Job 12:7-10

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?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.

Images for Job 12:7-10

Job 12:7 in Other Translations

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

Job 12:7-10 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 12:7-10 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?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged? Does not long life bring understanding?

Cross References 7

  • 1. Job 35:11 "fn"
  • 2. Matthew 6:26
  • 3. Job 18:3; Romans 1:20
  • 4. Isaiah 1:3
  • 5. S Job 9:24; Isaiah 41:20
  • 6. Daniel 5:23
  • 7. S Genesis 2:7; S Numbers 16:22; S Job 11:20; Job 27:3; Job 33:4; Acts 17:28
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