Job 29:25


King James Version (KJV)

I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelled as a king in the army, as one that comforts the mourners.

American King James Version (AKJV)

I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelled as a king in the army, as one that comforts the mourners.

American Standard Version (ASV)

I chose out their way, and sat as chief, And dwelt as a king in the army, As one that comforteth the mourners.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

I took my place as a chief, guiding them on their way, and I was as a king among his army. ...

Webster's Revision

I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.

World English Bible

I chose out their way, and sat as chief. I lived as a king in the army, as one who comforts the mourners.

English Revised Version (ERV)

I chose out their way, and sat as chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.

Clarke's Job 29:25 Bible Commentary

I chose out their way, and sat chief - as a king in the army - I cannot see, with some learned men, that our version of the original is wrong. I have not seen it mended, and I am sure I cannot improve it. The whole verse seems to me to point out Job in his civil, military, and domestic life. As supreme magistrate he chose out their way, adjusted their differences, and sat chief, presiding in all their civil assemblies. As captain general he dwelt as a king in the midst of his troops, preserving order and discipline, and seeing that his fellow soldiers were provided with requisites for their warfare, and the necessaries of life. As a man he did not think himself superior to the meanest offices in domestic life, to relieve or support his fellow creatures; he went about comforting the mourners - visiting the sick and afflicted, and ministering to their wants, and seeing that the wounded were properly attended. Noble Job! Look at him, ye nobles of the earth, ye lieutenants of counties, ye generals of armies, and ye lords of provinces. Look at Job! Imitate his active benevolence, and be healthy and happy. Be as guardian angels in your particular districts, blessing all by your example and your bounty. Send your hunting horses to the plough, your game cocks to the dunghill; and at last live like men and Christians.

Barnes's Job 29:25 Bible Commentary

I chose out their way - That is, I became their guide and counsellor. Rosenmuller and Noyes explain this as meaning, "When I came among them;" that is, when I chose to go in their way, or in their midst. But the former interpretation better agrees with the Hebrew, and with the connection. Job is speaking of the honors shown to him, and one of the highest which he could receive was to be regarded as a leader, and to have such respect shown to his opinions that he was even allowed to select the way in which they should go; that is, that his counsel was implicitly followed.

And sat chief - Hebrew "Sat head." He was at the head of their assemblies.

And dwelt as a king in the army - As a king, surrounded by a multitude of troops, all of whom were subservient to his will, and whom he could command at pleasure. It is not to be inferred from this, that Job was a king, or that he was at the head of a nation. The idea is, merely, that the same respect was shown to him which is to a monarch at the head of an army.

As one that comforteth the mourners - In time of peace I was their counsellor, and in time of war they looked to me for direction, and in time of affliction they came to me for consolation. There were no classes which did not show me respect, and there were no honors which they were not ready to heap on me.

It may seem, perhaps, that in this chapter there is a degree of self-commendation and praise altogether inconsistent with that consciousness of deep unworthiness which a truly pious man should have. How, it may be asked, can this spirit be consistent with religion? Can a man who has any proper sense of the depravity of his heart, speak thus in commendation of his own righteousness, and recount with such apparent satisfaction his own good deeds? Would not true piety be more distrustful of self, and be less disposed, to magnify its own doings? And is there not here a recalling to recollection of former honors, in a manner which shows that the heart was more attached to them than that of a map whose hope is in heaven should be? It may not be possible to vindicate Job in this respect altogether, nor is it necessary for us to attempt to prove that he was entirely perfect. We are to remember, also, the age in which he lived; we are not to measure what he said and did by the knowledge which we have, and the clearer light which shines upon us. We are to bear in recollection the circumstances in which he was placed, and perhaps we shall find in them a mitigation for what seems to us to exhibit such a spirit of self-reliance, and which looks so much like the lingering love of the honors of this world. Particularly we may recall the following considerations:

(1) He was vindicating himself from charges of enormous guilt and hypocrisy. To meet these charges, he runs over the leading events of his life, and shows what had been his general aim and purpose. He reminds them, also, of the respect and honor which had been shown him by those who best knew him - by the poor the needy, the inhabitants of his own city, the people of his own tribe. To vindicate himself from the severe charges which had been alleged against him, it was not improper thus to advert to the general course of his life, and to refer to the respect in which he had been held. Who could know him better than his neighbors? Who could be better witnesses than the poor whom he had relieved; and the lame, the blind, the sorrowful, whom he had comforted? Who could better testify to his character than they who had followed his counsel in times of perplexity and danger? Who would be more competent witnesses than the mourners whom he had comforted?

(2) It was a main object with Job to show the greatness of his distress and misery, and for this purpose he went into an extended statement of his former happiness, and especially of the respect which had been shown him. This he contrasts beautifully with his present condition, and the colors of the picture are greatly heightened by the contrast. In forming our estimate of this chapter, we should take this object into the account, and should not charge him with a design to magnify his own righteousness, when his main purpose was only to exhibit the extent and depth of his present woes.

(3) It is not improper for a man to speak of his former prosperity and happiness in the manner in which Job did. He does not speak of himself as having any merit, or as relying on this for salvation. He distinctly traces it all to God Job 29:2-5, and says that it was because he blessed him that he had enjoyed these comforts. It was not an improper acknowledgment of the mercies which he had received from his hand, and the remembrance was fitted to excite his gratitude. And although there may seem to us something like parade and ostentation in thus dwelling on former honors, and recounting what he had done in days that were past, yet we should remember how natural it was for him, in the circumstances of trial in which he then was, to revert to past scenes, and to recall the times of prosperity, and the days when he enjoyed the favor of God.

(4) It may be added, that few people have ever lived to whom this description would be applicable. It must have required uncommon and very remarkable worth to have made it proper for him thus to speak, and to be able to say all this so as not to be exposed to contradiction. The description is one of great beauty, and presents a lovely picture of patriarchal piety, and of the respect which then was shown to eminent virtue and worth. It is an illustration of the respect that will be, and that ought to be, shown to one who is upright in his dealings with people, benevolent toward the poor and the helpless, and steady in his walk with God.

Wesley's Job 29:25 Bible Commentary

29:25 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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