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the Week of Proper 7 / Ordinary 12
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Bible Commentaries
Job 39

Bridgeway Bible CommentaryBridgeway Bible Commentary

Verses 1-30

Control of the animal world (38:39-39:30)

The pressure on Job increases as God continues with his unanswerable questions. From the natural world in general, God moves to the animal world. He draws Job’s attention to animals that sometimes appear to have no purpose so far as human life is concerned, but are still part of God’s ordering of the world.
God asks Job if he is able to order nature by providing wild animals with food (39-41), while protecting timid animals when they give birth and care for their young (39:1-4). God gives freedom to the wild ass, but at the same time controls the animal and its habitat according to his ordering of nature. Can Job do this (5-8)? Or can Job make a wild ox work like a domestic ox, when God has given the wild ox an instinct that makes it impossible to tame (9-12)?
Some things in God’s creation are puzzling to humans. For example, it appears as if the ostrich neglects her eggs and has no concern for her young, because when she is frightened she runs away and leaves them. People may not understand why the ostrich behaves as it does, but God has given each animal its own particular instinct as he sees fit (13-18). God made the horse with an instinct to be trained. This is impressed upon Job with a description of the spectacular yet fearsome sight of war horses in battle (19-25).
Hawks and eagles make their nests in higher places than other birds, but they are not disadvantaged in looking for food. This is because of their remarkable eyesight, which enables them to see the tiniest objects from a great distance. Can Job compete with a Creator whose wisdom foresaw even the smallest detail (26-30)?

Bibliographical Information
Fleming, Donald C. "Commentary on Job 39". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/job-39.html. 2005.
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