Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 5:12

"He frustrates the plotting of the shrewd, So that their hands cannot attain success.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Afflictions and Adversities;   Faith;   God;   Philosophy;   Righteous;   Thompson Chain Reference - Devices, Evil;   Evil;   Plans and Devices of Men;   Righteous-Wicked;   Wicked, the;   The Topic Concordance - Craftiness;   Frowardness;   God;   Poverty;   Salvation;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Hands, the;  
Dictionaries:
Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Greatness of God;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Ahithophel;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Disappoint;   Frustrate;   Prudence;   Wisdom;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty - All these sayings refer to God's particular providence, by which he is ever working for the good, and counterworking the plots of the wicked. And as various as are the contingent, capricious, and malevolent acts of men, so varied are his providential interferences; disappointing the devices, snares, and plots of the crafty, so that their plans being confounded, and their machinery broken in pieces, their hands cannot perform their enterprises.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-5.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty - He foils them in their schemes, or makes their plans vain. This too was the result of close observation on the part of Eliphaz. He had seen instances where the plans of crafty, designing, and artful people had been defeated, and where the straightforward had been prospered and honored. Such cases led him to believe that God was the friend of virtue, and was worthy of entire confidence.

So that their hands - So that they. The hands are the instruments by which we accomplish our plans.

Their enterprise - Margin, Or, “anything.” Hebrew תשׁיה tûshı̂yâh This word properly means uprightness from ישׁע yâsha‛ then help, deliverance, Job 6:13; then purpose, undertaking, enterprise, that is, what one wishes to set up or establish. Gesenius. This is its meaning here. Vulgate, “Their hands cannot finish (implere) what they had begun.” Septuagint, “Their hands cannot perform that which is true” - ὰληθές alēthes The Chaldee Paraphrase refers this to the defeat of the purposes of the Egyptians: “Who made vain the thoughts of the Egyptians, who acted wisely (or cunningly - דחכימו ) that they might do evil to Israel, but their hands did not perform the work of their wisdom Job 5:13, who took the wise men of Pharaoh in their own wisdom, and the counsel of their perverse astrologers he made to return upon them.” The general sense is, that artful and designing men - people who work in the dark, and who form secret purposes of evil, are disappointed and foiled. Eliphaz probably had seen instances of this, and he now attributes it to God as rendering him worthy of the confidence of people. It is still true. The crafty and the designing are often foiled in such a manner as to show that it is wholly of God. He exposes their designs in this way, and shows that he is the friend of the sincere and the honest; and in doing this, he shows that he is worthy the confidence of his people.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-5.html. 1870.

The Biblical Illustrator

Job 5:12

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty.

The disappointment of the crafty

The word “crafty” may mean “prudent,” but usually it denotes such as are wickedly “cunning.” The meaning of the text is, that with how much art and subtilty soever wicked men may lay their plots and ill designs, there is a God who both can and frequently doth disappoint and baffle them, make them vain, and of none effect.

I. When may we suppose the disappointments of crafty men’s devices to be from God? That is, as the extraordinary effects of His particular and special providence. Reference need not be made to such as are miraculous.

1. When a disappointment shall be brought about in a way evidently strange, surprising, and unusual.

2. The hand of God is in those disappointments which involve men either in those very mischiefs which they had prepared for others, or at least in others, for their grievousness and soreness, not unlike them.

3. When the devices of wicked men shall luckily meet with a disappointment, just at that very time, when they are ripe and ready for execution.

4. When good men, at the very time of their praying for their enemy’s disappointment, shall obtain their desire.

5. When a great number of unexpected accidents shall, as it were, conspire to begin, carry on, and at last consummate any notable disappointment.

II. How eminently God’s hand appeared in the deliverances of this nation. Which we this day, Nov. 5, commemorate.

III. Practical inferences. God’s deliverances should--

1. Discourage the crafty from forming any more schemes.

2. Encourage us, in all our straits and difficulties, to place our hope and confidence in God.

3. To make our earnest prayers to God for help in our time of need.

4. Since God has done such wonderful things for us, we must be sure not to forget to glorify Him. (Sir Wm. Dawes, Bart., D. D.)

The designing projects of ambitious men defeated

1. It hath been a matter of fatal experience that there always were, in all ages of the world, devices of wicked men, and designs of mischief; and it is consistent with the wisdom and goodness of God to suffer designing men to carry on their ambitious projects with a probable show of success.

2. These devices have been, by the good providence of God, miraculously defeated. They have been vain, not only in respect of others against whom they were levelled, but also mischievous to those that contrived them.

3. The natural result of these particulars is to praise God, and we, being delivered, ought to glorify Him. (Tho. Whincop, D. D.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Exell, Joseph S. "Commentary on "Job 5:12". The Biblical Illustrator. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tbi/job-5.html. 1905-1909. New York.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty,.... Or, "it disappointeth"; that is, the rain, as some Jewish commentatorsF13Aben Ezra, Jarchi, & R. Simeon Bar Tzemach. interpret it, and the whole paragraph to this sense; the rain coming upon the earth makes it fruitful, and causes it to produce a plentiful crop, whereby the schemes of crafty men are disappointed, who in a time of drought withhold the corn, and enhance the price of it, and distress the poor; and this in order to make a penny of them, according to Amos 8:4; but through the rain falling are not able to gain their end, but are obliged to bring out their corn, and sell it at a low price, and so are taken in their own craftiness; their counsel becomes brutish, and they are brought into bad circumstances themselves, and the poor saved from being ground and oppressed by them, and have hope for the future of plenty of provisions, to the confusion and astonishment of their oppressors: but the Targum interprets this of the Egyptians cunningly devising mischief against the Israelites, without success; and not amiss, since that affair might be well known to Eliphaz, and he might have it in view: the fact was this, a new king of Egypt, after the death of Joseph, observing the great increase of the people of Israel in his dominions, and fearing, in case of a war, they should join the enemy, and get out of the land by such an opportunity, calls his nobles, courtiers, and counsellors together, to form some wise schemes how to diminish them, Exodus 1:8; and the first was to set taskmasters over them, and afflict them with hard bondage, but this succeeded not, Exodus 1:11; for the more they were afflicted the more they multiplied and grew; another decree was, to order the midwives to kill the male children of the Israelites, and save alive the females, Exodus 1:15; but the midwives, fearing God, obeyed not the order, and the people still multiplied, Exodus 1:17; and then a third project was formed, to cast every son born to the Israelites into the river, and drown them, Exodus 1:22; but notwithstanding this they were preserved, as Moses, Exodus 2:10, and doubtless many others; the people increased so, that they went out of Egypt six hundred thousand men, Exodus 12:37; this was a recent thing, it may be in the times of Eliphaz, and which he might easily call to mind: and he might also have respect to a more remote case, that of the builders of Babel, who devised a scheme to build a tower, whose top should reach to heaven, and secure them from a dispersion of them throughout the earth, Genesis 11:1; when God descended in the display of his power and providence, confounded their language, so that they were obliged to desist from their enterprise, and were scattered throughout the earth, which by their scheme they thought to have prevented: this may be applied to wicked crafty men in common, who devise schemes to commit sin, and gratify their lusts, to get for themselves riches and honour, and to do mischief to others, which God in his providence breaks, frustrates, and makes of none effect; and to false teachers, that walk in craftiness, lie in wait to deceive, and make use of cunningly devised fables, coin new doctrines, invent new forms of worship, and appoint new ordinances, and contrive different ways and methods of salvation; all which is foolishness with God, and to such persons Job 5:13 is applied by the Apostle Paul, 1 Corinthians 3:19, and this may likewise respect wicked princes and potentates, with their counsellors and wise politicians, who in former, as well as in later times, have formed designs against their neighbours, and to the hurt of the interest of true religion particularly; but have been baffled and confounded by Divine Providence, of which, as there were many instances in Israel of old, so in our British Isles of late:

so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise; what their heads have contrived, what they have resolved and determined upon, and what they have began to effect, but could not go on with; or, "bring it soundly to pass", as Mr. Broughton renders it; that is, could not complete it, or bring it to perfection; and indeed not able to do "any thing"F14תשיה "quicquam", Pagninus, Vatablus, Drusius, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "quicquam rei", Cocceius, Michaelis; so Kimchi in Sepher Shorash, rad. יש. , as some translate the word, not anything of what they devised and contrived: it signifies "that which is", which has a being and substance, and solidity in itF15"Consistentiam", Montanus; "nihil solidi", Tigurine version. , but nothing of this kind could be done; it is sometimes rendered "wisdom", and "sound wisdom", Proverbs 2:7; and so it is here by someF16"Sapientiam", Schmidt; so Aben Ezra & Syr. ver. "astu", Codurcus. , and may signify, that though their counsels were deeply laid, and wisely formed, according to the best rules of wisdom and prudence, they yet are not able to bring them to pass; which shows the infinitely superior wisdom of God, and his overruling providence, and which therefore must be a great encouragement to seek unto him, and leave every cause and case with him.

Copyright Statement
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 5:12". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-5.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

enterprise — literally, “realization.” The Hebrew combines in the one word the two ideas, wisdom and happiness, “enduring existence” being the etymological and philosophical root of the combined notion [Umbreit].

Copyright Statement
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 5:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-5.html. 1871-8.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 5:12 He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform [their] enterprise.

Ver. 12. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty] He vacateth and rendereth ineffectual the curious contrivances of the world’s wizards, full of serpentine subtilty, and so setteth his people in safety by out plotting their enemies; served he not Pharaoh so (who dealt craftily with our fathers, κατασοφισαμενος, saith Stephen, Acts 7:19)? and Saul, that subtle tyrant? and Herod, that crafty fox? Luke 13:32; and all the primitive and modern persecutors, to whom the old dragon had lent his seven heads to plot, and his ten horns to push against the people of God, but all to no purpose? God disappointed the devices of those malignants: so the Vulgate rendereth this text, which the Chaldee appropriateth to Pharaoh and his counsellors, who said, Come, and let us deal wisely; when as (in laying hard tasks upon the Israelites to keep them from increasing) they never dealt more foolishly; for who knows not that your labouring men have the most and the lustiest children.

So that their hands cannot perform their enterprise] They could not give their plots an actual being or subsistence. Their hands bring nothing soundly to pass, so Broughton rendereth it. Others thus, Their hands cannot perform their wisdom; that is, execute what they had projected. Perceive ye how we prevail nothing? said the Pharisees, John 12:19. Nomine Christianorum deleto qui Romp evertebant; the name of Christians being erased who Romp has destroyed. so those cruel crafties of the primitive times sounded the triumph beforehand, and engraved the victory upon the pillars of marble; but the Church may still sing as of old, "They are brought down and fallen; but we are risen, and stand upright." Charles V and the French king had covenanted the utter extirpation of the Lutheran faction throughout their dominions; but God found them other employment, and gave his Church a happy halcyon. And who knows not how God hath hitherto helped us of this nation against the power and policy of earth and of hell?

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 5:12". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-5.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Of the crafty; such as are cunning to work evil, and to cover it with fair pretences, as hypocrites use to do, and as Job’s friends charged him with doing: God breaks the hopes and designs of such men; as he hath now blasted thy expectation, and taken away thy outward happiness, which was the thing thou didst design in taking up the profession of religion.

Their enterprise; or, any thing; or, what is solid or substantial; or, wisdom, i.e. their wise counsel or crafty design. They cannot execute their cunning contrivances.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 5:12". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-5.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

12.Crafty — From , to spin, twist. Furst cites three Hebrew words expressive of cunning or evil thought, (he might have added pathal, froward, Job 5:13,) whose roots give the same idea of spinning. However men may work in the dark, spinning their evil devices, God “breaks them to pieces,” (disappointeth,) .

Enterprise , toushiyyah. The root of the word indicates being, substance, that which is. See note on Job 6:13. It stands in contrast with , evil, which signifies, also, emptiness, nothingness, which is its root idea. The wicked can accomplish nothing substantial.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-5.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 5:12. He disappointeth the devices of the crafty — On the contrary, he defeats the craftiest designs of evil and subtle men to exalt themselves. They may place a great deal of confidence in their own abilities, and, without any regard to the overruling hand of Providence, may imagine that their good or bad success in the world depends wholly on their own wisdom and efforts: they may form deep and secret designs; and, to the utmost stretch of their knowledge and foresight, may contrive and project measures which will have the most plausible appearance of accomplishing their purpose. But after all this dexterous management, should the Almighty once interpose, and throw an obstacle in their way, all their crafty devices are frustrated, and their promising expectations vanish away. So that their hands cannot perform their enterprise — Hebrew, תושׁיה, tushijah, a word of an extensive meaning, implying that which is solid and substantial, or which is wise, good, and virtuous. Instead of executing any thing of moment, any thing advantageous or praiseworthy; instead of having the satisfaction of seeing a prosperous event of their best-formed counsels, they quickly perceive with what weak hands they have been labouring, and that all their aspiring attempts are vain and fruitless.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 5:12". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-5.html. 1857.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

enterprise = something stable. See note on "sound wisdom". Proverbs 2:7.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/job-5.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise. Enterprise - literally, realization. The Hebrew [ tuwshiyaah (Hebrew #8454)] combines in the one word the two ideas, wisdom and happiness, enduring existence [ yeesh (Hebrew #3426)] being the etymological and philosophical root of the combined motion (Umbreit). Maurer translates 'counsel' - i:e., their well-formed plan-from a root [yashah] to establish.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-5.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(12) So that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.—Or, so that their hands can do-nothing that is sound or of worth, can accomplish nothing effectual.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-5.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He disappointeth the devices of the crafty, so that their hands cannot perform their enterprise.
disappointeth
12:16,17; Nehemiah 4:15; Psalms 33:10,11; 37:17; Proverbs 21:30; Isaiah 8:10; 19:3
their hands
Psalms 21:11; Isaiah 37:36; Acts 12:11; 23:12-22
their enterprise
or, anything.
Reciprocal: Genesis 11:7 - confound;  Genesis 31:22 - GeneralGenesis 41:8 - but there;  2 Samuel 1:15 - Go near;  2 Samuel 11:9 - General2 Samuel 15:31 - turn the counsel;  2 Samuel 16:23 - all the counsel;  2 Samuel 17:14 - to defeat;  2 Kings 6:8 - took;  Ezra 6:13 - so they did;  Job 18:7 - his own;  Job 37:7 - He;  Psalm 5:10 - let;  Psalm 140:8 - Grant not;  Psalm 146:9 - the way;  Proverbs 22:12 - he;  Isaiah 19:11 - the princes;  Isaiah 44:25 - turneth;  Jeremiah 8:8 - We;  Jeremiah 8:9 - The wise men are;  Jeremiah 9:23 - wise;  Jeremiah 19:7 - I will make;  Jeremiah 49:7 - Is wisdom;  Daniel 2:27 - cannot;  Obadiah 1:8 - even;  Matthew 2:8 - go;  Mark 12:17 - And they;  Luke 10:21 - thou hast;  Luke 20:8 - GeneralLuke 20:26 - they could;  John 7:53 - GeneralJohn 8:9 - went out;  Acts 5:38 - for;  1 Corinthians 1:19 - General

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 5:12". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-5.html.