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Job 12:21

    Job 12:21 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    He pours contempt on princes, and weakens the strength of the mighty.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    He poureth contempt upon princes, And looseth the belt of the strong.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    He puts shame on chiefs, and takes away the power of the strong;

    Webster's Revision

    He poureth contempt upon princes, And looseth the belt of the strong.

    World English Bible

    He pours contempt on princes, and loosens the belt of the strong.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    He poureth contempt upon princes, and looseth the belt of the strong.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 12:21

    He poureth contempt upon princes - נדיבים nedibim, "those of royal extraction;" widely different from the כהנים cohanim mentioned Job 12:19.

    Weakeneth the strength of the mighty - אפיקים aphikim, the compact; the well-strung together; the nervous and sinewy. Perhaps there is a reference here to the crocodile, as the same term is applied, Job 40:13, to the compactness of his bones: and as רפה מזיח rippah meziach, which we translate weakeneth the strength, signifies more properly looseth the girdle, as the margin has properly rendered it, the reference seems still more pointed; for it is known that "the crocodile, from the shoulders to the extremity of the tail, is covered with large square scales, disposed like parallel girdles, fifty-two in number. In the middle of each girdle are four protuberances, which become higher as they approach the end of the tail, and compose four rows." See the quotation in Parkhurst, under the word אפק drow eh aphak. What is human strength against this? We may say as the Lord said, Job 40:19 : He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. He alone can loose the girdles of this mighty one.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 12:21

    He poureth contempt upon princes - He has power to hurl them from their thrones, and to overwhelm them with disgrace.

    And weakeneth the strength of the mighty - Margin, as in Hebrew "looseth the girdle of the strong." The Orientals wore loose flowing robes, which were secured by a girdle around the loins. When they labored, ran, or traveled, their robes were girded up. But this is common everywhere. Wrestlers, leapers, and runners, put a girdle around them, and are able thus to accomplish much more than they otherwise could. To loosen that, is to weaken them. So Job says that God had power to loosen the strength of the mighty. He here seems to labor for expressions, and varies the form of the image in every way to show the absolute control which God has over people, and the fact that his power is seen in the reverses of mankind. Lucretius has a passage strongly resembling this in the general sentiment:

    Usque adeo res humanas vis abdita quaedam

    Obterit; et pulchros fasces, saevasque secures,

    Proculcare, atque ludibrio sibi habere, videtur.

    Lib. v. 1232.

    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 mad!

    Good.
    Book: Job