Bible Book List

Job 12 Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Job Answers His Friends

12 Then Job answered them:

“I’m sure you think you are
    the only wise people left.
You think that when you die,
    wisdom will be gone with you.
But my mind is as good as yours.
    You aren’t any smarter than I am.
You haven’t said anything
    that people don’t already know.

“My friends laugh at me now.
    They say, ‘He prayed to God and got his answer.’
I am a good, innocent man,
    but still they laugh at me.
Those who have no troubles make fun of those who do.
    They hit a man when he is down.
But robbers’ tents are not bothered.
    Those who make God angry live in peace,
    even though God has them in his power.

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you.
    Or ask the birds of the air, and they will tell you.
Or speak to the earth, and it will teach you.
    Or let the fish in the sea tell you their wisdom.
Everyone knows
    that the Lord made these things.
10 Every animal that lives and everyone who breathes—
    they are all under God’s power.
11 But just as the tongue tastes food,
    the ears test the words they hear.
12 People say, ‘Wisdom is to be found in those who are old.
    Long life brings understanding.’
13 But wisdom and power belong to God.
    Good advice and understanding are his.
14 Anything God tears down cannot be rebuilt.
    Anyone he puts in prison cannot be set free.
15 If he holds back the rain, the earth will dry up.
    If he lets the rain loose, it will flood the land.
16 God is strong and always wins.
    He controls those who fool others and those who are fooled.
17 He strips advisors of their wisdom
    and makes leaders act like fools.
18 He strips kings of their authority
    and makes them slaves.
19 He strips priests of their power
    and removes those who feel so secure in their position.
20 He makes trusted advisors be silent.
    He takes away the wisdom of the older leaders.
21 He brings disgrace to important people.
    He takes power away from rulers.
22 He exposes even the darkest secrets.
    He sends light into places that are as dark as death.
23 God makes nations great,
    and then he destroys them.
He makes nations grow large,
    and then he scatters their people.
24 He makes their leaders foolish.
    He makes them wander around in the desert.
25 They are like someone feeling their way in the dark.
    They are like drunks who don’t know where they are going.

Easy-to-Read Version (ERV)

Copyright © 2006 by Bible League International

Job 12 New International Version (NIV)


12 Then Job replied:

“Doubtless you are the only people who matter,
    and wisdom will die with you!
But I have a mind as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know all these things?

“I have become a laughingstock to my friends,
    though I called on God and he answered
    a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune
    as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
The tents of marauders are undisturbed,
    and those who provoke God are secure
    those God has in his hand.[a]

“But ask the animals, and they will teach you,
    or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
or speak to the earth, and it will teach you,
    or let the fish in the sea inform you.
Which of all these does not know
    that the hand of the Lord has done this?
10 In his hand is the life of every creature
    and the breath of all mankind.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the tongue tastes food?
12 Is not wisdom found among the aged?
    Does not long life bring understanding?

13 “To God belong wisdom and power;
    counsel and understanding are his.
14 What he tears down cannot be rebuilt;
    those he imprisons cannot be released.
15 If he holds back the waters, there is drought;
    if he lets them loose, they devastate the land.
16 To him belong strength and insight;
    both deceived and deceiver are his.
17 He leads rulers away stripped
    and makes fools of judges.
18 He takes off the shackles put on by kings
    and ties a loincloth[b] around their waist.
19 He leads priests away stripped
    and overthrows officials long established.
20 He silences the lips of trusted advisers
    and takes away the discernment of elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
    and disarms the mighty.
22 He reveals the deep things of darkness
    and brings utter darkness into the light.
23 He makes nations great, and destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, and disperses them.
24 He deprives the leaders of the earth of their reason;
    he makes them wander in a trackless waste.
25 They grope in darkness with no light;
    he makes them stagger like drunkards.


  1. Job 12:6 Or those whose god is in their own hand
  2. Job 12:18 Or shackles of kings / and ties a belt
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Viewing of
Cross references