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Verse 2

Oh that I were - Hebrew “Who will give?” a common mode of expressing a wish; compare Job 6:8; Job 11:5; Job 13:5; Job 23:3.

As in months past - O that I could recall my former prosperity, and be as was when I enjoyed the protection and favor of God. Probably one object of this wish was that his friends might see from what a state of honor and happiness he had been brought down. They complained of him as impatient. He may have designed to show them that his lamentations were not unreasonable, when it was borne in mind from what a state of prosperity he had been taken, and to what a condition of wo he had been brought. He, therefore, goes into this extended description of his former happiness, and dwells particularly upon the good which he was enabled then to do, and the respect which was shown him as a public benefactor. A passage strikingly similar to this occurs in Virgil, Aeneid viii. 560:

O mihi praeteritos referat si Jupiter annos!

Quails eram, cum primam aciem Praeneste sub ipsa

Stravi, scutorumque incendi victor acervos.

“O would kind heaven my strength and youth recall,

Such as I was beneath Praeneste’s wall;

There where I made the foremost foes retire,

And set whole heaps of conquered shields on fire!”

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