|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.
Verse 8. - Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee. If the material earth be intended, the appeal must be to its orderly course, its summers and winters, its seedtime and harvest, its former and latter rains, its constant productivity, which, no less than animal instincts, speak of a single ruling power directing and ordering all things. If the creeping things of the earth, the reptile creation, be meant, then the argument is merely an expansion of that in the preceding verse. The instincts of reptiles are to be ascribed, no less than those of beasts and birds, to the constant superintending action and providence of the Almighty. And the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. The testimony will be unanimous - beasts, birds, reptiles, and fishes will unite in it.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee,.... Or ask "a sprig of the earth" (n), any shrub, or tree, or whatsoever grows out of it, and they will all unite in this doctrine, that they are raised and preserved by the power of God, and are so many instances of his wisdom, power, and goodness:
and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee; as mute as they are, they will proclaim this truth, that God is the mighty Maker and wise Disposer of them.
(n) "virgultum terrae", Pagninus, Schmidt; so Drusius and Michaelis.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
8. speak to the earth—rather, "the shrubs of the earth" [Umbreit].
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