Job Speaks of His Former Blessings 29 1Job continued speaking:   2“I long for the years gone by when God took care of me, 3when He lit up the way before me and I walked safely through the darkness. 4When I was in my prime, God’s friendship was felt in my home. 5The Almighty was still with me, and my children were around me. 6My cows produced milk in abundance, and my groves poured out streams of olive oil.   7“Those were the days when I went to the city gate and took my place among the honored leaders. 8The young stepped aside when they saw me, and even the aged rose in respect at my coming. 9The princes stood in silence and put their hands over their mouths. 10The highest officials of the city stood quietly, holding their tongues in respect.   11“All who heard me praised me. All who saw me spoke well of me. 12For I assisted the poor in their need and the orphans who required help. 13I helped those without hope, and they blessed me. And I caused the widows’ hearts to sing for joy. 14Everything I did was honest. Righteousness covered me like a robe, and I wore justice like a turban. 15I served as eyes for the blind and feet for the lame. 16I was a father to the poor and assisted strangers who needed help. 17I broke the jaws of godless oppressors and plucked their victims from their teeth.   18“I thought, ‘Surely I will die surrounded by my family after a long, good life.[N] 19For I am like a tree whose roots reach the water, whose branches are refreshed with the dew. 20New honors are constantly bestowed on me, and my strength is continually renewed.’   21“Everyone listened to my advice. They were silent as they waited for me to speak. 22And after I spoke, they had nothing to add, for my counsel satisfied them. 23They longed for me to speak as people long for rain. They drank my words like a refreshing spring rain. 24When they were discouraged, I smiled at them. My look of approval was precious to them. 25Like a chief, I told them what to do. I lived like a king among his troops and comforted those who mourned.
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