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Job 12New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

Job Replies: I Am a Laughing-stock

12 Then Job answered:
‘No doubt you are the people,
    and wisdom will die with you.
But I have understanding as well as you;
    I am not inferior to you.
    Who does not know such things as these?
I am a laughing-stock to my friends;
    I, who called upon God and he answered me,
    a just and blameless man, I am a laughing-stock.
Those at ease have contempt for misfortune,[a]
    but it is ready for those whose feet are unstable.
The tents of robbers are at peace,
    and those who provoke God are secure,
    who bring their god in their hands.[b]

‘But ask the animals, and they will teach you;
    the birds of the air, and they will tell you;
ask the plants of the earth,[c] and they will teach you;
    and the fish of the sea will declare to you.
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 every human being.
11 Does not the ear test words
    as the palate tastes food?
12 Is wisdom with the aged,
    and understanding in length of days?

13 ‘With God[d] are wisdom and strength;
    he has counsel and understanding.
14 If he tears down, no one can rebuild;
    if he shuts someone in, no one can open up.
15 If he withholds the waters, they dry up;
    if he sends them out, they overwhelm the land.
16 With him are strength and wisdom;
    the deceived and the deceiver are his.
17 He leads counsellors away stripped,
    and makes fools of judges.
18 He looses the sash of kings,
    and binds a waistcloth on their loins.
19 He leads priests away stripped,
    and overthrows the mighty.
20 He deprives of speech those who are trusted,
    and takes away the discernment of the elders.
21 He pours contempt on princes,
    and looses the belt of the strong.
22 He uncovers the deeps out of darkness,
    and brings deep darkness to light.
23 He makes nations great, then destroys them;
    he enlarges nations, then leads them away.
24 He strips understanding from the leaders[e] of the earth,
    and makes them wander in a pathless waste.
25 They grope in the dark without light;
    he makes them stagger like a drunkard.


  1. Job 12:5 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  2. Job 12:6 Or whom God brought forth by his hand; Meaning of Heb uncertain
  3. Job 12:8 Or speak to the earth
  4. Job 12:13 Heb him
  5. Job 12:24 Heb adds of the people
New Revised Standard Version, Anglicised (NRSVA)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Anglicised Edition, copyright © 1989, 1995 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.


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