"Though He Slay Me--" . . . Job 12-14:6
The three wisemen, says Job, have no monopoly in wisdom; he recognizes truth as well as they. God is indifferent to moral values, cruel in His treatment of mankind. Job pleads again with God for a hearing that he may know what charges God holds against him. He longs for vindication. There is no answer, and Job is perishing.
Zophar's challenge to Job--Can you explore the Almighty to the utmost?--provides the key to Job's heartbreaking search into the ways of God in this second cycle of the Argument. If the wisemen can speak with confidence that they know the ways of God, so can Job. He begins in a mood of irony.
12:2 Doubtless you are the people,
And Wisdom will die with you.
3 But I have understanding as well as you;
I am not inferior to you.
Yea, who does not know such things as these?
Zophar has claimed a monopoly in wisdom. Job replies that there is no such thing: wisdom is not confined to the teachings of the professional wisemen. This is one of the great principles of the Book of Job. An upright man must be allowed to draw his own conclusions about the ways of God, and these merit the serious attention of the professional teachers. Job expects them to recognize the validity of his experience and to adjust their teaching to include the native wisdom of an educated man. Instead, they refuse to move from their traditional positions. In that case, says Job, wisdom is dying, and the search must now be carried on by those who are aware of "such things as these."
In verse 3, as in 10:13, where Job has already spoken of "these things," he is using a Hebrew word that means "these things