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Job 12 International Standard Version (ISV)

Job Responds to Zophar

12 In response Job replied:

“Truly, you are the people
    and wisdom will die with you!
Like you, I also have understanding.[a]
    I’m not inferior to you;
        who doesn’t know things[b] like this?”

Job Has Become a Laughingstock

“I’m a laughingstock to my friends,
    someone[c] who called on God.
But then he answered this upright and blameless man,
    and I have become[d] a laughingstock.
The carefree are thinking, ‘I have contempt for misfortune,’
    Those who are about to stumble deserve it.
The tents of robbers are at rest,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
        that is, those who carry their god in their pocket.[e]

Wisdom Can Be Found in God’s Creation

“Ask the wild animals, and they’ll teach you;
    the birds of the sky will tell you.
Or ask the green plants of the earth and they’ll teach you;
    let the fish in the sea tell you.
Who among all of these doesn’t know
    that the Lord’s hand made them,[f]
10 and that the life of every living thing[g] rests in his control,
    along with the breath of every living human being?
11 The ear scrutinizes speech
    just as the palate tastes food.”

God is the All-Wise and All-Powerful Creator

12 “Wisdom may be found in the company of the aged.
    Understanding comes[h] with longevity.
13 With God[i] is wisdom and strength;
    counsel and understanding belongs to him.
14 When he tears down, nobody rebuilds;
    when[j] he incarcerates, nobody escapes.
15 When he withholds water, rivers[k] dry up;
    when he lets them loose, they’ll flood[l] the land.

16 “With God[m] are strength and sound wisdom;
    both the deceived and those who deceive are responsible to him.[n]
17 He leads counselors away naked;
    he turns judges into fools.
18 He strips away the authority of kings to punish
    and puts them in prison clothes instead.
19 He leads away the priests naked
    and overthrows the ruling class.[o]
20 He keeps reliable advisors from speaking,[p]
    and removes discernment from elders.
21 He pours contempt on nobles
    and embarrasses[q] the mighty.
22 He uncovers the hidden dimensions from darkness,
    bringing what is in deep shadow to light.
23 He makes nations great, and then destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, but then sends them away to captivity.[r]
24 He withdraws understanding[s] from national leaders of the world,[t]
    causing them to wander through uncharted[u] wilderness.
25 They grope in the dark without light;
    he causes them to stagger around like a drunkard.”


  1. Job 12:3 Lit. my heart is like yours
  2. Job 12:3 The Heb. lacks things
  3. Job 12:4 The Heb. lacks someone
  4. Job 12:4 The Heb. lacks have become
  5. Job 12:6 Lit. hand
  6. Job 12:9 Lit. this
  7. Job 12:10 Lit. all the living
  8. Job 12:12 The Heb. lacks comes
  9. Job 12:13 Lit. him
  10. Job 12:14 Lit. man
  11. Job 12:15 Lit. they
  12. Job 12:15 Lit. overthrow
  13. Job 12:16 Lit. him
  14. Job 12:16 Or are his
  15. Job 12:19 Lit. strong ones
  16. Job 12:20 Lit. deprives the lips of advisors
  17. Job 12:21 Lit. and loosens the belt of
  18. Job 12:23 The Heb. lacks to captivity
  19. Job 12:24 Lit. heart
  20. Job 12:24 Or land
  21. Job 12:24 Or trackless
International Standard Version (ISV)

Copyright © 1995-2014 by ISV Foundation. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED INTERNATIONALLY. Used by permission of Davidson Press, LLC.

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.

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