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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024
the Week of Proper 6 / Ordinary 11
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Bible Commentaries
Job 39

Smith's Bible CommentarySmith's Commentary

Verses 1-30

Chapter 39

Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? can you mark when the hinds calve? Can you number the months that they fulfil? [Do you know how long their pregnancies are?] or do you know the time when they bring forth? They bow themselves, they bring their young ones, and they cast out their sorrows. Can you actually harness a unicorn to plow in your field and to do your work, to bring in your harvest? Did you paint the beautiful wings on the peacocks? or the feathers of the ostrich? And this dumb ostrich that leaves her eggs in the earth, warms them in the dust, and forgets that a foot might crush them, or that the wild beast might break them in. She's hardened against her young ones, as though they were not hers: her labor is in vain without fear; Because God has deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding ( Job 39:1-3 , Job 39:10 , Job 39:12-17 ).

Now some birds have tremendous instinctive abilities: who put it in the mind of the golden plover to fly from Alaska to the Aleutians Islands in the springtime in order that they might hatch their eggs and raise their babies in Alaska in the springtime? Who put it in the mind of the plover to fly 2,000 miles over uncharted oceans and land up there in the Aleutian Islands? And then after they have their little ones, and as winter is approaching, the little golden plover turns around and flies back to Hawaii. Who guides it? Who's given it its instinctive guidance system that it can fly over the 2,000 miles of ocean nonstop and land by careful navigation there in Hawaii, even though it may be blown by crosswinds of up to 100 miles an hour and be blown off of course, yet find it's way to Hawaii? Well, you say it remembered the way that it came. Well, then who guides the kids who are left behind, who don't take off for Hawaii until two weeks after their parents have left? And they've never been to Hawaii.

God is just saying to Job, "Hey, Job, who has done all of these things? You know, you think you're so smart, go ahead and see how far you can get in doing these things." Now the ostrich, it lays its eggs, it doesn't worry about, you know, someone coming along and stepping on the sand and cracking the egg because God has hid wisdom from it. He's just let it be dumb, not care about the egg, whether it will hatch or not. He's hardened her against her young ones. And yet with some animals, there is very strong mother instincts. Then God talks about the horse with its tremendous strength and the excitement of the horse in battle and so forth. Who created this excitement within the horse?

Does the hawk fly by wisdom, and stretch forth her wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command, and makes her nest on high? ( Job 39:26-27 )

Who gave the eagle that instinct to build the nest way up on the cliff? Did you order that?

She dwells and abides on the rocks, upon the crags of the rocks, and in the strong place. And from there she seeks her prey, and her eyes behold very far off. Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she ( Job 39:28-30 ). "

Bibliographical Information
Smith, Charles Ward. "Commentary on Job 39". "Smith's Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/csc/job-39.html. 2014.
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