Job 29:2-3

29:2 “O that I could be as I was

in the months now gone,

in the days when God watched over me,

29:3 when he caused his lamp

to shine upon my head,

and by his light

I walked through darkness; 10 

tn The optative is here expressed with מִי־יִתְּנֵנִי (mi-yittÿneni, “who will give me”), meaning, “O that I [could be]…” (see GKC 477 §151.b).

tn The preposition כּ (kaf) is used here in an expression describing the state desired, especially in the former time (see GKC 376 §118.u).

tn The expression is literally “months of before [or of old; or past].” The word קֶדֶם (qedem) is intended here to be temporal and not spatial; it means days that preceded the present.

tn The construct state (“days of”) governs the independent sentence that follows (see GKC 422 §130.d): “as the days of […] God used to watch over me.”

tn The imperfect verb here has a customary nuance – “when God would watch over me” (back then), or “when God used to watch over me.”

tn This clause is in apposition to the preceding (see GKC 426 §131.o). It offers a clarification.

tn The form בְּהִלּוֹ (bÿhillo) is unusual; it should be parsed as a Hiphil infinitive construct with the elision of the ה (he). The proper spelling would have been with a ַ (patakh) under the preposition, reflecting הַהִלּוֹ (hahillo). If it were Qal, it would just mean “when his light shone.”

sn Lamp and light are symbols of God’s blessings of life and all the prosperous and good things it includes.

tn Here too the imperfect verb is customary – it describes action that was continuous, but in a past time.

10 tn The accusative (“darkness”) is here an adverbial accusative of place, namely, “in the darkness,” or because he was successfully led by God’s light, “through the darkness” (see GKC 374 §118.h).