Job 12 – New International Version (NIV)


  1. Then Job replied:
  2. “Doubtless you are the only people who matter, and wisdom will die with you!
  3. But I have a mind as well as you; I am not inferior to you. Who does not know all these things?
  4. “I have become a laughingstock to my friends, though I called on God and he answered— a mere laughingstock, though righteous and blameless!
  5. Those who are at ease have contempt for misfortune as the fate of those whose feet are slipping.
  6. The tents of marauders are undisturbed, and those who provoke God are secure—those God has in his hand.[a]
  7. “But ask the animals, and they will teach you, or the birds in the sky, and they will tell you;
  8. or speak to the earth, and it will teach you, or let the fish in the sea inform you.
  9. 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.


a. Job 12:6 Or those whose god is in their own hand
b. Job 12:18 Or shackles of kings / and ties a belt

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Job 12 – King James Version (KJV)

Job’s Reply

  1. And Job answered and said,
  2. No doubt but ye are the people, And wisdom shall die with you.
  3. But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: Yea, who knoweth not such things as these?
  4. I am as one mocked of his neighbour, Who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: The just upright man is laughed to scorn.
  5. He that is ready to slip with his feet Is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease.
  6. The tabernacles of robbers prosper, And they that provoke God are secure; Into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.
  7. But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; And the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee:
  8. Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: And the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee.
  9. Who knoweth not in all these That the hand of the LORD hath wrought this?
  10. In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, And the breath of all mankind.
  11. Doth not the ear try words? And the mouth taste his meat?
  12. With the ancient is wisdom; And in length of days understanding.
  13. With him is wisdom and strength, He hath counsel and understanding.
  14. Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: He shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening.
  15. Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: Also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth.
  16. With him is strength and wisdom: The deceived and the deceiver are his.
  17. He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, And maketh the judges fools.
  18. He looseth the bond of kings, And girdeth their loins with a girdle.
  19. He leadeth princes away spoiled, And overthroweth the mighty.
  20. He removeth away the speech of the trusty, And taketh away the understanding of the aged.
  21. He poureth contempt upon princes, And weakeneth the strength of the mighty.
  22. He discovereth deep things out of darkness, And bringeth out to light the shadow of death.
  23. He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: He enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again.
  24. He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, And causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way.
  25. They grope in the dark without light, And he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.