on Job 12 :3
I am not inferior to you - I do not fall short of any of you in understanding, wisdom, learning, and experience.
Who knoweth not such things as these? - All your boasted wisdom consists only in strings of proverbs which are in every person's mouth, and are no proof of wisdom and experience in them that use them.
on Job 12 :3
But I have understanding as well as you - Margin, as in the Hebrew "an heart." The word "heart" in the Scriptures is often used to denote the understanding or mind. It seems to have been regarded as the source of that which was called life or soul. Indeed, I do not recollect a single instance in the Scriptures in which the word "head" is used, as with us, as the seat of the intellect, or where the distinction is adverted to that is so common with us, between the head and the heart. With us, the heart is the seat of the affections and emotions; with the Hebrews, it was the seat of understanding, and the σπλάγχνα splangchna - the viscera, the bowels, were the seat of the emotions; see the notes at Isaiah 16:11. A more correct physiology has taught us that the brain is the organ of the intellect, and we now speak of "the heart" as the seat of the affections. The Romans regarded the "breast" as the seat of the soul. Thus, Virgil, speaking of the death of Lucagus by the hand of Aeneas, says:
Tum latebras animae pectus mucrone recludit
Aeneid x. 601.
I am not inferior to you - Margin, "fall not lower than." This is the literal translation: "I do not fall beneath you." Job claims to be equal to them in the power of quoting the sayings. of the ancients; and in order to show this, he proceeds to adduce a number of proverbial sayings, occupying the remainder of this chapter, to show that he was familiar with that mode of reasoning, and that in this respect he was fully their equal. This may be regarded as a trial of skill, and was quite common in the East. Wisdom consisted in storing up a large amount of proverbs and maxims, and in applying them readily and pertinently on all public occasions; and in this controversy, Job was by no means disposed to yield to them.
Yea, who knoweth not such things as these? - Margin, "With whom" are "not such as these?" The meaning is, that instead of being original, the sentiments which they advanced were the most commonplace imaginable. Job not only said that he knew them, but that it would be strange if every body did not know them.
on Job 12 :3
12:3 But - In these things, which he speaks not in a way of boasting, but for the just vindication both of himself, and of that cause of God, which for the substance of it he maintained rightly, as God himself attests, chap.42:7. Such things - The truth is, neither you nor I have any reason to be puffed up with our knowledge of these things: for the most barbarous nations know that God is infinite in wisdom, and power, and justice. But this is not the question between you and me.