Job 12:3

3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: Yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

Job 12:3 Meaning and Commentary

Job 12:3

But I have understanding as well as you
A natural understanding, or an understanding of natural things, which distinguishes a man from a brute; and a spiritual understanding, an understanding enlightened by the spirit of God, which is naturally dark as to divine things; but he had an understanding given him, to know himself, his state and condition by nature; to know God, his love and grace to men, and, as his covenant God, to know Christ his living Redeemer, who should stand on the earth in the latter day, both to be his Redeemer and his Judge; to know his interest in him, and in the blessings of grace and glory by him: or, "I have an heart as well as you" F4; a wise and an understanding one; a new heart, and a right spirit; an heart to fear and serve the Lord, a sincere and upright one, and devoid of hypocrisy and deceit; and as good an one as theirs:

I [am] not inferior unto you:
he was indeed as to estate and substance, being now reduced; though he had been, in that sense, the greatest man in all the east; but in wisdom and knowledge, in gifts and grace: thus a modest man, when oppressed and insulted by the speeches of overbearing men, may be obliged and see it necessary to say some things of himself, in his own vindication, which he otherwise would not; see ( 2 Corinthians 11:15 ) ( 12:11 ) ; or, "I am not falling before you"; or "by you" F5; as one intimidated, conquered, and yielding; I stand my ground, and will not gave way or submit to you, or allow you to have the superiority of me: or, "I am falling [no more] than you"; they took him for an apostate from God, and the fear of him, and the true religion he had professed, which Job denies; he held fast his integrity; and though he was fallen into calamities and afflictions, he was not fallen from God; from his fear of him, faith in him, and love and obedience to him; he was a holy, good man, a persevering saint; and though he had slips and falls in common with good men, yet fell not finally and totally, or was an apostate from the faith:

yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
or, "with whom are not as these" F6? the things you have been discoursing of, which you would fain have pass for the secrets of wisdom, deep and mysterious things, hid from vulgar eyes, which none have and know but yourselves, are common things, what everyone is possessed of, and understands as well as you; that there is a God that has made the world, and governs it; that he himself is unsearchable, infinite and incomprehensible; a sovereign Being that does according to his will and pleasure, and sees and knows all things, and does all things well and wisely, and according to the counsel of his will: though some think Job has reference not to what Zophar had been discoursing concerning the infinity and wisdom of God, but to the thing or things in dispute between them, or to the assertions of his friends; that it is always well with good men, and ill with bad men, or that wicked men only are punished and afflicted, and particularly what Zophar concluded his speech with, ( Job 11:20 ) . Now these were vulgar notions, which the common people had taken up, and were vulgar errors, as he proves in the following verses, by giving instances of good men, being afflicted, and of bad men being in prosperity.


F4 (Mkwmk bbl yl Mg) "etiam mihi cor sicut vobis", Pagninus, Montanus, Mercerus, Schmidt, Michaelis, Schultens; so Broughton.
F5 (Mkm ykna lpn al) "non cadens ego a vobis", Montanus, Vatablus, Bolducius, Beza, Mercerus, Michaelis; "prae vobis", Schmidt.
F6 (hla wmk Nya ym taw) "et cum quo non sicut haec?" Pagninus, Montanus, Bolducius, Mercerus; and to the same sense Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Cocceius, Schultens.

Job 12:3 In-Context

1 Then Job answered and said,
2 No doubt but ye are the people, And wisdom shall die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: Yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
4 I am as one that is a laughing-stock to his neighbor, I who called upon God, and he answered: The just, the perfect man is a laughing-stock.
5 In the thought of him that is at ease there is contempt for misfortune; It is ready for them whose foot slippeth.
The American Standard Version is in the public domain.