Job 12:7

7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;

Job 12:7 in Other Translations

7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
7 "But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
7 “Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.
7 "But ask the animals what they think - let them teach you; let the birds tell you what's going on.
7 But ask the animals, and they will instruct you; [ask] the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.

Job 12:7 Meaning and Commentary

Job 12:7

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee
And so the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, in this and ( Job 12:8 ) ; from those instructions may be learned, of instances taken, and examples given, which may illustrate and confirm the same things that had been treated of: either what had been just now confuted, that it is always well with good men, and ill with bad men; the reverse of which had been affirmed and proved, that good men are afflicted, and wicked men prosper; something like to which may be seen in the creatures, and learned of them; thus those creatures that are the most harmless and innocent, and most useful and beneficial, are a prey to others, as sheep and lambs to lions, wolves, and bears, while they range about forests, fields, and plains, fearless and unmolested; and doves and turtles to hawks and vultures; and the lesser fish to the greater, by whom they are devoured, see ( Habakkuk 1:13 Habakkuk 1:14 ) ; and moreover, these creatures which are most useful and profitable, or are for pleasure and delight, fall more to the share of wicked men than good men; when droves of cattle and flocks of sheep are observed, and the question is put, to whom do they belong? the answer for the most part must be given, to such and such wicked men; and if the gold and silver, and other valuable things the earth produces, should be inquired about whose they are, it must be said, that they are, generally speaking, the property of the men of the world, the profane part of it; or if the fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea, could speak, when asked the question, whose food they commonly were? the answer would be, of the carnal, sensual, and voluptuous men: or rather this may refer to what Job first takes notice of in this answer of his, that his friends represented what they said as uncommon things, deep mysteries, and out of the reach of the vulgar, and which did not fall under common observation; whereas Job suggests he was as well acquainted with them as they were, yea, they were such that almost everybody knew; nay, they might be learnt from the creatures, to which Job here sends them for instruction; the beasts, birds, and fishes, all proclaim that they did not make themselves, nor did their fellow creatures, but some first cause, who is God: that they are sustained, supported, and provided for by him, and are governed, directed, and disposed of as he pleases, and so furnishes out documents of his sovereignty, wisdom, power, and providence:

and the fowls of the air, and they will tell thee:
the same things; that God made them, and that they are dependent on him, and are fed and cared for by him, see ( Matthew 6:26 ) .

Job 12:7 In-Context

5 Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
6 The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure— those God has in his hand.
7 “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
8 or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
9 Which of all these does not know that the hand of the LORD has done this?

Cross References 3

  • 1. Job 35:11 "fn"
  • 2. Matthew 6:26
  • 3. Job 18:3; Romans 1:20
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