King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

Job > Old Testament > Home

Job 12

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

Job 12 Audio:

Audio clip: Adobe Flash Player (version 9 or above) is required to play this audio clip. Download the latest version here. You also need to have JavaScript enabled in your browser.

Job reproves his friends

1 And Job answered and said,

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

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

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.

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

The wicked often prosper

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

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

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

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

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

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

Job speaks of the wisdom and power of God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

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

« »

G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 2. You. Heb. “truly you are the people, and wisdom will die with you!” This irony is very sharp. C. — “Are you alone men? or shall?” &c. Sept. Syr.

Ver. 4. Mocked. He retaliates on Sophar, (C. xi. 3. H.) who had very seriously exhorted Job to call on God, as if he had been ignorant of this duty. C. — God will one day force the wicked to retract their false notion, in despising his servants. Wisd. v. 3. W.

Ver. 5. The lamp. Such is the just man, who under affliction is (H.) exposed to the ridicule of men who live at their ease. — For. Heb. “to fall.” C. — Sept. “It was appointed for me to fall under others at the time fixed.”

Ver. 6. Abound. Heb. “are at peace.” C. — The prosperity of the wicked is therefore no proof that they are pleasing to him. H. — All nature testifies that God exercises a sovereign dominion over his works. He may therefore cause the just to suffer, though they be guiltless. This is one of Job’s grand maxims. C.

Ver. 11. Taste. For this no master is requisite; so I stood in no need of your information, (C.) of such trite remarks. H.

Ver. 12. Ancient. He rather chides the youth of Sophar for offering to give him lessons. Old age is indeed commonly wiser and more experienced. Yet, what is man’s knowledge compared to that of God! v. 3.

Ver. 17. To a. Heb. “to be despoiled” of their wisdom and riches. C. — Sept. “into captivity.” H. — Crafty plotters at last fall into such misconduct, as to be derided by men of the meanest capacity. W.

Ver. 18. Looseth. Sept. “setteth kings upon the throne,” &c. — Belt. This was usually very magnificent, and a military ornament. See that of Pallas described. Æn. x. Job intimates that God derives kings of their authority, at pleasure. Heb. may also signify that he looseth the bond or prisoner of kings, and reduces themselves to slavery. C. — Things never remain long in the same state. H. — Even kings are sometimes obliged to beg. M.

Ver. 19. Without. Heb. “despoiled.” Sept. “captives.” Cohanim, may comprise both sacred ministers and civil princes. 1 K. viii. 18. All are equally subject to God. C.

Ver. 20. Speakers. Permitting them to speak deceitfully, (C.) or causing their oracles to be contemned. H. — Heb. “he withdraws speech from men of confidence.” C. — Neemanim, (H.) ambassadors or prime ministers. Num. xii. 7. He disconcerteth the best concerted plans.

Ver. 21. Relieveth. Heb. “ungirdeth (disarms) the strong.” C. — Sept. “but the lowly (humble) he has healed.”

Ver. 22. Of death. Tsalmaveth (H.) may perhaps simply denote darkness. C. — God bringeth to light the most hidden things. H.

Ver. 23. Multiplieth. Heb. Sept. and Syr. “deceiveth,” (C.) suffering them to confide too much in their strength, so that they fall an easy prey. H. — How many nations, once so powerful, are now fallen; while others of no account have risen to eminence!

Ver. 24. Changeth. Heb. “taketh away the heart,” or prudence “of princes.” Hence they follow the most absurd counsels. Isai. xxix. 19. C. — No way. This was the case of Pharao, when he pursued the Israelites into the sea; (T.) and the like may rationally be feared by those princes, who attempt to make innovations in the true religion, or in the sound laws of a kingdom. M.