Job 12:7
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;

New Living Translation
"Just ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.

English Standard Version
“But ask the beasts, and they will teach you; the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;

New American Standard Bible
"But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you.

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

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But ask the animals, and they will instruct you; ask the birds of the sky, and they will tell you.

International Standard Version
"Ask the wild animals, and they'll teach you; the birds of the sky will tell you.

NET Bible
"But now, ask the animals and they will teach you, or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"Instead, ask the animals, and they will teach you. Ask the birds, and they will tell you.

Jubilee Bible 2000
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the heavens, and they shall show thee;

King James 2000 Bible
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you:

American King James Version
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach you; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell you:

American Standard Version
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; And the birds of the heavens, and they shall tell thee:

Douay-Rheims Bible
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee: and the birds of the air, and they shall tell thee.

Darby Bible Translation
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowl of the heavens, and they shall tell thee;

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

Webster's Bible Translation
But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:

World English Bible
"But ask the animals, now, and they shall teach you; the birds of the sky, and they shall tell you.

Young's Literal Translation
And yet, ask, I pray thee, One of the beasts, and it doth shew thee, And a fowl of the heavens, And it doth declare to thee.
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

12:6-11 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.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 7. - But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee. Job here begins his review of all creation, to show that God has the absolute direction of it. The order of

(1) beasts,

(2) birds,

(3) fishes, is that of dignity (comp. Genesis 9:2; Psalm 8:7, 8).

Job maintains that, if appeal were made to the animal creation, and they were asked their position with respect to God, they would with one voice proclaim him their absolute Ruler and Director. And the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee. The instincts of birds, their periodical migrations, their inherited habits, are as wonderful as anything in the Divine economy of the universe, and as much imply God's continually directing hand.

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee,.... And so the fowls of the air, and the fishes of the sea, in this and Job 12:8; from those instructions may be learned, of instances taken, and examples given, which may illustrate and confirm the same things that had been treated of: either what had been just now confuted, that it is always well with good men, and ill with bad men; the reverse of which had been affirmed and proved, that good men are afflicted, and wicked men prosper; something like to which may be seen in the creatures, and learned of them; thus those creatures that are the most harmless and innocent, and most useful and beneficial, are a prey to others, as sheep and lambs to lions, wolves, and bears, while they range about forests, fields, and plains, fearless and unmolested; and doves and turtles to hawks and vultures; and the lesser fish to the greater, by whom they are devoured, see Habakkuk 1:13; and moreover, these creatures which are most useful and profitable, or are for pleasure and delight, fall more to the share of wicked men than good men; when droves of cattle and flocks of sheep are observed, and the question is put, to whom do they belong? the answer for the most part must be given, to such and such wicked men; and if the gold and silver, and other valuable things the earth produces, should be inquired about whose they are, it must be said, that they are, generally speaking, the property of the men of the world, the profane part of it; or if the fowls of the air, and fishes of the sea, could speak, when asked the question, whose food they commonly were? the answer would be, of the carnal, sensual, and voluptuous men: or rather this may refer to what Job first takes notice of in this answer of his, that his friends represented what they said as uncommon things, deep mysteries, and out of the reach of the vulgar, and which did not fall under common observation; whereas Job suggests he was as well acquainted with them as they were, yea, they were such that almost everybody knew; nay, they might be learnt from the creatures, to which Job here sends them for instruction; the beasts, birds, and fishes, all proclaim that they did not make themselves, nor did their fellow creatures, but some first cause, who is God: that they are sustained, supported, and provided for by him, and are governed, directed, and disposed of as he pleases, and so furnishes out documents of his sovereignty, wisdom, power, and providence:

and the fowls of the air, and they will tell thee: the same things; that God made them, and that they are dependent on him, and are fed and cared for by him, see Matthew 6:26.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

7, 8. Beasts, birds, fishes, and plants, reasons Job, teach that the violent live the most securely (Job 12:6). The vulture lives more securely than the dove, the lion than the ox, the shark than the dolphin, the rose than the thorn which tears it.

Job 12:7 Additional Commentaries
Context
Job's Response to Zophar
6"The tents of the destroyers prosper, And those who provoke God are secure, Whom God brings into their power. 7"But now ask the beasts, and let them teach you; And the birds of the heavens, and let them tell you. 8"Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you.…
Cross References
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities--his eternal power and divine nature--have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.

Job 12:6
The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure-- those God has in his hand.

Job 12:8
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Treasury of Scripture

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

But ask

Job 21:29,30 Have you not asked them that go by the way? and do you not know their tokens…

Proverbs 6:6 Go to the ant, you sluggard; consider her ways, and be wise:

Isaiah 1:3 The ox knows his owner, and the donkey his master's crib: but Israel …

Jeremiah 8:7 Yes, the stork in the heaven knows her appointed times; and the turtle …

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