Daily Arts Web Nucleus


Discover the Arts! Each day a different image from the Literary, Performing, or Visual Arts representing a portion of Scripture
plus an explanation with links

2015 January 2

Allegory of Government: Wisdom Defeating Discord (1738)
Jacob de Wit (1695-1754)
Rococo Style
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York, New York, USA
Image Source: Web Gallery of Art

     Explanation: In Job 12 Job begins a three chapter reply to Zophar. In the latter part of today's chapter Job notes that God irresistibly overthrows nature and men of all classes to accomplish his holy and wise purposes. This is symbolized by today's painting of wisdom overthrowing evil in the affairs of men.


          [ CHRONOLOGY: General. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]

          [ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]

     Job, in the next three chapters, answered Zophar and his two friends with anger. Previously, Job had plead for understanding, exhibiting his pain, mingled with criticisms of his critics. But here Job's anger flares into full view (1). His first words are words of well deserved contempt for his accusers: "No doubt but you are the people, and wisdom shall die with you." And, said Job, not only was their wisdom not superior to everyone else's wisdom, it also was not superior to Job's wisdom. He knew as much as they knew. He was being mocked even though he had, in days past, called on God and had been answered because he was just and upright. His feet were ready to slip; but his friends who were at ease despised him. Ironically, even robbers prospered; those who provoked God were secure; and God's hand helped them (2-6). So Job told his accusers to explore this irony -- to ask the beasts, the birds, the earth, or the fish about the works of the LORD who has the soul of every living thing and the breath of all mankind in his power. Job said that his advisers had told him nothing that he had not already heard and "tasted" for himself. Such wisdom and understanding was with the ancients, as well (7-12). With God, said Job, is wisdom, strength, counsel, and understanding. In his strength he irresistibly breaks down, shuts up, causes drought, and causes floods. In his wisdom the deceived and the deceiver are his. He confuses counselors and judges. By his strength he releases kings, he sends princes into captivity, and he overthrows the mighty. He brings the counsel of the trusted ones and the understanding of the aged to nothing. He pours contempt on the princes and weakens the mighty. He reveals things that are hidden in the deepest darkness. He makes nations prosper or he destroys them; he makes a nation great and diminishes it again. He discourages the heart of the greatest of people and makes them wander in the wilderness. They grope and stagger (13-25). In the next chapter he applies these ironies to his accusers.

Job 12

     1 And Job answered and said,
     2 No doubt but ye are the people, and wisdom shall die with you. 3 But I have understanding as well as you; I am not inferior to you: yea, who knoweth not such things as these? 4 I am as one mocked of his neighbour, who calleth upon God, and he answereth him: the just upright man is laughed to scorn. 5 He that is ready to slip with his feet is as a lamp despised in the thought of him that is at ease. 6 The tabernacles of robbers prosper, and they that provoke God are secure; into whose hand God bringeth abundantly.
     7 But ask now the beasts, and they shall teach thee; and the fowls of the air, and they shall tell thee: 8 Or speak to the earth, and it shall teach thee: and the fishes of the sea shall declare unto thee. 9 Who knoweth not in all these that the hand of the LORD hath wrought this? 10 In whose hand is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all mankind. 11 Doth not the ear try words? and the mouth taste his meat? 12 With the ancient is wisdom; and in length of days understanding.
     13 With him is wisdom and strength, he hath counsel and understanding. 14 Behold, he breaketh down, and it cannot be built again: he shutteth up a man, and there can be no opening. 15 Behold, he withholdeth the waters, and they dry up: also he sendeth them out, and they overturn the earth. 16 With him is strength and wisdom: the deceived and the deceiver are his. 17 He leadeth counsellors away spoiled, and maketh the judges fools. 18 He looseth the bond of kings, and girdeth their loins with a girdle. 19 He leadeth princes away spoiled, and overthroweth the mighty. 20 He removeth away the speech of the trusty, and taketh away the understanding of the aged. 21 He poureth contempt upon princes, and weakeneth the strength of the mighty. 22 He discovereth deep things out of darkness, and bringeth out to light the shadow of death. 23 He increaseth the nations, and destroyeth them: he enlargeth the nations, and straiteneth them again. 24 He taketh away the heart of the chief of the people of the earth, and causeth them to wander in a wilderness where there is no way. 25 They grope in the dark without light, and he maketh them to stagger like a drunken man.

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