on Job 29 :3
When his candle shined upon my head - Alluding most probably to the custom of illuminating festival or assembly rooms by lamps pendant from the ceiling. These shone literally on the heads of the guests.
By his light I walked through darkness - His light - prosperity and peace - continued to illuminate my way. If adversity came, I had always the light of God to direct me. Almost all the nations of the world have represented their great men as having a nimbus or Divine glory about their heads, which not only signified the honor they had, but was also an emblem of the inspiration of the Almighty.
on Job 29 :3
When his candle shined upon my head - Margin, or, "lamp;" compare notes Job 18:6. It was remarked in the note on that place, that it was common to have lamps or lights always burning in a house or tent. When Job speaks of the lamps shining "on his head," the allusion is probably to the custom of suspending a lamp from the ceiling - a custom which prevails among the wealthy Arabs. "Scott." Virgil speaks of a similar thing in the palace of Dido:
- Dependent lychni laquearibus aureis Incensi.
"From gilded roofs depending lamps display
Nocturnal beams that imitate the day."
See, also Lucretius, ii. 24. Indeed the custom is common everywhere and the image is a beautiful illustration of the divine favor - of light and happiness imparted by God, the great source of blessedness from above. The Hebrew word rendered "shined" בהלו behilô) has been the occasion of some perplexity in regard to its form. According to Ewald, Hebrew Gram. p. 471, and Gesenius, Lex, it is the Hiphil form of הלל hâlal - to shine, the He preformative being dropped. The sense is, "In his causing the light to shine." Others suppose that it is the infinitive of the Qal, with a pleonastic suffix; meaning "when it shined;" that is, the light. The sense is essentially the same; compare Schultens and Rosenmuller in loc.
And when by his light - Under his guidance and direction.
I walked through darkness - "Here is reference probably to the fires or other lights which were carried before the caravans in their nightly travels through the deserts." "Noyes." The meaning is, that God afforded him protection, instruction, and guidance. In places, and on subjects that would have been otherwise dark, he counselled and led him. He enjoyed the manifestations' of the divine favor; his understanding was enlightened, and he was enabled to comprehend subjects that would have been otherwise perplexing and difficult. He refers, probably, to the inquiries about the divine government and administration, and to the questions that came before him as a magistrate or an umpire - questions that he was enabled to determine with wisdom.
on Job 29 :3
29:3 Darkness - I passed safely through many difficulties, and dangers, and common calamities.