Job 12

1 Then Job answered, 2 “No doubt, but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. 3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Yes, who doesn’t know such things as these? 4 I am like one who is a joke to his neighbor, I, who called on God, and he answered. The just, the blameless man is a joke. 5 In the thought of him who is at ease there is contempt for misfortune. It is ready for them whose foot slips. 6 The tents of robbers prosper. Those who provoke God are secure, who carry their God in their hands. 7 “But ask the animals, now, and they shall teach you; the birds of the sky, and they shall tell you. 8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach you. The fish of the sea shall declare to you. 9 Who doesn’t know that in all these, the LORD’s hand has done this, 10 in whose hand is the life of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind? 11 Doesn’t the ear try words, even as the palate tastes its food? 12 With aged men is wisdom, in length of days understanding. 13 “With God is wisdom and might. He has counsel and understanding. 14 Behold, he breaks down, and it can’t be built again. He imprisons a man, and there can be no release. 15 Behold, he withholds the waters, and they dry up. Again, he sends them out, and they overturn the earth. 16 With him is strength and wisdom. The deceived and the deceiver are his. 17 He leads counselors away stripped. He makes judges fools. 18 He loosens the bond of kings. He binds their waist with a belt. 19 He leads priests away stripped, and overthrows the mighty. 20 He removes the speech of those who are trusted, and takes away the understanding of the elders. 21 He pours contempt on princes, and loosens the belt of the strong. 22 He uncovers deep things out of darkness, and brings out to light the shadow of death. 23 He increases the nations, and he destroys them. He enlarges the nations, and he leads them captive. 24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth, and causes them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. 25 They grope in the dark without light. He makes them stagger like a drunken man.

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

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. (Job 12:12-25)

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?

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