Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 12:18

"He loosens the bond of kings And binds their loins with a girdle.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Atheism;   God;   Philosophy;   The Topic Concordance - God;   Government;   Nations;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Hypocrisy;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Girdle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Bond;   Girdle;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Job;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Loose;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Loins;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He looseth the bond of kings - He takes away their splendid robes, and clothes them with sackcloth; or, he dissolves their authority, permits their subjects to rebel and overthrow the state, to bind them as captives, and despoil them of all power, authority, and liberty. Many proofs of this occur in the Israelitish history and in the history of the principal nations of the earth, and not a few in the history of Britain.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-12.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He looseth the bond of kings - The bond of kings (מוּסר mûsâr ) here means that by which they bind others. Their power over others he loosens or takes away.

And girdeth their loins with a girdle - That is, he girds them with a rope or cord, and leads them away as prisoners. The whole series of remarks here refers to the reverses and changes in the conditions of life. The meaning here is, that the bonds of authority which they imposed on others are unbound, and that their own loins are bound with a girdle, not a girdle of royal dignity and ornament, but such a one as they are bound with who are servants, or who travel. “Pict. Bib.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-12.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He looseth the bonds of kings,.... Not with which they themselves may be bound, being taken prisoners, or being so before made kings, and brought from thence to reign, as in Ecclesiastes 4:14; but that which they bind on their subjects, a yoke of bondage, tyranny, and oppression; so that to loose their bond is to loose their subjects from it, and free them from their arbitrary and despotic power, and from the burdens they lay upon them: unless rather it should be understood of loosing their waistbands, as an emblem of their government, ungirding them, or unkinging them, stripping them of their royal power and authority, called a "loosing of their loins", Isaiah 45:1; and this power God has over such great personages, as to set up kings, and remove them at his pleasure, Daniel 2:21; which shows that strength and power, as well as wisdom, are with him; this may respect Chedorlaomer casting off the yoke of Nimrod, and the kings of Canaan casting off the yoke of Chedorlaomer, and being loosed from it, Genesis 14:1;

and girdeth their loins with a girdle; not with a royal waistband, as an ensign of government; see Isaiah 11:5; which he looses, and strips them of, but another instead of that; he girds them with the girdle of a servant or traveller; the allusion being to the custom in those eastern countries, where they wore long garments, for servants to gird them up, when they waited on their masters, or when men went long journeys, see Luke 17:7; and so may signify that kings sometimes become servants, or go into captivity, and there be used as such, as they sometimes are; the Vulgate Latin version is, "he girds their reins with a rope".

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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 12:18". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-12.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

i He looseth k the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

(i) He takes wisdom from them.

(k) He abates the humour of princes, and brings them into the subjection of others.

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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-12.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

He looseth the bond of kings — He looseth the authority of kings - the “bond” with which they bind their subjects (Isaiah 45:1; Genesis 14:4; Daniel 2:21).

a girdle — the cord, with which they are bound as captives, instead of the royal “girdle” they once wore (Isaiah 22:21), and the bond they once bound others with. So “gird” - put on one the bonds of a prisoner instead of the ordinary girdle (John 21:18).

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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 12:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Looseth — He freeth them from that wherewith they bind their subjects to obedience, their power and authority, and that majesty which God stamps upon kings, to keep their people in awe.

Girdeth — He reduces them to a mean and servile condition; which is thus expressed, because servants did use to gird up their garments (that after the manner of those parts were loose and long) that they might be fitter for attendance upon their masters: he not only deposes them from their thrones, but brings them into slavery.

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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 12:18". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-12.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 12:18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

Ver. 18. He looseth the bonds of kings] He degradeth them, taking away all command and authority from them, which is the bond that bindeth the people to obedience and subjection, Job 30:11, Isaiah 45:1; Isaiah 45:5; as our Henry III, who was called Regni dilapidator, unloved by his people, and far a less king, saith Daniel, by striving to be more than he was; the just reward of violations.

And girdeth their loins with a girdle] With a rope, say the Vulgate; he brings them from the throne to the prison (Val. Max. Christ.); he layeth affliction upon their loins, as Psalms 66:11. An instance hereof (beside the late king, and Corradinus, king of Germany, likewise beheaded at Naples) we had here in Richard II, brought forth in a royal robe to be deposed, and then hunger starved in prison; as also in Henry VI, who having been the most potent monarch for dominions that ever England had, was afterwards (when deposed) not the master of a mole hill, nor owner of his own liberty, but baffled and beaten by every base fellow. Some interpreters make the sense this way: God sometimes looseth the bonds into which princes are brought, and advanceth them again to kingly dignity, the ensign whereof was of old a precious girdle. So it befell Manasseh, Nebuchadnezzar, Jehoiakim, restored and honoured again as a king, by Evilmerodaeh, 2 Kings 25:28. Historians write, that Nebuchadnezzar was so offended with his son and successor, Evilmerodach, as he cast him into prison, and that in prison he and Jehoiakim became acquainted together, which resulted in his advancement afterwards.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 12:18". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-12.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

He looseth the bond of kings; either,

1. Passively, whereby they are bound. He freeth them from prison or restraint. Or rather,

2. Actively, that wherewith they bind their subjects to obedience, to wit, their power and authority, and that majesty which God stamps upon kings to keep their people in awe; all which God can, and oft doth, take away from them, and freeth the people from their bonds, when it pleaseth him; of which all histories give instances. See Daniel 2:21.

With a girdle; either,

1. With a girdle of dignity and glory, which was put upon the loins of men in great honour and authority, as Isaiah 11:5 22:21 Jeremiah 13:1,2. So this member of the verse is opposite to the; former, and the sense of the whole is, he either casteth down kings or raiseth them up, as he pleaseth. But the Scripture no where mentions this girdle as one of the ornaments of kings. Or rather,

2. With a servile girdle; for seeing all, both the foregoing and succeeding passages, do evidently note acts of judgment or punishments inflicted upon them, it seems improper to understand this alone of an act of God’s favour to them. So the sense is, he reduceth them into a mean and servile condition; which is thus expressed, because servants did use to gird up their garments, (which after the manner of those parts and time were loose and long,) that they might be fitter for attendance upon their masters; of which see Luke 12:37 17:8. And so this is an amplification of the former sentence. He not only deposeth them from their thrones, but brings them into bondage and slavery.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 12:18". 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

18.Bond of kings — The bond or fetter with which they bound their subjects.

Girdeth their loins — Literally, Binds a (girdle) fetter upon their loins. An instance of like retribution. The tyrannical binder of his subjects is himself bound with a captive’s cord. History is full of instances of such sad vicissitudes of fate. With no class of society has fortune been a more “fickle goddess” (so called) than with monarchs. The wreck of thrones, on the other hand, is an unceasing proclamation that “God reigns.” Lucretius (12:1232) had remarked the instability of all human glory, but failed to perceive in its oft-repeated overthrow the providence and power of God: —

So from his awful shades, some POWER UNSEEN

O’erthrows all human greatness! treads to dust

Rods, ensigns, crowns the proudest pomps of state,

And laughs at all the mockery of man.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "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 12:18. He looseth the bond of kings — He takes from them the power and authority wherewith they ruled their subjects; ruled them with rigour, perhaps tyrannised over and enslaved them: and he divests them of that majesty which he had stamped upon them, and by which they kept their people in awe. These God can, and often does, take away from them, and thereby free the people from their bonds, of which we have abundance of instances in the history of different nations; and girdeth their loins with a girdle — He reduces them to a mean and servile condition; which is thus expressed, because servants used to gird up their garments, (which, after the manner of those parts of the world, were loose and long,) that they might be fitter for attendance upon their masters: he not only deposes them from their thrones, but brings them into slavery.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 12:18". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-12.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Looseth. Septuagint, "setteth kings upon the throne," &c. --- Belt. This was usually very magnificent, and a military ornament. See that of Pallas described. (Virgil, Æneid x.) Job intimates that God derives kings of their authority, at pleasure. Hebrew may also signify that he looseth the bond or prisoner of kings, and reduces themselves to slavery. (Calmet) --- Things never remain long in the same state. (Haydock) --- Even kings are sometimes obliged to beg. (Menochius)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-12.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.

He looseth the bond of kings - He looseth the authority of kings-the "bond" with which they bind their subjects: "I will loose the loins of kings" (Isaiah 45:1); "He changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings" (Genesis 14:4; Daniel 2:21).

And girdeth their loins with a girdle - the cord with which they are, bound as captives, instead of the royal "girdle" they once wore (Isaiah 22:21), and the bond they once bound others with. So "gird" - put on one the bonds of a prisoner, instead of the ordinary girdle (John 21:18).

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Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-12.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(18) He looseth the bond of kings.—He looseth the confederacy of kings, by which they bind themselves together, and girdeth them to fight against each other. Some understand it of the girdle of servitude in contrast to the girdle of state.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-12.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle.
2 Chronicles 33:11-14; Jeremiah 52:31-34; Daniel 2:21; Revelation 19:16
Reciprocal: 1 Kings 20:32 - Thy servant;  Job 30:11 - loosed;  Isaiah 5:27 - neither;  Isaiah 45:5 - I girded thee;  Daniel 4:32 - until

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 12:18". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-12.html.