Iyov 12

1 2 And Iyov answered and said,
2 Doubtless then ye are the people, and chochmah shall die with you.
3 But I have levav (understanding) as well as you; I am not inferior to you; yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
4 I am as a laughingstock to his neighbor: The man who calleth upon Eloah [they say of me], and He answereth him! [To them I am] a laughingstock, the tzaddik, the tamim (blameless one)!
5 Those at ease have buz (contempt) for a downfall which awaits the one whose regel is slipping.
6 The ohalim of shodedim (robbers) remain in peace; they that defy El are secure, who Eloah brought forth by His yad.
7 But ask now the behemot, and they shall teach thee, and the oph haShomayim (birds of the air), and they shall tell thee;
8 Or speak to ha’aretz, and it shall teach thee; and the dagim of the yam shall declare unto thee.
9 Of all of these, who lacketh da’as that the yad Hashem hath wrought this?
10 In whose yad is the nefesh of every living thing, and the ruach of kol basar ish.
11 Doth not the ozen (ear) test words? And the mouth tastes its ochel?
12 With the ancient ones is chochmah; and in orech yamim (length of days) is binah (understanding).
13 With Him is chochmah and gevurah; He hath etzah and understanding.
14 See, what He tears down cannot be reconstructed; He shutteth up an ish, and there can be no prison release.
15 See, He withholdeth the waters, and they dry up; also He sendeth them out, and they overturn eretz.
16 With Him is oz (strength) and tushiyyah (true wisdom); the deceived and the deceiver are His.
17 He leadeth yoatzim (counsellors) away stripped, and maketh the shofetim (judges) fools.
18 He looseth the shackle of melachim (kings), and girdeth their loins with loincloth.
19 He leadeth kohanim away stripped, and overthroweth the mighty.
20 He removeth the speech of the ne’emanim (trusted ones), and taketh away the understanding of the zekenim.
21 He poureth buz (contempt) upon nobles, and loosens the belt of the mighty.
22 He uncovers the depths of choshech, and bringeth tzalmavet to light.
23 He giveth prosperity to the Goyim, and then destroyeth them; He enlargeth them, and then carrieth the Goyim away.
24 He taketh away the lev (understanding) of the Rashei Am HaAretz, and sendeth them to tohu lo derech (trackless wilderness).
25 They grope in the choshech without ohr, and He maketh them to stagger like a shikkor (drunken man).

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Iyov 12 Commentary

Chapter 12

Job reproves his friends. (1-5) The wicked often prosper.(6-11) Job speaks of the wisdom and power of God. (12-25)

Verses 1-5 Job upbraids his friends with the good opinion they had of their own wisdom compared with his. We are apt to call reproofs reproaches, and to think ourselves mocked when advised and admonished; this is our folly; yet here was colour for this charge. He suspected the true cause of their conduct to be, that they despised him who was fallen into poverty. It is the way of the world. Even the just, upright man, if he comes under a cloud, is looked upon with contempt.

Verses 6-11 Job appeals to facts. The most audacious robbers, oppressors, and impious wretches, often prosper. Yet this is not by fortune or chance; the Lord orders these things. Worldly prosperity is of small value in his sight: he has better things for his children. Job resolves all into the absolute proprietorship which God has in all the creatures. He demands from his friends liberty to judge of what they had said; he appeals to any fair judgment.

Verses 12-25 This is a noble discourse of Job concerning the wisdom, power, and sovereignty of God, in ordering all the affairs of the children of men, according to the counsel of His own will, which none can resist. It were well if wise and good men, who differ about lesser things, would see how it is for their honour and comfort, and the good of others, to dwell most upon the great things in which they agree. Here are no complaints, or reflections. He gives many instances of God's powerful management of the children of men, overruling all their counsels, and overcoming all their oppositions. Having all strength and wisdom, God knows how to make use, even of those who are foolish and bad; otherwise there is so little wisdom and so little honesty in the world, that all had been in confusion and ruin long ago. These important truths were suited to convince the disputants that they were out of their depth in attempting to assign the Lord's reasons for afflicting Job; his ways are unsearchable, and his judgments past finding out. Let us remark what beautiful illustrations there are in the word of God, confirming his sovereignty, and wisdom in that sovereignty: but the highest and infinitely the most important is, that the Lord Jesus was crucified by the malice of the Jews; and who but the Lord could have known that this one event was the salvation of the world?

Chapter Summary


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.

Iyov 12 Commentaries

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.