Job 39 (NLT)
The Lord’s Challenge Continues
“Do you know when the wild goats give birth?
Have you watched as deer are born in the wild?
While male deer are called bucks, the females are known as does, and they are distinct both physically and behaviorally. Does live differently than males do, and they take a more hands-on approach to parenting their young, known as fawns. Without the care and attention of a doe, a fawn may not survive, demonstrating how important the nurturing characteristics of this animal are.
2 Do you know how many months they carry their young?
Are you aware of the time of their delivery?
3 They crouch down to give birth to their young
and deliver their offspring.
4 Their young grow up in the open fields,
then leave home and never return.
5 “Who gives the wild donkey its freedom?
Who untied its ropes?
“One of the most admired animals of the Old Testament world was the wild donkey. It was a compliment and a promise of an enviable freedom when the angel declared that Ishmael (Genesis 16:12) would become ‘a wild donkey of a man.’ The creature was admired for both its freedom and its ability to survive under the harshest conditions.”
6 I have placed it in the wilderness;
its home is the wasteland.
7 It hates the noise of the city
and has no driver to shout at it.
8 The mountains are its pastureland,
where it searches for every blade of grass.
9 “Will the wild ox consent to being tamed?
Will it spend the night in your stall?
Wild ox is not a very good translation; nor is the classic King James Version translation of “unicorn” here. This animal is actually a fearsome, mighty, extinct animal known as the aurochs. Extinct since 1627, this enormous animal was the most powerful of all hoofed beasts, exceeded in size only by the hippopotamus and the elephant. It is the standard symbol of strength in the Old Testament, where it is mentioned nine times.
Pictured here: The Indian aurochs (Bos primigenius namadicus), a subspecies of the extinct aurochs.
10 Can you hitch a wild ox to a plow?
Will it plow a field for you?
11 Given its strength, can you trust it?
Can you leave and trust the ox to do your work?
12 Can you rely on it to bring home your grain
and deliver it to your threshing floor?
13 “The ostrich flaps her wings grandly,
but they are no match for the feathers of the stork.
Ostrich — why does a flightless bird have wings?
14 She lays her eggs on top of the earth,
letting them be warmed in the dust.
15 She doesn’t worry that a foot might crush them
or a wild animal might destroy them.
16 She is harsh toward her young,
as if they were not her own.
She doesn’t care if they die.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom.
He has given her no understanding.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run,
she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.
19 “Have you given the horse its strength
or clothed its neck with a flowing mane?
Horses were historically used in warfare, from which a wide variety of riding and driving techniques developed, using many different styles of equipment and methods of control. Many products are derived from horses, including meat, milk, hide, hair, bone, and pharmaceuticals extracted from the urine of pregnant mares.
20 Did you give it the ability to leap like a locust?
Its majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 It paws the earth and rejoices in its strength
when it charges out to battle.
22 It laughs at fear and is unafraid.
It does not run from the sword.
23 The arrows rattle against it,
and the spear and javelin flash.
24 It paws the ground fiercely
and rushes forward into battle when the ram’s horn blows.
25 It snorts at the sound of the horn.
It senses the battle in the distance.
It quivers at the captain’s commands and the noise of battle.
26 “Is it your wisdom that makes the hawk soar
and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Is it at your command that the eagle rises
to the heights to make its nest?
by Lord Alfred Tennyson
He clasps the crag with crooked hands;
Close to the sun in lonely lands,
Ringed with the azure world, he stands.
The wrinkled sea beneath him crawls;
He watches from his mountain walls,
And like a thunderbolt he falls.
28 It lives on the cliffs,
making its home on a distant, rocky crag.
29 From there it hunts its prey,
keeping watch with piercing eyes.
30 Its young gulp down blood.
Where there’s a carcass, there you’ll find it.”
“If we find it exasperating that God never gives Job any reasons for his long ordeal of suffering, then we have entirely missed the point of these final chapters. While it is true that the Lord’s answer to Job is neither logical nor theological, this is not the same as saying that He gives no answer. The Lord does give an answer. His answer is Himself.”
“One thought, and one only, is brought into the foreground. The world is full of mysteries, strange, unapproachable, overpowering mysteries that you cannot read. Trust, trust in the power, and in the wisdom, and in the goodness of Him, the Almighty One, who rules it.”
–George Granville Bradley
HERE is “All Creation Worships” written by Kirk Dearman and Jim Mills, performed by Tony Melendez.
New Living Translation (NLT) Holy Bible. New Living Translation copyright© 1996, 2004, 2007 by Tyndale House Foundation. Used by permission of Tyndale House Publishers Inc., Carol Stream, Illinois 60188. All rights reserved.
Images courtesy of:
ostrich and eggs. https://dwellingintheword.files.wordpress.com/2019/06/2c5fb-fresh_ostrich_hatching_eggs.jpg