God’s friendship rested on my tent,
5when the Almighty was still with me
and my children were around me,
6when my feet were bathed in curds
and the rock poured out streams of oil for me!
7When I went out to the city gate
and took my seat in the town square,
8the young men saw me and withdrew,
while older men stood to their feet.
9City officials stopped talking
and covered their mouths with their hands.
10The noblemen’s voices were hushed,
and their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.
11When they heard me, they blessed me,
and when they saw me, they spoke well of me.
12For I rescued the poor who cried out for help,
and the fatherless child who had no one to support him.
13The dying blessed me,
and I made the widow’s heart rejoice.
14I clothed myself in righteousness,
and it enveloped me;
my just decisions were like a robe and a turban.
15I was eyes to the blind
and feet to the lame.
16I was a father to the needy,
and I examined the case of the stranger.
17I shattered the fangs of the unjust
and snatched the prey from his teeth.
18So I thought, “I will die in my own nest
and multiply my days as the sand.
19My roots will have access to water,
and the dew will rest on my branches all night.
20My whole being will be refreshed within me,
and my bow will be renewed in my hand.”
21Men listened to me with expectation,
waiting silently for my advice.
22After a word from me they did not speak again;
my speech settled on them like dew.
23They waited for me as for the rain
and opened their mouths as for spring showers.
24If I smiled at them, they couldn’t believe it;
they were thrilled at the light of my countenance.
25I directed their course and presided as chief.
I lived as a king among his troops,
like one who comforts those who mourn.