← Back

Why did Job say creatures and the earth "teach" us? (Job 12:7–10)

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, and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
9 Who among all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every living thing
    and the breath of all mankind.

Job 12:7 - 10

NKJV - 7 But now ask the beasts, and they will teach you; And the birds of the air, and they will tell you. 8 Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you; And the fish of the sea will explain to you.

Clarify Share Report Asked October 08 2019 My picture Jack Gutknecht

Community answers are sorted based on votes. The higher the vote, the further up an answer is.

Mini Tim Maas Retired Quality Assurance Specialist with the U.S. Army
I would say that the passage that is cited the question is indicating that all forms of life on earth (both animals and plants), as well as the order of the universe itself, act as a witness (to those who have the objectivity to receive that witness) through their diversity and complexity to the fact that they did not just simply "happen", but that they were designed, created, and given life or set in motion by God for His purpose (even despite the subsequent corruption of God's creation through humanity's sin).

October 08 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

My picture Jack Gutknecht ABC/DTS graduate, guitar music ministry Baptist church
In Job 12:7-12 Job appeals to all creation to testify that God does what He pleases. 

Job 12:7 they will teach you Job points to creation to show that God’s control over the earth is well known. This may be a sarcastic response to Zophar’s speech about God’s supremacy (Job 11:7-10). Job 12:9 Yahweh’s hand has done this. All of creation is aware of God’s supremacy. Since Job had already acknowledged this (Job 9:4-12), he does not need his friends to remind him of it. This is the only occurrence of the divine name, Yahweh, in the dialogues between Job and his friends. Compare Isa 41:20
Here in Job 12:9 “that the hand of the LORD has done this” is an echo of Isa 41:10. “LORD”, once again, is the only occurrence or place in Job’s and his friends’ speeches (Job 3-37) where the divine name “LORD (Hebrew ‘Yahweh’) is used.

What did Job say creatures like this “teach” us? (Job 12:7-10)
We learn from these creatures that we are totally dependent upon God and that he is free to do as He pleases with His creation. 

Zophar claimed that wisdom was not accessible to man (Job 11:7-9), but Job said that God’s creatures could teach them what they needed to know (Job 12:7-11; see Gen. 1:26-28). Even “dumb” creatures know that God’s hand made everything and keeps everything going. Compare the miracle of Balaam’s donkey: 2 Peter 2:16 But was rebuked for his iniquity: the dumb ass speaking with man's voice forbad the madness of the prophet. Peter called this attitude "madness". The word means “to be deranged, out of your mind.” But Balaam thought he was doing the wise thing; after all, he was taking advantage of a situation that might never come along again. But any rebellion against God is madness and can only lead to tragedy. (It was when the prodigal son “came to himself” that he realized how stupid he had been (Luke 15:17).)

October 10 2019 0 responses Vote Up Share Report

Add your Answer

All answers are REVIEWED and MODERATED.
Please ensure your answer MEETS all our guidelines.

What makes a good answer? ▼

A good answer provides new insight and perspective. Here are guidelines to help facilitate a meaningful learning experience for everyone.

  1. Adhere to the eBible Statement of Faith.
  2. Your answer should be complete and stand-alone.
  3. Include supporting arguments, and scripture references if possible. Seek to answer the "why".
  4. Adhere to a proper tone and spirit of love and understanding.
  5. For more info see The Complete Guide to eBible
  1. 4000 characters remaining