People honored Job in the old days (Job 29:7-29:10)

“When I went out to the gate of the city,

When I took my seat in the square,

The young men saw me and withdrew.

The aged rose up and stood.

The nobles refrained from talking.

They laid their hands on their mouths.

The voices of princes were hushed.

Their tongues stuck to the roof of their mouths.”

Once again, Job remembered the good old days, when he would go out to the city gate and take his seat in the square. He speaks in the first person singular. He might have been on the city judicial council since that is where they would meet. The young men would step back. The old men would stand up for him. The nobles and the princes were hushed in their tones, as they hardly said a word, as if their tongues were stuck in their mouths. They put their hands over their mouths. There was a lot of respect in his community shown to Job in those days.

Water and vegetation (Job 8:11-8:19)

“Can papyrus grow where there is no marsh?

Can reeds flourish where there is no water?

While yet in flower and not cut down,

They wither before any other plant.

Such are the paths of all who forget God.

The hope of the godless shall perish.

Their confidence is gossamer.

Their trust is a spider’s web.

If one leans against its house,

It will not stand.

If one lays hold of it,

It will not endure.

The wicked thrive before the sun,

Their shoots spread over the garden.

Their roots twine about the stone heap.

They live among the rocks.

If they are destroyed from their place,

Then it will deny them, saying,

‘I have never seen you.’

See!

These are their happy ways.

Out of the earth still others will spring.”

Here the power of God is seen in the growth of vegetation. Without water nothing will happen. Water your plants! If you forget God you are like a plant without water. Your hope will disappear. Your confidence will be delicate. Your trust will be like that in a spider web. If you lean on a house, it will fall. The wicked seem to be fine in the sun, but their roots are stuck in stone. They will be destroyed from their place. They will say that I have no idea who they are. However, others will sprout from the earth who are not wicked.