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Bible Commentaries

Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary

Job 39

Verses 1-30

JOB - CHAPTER 39

JEHOVAH’S ADDRESS TO JOB CONTINUED

Verses 1-30:

His Divine Care For All His Universe

Verse 1 asks Job if he is knowledgeable of the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth, give birth to their young. Or does he know when the wild hinds do give birth to their calves. Such are times when the herdsman is most concerned for his herd. The hind is the most timid and defenseless of calving, wild beasts; Yet the Lord cares for them, as well as for the sturdy wild mountain goats, which are His, Psalms 104:18; 1 Samuel 24:2.

Verse 2 Inquires if Job knows or keeps up the number of months that the wild goats or wild hinds are pregnant, or when they are about to give birth to their young, like a shepherd or herdsman does with his domestic flocks and herds. No, Job did not know about or watch over these wild beasts, but the Lord does, is the idea. He causes these wild beasts to bring forth with ease, as He cares for them, even as He does for all wild creatures, not permitting the fall of a sparrow without His note of it, Matthew 10:29; Luke 12:6-7.

Verses 3, 4 relate that these wild animals are objects of God’s continual compassionate care and protection and preservation. They bow or bend themselves on their knees and give birth with ease, 1 Samuel 4:19. And in a moment they bring forth their womb pains or sorrows in birth of the offspring, in "good liking" or good condition, strong. They grow up like corn that is in the field. They go forth and return not, foraging for their own survival, providing for themselves very young.

Verse 5 asks, just who has sent out the wild ass free? the wild ass of the woods? Or who has loosed (released) the bonds of the wild ass, given it liberty, freedom to roam wild? Man can rob animals of freedom, but he can not give them freedom. God has done this, subject to their submission to fixed laws, Job 6:5; Job 11:12; Job 24:5; Jeremiah 2:24.

Verse 6 recounts Jehovah’s declaration that it was He who had made the wilderness a house, residence, or dwelling place, on the barren land for the wild mountain goat and the hind. For He cares for His own creation, Job 24:5; Jeremiah 2:24; Hosea 8:9; Psalms 107:34.

Verses 7, 8 assert that he (the goat and the hind) scorns the multitude of the city and does not regard care for the voice of the driver of the domesticated ass. Both of these wild animals defy being driven, fenced in by men. The wild ass is now numbered as a beast of an uncontrolled freedom, respected by Persian Kings of the East for their free spirit. The range of the Mountains is his pasture or foraging place for his food. And he (the mountain goat and the hind) searches after every kind of green thing, to bind his necessary food, that God has provided him, Job 40:15; Job 40:20; Job 40:22; Genesis 1:29-30; Psalms 104:27-28; Psalms 145:15-16.

Verses 9, 10 ask four questions of Job, about the unicorn, either the wild ox, buffalo, or the rhinoceros, an untamable beast, in contrast with the ox which may be tamed to plow, Numbers 23:22; Deuteronomy 33:17; Psalms 22:21. The questions are 1) Would the unicorn be willing to serve Job? or 2) to stay near his crib to be fed? Spend the night there? 3) Could Job find or harness him to plow the furrow? or 4) harrow the valleys? Isaiah 1:3.

Verses 11, 12 continue Jehovah’s rhetoric-like questions to Job about the wild unicorn: He would not trust him, because of his great untamable strength or leave his labor (rustic work) for him to do, would he? You would not trust him, to bring his seed, or haul home his produce, all the way to the barn threshing floor or storing place, would he? 1 Samuel 8:15; Proverbs 3:10.

Verse 13 continues Jehovah’s inquiry of Job’s knowledge of the wild fowls. He has not given the goodly wings of feathered beauty to the peacock or the strong wings to the ostrich, has He? It was the peacock among the rarities imported from afar, perhaps from India, by Solomon, 1Kg 10:22; See also Isaiah 13:21.

Verses 14-18 describe the ostrich as a huge, dumb, stupid fowl that ... v.14 leaves her eggs (lays them) in the earth and warms them in the dust, burying them near one foot in the ground, Deuteronomy 22:6; Isaiah 10:14-16; and, v.15 adds she forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them, eat them for food, those she deliberately leaves to feed her young, preserving their early lives, which makes her seem not quite so stupid. V. 16 states that she is hardened against her young ones, as if they were not her own, will leave them, at the slightest noise. Her labor is in vain, as they are destroyed; She seems to have no fear or remorse, as other birds, Leviticus 26:29; Deuteronomy 28:52-57; Deuteronomy 1 Kg 3:26, 27; Psalms 103:13; Isaiah 49:15; Jeremiah 19:9; La 4:3; Ezekiel 5:10; Matthew 7:11; Romans 1:31.

Verse 17 states that God has deprived her of wisdom and has not given her understanding, as other creatures, by His own sovereign will, Deuteronomy 2:30; 2 Chronicles 32:31; Isaiah 19:11; Isaiah 19:14; Isaiah 57:17. Arabs use the phrase "Foolish as an ostrich," till today. Yet God designs to care for the ostrich. Shall He not also for men, even under afflictions, like ?Job Verse18 asserts that when she lifts up her wings on high, as if to fly, she scorns the horse and rider, by out-running them.

Verse 19 inquires of Job, you have not given the horse his strength or clothed his neck with thunder, the heavy mane, have you? Horses are not mentioned among job’s possessions. It is believed they were primarily then used for war purposes. And Job was not a man of war, Deuteronomy 17:16; Psalms 32:9; Psalms 147:10.

Verse 20 asks if Job can make the horse afraid or to jump like a grasshopper, as God could the grasshopper or locust. They are mentioned with the locusts, Joel 2:4. The glory of the horse is said to be in his nostrils as he snorts furiously, Jeremiah 8:16.

Verse 21 relates that the horse "paws in the valley," rejoicing in his strength, from which he goes forward furiously into battle, with flaming nostrils and lifted mane, Numbers 1:3; Zechariah 10:3; Jeremiah 8:6; Proverbs 21:31.

Verse 22 states that the horse makes a mockery of fear, and is not frightened, neither will he turn to run from the sword, in the midst of battle.

Verse 23 declares that the quivers that sheath the arrows rattle against him, while the glittering of the flashing spear, flashes like lightning, yet he carries his rider forward in battle, fiercely, yet without any cowing fear, Genesis 27:3; Psalms 127:5; Joshua 8:18.

Verse 24 declares also that the war-horse swallows the ground digging in his hoofs to support the rider and dashes on in battle with fierceness and rage. He will not stand still for the sound of the trumpet, when the note of the trumpet sounds, so ready is he for battle, till death, Numbers 10:9; Ezekiel 33:3.

Verse 25 relates that the horse saith (neighs) among the sounding of the battle-cry trumpets, showing his love for battle. He sniffeth, smells or discerns preparation for the encounter from afar, a long way off. The thundering voice of the captain and the shouting of the soldiers key him for battle encounters, he discerns, Isaiah 11:3; Joshua 6:5.

Verses 26, 27 recount Jehovah’s further inquiry of Job whether or not the hawks fly by his wisdom or spread her wings toward the south? Did Job cause the hawk to have the migratory instinct to go south, to a warmer climate, as the cold came down? Leviticus 11:16. And did the eagle mount up, soar very high, above all other birds, as the bird of heaven, and make her nest on high, high peaks and places, at the command, mandate, or direction of Job? Exodus 19:4; Jeremiah 49:16; Obadiah 1:4.

Verse 28 declares that she dwells, resides, or abides on the rock, the crag, too in or high point of the rock, securely from which she surveys the earth and dashes to seize her prey below.

Verse 29 adds that from that high crag she seeks the prey; Her "eyes behold afar off." By sight, rather than smell, the eagle is able to detect movement of its prey on land, in the air, or near the surface of the water for a long distance away. The proverb is thus "sharp as an eagle’s eye." Spotting her prey from far in the sky, the eagle can descend almost like a bullet to seize the prey, Job 9:26.

Verse 30,concludes that her young ones (young eagles) suck up blood from the fresh-killed prey, either on the spot of the kill or where the mother eagle carries it nearby; Where the slain is, there is the mother eagle, standing sentinel guard over her trophy of prey; This was partly quoted of our lord, also alluding to the vulture, Matthew 24:28.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Blessed Hope Foundation and the Baptist Training Center.
Bibliographical Information
Garner, Albert & Howes, J.C. "Commentary on Job 39". Garner-Howes Baptist Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghb/job-39.html. 1985.