Job 12:18

18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth[a] around their waist.

Job 12:18 in Other Translations

18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
18 He looses the bonds of kings and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
18 He removes the royal robe of kings. They are led away with ropes around their waist.
18 He divests kings of their royal garments, then ties a rag around their waists.
18 He releases the bonds put on by kings and ties a cloth around their waists.

Job 12:18 Meaning and Commentary

Job 12:18

He looseth the bonds of kings
Not with which they themselves may be bound, being taken prisoners, or being so before made kings, and brought from thence to reign, as in ( Ecclesiastes 4:14 ) ; but that which they bind on their subjects, a yoke of bondage, tyranny, and oppression; so that to loose their bond is to loose their subjects from it, and free them from their arbitrary and despotic power, and from the burdens they lay upon them: unless rather it should be understood of loosing their waistbands, as an emblem of their government, ungirding them, or unkinging them, stripping them of their royal power and authority, called a "loosing of their loins", ( Isaiah 45:1 ) ; and this power God has over such great personages, as to set up kings, and remove them at his pleasure, ( Daniel 2:21 ) ; which shows that strength and power, as well as wisdom, are with him; this may respect Chedorlaomer casting off the yoke of Nimrod, and the kings of Canaan casting off the yoke of Chedorlaomer, and being loosed from it, ( Genesis 14:1 Genesis 14:4 ) ;

and girdeth their loins with a girdle;
not with a royal waistband, as an ensign of government; see ( Isaiah 11:5 ) ( 22:21 ) ; which he looses, and strips them of, but another instead of that; he girds them with the girdle of a servant or traveller; the allusion being to the custom in those eastern countries, where they wore long garments, for servants to gird them up, when they waited on their masters, or when men went long journeys, see ( Luke 17:7 Luke 17:8 ) ; and so may signify that kings sometimes become servants, or go into captivity, and there be used as such, as they sometimes are; the Vulgate Latin version is, "he girds their reins with a rope".

Job 12:18 In-Context

16 To him belong strength and insight; both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings and ties a loincloth around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers and takes away the discernment of elders.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Psalms 107:14; Psalms 116:16; Nahum 1:13
  • 2. ver 21; Job 34:18; Psalms 107:40; Isaiah 5:27; Isaiah 40:23

Footnotes 1

  • [a]. Or "shackles of kings" / "and ties a belt"
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