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Job Twelve

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Job 12:1 And Job answered and said,

Job 12:2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you.

ye are the people. This is one of the very few instances of sarcasm or satire in the Bible. A few others are found (1 Kings 18:27; Jeremiah 2:27, 28; etc.), but there are not many.

Job 12:3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these?

Job 12:4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn.

Job 12:5 He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.

Job 12:6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.

Job 12:7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

teach thee. The beasts, the fowls, the fishes, and the earth itself had been placed under man's dominion (Genesis 1:26, 28). To exercise that dominion, men would need first of all to learn from the creation its physical and biological processes.

Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.

Job 12:9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?

Who knoweth not. In the scientific study of zoology, geology, and the other sciences, the most obvious lesson they will teach an honest student is the truth of their special creation by an omnipotent, omniscient Creator.

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

breath of all mankind. Compare Acts 17:28. Job's concept of God certainly was different from the pantheism carried from Babel to most of the world. Job recognized God as Creator, not as part of nature.

Job 12:11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat?

Job 12:12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

Job 12:13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding.

Job 12:14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.

no opening. After speaking of the creation (Job 12:7-10), Job seems to have thought of his ancestor Noah, and the great Flood. The Lord permanently “broke down” the antediluvian civilization so that it could not be “built again.” Then He “shut him in” (Genesis 7:16) the ark, the one man in that world who had obeyed God.

Job 12:15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

overturn the earth. God had “withheld the waters” in the primeval “waters above the firmament” (Genesis 1:7), so that there was no “rain upon the earth” (Genesis 2:5) in the antediluvian period. But then, when the iniquity of the antediluvian people was full, He sent the waters out and they overturned the earth!

Job 12:16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his.

Job 12:17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools.

Job 12:18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Job 12:19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty.

Job 12:20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged.

removeth away the speech. This possibly refers to the confusion of tongues at Babel. The previous verse (Job 12:19) had said God “overthroweth the mighty,” possibly referring to Nimrod, the “mighty hunter before the Lord” (Genesis 10:9), whose rebellion against God had led God to confuse the languages and disperse the nations from Babel.

Job 12:21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.

Job 12:22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death.

Job 12:23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.

increaseth the nations. This verse may well refer to the Table of Nations (Genesis 10), when suddenly the one nation at Babel was changed into about seventy nations.

enlargeth the nations. Japheth's descendants were to be “enlarged” (Genesis 9:27).

Job 12:24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.

wander in a wilderness. Except for the fertile plains of Shinar and the Nile Valley, the world after the Flood was largely an uncharted wilderness. It was into this that God scattered the rebelling tribes at Babel.

Job 12:25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

grope in the dark. Many of the scattering tribes had to live in caves for a time. These may well have been the so-called “cave-men,” exploited by the evolutionists as primitive ape-men, in spite of the fact that their remains and artifacts are fully human.