Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 12:12

"Wisdom is with aged men, With long life is understanding.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Atheism;   God;   Old Age;   Philosophy;   Religion;   Wisdom;   Thompson Chain Reference - Experience (Knowledge Experimental);   Knowledge;   Knowledge, Experimental;   Knowledge-Ignorance;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Government;   Nations;   Strength;   Wisdom;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Hair, the;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Aging;   Job, the Book of;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Age, Aged, Old Age;   Wisdom;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Eternity;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Wisdom (1);  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Age;   Ancient;   Job, Book of;   Wisdom;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Age, Old;   Simeon B. 'Aḳ;  
Devotionals:
Chip Shots from the Ruff of Life - Devotion for February 18;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

With the ancient is wisdom - Men who have lived in those primitive times, when the great facts of nature were recent, such as the creation, fall, flood, confusion of tongues, migration of families, and consequent settlement of nations, had much knowledge from those facts; and their length of days - the many hundreds of years to which they lived, gave them such an opportunity of accumulating wisdom by experience, that they are deservedly considered as oracles.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

With the ancient is wisdom - With the aged. The word ישׁישׁ yâshı̂ysh used here, means an old man, one gray-headed. It is used chiefly in poetry, and is commonly employed in the sense of one who is decrepit by age. It is rendered “very aged” in Job 15:10; “him that stooped for age.” 2 Chronicles 36:17; “very old,” Job 32:6; and “the aged,” Job 29:8 The Septuagint renders it, Ἐν πολλῷ χρόνῳ En pollō chronō “in much time.” The sense is, that wisdom might be expected to be found with the man who had had a long opportunity to observe the course of events; who had conversed with a former generation, and who had had time for personal reflection. This was in accordance with the ancient Oriental views, where knowledge was imparted mainly by tradition, and where wisdom depended much on the opportunity of personal observation; compare Job 32:7.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

With the ancient is wisdom,.... Meaning not himself, who was not very ancient; though some think Eliphaz so understood him; hence those words of his, in Job 15:9; rather, as others, Job tacitly wishes that some ancient man, with whom wisdom was, would undertake to examine the affair between him and his friends, and judge of it, and decide the point; or, as others, he has respect to Bildad's advice to search the fathers, and learn their sentiments, and be determined by them; to which he replies, that though it will be allowed that wisdom is with them, for the most part, yet their judgment of things is no further to be regarded than as it agrees with the wisdom of God, and the revelation he has made of his will; though it seems best of all to consider these words as an adage or proverbial sentence generally agreed to, that it often is, as it might be expected it should, though it is not always, that men well advanced in years are wise; that as they have lived long in the world, they have learned much by observation and experience, and have attained to a considerable share of wisdom and knowledge in things, natural, civil, and religious:

and in length of days is understanding; the understandings of men are improved and enriched, and well stored with useful science, having had the opportunity of much reading, hearing, and conversation; by this Job would suggest, that if his friends had more knowledge of hidden and recondite things, beyond common people, which yet they had not, it was not so wonderful, since they were aged men, and had lived long in the world; or rather it may be that this is mentioned, to observe that from hence, seeing it is so among men, that ancient men have, or it may be expected they should have, a considerable share of wisdom and understanding; it may be most easily and strongly concluded, that God, who is the Ancient of days, has the most perfect and consummate wisdom and knowledge, which is asserted in Job 12:13.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

With the g ancient [is] wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

(g) Though men by age and continuance of time attain wisdom, yet it is not comparable to God's wisdom, nor able to comprehend his judgments, in which he answers to that which was alleged, (Job 8:8).
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Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

ancient — aged (Job 15:10).

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

Wisdom — These words contain a concession of what Bildad had said, chap8:8,9, and a joining with him in that appeal; but withal, an intimation that this wisdom was but imperfect, and liable to many mistakes; and indeed mere ignorance and folly, if compared with the Divine wisdom, and therefore that antiquity ought not to be received against the truths of the most wise God.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 12:12 With the ancient [is] wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

Ver. 12. With the ancient is wisdom] Heb. With the decrepit, who have a long, long being upon earth, and are now become wondrous old, even fourscore and upward; with such is wisdom, or else it is a shame for them. See 1 John 2:12, Hebrews 5:12. True it is, that wisdom doth not always lean upon a staff nor look through spectacles. Age is no just measure of wisdom. There are beardless sages (as was Solomon) and grey headed children, as Rehoboam. Macarius was called μειρακιογερων, the old youth (Samuel, Daniel, Timothy, were such). When Arsacius, who succeeded Chrysostom, was an old dotrel of fourscore years, adorandm rubiginis, rust to be worshipped, as one saith of some ancient authors; and Nectarius, who succeeded Nazianzen, was a mere novice, and preferred to that place only because he was of a venerable aspect, and of a bishop like presence and deportment, Veneranda canitie, et vultu sacerdote digno (Baron.). Of the Brabants Erasmus testifieth, that the older they are the more foolish. And Job here seemeth to tax his friends, that though old, yet they were not overly wise, not worthy of their years, since they understood not what he spake concerning God’s providence. Is wisdom with the ancient? saith he, and understanding in length of days? so some read it as a question, q.d. it ill appeareth.

And in length of days understanding] By reason of their much observation and frequent experience, together with their ability to draw other things out of those they have observed, and from former events to presage future. This is to be understood as such old men are like flowers which have their roots perfect when they themselves are withering; as, with roses, keep a sweet savour though they lose their colour; as, like the sun, they shine most amiably at their going down. But lest we should attribute too much to such sages, Job shows, in the next verse, that all their wisdom is but derivative, and that all their understanding is but a spark of God’s flame, a drop of his ocean.

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 12:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

These words contain a concession of what Bildad had said Job 8:8,9, and a joining with him in that appeal; but withal, an intimation that this wisdom was but finite, and imperfect, and liable to many mistakes; and indeed mere ignorance and folly, if compared with the Divine wisdom, of which he speaks in the next and following verses. And therefore that antiquity which they pretended for their opinion ought not to be received against the oracles or truths of the eternal and most wise God.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 12:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-12.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.The ancient Old men. In length, etc. — Length of days is understanding. Omit the in.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-12.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 12:12. With the ancient is wisdom — These words contain a concession of what Bildad had said (Job 8:8-9,) and a joining with him in that appeal; but withal, an intimation that this wisdom was but imperfect, and liable to many mistakes; and indeed mere ignorance and folly, if compared with the divine wisdom, of which he speaks in the following verses. And therefore that antiquity ought not to be received against the truths of the most wise God.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 12:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ancient. He rather chides the youth of Sophar for offering to give him lessons. Old age is indeed commonly wiser and more experienced. Yet, what is man's knowledge compared to that of God! ver. 3.

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-12.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

Is Job here agreeing with Bildad (8:8-10), quoting him or giving a sarcastic comment? "Some feel that Job is presenting a contrast between the shallow wisdom of the aged men, the traditional of the day, and that of God"s sovereign wisdom as demonstrated in world affairs. Others suggest that these passages (13-25) are further sarcastic affirmations of the patriarch in which he seems to be saying that the world is filled with outrageous acts of divine intervention; who, therefore, knows what God is doing?" (Jackson p. 42). "Added to my experience, the case of wicked robbers, and the experience of animals is a fourth illustration: many kinds of leaders are destroyed by God" (Zuck p. 56).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-12.html. 1999-2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

ancient = aged. Hebrew word found only here and Job 15:10; Job 29:8; and Job 32:6.

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-12.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.

With the ancient is wisdom - "the ancient," the aged (Job 15:10).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
8:8; 15:10; 32:7
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 12:6 - consulted;  2 Chronicles 10:6 - took counsel;  Job 15:7 - the first;  Psalm 119:100 - understand;  Joel 1:2 - ye old;  Titus 2:2 - the

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 12:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-12.html.