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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 39

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1Do you know when the mountain goats give birth? Do you attend the wild doe when she is calving? 2Can you count the months that they carry their young or know the time of their delivery, 3when they crouch down to open their wombs and deliver their offspring, 4when the fawns growing and thriving in the open country leave and do not return?

5Who has let the Syrian wild ass range at will and given the Arabian wild ass its freedom? 6I have made its haunts in the wilderness and its home in the saltings; 7it disdains the noise of the city and does not obey a driver's shout; 8it roams the hills as its pasture in search of a morsel of green.

9Is the wild ox willing to serve you or spend the night in your stall? 10Can you harness its strength with ropes; will it harrow the furrows a 39:10 its … furrows: prob. rdg; Heb. transposes strength and furrows. after you? 11Can you depend on it, strong as it is, and leave your heavy work to it? 12Can you rely on it to come, bringing your grain to b 39:12 grain to: so Gk; Heb. grain and. the threshing-floor?

13The wings of the ostrich c 39:13 ostrich: Heb. word of uncertain meaning. are stunted d are stunted: prob. rdg; Heb. unintelligible. ; her pinions e her pinions: prob. rdg; Heb. prefixes if. and plumage being so scanty f scanty: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure. 14she leaves her eggs on the ground and lets them be kept warm by the sand. 15She is unmindful that a foot may crush them, or a wild animal trample on them; 16she treats her chicks heartlessly as if they g 39:16 as if they: so Lat.; Heb. those that. were not her own, not caring if her labour is wasted. 17For God has denied her wisdom and left her without sense, 18while like a cock she struts h 39:18 while…struts: lit. while she plays the male. over the uplands, scorning both horse and rider.

19Do you give the horse his strength? Have you clothed his neck with a mane? 20Do you make him quiver like a locust's wings, when his shrill neighing strikes terror? 21He shows his mettle as he paws i 39:21 he paws: so Gk; Heb. they paw. and prances; in his might he charges the armoured line. 22He scorns alarms and knows no dismay; he does not shy away before the sword. 23The quiver rattles at his side, the spear and sabre flash. 24Trembling with eagerness, he devours the ground and when the trumpet sounds there is no holding him; 25at the trumpet-call he cries ‘Aha!’ and from afar he scents the battle, the shouting of the captains, and the war cries.

26Does your skill teach the hawk to use its pinions and spread its wings towards the south? 27Do you instruct the eagle to soar aloft and build its nest high up? 28It dwells among the rocks and there it has its nest, secure on a rocky crag; 29from there it searches for food, keenly scanning the distance, 30 j 39:30 41:1–6 (in Heb. 40:25–30 ) transposed to follow this verse. that its brood may be gorged with blood; wherever the slain are, it is there.

Notes:

a 39:10 its … furrows: prob. rdg; Heb. transposes strength and furrows.

b 39:12 grain to: so Gk; Heb. grain and.

c 39:13 ostrich: Heb. word of uncertain meaning.

d are stunted: prob. rdg; Heb. unintelligible.

e her pinions: prob. rdg; Heb. prefixes if.

f scanty: prob. rdg; Heb. obscure.

g 39:16 as if they: so Lat.; Heb. those that.

h 39:18 while…struts: lit. while she plays the male.

i 39:21 he paws: so Gk; Heb. they paw.

j 39:30 41:1–6 (in Heb. 40:25–30 ) transposed to follow this verse.

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