Job’s Final Defense
1Then#Hebrew “And” Job again took up his discourse and said,
2“O that I were#Literally “Who shall give me” as in the months before,
as in the days when God watched over me,
3when his shining lamp was over my head—
by his light I walked through darkness—
4as when I was in the days of my prime,
when God’s confiding was over my house,#Literally “tent”
5when Shaddaiwas still with me,
my children were all around me,
6when my paths were washed in sour milk,
and the rock poured out streams of oil for me.
7“At my going out the gate to the city,
I secured my seat in the square.
8Young men saw me and stepped aside,
and the aged rose up and stood.
9Officials refrained from talking,
and they laid their hand on their mouth.
10The voices#Hebrew “voice”; collective singular by context, governing a plural verb of nobles were hushed,
and their tongue stuck to their palate.
11“When the ear heard and commended me,
and the eye saw and testified in support of me
12because I saved the needy who cried for help,
and I saved#Supplying the elided verb from the preceding parallel line the orphan for whom there was no helper.
13The blessing of the wretched came upon me,
and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
14I put on righteousness, and it clothed me;
my justice was like a robe and a headband.
15“I was eyes to the blind,
and I was feet to the lame.
16I was a father to the poor,
and I investigated the stranger’s#Literally “the one I knew not” legal dispute.
17And I broke the evil one’s jaw bones,
and I made his prey drop from his teeth.
18“And I thought, ‘I will pass away in my nest,
and like the phoenix I shall multiply my days.
19My roots were open to water,
and dew spent the night on my branches;
20My glory was new with me,
and I was revitalized regularly.’#See NJPS; literally “my bow in my hand was new”
21“They listened to me and waited,
and they kept silent for my counsel.
22After my word, they did not speak again,
and my word dropped down like dew upon them.
23And they waited for me as for the rain,
and they opened their mouth wide as for the spring rain.
24I smiled for them when they had no confidence in anything,
and they did not extinguish the light of my face.
25I chose their way, and I sat as head,
and I dwelled like a king among the troops,
like one who comforts mourners.