Devotional Readings, M'Cheyne Bible Reading Notes

Job 29:6  When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;

Ok, yes that verse is in today’s reading, but I’m going to put in the entire chapter.

Job gives his summary justification of himself. We will read shortly, what God thinks even of that. Correcting him of any self-justifying righteousness. But as with the “butter” Job also seems to give a good case that he did his share to help the unfortunate. Read more in my previous post on Luke 14. Note the highlights in bold and hear is the audio link.

You can also read Old John Gill’s comment on the “butter” verse below…it’s a bit long.

Job’s Summary Defense

Job 29:1 Moreover Job continued his parable, and said,
Job 29:2 Oh that I were as in months past, as in the days when God preserved me;
Job 29:3 When his candle shined upon my head, and when by his light I walked through darkness;
Job 29:4 As I was in the days of my youth, when the secret of God was upon my tabernacle;
Job 29:5 When the Almighty was yet with me, when my children were about me;
Job 29:6 When I washed my steps with butter, and the rock poured me out rivers of oil;
Job 29:7 When I went out to the gate through the city, when I prepared my seat in the street!
Job 29:8 The young men saw me, and hid themselves: and the aged arose, and stood up.
Job 29:9 The princes refrained talking, and laid their hand on their mouth.
Job 29:10 The nobles held their peace, and their tongue cleaved to the roof of their mouth.
Job 29:11 When the ear heard me, then it blessed me; and when the eye saw me, it gave witness to me:
Job 29:12 Because I delivered the poor that cried, and the fatherless, and him that had none to help him.
Job 29:13 The blessing of him that was ready to perish came upon me: and I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.
Job 29:14 I put on righteousness, and it clothed me: my judgment was as a robe and a diadem.
Job 29:15 I was eyes to the blind, and feet was I to the lame.
Job 29:16 I was a father to the poor: and the cause which I knew not I searched out.
Job 29:17 And I brake the jaws of the wicked, and plucked the spoil out of his teeth.
Job 29:18 Then I said, I shall die in my nest, and I shall multiply my days as the sand.
Job 29:19 My root was spread out by the waters, and the dew lay all night upon my branch.
Job 29:20 My glory was fresh in me, and my bow was renewed in my hand.
Job 29:21 Unto me men gave ear, and waited, and kept silence at my counsel.
Job 29:22 After my words they spake not again; and my speech dropped upon them.
Job 29:23 And they waited for me as for the rain; and they opened their mouth wide as for the latter rain.
Job 29:24 If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.
Job 29:25 I chose out their way, and sat chief, and dwelt as a king in the army, as one that comforteth the mourners.

Job 29:6 Gill

When I washed my steps with butter,…. Not the steps of his house or palace; for to have done this, or his servants by his orders, as it would have been a very great impropriety, so a piece of great prodigality, which Job could never have been guilty of; but either his footsteps, the prints of his feet; and the sense be, that his cattle produced such a vast quantity of milk, that when his servants brought it from the fields to the dairy, their milk pails ran over in such abundance, that Job could not step out of his house, and take a walk in his fields, but he stepped into puddles of milk, of which butter was made: this is an exaggerated phrase, like that by which the land of Canaan is described as “flowing with milk and honey”; or rather this is to be understood of the washing of his feet, which are the instruments of stepping or walking. It was usual in those times, in the eastern countries, to wash their feet upon travelling, or at festivals; but then this was commonly done with water, not with butter, see Gen 18:4; and the meaning can only be, that Job had such abundance of milk, or butter made of it, that he could, if he would, have washed his feet in it; indeed, they had used to anoint the feet with ointment; but whether cream or butter was any ingredient in it, and so the part is put for the whole, is not certain, see Luk 7:38, Job 12:3; besides, that would have been more properly expressed by anointing than washing; it seems to be an hyperbole, an expression like that of Zophar, in Job 20:17; signifying the vast abundance of the increase and produce of Job’s kine; who is said to wash his feet in milk or butter, as Asher is said to dip his feet in oil, because of the great plenty of it, Deu 33:24; the spiritual meditation upon the words may be this; the feet of the best of saints need washing, there being many failings and infirmities in their walk and conversation; in which they gather much pollution and faith daily; the proper wash for this is the blood of Christ, of which the layer in the tabernacle and temple was a type, at which the priests washed their hands and feet; but the word of God, called the sincere milk of the word, is the instrument or means of washing, or of directing souls to the fountain opened to wash in; so that with respect to that, the feet of saints, as the eyes of Christ, may be said to be washed with milk:

and the rock poured me out rivers of oil; another hyperbolical expression, like that in Deu 32:13, where honey is said to be sucked out of the rock, and oil out of the flinty rock; as honey may be got out of a rock, because bees may make their nests and hives there, where it is laid up by them; so oil, in like manner, may be had from the flinty rock, olive trees growing on hills, mountains, and rocks, which yield oil in great abundance; near Jerusalem was a mount called Olivet, from thence: the land of Edom, or Idumea, where Job lived, abounded with cragged mountains and rocks; and there might be in Job’s estate such on which olive trees grew in great plenty, as to produce vast quantities of oil: it is a very fanciful thought of Bolducius, that this rock was no other than a stone vessel, in which was oil, somewhat like the alabaster box in Mat 26:7; and which was plentifully poured on Job, when he was anointed high priest; and another learned man (u), though he rejects the notion of its being a vessel for sacred use, yet is willing to allow it was an oil vessel for common use: as to the spiritual sense, it may be observed, that a rock in Scripture often signifies a divine Person, 1Co 10:4; it is an emblem of Christ, as oil also is of the Spirit of God and his grace, Mat 25:3; and which flows from Christ, who is full thereof, and that in such great abundance, as to be expressed by rivers; see Joh 1:14.

(u) Fortunat. Schacch. Elaeochrysm. Myroth. l. 2. c. 79. p. 715.

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