Job 12:7
Parallel Verses
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:

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

Job 12:7 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

But ask now the beasts - Rosenmuller supposes that this appeal to the inferior creation should be regarded as connected with Job 12:3, and that the intermediate verses are parenthetical. Zophar had spoken with considerable parade of the wisdom of God. He had said (Job 11:7 ff) that the knowledge of God was higher than the heavens, and had professed Job 12:6 to have himself exalted views of the Most High. In reply to this, Job says that the views which Zophar had expressed, were the most commonplace imaginable. He need not pretend to be acquainted with the more exalted works of God, or appeal to them as if his knowledge corresponded with them. Even the lower creation - the brutes - the earth - the fishes - could teach him knowledge which he had not now. Even from their nature, properties, and modes of life, higher views might he obtained than Zophar had. Others suppose, that the meaning is, that in the distribution of happiness, God is so far from observing moral relations, that even among the lower animals, the rapacious and the violent are prospered, and the gentle and the innocent are the victims.

Lions, wolves, and panthers are prospered - the lamb, the kid, the gazelle, are the victims. Either of these views may suit the connection, though the latter seems to me to be the more probable interpretation. The object of Job is to show that rewards and punishments are not distributed according to character. This was so plain in his view as scarcely to admit of argument. It was seen all over the world not only among people, but even in the brute creation. Every where the strong prey upon the weak; the fierce upon the tame; the violent upon the timid. Yet God does not come forth to destroy the lion and the hyaena, or to deliver the lamb and the gazelle from their grasp. Like robbers Job 12:6, - lions, panthers, and wolves prowl upon the earth; and the eagle and the vulture from the air pounce upon the defenseless, and the great robbers of the deep prey upon the feeble, and still are prospered. What a striking illustration of the course of events among people, and of the relative condition of the righteous and the wicked. Nothing could be more pertinent to the design of Job than this appeal, and nothing was more in accordance with the whole structure of the argument in the poem, where wisdom is seen mainly to consist in the result of careful observation.

And they shall teach thee - Shall teach thee that God does not treat all according to their character. He does not give security to the gentle, the tame, and the innocent, and punish the ferocious, the blood-thirsty, and the cruel.

And the fowls - They shall give thee information of the point under discussion. Those that prey upon others - as the eagle and the vulture - are not exposed at once to the divine displeasure, and the tender and harmless are not protected. The general principle is illustrated in them, that the dealings of God are not always in exact accordance with character.

Job 12:7 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Whether it is Necessary for Salvation to Believe Anything Above the Natural Reason?
Objection 1: It would seem unnecessary for salvation to believe anything above the natural reason. For the salvation and perfection of a thing seem to be sufficiently insured by its natural endowments. Now matters of faith, surpass man's natural reason, since they are things unseen as stated above ([2281]Q[1], A[4]). Therefore to believe seems unnecessary for salvation. Objection 2: Further, it is dangerous for man to assent to matters, wherein he cannot judge whether that which is proposed to him
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Derision Can be a Mortal Sin?
Objection 1: It would seem that derision cannot be a mortal sin. Every mortal sin is contrary to charity. But derision does not seem contrary to charity, for sometimes it takes place in jest among friends, wherefore it is known as "making fun." Therefore derision cannot be a mortal sin. Objection 2: Further, the greatest derision would appear to be that which is done as an injury to God. But derision is not always a mortal sin when it tends to the injury of God: else it would be a mortal sin to relapse
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Cross References
Romans 1:20
For since the creation of the world His invisible attributes, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly seen, being understood through what has been made, so that they are without excuse.

Job 12:6
"The tents of the destroyers prosper, And those who provoke God are secure, Whom God brings into their power.

Job 12:8
"Or speak to the earth, and let it teach you; And let the fish of the sea declare to you.

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