Job 12:23-25

23 He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.

Job 12:23-25 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO JOB 12

In this and the two following chapter Job makes answer to Zophar's discourse in the former; who having represented him as an ignorant man, he resents it, and begins his defence with a biting sarcasm on him and his friends, as being self-conceited, and having an high opinion of their own wisdom, as if none had any but themselves, Job 12:1,2; and puts in his claim for a share with them, as being not at all inferior to them, Job 12:3; and then refutes their notions, that it always goes well with good men, and ill with bad men; whereas the reverse is the truth, Job 12:4-6; and which they might learn from the brute creatures; or he sends them to them, to observe to them, that the best things they had knowledge of concerning God and his providence, and of his wisdom therein, were common notions that everyone had, and might be learned from beasts, birds, and fishes; particularly, that all things in the whole universe are made by God, and sustained by him, and are under his direction, and at his disposal, Job 12:7-10; and such things might as easily be searched, examined, and judged of, as sounds are tried by the ear, and food by the mouth, Job 12:11; and seeing it is usual among men, at least it may be expected that men in years should have a considerable share of wisdom and knowledge, it might be strongly inferred from thence, without any difficulty, that the most perfect and consummate wisdom was in God, Job 12:12,13; whence he passes on to discourse most admirably and excellently of the wisdom and power of God in the dispensations of his providence, in a variety of instances; which shows his knowledge of his perfections, ways, and works, was not inferior to that of his friends, Job 12:14-25.

Job 12:23-25 In-Context

21 He pours contempt on nobles and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them; he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason; he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light; he makes them stagger like drunkards.

Cross References 7

  • 1. Psalms 2:1; Psalms 46:6; Isaiah 13:4; Jeremiah 25:9
  • 2. S Exodus 34:24; Psalms 107:38; Isaiah 9:3; Isaiah 26:15; Isaiah 54:3
  • 3. S Job 5:12; Acts 17:26
  • 4. S ver 20
  • 5. Psalms 107:40
  • 6. S Deuteronomy 28:29; Job 18:6; Job 21:17; Job 29:3; Job 5:14
  • 7. Psalms 107:27; Isaiah 24:20