The political equality of the people, with neither nobles nor peasants, was a fundamental principle of the Torah. The Sinai covenant provided for a commonwealth, not a monarchy, plutocracy, oligarchy, or autocracy, and the form of the Hebraic government was to be that of a republic. – John Garr, Christian Fruit–Jewish Root: Theology of Hebraic Restoration
So, here we find that Job has worked himself up into quite the stew… The dialogue is rather fascinating… and, honestly, tedious to me at the same time…
And Job again took up his discourse and said, 2 “Oh that I were as in months gone by, as in the days when God watched over me; 3 When His lamp shone over my head, and by His light I walked through darkness; 4 As I was in the prime of my days, when the friendship of God was over my tent; 5 When the Almighty was yet with me, and my children were around me; 6 When my steps were bathed in butter, and the rock poured out for me streams of oil! (Job 29:1-6 NASB).
Job does not know it, but Jehovah God is with him now more than ever. He will learn this is due time…
“When I went out to the gate of the city, when I took my seat in the square, 8 The young men saw me and hid themselves, and the old men arose and stood. 9 “The princes stopped talking and put their hands on their mouths; 10 The voice of the nobles was hushed, and their tongue stuck to their palate. 11 “For when the ear heard, it called me blessed, and when the eye saw, it gave witness of me, 12 Because I delivered the poor who cried for help, and the orphan who had no helper (Job 29:7-12 NASB).
It was customary for elders of the city to sit in the open place at the entrance of the gates. Judgment was meted out here, and many other activities as well.
“The blessing of the one ready to perish came upon me, and I made the widow’s heart sing for joy. 14 “I put on righteousness, and it clothed me; my justice was like a robe and a turban. 15 “I was eyes to the blind and feet to the lame. 16 “I was a father to the needy, and I investigated the case which I did not know. 17 “I broke the jaws of the wicked and snatched the prey from his teeth. 18 “Then I thought, ‘I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand (Job 29:13-18 NASB).
And yet, none of these poor, these fatherless, these widows whom Job had helped now would speak a kind word for him.
‘My root is spread out to the waters, and dew lies all night on my branch. 20 ‘My glory is ever new with me, and my bow is renewed in my hand.’ 21 “To me they listened and waited, and kept silent for my counsel. 22 “After my words they did not speak again, and my speech dropped on them. 23 “They waited for me as for the rain, and opened their mouth as for the spring rain. 24 “I smiled on them when they did not believe, and the light of my face they did not cast down. 25 “I chose a way for them and sat as chief, and dwelt as a king among the troops, as one who comforted the mourners (Job 29:19-25 NASB).
Job had been the one to whom all could look in times of distress. When he smiled on anyone, they were singularly honored and blessed.
“But now those younger than I mock me, whose fathers I disdained to put with the dogs of my flock. 2 “Indeed, what good was the strength of their hands to me? Vigor had perished from them. 3 “From want and famine they are gaunt who gnaw the dry ground by night in waste and desolation, 4 Who pluck mallow by the bushes, and whose food is the root of the broom shrub. 5 “They are driven from the community; they shout against them as against a thief, 6 So that they dwell in dreadful valleys, in holes of the earth and of the rocks. 7 “Among the bushes they cry out; under the nettles they are gathered together (Job 30:1-7 NASB).
Job has now been reduced to scavenging. As high as he had been in the estimation of others, as low he has now fallen. He is looked upon as if he is so old he is of no more worth. And he looks at himself as “desolate and waste.”
“Fools, even those without a name, they were scourged from the land. 9 “And now I have become their taunt, I have even become a byword to them. 10 “They abhor me and stand aloof from me, and they do not refrain from spitting at my face. 11 “Because He has loosed His bowstring and afflicted me, they have cast off the bridle before me. 12 “On the right hand their brood arises; they thrust aside my feet and build up against me their ways of destruction (Job 30:8-12 NASB).
The lowest of low now ridiculed Job. They mocked the Patriarch with rapid songs. Standing at a distance, they spat on him. They cast off all restraint in their persecution of him. They stood at his right hand to accuse him and gave him no standing room in any court of justice, instead laying snares for him. So spiteful were they, that they did their best to add to his sufferings, even though doing so brought them no personal profit.
“They break up my path, they profit from my destruction; no one restrains them. 14 “As through a wide breach they come, amid the tempest they roll on. 15 “Terrors are turned against me; they pursue my honor as the wind, and my prosperity has passed away like a cloud. 16 “And now my soul is poured out within me; days of affliction have seized me. 17 “At night it pierces my bones within me, and my gnawing pains take no rest. 18 “By a great force my garment is distorted; it binds me about as the collar of my coat. 19 “He has cast me into the mire, and I have become like dust and ashes. 20 “I cry out to You for help, but You do not answer me; I stand up, and You turn Your attention against me (Job 30:13-20 NASB).
When one began to taunt Job, then they all began to taunt him. Not only is his physical and financial welfare impugned, but now Job begins to fear for his very soul. He is reduced to “dust and ashes.”
“You have become cruel to me; with the might of Your hand You persecute me. 22 “You lift me up to the wind and cause me to ride; and You dissolve me in a storm. 23 “For I know that You will bring me to death and to the house of meeting for all living. 24 “Yet does not one in a heap of ruins stretch out his hand, or in his disaster therefore cry out for help? 25 “Have I not wept for the one whose life is hard? Was not my soul grieved for the needy? 26 “When I expected good, then evil came; when I waited for light, then darkness came (Job 30:21-26 NASB).
Job tells Jehovah God that he believes that the Almighty has been cruel to him. The wind of adversity had been allowed to blow against him in full force, and now Job fully expects to die. It would appear that one part of him wants death, and another part is trying to stop death.
“I am seething within and cannot relax; days of affliction confront me. 28 “I go about mourning without comfort; I stand up in the assembly and cry out for help. 29 “I have become a brother to jackals and a companion of ostriches. 30 “My skin turns black on me, and my bones burn with fever. 31 “Therefore my harp is turned to mourning, and my flute to the sound of those who weep (Job 30:27-31 NASB).
There was no respite for Job’s suffering, no more music in his soul.
Be not rash with your mouth, and let not your heart be hasty to utter anything before God; for God is in Heaven, and you upon Earth; therefore let your words be few. For a dream comes through the multitude of business; and a fool’s voice is known by multitude of words. When you vow a vow unto God, defer not to pay it; for He has no pleasure in fools; pay that which you have vowed. Better is it that you should not vow, than that you should vow and not pay. Suffer not your mouth to cause your flesh to sin; neither say you before the Angel, that it was an error; wherefore should God be angry at your voice, and destroy the work of your hands? For in the multitude of dreams and many words there are also divers vanities; but fear you God (Eccl 5:2-7 KJV).