Job 29:24

If I laughed on them, they believed it not; and the light of my countenance they cast not down.

If I laughed on them, they believed it not,.... Not that he at any time laughed at them, by way of derision; but when in a cheerful frame of mind, or in a merry mood, he used freedom and familiarity, and jested with them; but they could not believe that he did jest, or was in jest, he being a man always of such gravity and seriousness, that they concluded the smile on his countenance, and the pleasant turn of his expression, had a serious meaning in them; or such familiarity with them was so pleasing to them, that they could scarcely for joy believe that he did condescend to indulge such an air of pleasantry: or as Mr. Broughton renders it, and so some others to the same sense, "they would not be bold" {i}; familiarity with them did not breed contempt, as it sometimes does; they did not presume upon it, and grow bold and insolent, and make him their equal, and jest with him again; but still there was an awe upon them, and they behaved with reverence to him; and to show how great it was is the design of the expression:

and the light of my countenance they cast not down; they did not ruffle his mind, or disturb the serenity of it; or cause him to change his countenance, through any bold and indecent behaviour towards him, encouraged by the freedom and pleasantry he used with them; they did not put him to shame, or provoke him to anger and displeasure by any unbecoming deportment; they kept their distance, they did not detract from his authority and majesty, or in the least lessen that, but behaved with the same reverence and regard to him they ever did; see Genesis 4:6.

{i} wnymay al "non tamen sibi sumebant audaciam", Michaelis; "neque tam audaces fiunt", Reimar apud Schultens.