Job's Final Statement of His Case
1Job began speaking again.
2If only my life could once again
be as it was when God watched over me.
3God was always with me then
and gave me light as I walked through the darkness.
4Those were the days when I was prosperous,
and the friendship of God protected my home.
5Almighty God was with me then,
and I was surrounded by all my children.
6My cows and goats gave plenty of milk,
and my olive trees grew in the rockiest soil.
7Whenever the city elders met
and I took my place among them,
8young men stepped aside as soon as they saw me,
and old men stood up to show me respect.
9The leaders of the people would stop talking;
10even the most important men kept silent.
11Everyone who saw me or heard of me
had good things to say about what I had done.
12When the poor cried out, I helped them;
I gave help to orphans who had nowhere to turn.
13People who were in deepest misery praised me,
and I helped widows find security.
14I have always acted justly and fairly.
15I was eyes for the blind,
and feet for the lame.
16I was like a father to the poor
and took the side of strangers in trouble.
17I destroyed the power of cruel men
and rescued their victims.
18I always expected to live a long life
and to die at home in comfort.
19I was like a tree whose roots always have water
and whose branches are wet with dew.
20Everyone was always praising me,
and my strength never failed me.
21When I gave advice, people were silent
and listened carefully to what I said;
22they had nothing to add when I had finished.
My words sank in like drops of rain;
23everyone welcomed them
just as farmers welcome rain in spring.
24I smiled on them when they had lost confidence;
my cheerful face encouraged them.
25I took charge and made the decisions;
I led them as a king leads his troops,
and gave them comfort in their despair.