New International Version
But the witless can no more become wise than a wild donkey's colt can be born human.
King James Bible
For vain man would be wise, though man be born like a wild ass's colt.
Darby Bible Translation
Yet a senseless man will make bold, though man be born [like] the foal of a wild ass.
World English Bible
An empty-headed man becomes wise when a man is born as a wild donkey's colt.
Young's Literal Translation
And empty man is bold, And the colt of a wild ass man is born.
Job 11:12 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
For vain man would be wise - The original is difficult and uncertain, ואיש נבוב ילבב veish nabub yillabeb, "And shall the hollow man assume courage," or "pride himself?" Or, as Mr. Good rather paraphrases it, Will he then accept the hollow-hearted person? The Chaldee gives two renderings: An eloquent man shall become wiser in his heart, and the colt of the wild ass is born as the son of man. Or, The wise man shall ponder it; and the refractory youth, who at last becomes prudent, shall make a great man. Coverdale - A vayne body exalteth him self; and the son of man is like a wylde asse's foale. Houbigant translates thus: - A man who hath understanding will become prudent; but he who is as the wild ass hath no heart, i.e., sense. According to this critic, the meaning is this: - A man of sense, should he at any time transgress, will learn wisdom from it; but a man of a brutish mind, uncultivated and unreflecting, will plunge yet deeper into iniquity.
Though man be born like a wild ass's colt - Is translated by Mr. Good, Or shall the wild ass colt assume the man? This is making a sense, but such as I fear the original will never allow. There is no end to the translations of this verse, and conjectures relative to its meaning. I shall conclude with the Vulgate - Vir vanus in superbiam erigitur, et tanquam pullum onagri se liberum natum putat, "Vain man is puffed up with pride; and he supposes himself to be born free like the wild ass's colt." Man is full of self-conceit; and imagines himself born to act as he pleases, to roam at large, to be under no control, and to be accountable to none for his actions.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
For vain. Heb. For empty
LibraryThe Eternity and Unchangeableness of God.
Exod. iii. 14.--"I AM THAT I AM."--Psal. xc. 2.--"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God."--Job xi. 7-9.--"Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as heaven; what canst thou do? deeper than hell; what canst thou know? The measure thereof is longer than the earth, and broader than the sea." This is the chief point of saving knowledge, …
Hugh Binning—The Works of the Rev. Hugh Binning
Whether God is a Body
Whether There Should have Been Man Ceremonial Precepts?
"And we all do Fade as a Leaf, and Our Iniquities, Like the Wind, have Taken us Away. "
"Who let the wild donkey go free? Who untied its ropes?
You have made my days a mere handbreadth; the span of my years is as nothing before you. Everyone is but a breath, even those who seem secure.
When you rebuke and discipline anyone for their sin, you consume their wealth like a moth-- surely everyone is but a breath.
Surely the lowborn are but a breath, the highborn are but a lie. If weighed on a balance, they are nothing; together they are only a breath.
They are like a breath; their days are like a fleeting shadow.
"Meaningless! Meaningless!" says the Teacher. "Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless."
So then, banish anxiety from your heart and cast off the troubles of your body, for youth and vigor are meaningless.
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