Job 12:9
Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this?—This is the only place in the dialogue parts of Job in which the sacred name of Jehovah is found, and Job’s very use of the word in such a context is the clearest evidence of the superior knowledge that he claims. No one of his friends makes use of the name; but Job uses it here, and shows thereby his knowledge of the covenant name.

Job 12:9. Who knoweth not in all these — Or, by all these brute creatures; that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this — That God, by his power and wisdom, hath created and ordered all that is in them, or that is done by and among them. Job meant in these verses to express his firm opinion that all animate and inanimate nature clearly bore testimony to the creating power and overruling providence of God: see Nehemiah 9:6. This is the only time that we meet with the name Jehovah in all the discourses between Job and his friends. For God in that age was more known by the name of Shaddai, the Almighty.

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.Who knoweth not in all these - Who cannot see in all these the proofs of the same divine and sovereign agency? Who cannot see the hand of the same God and the same great principles of administration? The meaning of Job is, that the position which he defends is so plain, that it may be learned from the very earth and the lowest orders of animals which God has made.

That the hand of the Lord hath wrought this - In this place the original word is יהוה yehovâh. On the meaning of the word see the notes at Isaiah 1:2. The Chaldee also renders it here יה yâhh. It is remarkable that this is the only place where the name yahweh occurs in poetical parts of the book of Job, in the printed editions. In Job 28:28, yahweh is found in some manuscripts, though the word "Adonai" is in the printed copies. Eichhorn, Einleit. section 644, Note. In Job 12:9, the word yahweh, though found in the printed editions, is missing in nine ancient manuscripts. Dr. John P. Wilson on the "Hope of Immortality," p. 57. The word yahweh constantly occurs in the historical parts of the book. On the argument derived from this, in regard to the antiquity of the Book of Job, see the introduction, Section 4.

9. In all these cases, says Job, the agency must be referred to Jehovah, though they may seem to man to imply imperfection (Job 12:6; 9:24). This is the only undisputed passage of the poetical part in which the name "Jehovah" occurs; in the historical parts it occurs frequently. In all these, or, by all these, brute creatures, that God by his power and wisdom hath created and ordered all this which is in them, or is done by and among them.

Who knoweth not in all these,.... Or "by" or "from all these" (o) creatures; what man is there so stupid and senseless, that does not discern, or cannot learn, even from irrational creatures, the above things, even what Zophar had discoursed concerning God and his perfections, his power, wisdom and providence? for, by the things that are made, the invisible things of God are clearly seen and understood, even his eternal power and Godhead, Romans 1:20; particularly it may be known by these, and who is it that does not know thereby,

that the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? made this visible world, and all things in it, to which Job then pointed as it were with his finger, meaning the heavens, earth, and sea, and all that in them are, which were all created by him: hence he is called the Former and Maker of all things; and which are all the works of his hand, that is, of his power, which is meant by his hand, that being the instrument of action. This is the only place where the word "Jehovah" is used in this book by the disputants.

(o) "ex omnibus istis", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt, Schultens, Michaelis; "per omnia haec", Cocceius; so Broughton.

Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. in all these] Or, by all these, Genesis 15:8.

hath wrought this] Rather, doeth this, viz. as Zophar had taught and as Job 12:10 explains, rules with an absolute sway in all the world of life upon the earth, men and creatures. We should say in English here, acts thus (as Zophar had said), cf. Isaiah 41:20, though the point prominently referred to is the infliction of suffering.

Verse 9. - Who knoweth not in all these; or, by all these; i.e. by all these instances. That the hand of the Lord hath wrought this? literally, the hand of Jehovah. The name "Jehovah does not occur elsewhere in the dialogue, though it is employed frequently in the historical sections (Job 1:6-12, 21; Job 2:1-7; Job 38:1; Job 40:1, 3, 6; Job 42:1, 7-12). The writer probably regards the name as unfamiliar, if not unknown, to Job's neighbours, and therefore as avoided by him in his discussions with them. But here, for once, he forgets to be consistent with himself. Outside Scripture, the name is first found on the Moabite Stone (about B.C. 890), where it designates the God worshipped by the Israelites (see 'Records of the Past,' vol. 11. p. 166, 1. 18). Job 12:9 7 But ask now even the beasts - they shall teach it thee;

And the birds of heaven - they shall declare it to thee:

8 Or look thoughtfully to the ground - it shall teach it thee;

And the fish of the sea shall tell it thee.

9 Who would not recognise in all this

That the hand of Jehovah hath wrought this,

10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing,

And the breath of all mankind?!

The meaning of the whole strophe is perverted if זאת (Job 12:9), is, with Ewald, referred to "the destiny of severe suffering and pain," and if that which precedes is accordingly referred to the testimony of creation to God as its author. Since, as a glance at what follows shows, Job further on praises God as the governor of the universe, it may be expected that the reference is here to God as the creator and preserver of the world, which seems to be the meaning of the words. Job himself expresses the purpose of this hymn of confession, Job 12:2., Job 13:1.: he will show the friends that the majesty of God, before which he ought, according to their demands, to humble himself in penitence, is not less known to him than to them; and with ואולם, verum enim vero, he passes over to this subject when he begins his third answer with the following thought: The perception in which you pride yourselves I also possess; true, I am an object of scornful contempt to you, who are as little able to understand the suffering of the godly as the prosperity of the godless, nevertheless what you know I also know: ask now, etc. Bildad had appealed to the sayings of the ancients, which have the long experience of the past in their favour, to support the justice of the divine government; Job here appeals to the absoluteness of the divine rule over creation. In form, this strophe is the counterpart of Job 8:8-10 in the speech of Bildad, and somewhat also of Job 11:7-9 in that of Zophar. The working of God, which infinitely transcends human power and knowledge, is the sermon which is continuously preached by all created things; they all proclaim the omnipotence and wisdom of the Creator.

The plural בּהמות is followed by the verb that refers to it, in the singular, in favour of which Genesis 49:22 is the favourite example among old expositors (Ges. 146, 3). On the other hand, the verb might follow the collective עוף in the plural, according to Ges. 146, 1. The plural, however, is used only in Job 12:8, because there the verb precedes instead of following its subject. According to the rule Ges. 128, 2, the jussive form of the fut. follows the imperative. In the midst of this enumeration of created things, שׂיח, as a substantive, seems to signify the plants - and especially as Arab. šı̂h even now, in the neighbourhood of Job's ancient habitation, is the name of a well-known mountain-plant - under whose shade a meagre vegetation is preserved even in the hot season (vid., on Job 30:4.). But (1) שׂיח as subst. is gen. masc. Genesis 2:5); (2) instead of לערץ, in order to describe a plant that is found on the ground, or one rooted in the ground, it must be על־הארץ or בארץ; (3) the mention of plants between the birds and fishes would be strange. It may therefore be taken as the imperative: speak to the earth (lxx, Targ., Vulg., and most others); or, which I prefer, since the Aramaic construction לו סח, narravit ei, does not occur elsewhere in Hebrew (although perhaps implicite, Proverbs 6:22, תשׂיחך equals לך תשׂיח, favulabitur, or confabulabitur tibi), as a pregnant expression: think, i.e., look meditatively to the earth (Ewald), since שׂוּח (שׂיח), like הגה, combines the significations of quiet or articulate meditation on a subject. The exhortation directs attention not to the earth in itself, but to the small living things which move about on the ground, comprehended in the collective name רמשׂ, syn. שׁרץ (creeping things), in the record of creation. All these creatures, though without reason and speech, still utter a language which is heard by every intelligent man. Renan, after Ewald, translates erroneously: qui ne sait parmi tous ces tres. They do not even possess knowledge, but they offer instruction, and are a means of knowledge; בּ with ידע, like Genesis 15:8; Genesis 42:33, and freq. All the creatures named declare that the hand of Jehovah has made "this," whatever we see around us, τὸ βλεπόμενον, Hebrews 11:3. In the same manner in Isaiah 66:2; Jeremiah 14:22, כּל־אלּה is used of the world around us. In the hand of God, i.e., in His power, because His workmanship, are the souls of all living things, and the spirit (that which came direct from God) of all men; every order of life, high and low, owes its origin and continuance to Him. אישׁ is the individual, and in this connection, in which נפשׁ and רוּח ( equals נשׁמה) are certainly not unintentionally thus separated, the individual man. Creation is the school of knowledge, and man is the learner. And this knowledge forces itself upon one's attention: quis non cognoverit? The perf. has this subjunctive force also elsewhere in interrogative clauses, e.g., Psalm 11:3 (vid., on Genesis 21:7). That the name of God, JEHOVAH, for once escapes the poet here, is to be explained from the phrase "the hand of Jehovah hath made this," being a somewhat proverbial expression (comp. Isaiah 41:20; Isaiah 66:2).

Job now refers to the sayings of the fathers, the authority of which, as being handed down from past generations, Bildad had maintained in his opposition to Job.

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