Job 12:25
They grope in the dark without light, and he makes them to stagger like a drunken man.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
12:12-25 This is a noble discourse of Job concerning the wisdom, power, and sovereignty of God, in ordering all the affairs of the children of men, according to the counsel of His own will, which none can resist. It were well if wise and good men, who differ about lesser things, would see how it is for their honour and comfort, and the good of others, to dwell most upon the great things in which they agree. Here are no complaints, or reflections. He gives many instances of God's powerful management of the children of men, overruling all their counsels, and overcoming all their oppositions. Having all strength and wisdom, God knows how to make use, even of those who are foolish and bad; otherwise there is so little wisdom and so little honesty in the world, that all had been in confusion and ruin long ago. These important truths were suited to convince the disputants that they were out of their depth in attempting to assign the Lord's reasons for afflicting Job; his ways are unsearchable, and his judgments past finding out. Let us remark what beautiful illustrations there are in the word of God, confirming his sovereignty, and wisdom in that sovereignty: but the highest and infinitely the most important is, that the Lord Jesus was crucified by the malice of the Jews; and who but the Lord could have known that this one event was the salvation of the world?They grope in the dark - They are like persons who attempt to feel their way along in the dark; compare the notes at Isaiah 59:10.

And he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man - Margin, "wander." Their unstable and perplexed counsels are like the reelings of a drunken man; see Isaiah 19:14, note; Isaiah 24:20, note. This closes the chapter, and with it the controversy in regard to the ability to adduce pertinent and striking proverbial expressions; see the notes at Job 12:3. Job had showed them that he was as familiar with proverbs respecting God as they were, and that he entertained as exalted ideas of the control and government of the Most High as they did. It may be added, that these are sublime and beautiful expressions respecting God. They surpass all that can be found in the writings of the pagan; and they show that somehow in the earliest ages there prevailed views of God which the human mind for ages afterward, and in the most favorable circumstances, was not capable of originating. These proverbial sayings were doubtless fragments of revealed truth, which had come down by tradition, and which were thus embodied in a form convenient to be transmitted from age to age.

25. De 28:29; Ps 107:27 again quote Job, but in a different connection. They grope, like men that cannot see their way.

In the dark without light; two phrases expressing the same thing, emphatically to express their profound darkness.

Like a drunken man, who reels hither and thither without any certainty. So they sometimes take one course, and sometimes another, as resolving to try all experiments, and indeed not knowing what to do. They grope in the dark without light,.... Like blind men, as the men of Sodom, when they were struck with blindness; or "they grope", or "feel the dark, and not light" (g), as the Targum; as the Egyptian, did when such gross darkness was upon them as might be felt:

and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man; that has lost his sight, his senses, and his feet, and knows not where he is, which way to go, nor how to keep on his legs, but reels to and fro, and is at the utmost loss what to do; all this is said of the heads or chief of the people, in consequence of their hearts being taken away, and so left destitute of wisdom and strength.

(g) "palpant tenebras et non lucem", Vatablus, Mercerus, Drusius, Schultens.

They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. Further description of their perplexity. Cf. ch. Job 5:14.

maketh them to stagger] Or, to wander. Cf. Isaiah 19:14; Psalm 107:27; Psalm 107:40.Verse 25. - They grope in the dark without light (comp. Job 5:14 and Deuteronomy 28:29). And he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man; literally, to wander - to pursue a devious course instead of a straight one.



It is unnecessary to understand כהנים, after 2 Samuel 8:18, of high officers of state, perhaps privy councillors; such priest-princes as Melchizedek of Salem and Jethro of Midian are meant. איטנים, which denotes inexhaustible, perennis, when used of waters, is descriptive of nations as invincible in might, Jeremiah 5:15, and of persons as firmly-rooted and stedfast. נאמנים, such as are tested, who are able to speak and counsel what is right at the fitting season, consequently the ready in speech and counsel. The derivation, proposed by Kimchi, from נאם, in the sense of diserti, would require the pointing נאמנים. טעם is taste, judgment, tact, which knows what is right and appropriate under the different circumstances of life, 1 Samuel 25:33. יקּח is used exactly as in Hosea 4:11. Job 12:21 is repeated verbatim, Psalm 107:40; the trilogy, Psalm 105-107, particularly Psalm 107, is full of passages similar to the second part of Isaiah and the book of Job (vid., Psalter, ii. 117). אפיקים (only here and Job 41:7) are the strong, from אפק, to hold together, especially to concentrate strength on anything. מזיח (only here, instead of מזח, not from מזח, which is an imaginary root, but from זחח, according to Frst equivalent to זקק, to lace, bind) is the girdle with which the garments were fastened and girded up for any great exertion, especially for desperate conflict (Isaiah 5:27). To make him weak or relaxed, is the same as to deprive of the ability of vigorous, powerful action. Every word is here appropriately used. This tottering relaxed condition is the very opposite of the intensity and energy which belongs to "the strong." All temporal and spiritual power is subject to God: He gives or takes it away according to His supreme will and pleasure.
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