Job 12:1
And Job answered and said,
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(1) And Job answered and said.—Each of the friends has now supplied his quota, and Job proceeds to reply to the third, showing that he is far more conversant with the wisdom and majesty of God than they are themselves, though in their own esteem they alone are wise.

Job 12:1. And Job answered — Greatly vexed that his friends should entertain so firm an opinion of his being a wicked man, and that they should press him so hard with their maxim, “that affliction was a demonstration of guilt,” he can no longer refrain from answering them with great sharpness. He taxes them with self-conceit; their maxims he treats as mean and poor, the contrary of which was evident to all observing persons; good men were frequently in distress, while robbers and public plunderers enjoyed their ill-gotten wealth in perfect security, Job 12:2-6. This was so notorious, that it was impossible it could have escaped their observation, Job 12:7. This was indeed the work of Jehovah, who was all-wise and all- powerful, and no one could call him to account. All this he was as sensible of as they could be, for which reason he was the more desirous to argue the point with God, Job 13:1-10. And, as for them, if they would pretend to be judges, they should take great care to be upright ones; since God would by no means excuse corruption of judgment, though it should be in his own behalf; and his all-seeing eye would penetrate their motives, though ever so closely concealed from human view; and in his sight all their maxims of wisdom, on which they seemed so much to value themselves, would be regarded as dross and dung. That he was not in the least apprehensive of bringing his cause to an issue; because he was satisfied that the Almighty, far from oppressing him by dint of power, would rather afford him strength to go through his defence; and he was persuaded the issue would be favourable to him, Job 12:11-19. He, therefore, challenges any one among them to declare himself the accuser; secure enough as to that point, as he was sensible they could not make good their charge. He again ends with a tender expostulation with the Almighty, begging he might have, before his death, an opportunity of publicly vindicating his innocence, since afterward he could have no hope of doing it, Job 12:20 to the end of chap. 14. — Heath.

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.But the eyes of the wicked shall fail - That is, they shall be wearied out by anxiously looking for relief from their miseries. "Noyes." Their expectation shall be vain, and they shall find no relief. Perhaps Zophar here means to apply this to Job, and to say to him that with his present views and character, his hope of relief would fail. His only hope of relief was in a change - in turning to God - since it was a settled maxim that the wicked would look for relief in vain. This assumption that he was a wicked man, must have been among the most trying things that Job had to endure. Indeed nothing could he more provoking than to have others take it for granted as a matter that did not admit of argument, that he was a hypocrite, and that God was dealing with him as an incorrigible sinner.

And they shall not escape - Margin, "Flight shall perish from them." The margin is a literal translation of the Hebrew. The sense is, escape for the wicked is out of the question. They must be arrested and punished.

And their hope shall be as the giving up of the ghost - literally, "the breathing out of the life or soul." Their hope shall leave them as the breath or life does the body. It is like death. The expression does not mean that their hope would always expire at death, but that it would certainly expire as life leaves the body. The meaning is, that whatever hope a wicked man has of future happiness and salvation, must fail. The time must come when it will cease to comfort and support him. The hope of the pious man lives until it is lost in fruition in heaven. It attends him in health; supports him in sickness; is with him at home; accompanies him abroad; cheers him in solitude; is his companion in society; is with him as he goes down into the shades of adversity, and it brightens as he travels along the valley of the shadow of death. It stands as a bright star over his grave - and is lost only in the glories of heaven, as the morning star is lost in the superior brightness of the rising sun. Not so the hypocrite and the sinner. His hope dies - and he leaves the world in despair. Sooner or later the last ray of his delusive hopes shall take its departure from the soul, and leave it to darkness. No matter how bright it may have been; no matter how long he has cherished it; no matter on what it is founded - whether on his morals, his prayers, his accomplishments, his learning; if it be not based on true conversion, and the promised mercy of God through a Redeemer, it must; soon cease to shine, and will leave the soul to the gloom of black despair.



Job 12:1-14:22. Job's Reply to ZopharJob’s answer: his friends’ self-conceit: the miserable always despised, though upright; the wicked prosper, Job 12:1-6. God’s power and providence is seen in his works, Job 12:7-11. With the ancient is wisdom, but especially in God, and power: judges are fools, princes weak and mean, darkness light, before him, Job 12:12-22; and whole nations are overruled by him, Job 12:23-25.

No text from Poole on this verse.

And Job answered and said. In reply to Zophar, and in defence of himself; what is recorded in this and the two following chapters. And Job answered and said,
Verses 1, 2. - And Job answered and said, No doubt but ye are the people. Bitterly ironical. Ye are those to whom alone it belongs to speak - the only "people" to whom attention is due. And wisdom shall die with you. "At your death," i.e., "all wisdom will have fled the earth; there will be no one left who knows anything." At least, no doubt, you think so. Job 12:1 1 The Job began, and said:

2 Truly then ye are the people,

And wisdom shall die with you!

3 I also have a heart as well as you;

I do not stand behind you;

And to whom should not such things be known?

The admission, which is strengthened by כּי אמנם, truly then (distinct from אמנם כּי, for truly, Job 36:4, similar to כּי הנּה, behold indeed, Psalm 128:4), is intended as irony: ye are not merely single individuals, but the people equals race of men (עם, as Isaiah 40:7; Isaiah 42:5), so that all human understanding is confined to you, and there is none other to be found; and when once you die, it will seem to have died out. The lxx correctly renders: μὴ ὑμεῖς ἐστὲ ἄνθρωποι μόνοι (according to the reading of the Cod. Alex.); he also has a heart like them, he is therefore not empty, נבוב, Job 11:12. Heart is, like Job 34:10, comp. נלבב, Job 11:12, equivalent to νοῦς διάνοια; Ewald's translation, "I also have a head even as you" ("brains" would better accord with the connection), is a western form of expression, and modern and unbiblical (vid., Division "Herz und Haupt," Psychol. iv. 12). He is not second to them; מן נפל, like Job 13:2, properly to slip from, to be below any one; מן is not the comparative (Ewald). Oetinger's translation is not bad: I cannot slink away at your presence. Who has not a knowledge of such things as those which they, by setting themselves up as defenders of God, have presented to him! אתּי היה is equivalent to ידעתּי, σύνοιδα, Isaiah 59:12.

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