Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Job 13:12

    Job 13:12 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Your remembrances are like unto ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Your remembrances are like to ashes, your bodies to bodies of clay.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defences are defences of clay.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Your wise sayings are only dust, and your strong places are only earth.

    Webster's Revision

    Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defences are defences of clay.

    World English Bible

    Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, Your defenses are defenses of clay.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Your memorable sayings are proverbs of ashes, your defences are defences of clay.

    Clarke's Commentary on Job 13:12

    Your remembrances are like unto ashes - Your memorable sayings are proverbs of dust. This is properly the meaning of the original: זכרניכם משלי אפר zichroneycem mishley epher. This he speaks in reference to the ancient and reputedly wise sayings which they had so copiously quoted against him.

    Your bodies to bodies of clay - This clause is variously translated: Your swelling heaps are swelling heaps of mire. That is, Your high-flown speeches are dark, involved, and incoherent; they are all sound, no sense; great swelling words, either of difficult or no meaning, or of no point as applicable to my case.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 13:12

    Your remembrances are like unto ashes - There has been a considerable variety in the interpretation of this verse. The meaning in our common version is certainly not very clear. The Vulgate renders it, Memoria vestra comparabitur cineri. The Septuagint, Ἀποβήσεται δὲ ὑμῶν τὸ γαυρίαμα Ἶσα σποδᾷ Apobēsetai de humōn to gauriama isa spodō - "your boasting shall pass away like ashes." Dr. Good renders it, "Dust are your stored-up sayings." Noyes, "Your maxims are words of dust." The word rendered "remembrances" זכרון zı̂krôn means properly "remembrance, memory," Joshua 4:7; Ezekiel 12:14; then a "memento," or "record;" then a "memorable saying, a maxim." This is probably the meaning here; and the reference is to the apothegms or proverbs which they had so profusely uttered, and which they regarded as so profound and worthy of attention, but which Job was disposed to regard as most common-place, and to treat with contempt.

    Are like unto ashes - That is, they are valueless. See the notes at Isaiah 44:20. Their maxims had about the same relation to true wisdom which ashes have to substantial and nutritious food. The Hebrew here (אפר משׁלי mâshaly 'êpher) is rather, "are parables of ashes;" - the word משׁל mâshâl meaning similitude, parable, proverb. This interpretation gives more force and beauty to the passage.

    Your bodies - - גביכם gabēykem Vulgate, "cervices." Septuagint, τὸ δὲ σῶμα πήλινον to de sōma pēlinon - but the body is clay. The Hebrew word גב gab, means something gibbous (from where the word "gibbous" is derived), convex, arched; hence, the "back" of animals or human beings, Ezekiel 10:12; the boss of a shield or buckler - the "gibbous," or exterior convex part - Job 15:26; and then, according to Gesenius, an entrenchment, a fortress, a strong-hold. According to this interpretation, the passage here means, that the arguments behind which they entrenched themselves were like clay. They could not resist an attack made upon them, but would be easily thrown down, like mud walls. Grotius renders it, "Your towers (of defense) are tumult of clay." Rosenmuller remarks on the verse that the ancients were accustomed to inscribe sentences of valuable historical facts on pillars. If these were engraved on stone, they would be permanent; if on pillars covered with clay, they would soon be obliterated. On a pillar or column at Aleandria, the architect cut his own name at the base deep in the stone. On the plaster or stucco with which the column was covered, he inscribed the name of the person to whose honor it was reared. The consequence was, that that name became soon obliterated; his own then appeared, and was permanent. But the meaning here is rather, that the apothegms and maxims behind which they entrenched themselves were like mud walls, and could not withstand an attack.

    Wesley's Notes on Job 13:12

    13:12 Remembrance - Mouldering and coming to nothing. And the consideration of our mortality should make us afraid of offending God. Your mementos are like unto ashes, contemptible and unprofitable.
    Book: Job