Job 12:15
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
If he withholds the waters, they dry up; if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.

King James Bible
Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

American Standard Version
Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up; Again, he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

Douay-Rheims Bible
If he withhold the waters, all things shall be dried up: and if he send them out, they shall overturn the earth.

English Revised Version
Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up; again, he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

Webster's Bible Translation
Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.

Job 12:15 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

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.

Job 12:15 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Behold

Job 12:10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind.

Genesis 8:1,2 And God remembered Noah, and every living thing, and all the cattle that was with him in the ark...

1 Kings 8:35,36 When heaven is shut up, and there is no rain, because they have sinned against you; if they pray toward this place...

1 Kings 17:1 And Elijah the Tishbite, who was of the inhabitants of Gilead, said to Ahab, As the LORD God of Israel lives, before whom I stand...

Jeremiah 14:22 Are there any among the vanities of the Gentiles that can cause rain? or can the heavens give showers? are not you he, O LORD our God?...

Nahum 1:4 He rebukes the sea, and makes it dry, and dries up all the rivers: Bashan languishes, and Carmel, and the flower of Lebanon languishes.

Luke 4:25 But I tell you of a truth, many widows were in Israel in the days of Elias, when the heaven was shut up three years and six months...

James 5:17,18 Elias was a man subject to like passions as we are, and he prayed earnestly that it might not rain...

Revelation 11:6 These have power to shut heaven, that it rain not in the days of their prophecy: and have power over waters to turn them to blood...

he sendeth

Genesis 6:13,17 And God said to Noah, The end of all flesh is come before me; for the earth is filled with violence through them; and, behold...

Genesis 7:11,23 In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, the seventeenth day of the month...

Psalm 104:7-9 At your rebuke they fled; at the voice of your thunder they hurried away...

Amos 5:8 Seek him that makes the seven stars and Orion, and turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the day dark with night...

Cross References
Genesis 7:11
In the six hundredth year of Noah's life, in the second month, on the seventeenth day of the month, on that day all the fountains of the great deep burst forth, and the windows of the heavens were opened.

Genesis 8:1
But God remembered Noah and all the beasts and all the livestock that were with him in the ark. And God made a wind blow over the earth, and the waters subsided.

Deuteronomy 11:17
then the anger of the LORD will be kindled against you, and he will shut up the heavens, so that there will be no rain, and the land will yield no fruit, and you will perish quickly off the good land that the LORD is giving you.

1 Kings 8:35
"When heaven is shut up and there is no rain because they have sinned against you, if they pray toward this place and acknowledge your name and turn from their sin, when you afflict them,

1 Kings 17:1
Now Elijah the Tishbite, of Tishbe in Gilead, said to Ahab, "As the LORD, the God of Israel, lives, before whom I stand, there shall be neither dew nor rain these years, except by my word."

Job 28:25
When he gave to the wind its weight and apportioned the waters by measure,

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