Job Replies: The Lord Has Done This

Job 12

1 Then Job answered and said:

2 "No doubt you are the people,
and wisdom will die with you.
3 But I have b understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Who does not know c such things as these?
4 I am d a laughingstock to my friends;
I, who e called to God and he answered me,
a just and blameless man, am a laughingstock.
5 In the thought of one who is f at ease there is contempt for misfortune;
it is ready for those whose feet slip.
6 g The tents of robbers are at peace,
and those who provoke God are secure,
who bring their god in their hand. 1

7 "But ask the beasts, and they will teach you;
the birds of the heavens, and they will tell you;
8 or the bushes of the earth, 2 and they will teach you;
and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
that h the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In i his hand is the life of every living thing
and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not j the ear test words
as the palate tastes food?
12 Wisdom is with k the aged,
and understanding in length of days.

13 l "With God 3 are wisdom and might;
he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, none can rebuild;
if he m shuts a man in, none can open.
15 If he n withholds the waters, they dry up;
if he o sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and p sound wisdom;
the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads q counselors away stripped,
and r judges he makes fools.
18 He s looses the bonds of kings
and binds a waistcloth on their hips.
19 He leads priests away stripped
and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted
t and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He u pours contempt on princes
and loosens the belt of the strong.
22 He v uncovers the deeps out of darkness
and brings w deep darkness to light.
23 He x makes nations great, and he destroys them;
he enlarges nations, and y leads them away.
24 He takes away understanding from the chiefs of the people of the earth
and z makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25 They a grope in the dark without light,
and he makes them b stagger like a drunken man.

  1. Cross References
    Job 13:2
    What you know, I also know; I am not inferior to you.
    Job 15:9
    What do you know that we do not know? What do you understand that is not clear to us?
  2. Cross References
    Job 16:2
    I have heard many such things; miserable comforters are you all.
  3. Cross References
    Job 16:10
    Men have gaped at me with their mouth; they have struck me insolently on the cheek; they mass themselves together against me.
    Job 17:2
    Surely there are mockers about me, and my eye dwells on their provocation.
    Job 17:6
    He has made me a byword of the peoples, and I am one before whom men spit.
    Job 21:3
    Bear with me, and I will speak, and after I have spoken, mock on.
    Job 30:1
    But now they laugh at me, men who are younger than I, whose fathers I would have disdained to set with the dogs of my flock.
  4. Cross References
    Psalms 91:15
    When he calls to me, I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.
  5. Cross References
    Job 3:18
    There the prisoners are at ease together; they hear not the voice of the taskmaster.
  6. Cross References
    Job 21:7
    Why do the wicked live, reach old age, and grow mighty in power?
  7. Cross References
    Isaiah 41:20
    That they may see and know, may consider and understand together, that the hand of the Lord has done this, the Holy One of Israel has created it.
    Job 1:21
    And he said, "Naked I came from my mother's womb, and naked shall I return. The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away; blessed be the name of the Lord.
  8. Cross References
    Numbers 16:22
    And they fell on their faces and said, "O God, the God of the spirits of all flesh, shall one man sin, and will you be angry with all the congregation?
    Daniel 5:23
    But you have lifted up yourself against the Lord of heaven. And the vessels of his house have been brought in before you, and you and your lords, your wives, and your concubines have drunk wine from them. And you have praised the gods of silver and gold, of bronze, iron, wood, and stone, which do not see or hear or know, but the God in whose hand is your breath, and whose are all your ways, you have not honored.
    Acts 17:28
    For "'In him we live and move and have our being'; as even some of your own poets have said, "'For we are indeed his offspring.
  9. Cross References
    Job 34:3
    For the ear tests words as the palate tastes food.
  10. Cross References
    Job 32:7
    I said, 'Let days speak, and many years teach wisdom.
    Psalms 119:100
    I understand more than the aged, for I keep your precepts.
  11. Cross References
    Job 9:4
    He is wise in heart and mighty in strength - who has hardened himself against him, and succeeded? -
    Job 36:5
    Behold, God is mighty, and does not despise any; he is mighty in strength of understanding.
  12. Cross References
    Job 11:10
    If he passes through and imprisons and summons the court, who can turn him back?
    Isaiah 22:22
    And I will place on his shoulder the key of the house of David. He shall open, and none shall shut; and he shall shut, and none shall open.
    Revelation 3:7
    And to the angel of the church in Philadelphia write: 'The words of the holy one, the true one, who has the key of David, who opens and no one will shut, who shuts and no one opens.
  13. Cross References
    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.
  14. Cross References
    Genesis 7:11 - 24
    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.
    Psalms 147:18
    He sends out his word, and melts them; he makes his wind blow and the waters flow.
    Amos 9:6
    Who builds his upper chambers in the heavens and founds his vault upon the earth; who calls for the waters of the sea and pours them out upon the surface of the earth - the Lord is his name.
  15. Cross References
    Job 5:12
    He frustrates the devices of the crafty, so that their hands achieve no success.
  16. Cross References
    2 Samuel 17:23
    When Ahithophel saw that his counsel was not followed, he saddled his donkey and went off home to his own city. He set his house in order and hanged himself, and he died and was buried in the tomb of his father.
  17. Cross References
    Job 9:24
    The earth is given into the hand of the wicked; he covers the faces of its judges - if it is not he, who then is it?
    Isaiah 40:23
    Who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness.
    Isaiah 29:14
    Therefore, behold, I will again do wonderful things with this people, with wonder upon wonder; and the wisdom of their wise men shall perish, and the discernment of their discerning men shall be hidden.
    Isaiah 44:25
    Who frustrates the signs of liars and makes fools of diviners, who turns wise men back and makes their knowledge foolish.
    1 Corinthians 1:19
    For it is written, "I will destroy the wisdom of the wise, and the discernment of the discerning I will thwart.
  18. Cross References
    Psalms 116:16
    O Lord, I am your servant; I am your servant, the son of your maidservant. You have loosed my bonds.
  19. Cross References
    Job 32:9
    It is not the old who are wise, nor the aged who understand what is right.
  20. Cross References
    Psalms 107:40
    He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
  21. Cross References
    Daniel 2:22
    He reveals deep and hidden things; he knows what is in the darkness, and the light dwells with him.
    1 Corinthians 4:5
    Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God.
  22. Cross References
    Job 3:5
    Let gloom and deep darkness claim it. Let clouds dwell upon it; let the blackness of the day terrify it.
  23. Cross References
    Isaiah 9:3
    You have multiplied the nation; you have increased its joy; they rejoice before you as with joy at the harvest, as they are glad when they divide the spoil.
    Isaiah 26:15
    But you have increased the nation, O Lord, you have increased the nation; you are glorified; you have enlarged all the borders of the land.
  24. Cross References
    2 Kings 18:11
    The king of Assyria carried the Israelites away to Assyria and put them in Halah, and on the Habor, the river of Gozan, and in the cities of the Medes.
  25. Cross References
    Psalms 107:40
    He pours contempt on princes and makes them wander in trackless wastes.
    Job 6:18
    The caravans turn aside from their course; they go up into the waste and perish.
  26. Cross References
    Job 5:14
    They meet with darkness in the daytime and grope at noonday as in the night.
  27. Cross References
    Psalms 107:27
    They reeled and staggered like drunken men and were at their wits' end.
    Isaiah 19:14
    The Lord has mingled within her a spirit of confusion, and they will make Egypt stagger in all its deeds, as a drunken man staggers in his vomit.
English Standard Version (ESV) The Holy Bible, English Standard Version Copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers.
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