|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
12:1-5 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.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
No doubt but ye are the people,.... Which is said not seriously, meaning that they were but of the common people, that are generally ignorant, and have but little knowledge, at least of things sublime, especially in matters of religion; wherefore, though they took upon them to be his teachers and dictators to him, and censors of him, they were not above the rank, but in the class of people of low and mean understandings; see John 7:49; this sense indeed agrees with what is after said, "who knoweth not such things as these?" but since Job compares himself with them, and asserts he is not inferior to them, it supposes them to have a degree of knowledge and understanding of things somewhat above the common people; wherefore these words are to be taken ironically, exposing their vanity and self-conceit: "ye are the people"; the only, and all the people in the world of importance and consequence for good sense and wisdom; the only wise and knowing folk, the men of reason and understanding; all the rest are but fools and asses, or like the wild ass's colt, as Zophar had said, and which Job took as pointing to him; so the word in the Arabic language (c) signifies the more excellent and better sort of people; or, ye are the only people of God, his covenant people, his servants; that are made acquainted with the secrets of wisdom, as none else are:
and wisdom shall die with you; you have all the wisdom of the world, and when you die it will be all gone; there will be none left in the world: thus he represents them as monopolizers and engrossers of wisdom and knowledge, full of it in their conceit, allowing none to have any share with them: and by all this he not only upbraids them with their vanity and self-conceit, but puts them in mind, that, as wise as they were, they must die; and that, though their wisdom with respect to them, or any use they could make of it in the grave, where there is none, would die too; or that their wisdom was but the wisdom of the world, which comes to nought; yet there would be wisdom still in the world, and that which is true, which God makes known to men, even the wisdom of God in a mystery, the wisdom hid in himself; and who has the residue of the Spirit and his gifts to instruct men in it, and qualify them to be teachers of others; by which means, though men, even the best of men, die, yet the word of God, the means of true wisdom and knowledge, will always abide.
(c) Golii Lex. Ar. Col. 1743. Vid. Lud. Capell. in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
2. wisdom shall die with you—Ironical, as if all the wisdom in the world was concentrated in them and would expire when they expired. Wisdom makes "a people:" a foolish nation is "not a people" (Ro 10:19).
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