Job 11:12
New International Version
But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey's colt can be born human.

New Living Translation
An empty-headed person won't become wise any more than a wild donkey can bear a human child.

English Standard Version
But a stupid man will get understanding when a wild donkey’s colt is born a man!

Berean Study Bible
But a witless man can no more become wise than the colt of a wild donkey can be born a man!

New American Standard Bible
"An idiot will become intelligent When the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.

King James Bible
For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.

Christian Standard Bible
But a stupid person will gain understanding as soon as a wild donkey is born a human!

Contemporary English Version
but it's easier to tame a wild donkey than to make a fool wise.

Good News Translation
Stupid people will start being wise when wild donkeys are born tame.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
But a stupid man will gain understanding as soon as a wild donkey is born a man!

International Standard Version
An empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born a human being!"

NET Bible
But an empty man will become wise, when a wild donkey's colt is born a human being.

New Heart English Bible
An empty-headed man becomes wise when a man is born as a wild donkey's colt.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
But an empty-headed person will gain understanding when a wild donkey is born tame.

JPS Tanakh 1917
But an empty man will get understanding, When a wild ass's colt is born a man.

New American Standard 1977
“And an idiot will become intelligent When the foal of a wild donkey is born a man.

Jubilee Bible 2000
The vain man shall make himself understood, though man is born like a wild ass's colt.

King James 2000 Bible
For a vain man will be wise, when a man is born a wild donkey's colt.

American King James Version
For vain men would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.

American Standard Version
But vain man is void of understanding, Yea, man is born as a wild ass's colt.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
But man vainly buoys himself up with words; and a mortal born of woman is like an ass in the desert.

Douay-Rheims Bible
A vain man is lifted up into pride, and thinketh himself born free like a wild ass's colt.

Darby Bible Translation
Yet a senseless man will make bold, though man be born [like] the foal of a wild ass.

English Revised Version
But vain man is void of understanding, yea, man is born as a wild ass's colt.

Webster's Bible Translation
For vain man would be wise, though man is born like a wild ass's colt.

World English Bible
An empty-headed man becomes wise when a man is born as a wild donkey's colt.

Young's Literal Translation
And empty man is bold, And the colt of a wild ass man is born.
Study Bible
Zophar Rebukes Job
11Surely He knows the deceit of men. If He sees iniquity, does He not take note? 12But a witless man can no more become wise than the colt of a wild donkey can be born a man! 13As for you, if you direct your heart and lift up your hands to Him,…
Cross References
Job 39:5
Who set the wild donkey free? Who released the swift donkey from the harness?

Psalm 39:5
You, indeed, have made my days as handbreadths, and my lifetime as nothing before You. Truly each man at his best exists as but a breath. Selah

Psalm 39:11
You discipline and correct a man for his iniquity, consuming like a moth what he holds dear; surely each man is but a vapor. Selah

Psalm 62:9
Lowborn men are but a vapor; the exalted but a lie. Weighed on the scale, they are pushed up; together they are but a breath.

Psalm 144:4
Man is like a breath; his days are like a passing shadow.

Ecclesiastes 1:2
"Futility of futilities," says the Teacher, "futility of futilities! Everything is futile!"

Ecclesiastes 11:10
So banish sorrow from your heart, and cast off pain from your body, for youth and vigor are fleeting.

Treasury of Scripture

For vain men would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.

For vain.

Psalm 62:9,10
Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity…

Psalm 73:22
So foolish was I, and ignorant: I was as a beast before thee.

Psalm 92:6
A brutish man knoweth not; neither doth a fool understand this.

would

Job 5:13
He taketh the wise in their own craftiness: and the counsel of the froward is carried headlong.

Job 12:2,3
No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you…

Job 28:28
And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding.

man be

Job 15:14
What is man, that he should be clean? and he which is born of a woman, that he should be righteous?

Psalm 51:5
Behold, I was shapen in iniquity; and in sin did my mother conceive me.

Ephesians 2:3
Among whom also we all had our conversation in times past in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind; and were by nature the children of wrath, even as others.

a wild

Job 6:5
Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?

Job 39:5-8
Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass? …

Jeremiah 2:24
A wild ass used to the wilderness, that snuffeth up the wind at her pleasure; in her occasion who can turn her away? all they that seek her will not weary themselves; in her month they shall find her.







Lexicon
But a witless
נָ֭בוּב (nā·ḇūḇ)
Adjective - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5014: To pierce, to be hollow, foolish

man
וְאִ֣ישׁ (wə·’îš)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 376: A man as an individual, a male person

can no more become wise
יִלָּבֵ֑ב (yil·lā·ḇêḇ)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3823: Transport, stultify, to make cakes

than the colt
וְעַ֥יִר (wə·‘a·yir)
Conjunctive waw | Noun - masculine singular construct
Strong's Hebrew 5895: A young ass, an ass-colt

of a wild donkey
פֶּ֝֗רֶא (pe·re)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6501: A wild donkey

can be born
יִוָּלֵֽד׃ (yiw·wā·lêḏ)
Verb - Nifal - Imperfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3205: To bear young, to beget, medically, to act as midwife, to show lineage

a man!
אָדָ֥ם (’ā·ḏām)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 120: Ruddy, a human being
(12) For vain man would be wise, &c., is extremely difficult, because it is hard to distinguish subject and predicate. Literally, it runs, And hollow man is instructed, and the wild ass's colt is born a man. Whether it means that if God did not thus conceal His observation of human actions, the very fool and the most obstinate would become instructed and disciplined, whereas now they are allowed to go on in their folly and obstinacy; or whether it is meant that, notwithstanding the dealings of Providence, hollow-hearted man is still devoid of heart, and every son of Adam at his birth is a very wild ass colt; or whether, again, it is meant that by reason of the Divine discipline the hollow-hearted man is disciplined, and the very wild ass colt is born a man and humanised, it is hard to decide. The uncertainty in part arises from our not knowing the exact meaning of the first verb: whether it is to get understanding or to be deprived of it--for either is possible. Another way of taking the context is to refer the last clause of Job 11:11, not to God, but to man. Man sees not that God sees him, for an empty man will get understanding when a wild ass's colt is born a man--that is, the latter is as likely as the former. One point is pretty clear, that by the wild ass's colt Zophar means Job. However, he suggests that if he will become something better and wiser, and will put away his secret sin, which he is convinced must cling to him, then he shall again know prosperity and be established in it.

Verse 12. - For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt; rather, and a vain man may get understanding, and the colt of a wild ass become a than (compare the Revised Version, marginal rendering). Zophar seems to mean that, through Divine discipline, such as that described in ver. 10, a vain, foolish, puffed-up man may be reclaimed and become a man of understanding - a stubborn and untamed one, wild as the colt of a wild ass, grow into a real man, i.e. acquire sense and discretion. If this is the meaning, undoubtedly Job is glanced at (so Schultens, Dillmann, and Canon Cook). 11:7-12 Zophar speaks well concerning God and his greatness and glory, concerning man and his vanity and folly. See here what man is; and let him be humbled. God sees this concerning vain man, that he would be wise, would be thought so, though he is born like a wild ass's colt, so unteachable and untameable. Man is a vain creature; empty, so the word is. Yet he is a proud creature, and self-conceited. He would be wise, would be thought so, though he will not submit to the laws of wisdom. He would be wise, he reaches after forbidden wisdom, and, like his first parents, aiming to be wise above what is written, loses the tree of life for the tree of knowledge. Is such a creature as this fit to contend with God?
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OT Poetry: Job 11:12 An empty-headed man becomes wise when (Jb) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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