Job 39

1 “Do you know the time when the mountain goats give birth? Do you watch when the doe bears fawns? 2 Can you number the months that they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they give birth? 3 They bow themselves, they bear their young. They end their labor pains. 4 Their young ones become strong. They grow up in the open field. They go out, and don’t return again. 5 “Who has set the wild donkey free? Or who has loosened the bonds of the swift donkey, 6 Whose home I have made the wilderness, and the salt land his dwelling place? 7 He scorns the tumult of the city, neither does he hear the shouting of the driver. 8 The range of the mountains is his pasture, He searches after every green thing. 9 “Will the wild ox be content to serve you? Or will he stay by your feeding trough? 10 Can you hold the wild ox in the furrow with his harness? Or will he till the valleys after you? 11 Will you trust him, because his strength is great? Or will you leave to him your labor? 12 Will you confide in him, that he will bring home your seed, and gather the grain of your threshing floor? 13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; but are they the feathers and plumage of love? 14 For she leaves her eggs on the earth, warms them in the dust, 15 and forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild animal may trample them. 16 She deals harshly with her young ones, as if they were not hers. Though her labor is in vain, she is without fear, 17 because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither has he imparted to her understanding. 18 When she lifts up herself on high, she scorns the horse and his rider. 19 “Have you given the horse might? Have you clothed his neck with a quivering mane? 20 Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is awesome. 21 He paws in the valley, and rejoices in his strength. He goes out to meet the armed men. 22 He mocks at fear, and is not dismayed, neither does he turn back from the sword. 23 The quiver rattles against him, the flashing spear and the javelin. 24 He eats up the ground with fierceness and rage, neither does he stand still at the sound of the trumpet. 25 As often as the trumpet sounds he snorts, ‘Aha!’ He smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting. 26 “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars, and stretches her wings towards the south? 27 Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up, and makes his nest on high? 28 On the cliff he dwells, and makes his home, on the point of the cliff, and the stronghold. 29 From there he spies out the prey. His eyes see it afar off. 30 His young ones also suck up blood. Where the slain are, there he is.”

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Questions about today’s reading? See if Matthew Henry can help.
Matthew Henry’s Concise Commentary, 1706

Verses 1—30

In these questions the Lord continued to humble Job. In this chapter several animals are spoken of, whose nature or situation particularly show the power, wisdom, and manifold works of God. The wild ass. It is better to labour and be good for something, than to ramble and be good for nothing. From the untameableness of this and other creatures, we may see, how unfit we are to give law to Providence, who cannot give law even to a wild ass’s colt. The unicorn, a strong, stately, proud creature. He is able to serve, but not willing; and God challenges Job to force him to it. It is a great mercy if, where God gives strength for service, he gives a heart; it is what we should pray for, and reason ourselves into, which the brutes cannot do. Those gifts are not always the most valuable that make the finest show. Who would not rather have the voice of the nightingale, than the tail of the peacock; the eye of the eagle and her soaring wing, and the natural affection of the stork, than the beautiful feathers of the ostrich, which can never rise above the earth, and is without natural affection? The description of the war-horse helps to explain the character of presumptuous sinners. Every one turneth to his course, as the horse rushes into the battle. When a man’s heart is fully set in him to do evil, and he is carried on in a wicked way, by the violence of his appetites and passions, there is no making him fear the wrath of God, and the fatal consequences of sin. Secure sinners think themselves as safe in their sins as the eagle in her nest on high, in the clefts of the rocks; but I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord, Jer 49:16. All these beautiful references to the works of nature, should teach us a right view of the riches of the wisdom of Him who made and sustains all things. The want of right views concerning the wisdom of God, which is ever present in all things, led Job to think and speak unworthily of Providence.

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