Job 29:4
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
As I was in the prime of my days, When the friendship of God was over my tent;

King James Bible
As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;

Darby Bible Translation
As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret counsel of +God was over my tent,

World English Bible
as I was in the ripeness of my days, when the friendship of God was in my tent,

Young's Literal Translation
As I have been in days of my maturity, And the counsel of God upon my tent.

Job 29:4 Parallel
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

As I was in the days of my youth - The word here rendered "youth" (חרף chôreph), properly means "autumn - from" (חרף châraph), to "pluck, pull," as being the time when fruits ace gathered. Then it means that which is mature; and the meaning here is probably "mature" or "manly" - "As I was in the days of my ripeness;" that is, of my vigor or strength. The whole passage shows that it does not mean "youth," for he goes on to describe the honor and respect shown to him when in mature life. So the Septuagint - Ὅτε ἤμην ἐπιβρίθων ὁδοὺς Hote ēmēn epibrithōn hodous - "When I made heavy or laded my ways," an expression referring to autumn as being laden with fruit. So we speak of the spring, the autumn, and the winter of life, and by the autumn denote the maturity of vigor, experience, and wisdom. So the Greeks used the word ὸπώρα opōra, Pindar, Isthm. 2, 7, 8; Nem. 5, 10, Aeschyl. Suppl. 1005, 1022. So Ovid:

Excessit Autumnus posito fervore javentae

Maturus, mitisque inter juvenemque senemqae;

Temperie medius, sparsis per tempora canis.

Inde senilis hiems tremulo venit horrida passu.

Aut spoliata suos, aut. quos habet, alba capillos.

Metam. 15. 200.

The wish of Job was, that he might be restored to the vigor of mature life, and to the influence and honors which he had then, or rather, perhaps, it was that they might have a view of what he was then, that they might see from what a height he had fallen, and what cause he had of complaint and grief.

When the secret of God was upon my tabernacle - The meaning of this language is not clear, and considerable variety has obtained in the interpretation. The Septuagint renders it, "When God watched over - ἐπισκοπὴν ἐποιεῖτο episkopēn epoieito - my house." Vulgate, "When God was secretly in my tabernacle." Noyes, "When God was the friend of my tent." Coverdale renders the whole, "As I stood when I was wealthy and had enough; when God prospered my house." Umbreit, Als noch traulich Gott in meinem Zette weilte - "When God remained cordially in my tent." Herder, "When God took counsel with me in my tent." The word rendered "secret" (סוד sôd), means a "couch" or "cushion" on which one reclines, and then a divan, or circle of friends sitting together in consultation; see the word explained in the notes at Job 15:8. The idea here probably is, that God came into his tent or dwelling as a friend, and that Job was, as it were, admitted to the secrecy of his friendship and to an acquaintance with his plans.

Job 29:4 Parallel Commentaries

The Case of Spiritual Decay and Languor in Religion
1. Declension in religion, and relapses into sin, with their sorrowful consequences, are in the general too probable.--2. The ease of declension and langour in religion described, negatively.--3. And positively.--4. As discovering itself by a failure in the duties of the closet.--5. By a neglect of social worship.--6. By want of love to our fellow Christians.--7. By an undue attachment to sensual pleasures or secular cares.--8. By prejudices against some important principles in religion.--9,10. A
Philip Doddridge—The Rise and Progress of Religion in the Soul

Oh that I were as in Months Past! Job 29:02:00

John Newton—Olney Hymns

Cross References
Job 15:8
"Do you hear the secret counsel of God, And limit wisdom to yourself?

Job 29:5
When the Almighty was yet with me, And my children were around me;

Psalm 25:14
The secret of the LORD is for those who fear Him, And He will make them know His covenant.

Proverbs 3:32
For the devious are an abomination to the LORD; But He is intimate with the upright.

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