Learn from the world around you (Job 12:7-12:10)

“Ask the animals?

They will teach you.

Ask the birds of the air?

They will tell you.

Ask the plants of the earth?

They will teach you.

The fish of the sea will declare to you.

Who among all these does not know

That the hand of Yahweh has done this?

In his hand is the life of every living thing.

In his hand is the breath of all mankind.”

Job wanted his friends to ask the animals, the birds, the plants, and the fish, so that they can learn something. All these non-humans know about the hand of Yahweh and what he has done to every living thing. There is an ecological approach as the animals, birds, plants, and fish are given cognition. They, almost better than humans, know the power of God. The hand of life is in every living thing. God’s hand is the breath of all mankind and every living thing. This reminds me of the old song, “He’s got the whole world in his hands.” This is the only mention of Yahweh in this book except for the wisdom poem in chapter 28.

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