Job 4:12


King James Version (KJV)

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a little thereof.

American King James Version (AKJV)

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a little thereof.

American Standard Version (ASV)

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, And mine ear received a whisper thereof.

Basic English Translation (BBE)

A word was given to me secretly, and the low sound of it came to my ears.

Webster's Revision

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and my ear received a small sound of it.

World English Bible

"Now a thing was secretly brought to me. My ear received a whisper of it.

English Revised Version (ERV)

Now a thing was secretly brought to me, and mine ear received a whisper thereof.

Definitions for Job 4:12

Ear - To work, till, or plough the ground.

Clarke's Job 4:12 Bible Commentary

Now a thing was secretly brought to me - To give himself the more authority, he professes to have received a vision from God, by which he was taught the secret of the Divine dispensations in providence; and a confirmation of the doctrine which he was now stating to Job; and which he applied in a different way to what was designed in the Divine communication.

Mine ear received a little thereof - Mr. Good translates, "And mine ear received a whisper along with it." The apparition was the general subject; and the words related Job 4:17, etc., were the whispers which he heard when the apparition stood still.

Barnes's Job 4:12 Bible Commentary

Now a thing - To confirm his views, Eliphaz appeals to a vision of a most remarkable character which he says he had had on some former occasion on the very point under consideration. The object of the vision was, to show that mortal man could not be more just than God, and that such was the purity of the Most High, that he put no confidence comparatively even in the angels. The design for which this is introduced here is, evidently, to reprove what he deemed the unfounded self-confidence of Job. He supposed that he had been placing an undue reliance on his own integrity; that he had not a just view of the infinite holiness of God, and had not been aware of the true state of his own heart. The highest earthly excellency, is the meaning of Eliphaz, fades away before God, and furnishes no ground for self-reliance. It is so imperfect, so feeble, so far from what it should be, that it is no wonder that a God so holy and exalted should disregard it: He designed also, by describing this vision, to reprove Job for seeming to be more wise than his Maker in arraigning him for his dealings, and uttering the language of complaint. The word "thing" here means a word (Hebrew), a communication, a revelation.

Was secretly brought to me - Margin, "by stealth." The Hebrew word (גנב gânab) means "to steal," to take away by stealth, or secretly. Here it means, that the oracle was brought to him as it were by stealth. It did not come openly and plainly, but in secrecy and silence - as a thief approaches a dwelling. An expression similar to this occurs in Lucian, in Amor. p. 884, as quoted by Schultens, κλεπτομένη λαλιὰ καί ψιθυρισμός kleptomenē lalia kai psithurismos.

And mine ear received a little thereof - Dr. Good translates this, "And mine ear received a whisper along with it." Noyes, "And mine ear caught a whisper thereof." The Vulgate, "And my ear received secretly the pulsations of its whisper" - venas susurri ejus. The word rendered "a little," שׁמץ shemets, occurs only here and in Job 26:14, where it is also rendered little. It means, according to Gesenius, a transient sound rapidly uttered and swiftly passing away. Symm. ψιθυρισμός psithurismos - a whisper. According to Castell, it means a sound confused and feeble, such as one receives when a man is speaking in a hurried manner, and when he cannot catch all that is said. This is probably the sense here. Eliphaz means to say that he did not get all that might have been said in the vision. It occurred in such circumstances, and what was said was delivered in such a manner, that he did not hear it all distinctly.

But he beard an important sentiment, which he proceeds to apply to the case of Job. - It has been made a question whether Eliphaz really had such a vision, or whether he only supposed such a case, and whether the whole representation is not poetic. The fair construction is, that he had had such a vision. In such a supposition there is nothing inconsistent with the mode in which the will of God was made known in ancient times; and in the sentiments uttered there is nothing inconsistent with what might have been spoken by a celestial visitant on such an occasion. All that was spoken was in accordance with the truth everywhere revealed in the Scriptures, though Eliphaz perverted it to prove that Job was insincere and hypocritical. The general sentiment in the oracle was, that man was not pure and holy compared with his Maker; that no one was free from guilt in his sight; that there was no virtue in man in which God could put entire confidence; and that, therefore, all were subjected to trials and to death. But this general sentiment he proceeds to apply to Job, and regards it as teaching, that since he was overwhelmed with such special afflictions, there must have been some secret sin of which he was guilty, which was the cause of his calamities.

Wesley's Job 4:12 Bible Commentary

4:12 Now - To convince Job of the sin and folly of impatience, Eliphaz relates a vision he had had, perhaps since he came to him.Which in that age and state of the church, before the holy scriptures were written, was the usual way of God's discovering his mind to those that sought him. A thing - Heb. a word, from God, a message.Secretly - Heb. was stolen, or brought by stealth unto me, privately and secretly, as the word of God used to come to the prophets, being spoken in their ear, as it was to Samuel, with a low and still voice. He does not pretend to have understood it fully; but something of it he perceived. How little a portion is heard of God! How little do we know of him in this world.

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