Job 12

Job’s Reply to Zophar1

12:1 Then Job answered:

12:2 “Without a doubt you are the people,2

and wisdom will die with you.3

12:3 I also have understanding4 as well as you;

I am not inferior to you.5

Who does not know such things as these?6

12:4 I am7 a laughingstock8 to my friends,9

I, who called on God and whom he answered10

a righteous and blameless11 man

is a laughingstock!

12:5 For calamity,12 there is derision

(according to the ideas of the fortunate13) –

a fate14 for those whose feet slip!

12:6 But15 the tents of robbers are peaceful,

and those who provoke God are confident16

who carry their god in their hands.17

Knowledge of God’s Wisdom18

12:7 “But now, ask the animals and they19 will teach you,

or the birds of the sky and they will tell you.

12:8 Or speak20 to the earth21 and it will teach you,

or let the fish of the sea declare to you.

12:9 Which of all these22 does not know

that the hand of the Lord23 has done24 this,

12:10 in whose hand25 is the life26 of every creature

and the breath of all the human race.27

12:11 Does not the ear test words,

as28 the tongue29 tastes food?30

12:12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?31

Does not long life bring understanding?

12:13 “With God32 are wisdom and power;

counsel and understanding are his.33

12:14 If34 he tears down, it cannot be rebuilt;

if he imprisons a person, there is no escape.35

12:15 If he holds back the waters, then they dry up;36

if he releases them,37 they destroy38 the land.

12:16 With him are strength and prudence;39

both the one who goes astray40

and the one who misleads are his.

12:17 He41 leads42 counselors away stripped43

and makes judges44 into fools.45

12:18 He loosens46 the bonds47 of kings

and binds a loincloth48 around their waist.

12:19 He leads priests away stripped49

and overthrows50 the potentates.51

12:20 He deprives the trusted advisers52 of speech53

and takes away the discernment54 of elders.

12:21 He pours contempt on noblemen

and disarms55 the powerful.56

12:22 He reveals the deep things of darkness,

and brings deep shadows57 into the light.

12:23 He makes nations great,58 and destroys them;

he extends the boundaries of nations

and disperses59 them.60

12:24 He deprives the leaders of the earth61

of their understanding;62

he makes them wander

in a trackless desert waste.63

12:25 They grope about in darkness64 without light;

he makes them stagger65 like drunkards.

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