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Bible Commentaries
Job 12

Garner-Howes Baptist CommentaryGarner-Howes

Verses 1-25

JOB - CHAPTER 12

JOB ANSWERS ALL THREE FRIENDS (?)

Verses 1-25:

HE IS FAMILIAR WITH THEIR PLATITUDES

Verses 1, 2 recount Job’s first stinging rebuke against the empty platitudes and presumptions of his visiting foreign accuser-friends: 1) Eliphaz the Temanite, 2) Bildad the Shuhite, and 3) Zophar the Naamathite, Job 2:11. He suggests that according to their air of "know-all" attitude they were the only genuine people of earth who were righteous and wise, and surely wisdom would die when they died, a note of stinging sarcasm, indeed, Romans 10:19. He followed Paul’s concept "Them that sin rebuke openly, before all, that others also may fear," 1 Timothy 5:20; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20. To the church at Corinth Paul advised if any appeared to be a "wise one", they were to treat him as a fool, a moron, that he might mature to be wise.

Verse 3 relates Job’s rebuttal that he had understanding of spiritual things that was not inferior to his advisors. Then he chided them whether or not there was any person of spiritual knowledge who did not already know all that they related, that no sin goes unpunished. But they did not seek wisdom on why Job suffered, see? They presumed to know all, Job 2:6-10; Job 13:2.

Verse 4 recounts Job’s testimony that he is (exists) as one who is mocked by his neighbors, who call upon God, but receives no immediate help, Job 11:3; Job 29:3-5; Psalms 91:15-16. The end for Job has not yet come. Victory is yet certain, Job 42:10; 1 Corinthians 15:58.

Verse 5 states that one who is ready to slip with his feet; standing on a banana peeling, as these three presumptuous false friends were on slippery ground, is like a lamp despised (taken lightly) by the thought of him that was at ease. Job was at peace with God, knowing he was in the will of God, even as his ready to fall phony advisers doled out pious platitudes of wisdom to him, without any spiritual understanding that Satan was testing him in his primary state of innocence, Job 2:6; Proverbs 14:2.

Verse 6 adds that the tabernacle of robbers (thugs and bandits) prosper, for a time; and those who oppose God are secure, live and move through him, whom God prospers, giving to them impartially, life and breath and all things, Acts 17:28. But after this, the judgment, Hebrews 9:27; Psalms 12:4; Psalms 37:1-2; Psalms 73:2-3; Proverbs 23:17; Proverbs 24:19; Habakkuk 1:11.

Verses 7, 8 recount Job’s direct appeal to his three friends to inquire of the beasts of the fields and fowls of the air and they could and would teach them lessons they needed to learn, that the violent live securely, v. 6. The vulture is more secure than the dove, the lion than the ox, the shark more than the dolphin and the thorn is more secure than the rose, see? Make inquiry of all the earth and her creatures, the sea and her creatures, and the heavens and her creatures and you may learn that it is not the bad and the evil that always suffer most, in the will of God. Else Jesus would never have suffered, Hebrews 7:24. The mother and father may suffer in innocence from ills of their own or of others.

Verses 9, 10 inquire who it is that does not know or recognize that it is the hand of the Lord (the Jehovah) that preserves or sustains the good and the bad, with life and daily sustenance. It is He in whose hand or care the soul-life of all living creatures and all mankind daily live, whether they be good or bad, Numbers 16:22; Daniel 5:23; Acts 17:28. It is wrong, even wicked, to attribute all human suffering and affliction to personal guilt for personal sins, John 9:2-3; John 11:14.

Verses 11,12 further inquires if these three friends are not aware that the ear tries or tests words and the mouth tastes its meat, selects what it hears and tastes good to the palate of each, from among the wise sayings of the ancients; Though each interprets it in the isolated context of his own pre-dispositions of fixed judgment. Job concedes that wisdom came from the ancients, the aged, as well as understanding from those of length of days, for observations and experiences. But he would warn them of making mountainous conclusions on serious matters with but a thimble full of evidence, Job 15:10; Proverbs 29:20.

Verses 13, 14 assert that wisdom, strength, counsel, and understanding exist in and with the Lord, who breaks down so that none can rebuild and shuts up, cuts off, imprisons one, so that there can be no opening, except He should will it so, Job 11:10. This is the nature of the Living God, 1 Samuel 17:48; Job 16:11; Proverbs 8:14; Isaiah 22:22; Romans 11:32; Revelation 3:7. See also Jeremiah 38:6; Daniel 5:19.

Verse 15 declares that this sovereign Lord withholdeth waters, so that they dry up, as the flood, as certified Genesis 8:1-2; Genesis 1 Kg 8:35, 36; 17:1; Psalms 104:7; Jeremiah 14:22; Nahum 1:4; Luke 4:25. He also mandates and they (the floods of waters) overturn the earth, Genesis 7:11.

Verses 16, 17 add that strength and wisdom (to use it) exist with Him. The deceived and the deceiver belong to Him, by right of creation, all are in His hand or care, Ezekiel 18:4; Acts 17:28. He also leads counsellors away spoiled and makes judges (like these three) to appear as presumptuous fools, as a captive stripped of his clothes and barefooted, Isaiah 20:4; 1 Corinthians 3:18-20.

Verses 18, 19 add further that it is the Lord who looses the bonds, or ties that kings have over their subjects, as expressed Isaiah 45:1; Daniel 2:21; Daniel 5:19. Instead of the royal girdle he also places on them the cord-girdle of captives, Genesis 14:4; Isaiah 22:21. He also leads princes who were also household priests or (Heb cohanim) away as spoils-captives, overthrowing the mighty or the established chief rulers, Psalms 99:6; 2 Samuel 8:18.

Verse 20 states that He removes, takes away in His judgment the speech (eloquence of speech) of the trusty, the leading speaker in the gate, Isaiah 3:3. With removed eloquence he also takes away the astuteness of discernment or understanding in His judgment wrath, Daniel 2:14; Daniel 5:20-21.

Verse 21 asserts that He pours out contempt (continually) upon the prince: And He weakens the strength or girdle of those firmly rooted in power, Psalms 107:40. He destroys them, causes them to lose their influence in the eyes of the people, their subjects.

Verse 22 ascribes to the Lord the discovery or disclosure of deep (hidden things) out of darkness, as described, 1Kg 6:12; Job 11:6; Job 28:20-23; Psalms 44:21; Psalms 139:12; Isaiah 29:15; Jeremiah 23:24; Daniel 2:22; Matthew 10:26; 1 Corinthians 2:10; 1 Corinthians 4:5. Truly he "revealeth the deep and secret things," and bringeth out to light the shadow of death, Psalms 23:4.

Verse 23 declares that He increases or multiplies the nations, and destroys or scatters, breaks them up in His power and will, Isaiah 9:3; Psalms 107:39; Psalms 107:39; As also described v. 21 above. He causes the nations in wickedness to be straitened or reduced and led away captives, 2Kg 18:11.

Verse 24 explains that He takes away the heart (intelligent impulses and emotions) of .people of the earth, causing them to wander in a wilderness of desolation, as Belshazzar did, Daniel 5:19-25; See also Psalms 107:4; Psalms 107:40.

Verse 25 concludes that God, in His own purpose, causes nations and individuals to grope in darkness, and stagger or wander like a drunken man: Sometimes it is because of direct judgment for sin, Deuteronomy 20:4-5; Galatians 6:7-8. Again it is that God may be glorified in or through them, without any personal guilt on their part, John 9:2-3; John 11:4.

Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 12". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-12.html. 1985.
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