Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 30:29

"I have become a brother to jackals And a companion of ostriches.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Ostriches;   Owl;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Birds;   Dragon, the;   Ostrich, the;   Reptiles;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Dragon;   Ostrich;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Dragon;   Owl;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Brother;   Ostrich;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Affliction;   Birds;   Jackal;   Job, the Book of;   Wisdom and Wise Men;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Dragon;   Ostrich;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Brother;   Ostrich;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Dragon;   Ostrich;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Dragon;   Ostrich,;   Owl;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Brother;   Dragon;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Ostrich;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Brother;   Dragon;   Jackal;   Ostrich;   Whale;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Brother;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Ostrich;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

I am a brother to dragons - By my mournful and continual cry I resemble תנים tannim, the jackals or hyenas.

And a companion to owls - יענה בנות benoth yaanah, to the daughters of howling: generally understood to be the ostrich; for both the jackal and the female ostrich are remarkable for their mournful cry, and for their attachment to desolate places - Dodd.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-30.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

I am a brother to dragons - That is, my loud complaints and cries resemble the doleful screams of wild animals, or of the most frightful monsters. The word “brother” is often used in this sense, to denote similarity in any respect. The word “dragons” here (תנין tannı̂yn ), denotes properly a sea-monster, a great fish, a crocodile; or the fancied animal with wings called a dragon; see the notes at Isaiah 13:22. Gesenius, Umbreit, and Noyes, render this word here jackals - an animal between a dog and a fox, or a wolf and a fox; an animal that abounds in deserts and solitudes, and that makes a doleful cry in the night. So the Syriac renders it an animal resembling a dog; a wild dog. Castell. This idea agrees with the scope of the passage better than the common reference to a sea-monster or a crocodile. “The Deeb, or Jackal,” says Shaw, “is of a darker color than the fox, and about the same bigness. It yelps every night about the gardens and villages, feeding upon roots, fruit, and carrion.” Travels, p. 247, Ed. Oxford, 1738. That some wild animal, distinguished for a mournful noise, or howl, is meant, is evident; and the passage better agrees with the description of a jackal than the hissing of a serpent or the noise of the crocodile. Bochart supposes that the allusion is to dragons, because they erect their heads, and their jaws are drawn open, and they seem to be complaining against God on account of their humble and miserable condition. Taylor (Concord.) supposes it means jackals or thoes, and refers to the following places where the word may be so used; Psalm 44:19; Isaiah 13:22; Isaiah 34:13; Isaiah 35:7; Isaiah 43:20; Jeremiah 11:11; Jeremiah 10:22; Jeremiah 49:33; Jeremiah 51:37; Lamentations 4:3; Micah 1:8; Malachi 1:3.

And a companion to owls - Margin, ostriches. The word companion here is used in a sense similar to brother in the other member of the parallelism, to denote resemblance. The Hebrew, here rendered owls, is, literally, daughters of answering, or clamor - יענה בנות benôth ya‛ănâh The name is given on account of the plaintive and mournful cry which is made. Bochart. Gesenius supposes, however, that it is on account of its greediness and gluttony. The name “daughters of the ostrich.” denotes properly the female ostrich. The phrase is, however, put for the ostrich of both sexes in many places; see Gesenius on the word יענה ya‛ănâh compare the notes at Isaiah 13:21. For a full examination of the meaning of the phrase, see Bochart, Hieroz. P. ii. L. 2. cap. xiv. pp. 218-231; see also Job 39:13-17. There can be little doubt that the ostrich is here intended, and Job means to say that his mourning resembled the doleful noise made by the ostrich in the lonely desert. Shaw, in his Travels, says that during the night “they (the ostriches) make very doleful and hideous noises; which would sometimes be like the roaring of a lion; at other times it would bear a nearer resemblance to the hoarser voice of other quadrupeds, particularly of the bull and the ox. I have often heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-30.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. Or ostriches, as the Targum, Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Syriac, and Arabic versions; either he was obliged to dwell with such persons as were comparable to these creatures for their devouring words, hissing noise, and venomous speeches, or for want of compassion, and for their cruelty, as David is said to be among lions, Psalm 57:4; or also, he was like unto them, being solitary and alone, all his friends and acquaintance standing at a distance from him, as these creatures love lonesome and desolate places; or because of the wailing and howling noise they make, to which his mournful notes bore some resemblance; see Gill on Micah 1:8; or because, when these creatures cry and howl, and make a noise, no mercy is shown to them, none pities or regards them; and so it was with him; though he stood and cried in ever so public a manner, none had any compassion on him.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
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Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-30.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

I am a brother to u dragons, and a companion to owls.

(u) I am like the wild beasts that desire solitary places.
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/job-30.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

owls — rather, “jackals,” “ostriches,” both of which utter dismal screams (Micah 1:8); in which respect, as also in their living amidst solitudes (the emblem of desolation), Job is their brother and companion; that is, resembles them. “Dragon,” Hebrew, {tannim}, usually means the crocodile; so perhaps here, its open jaws lifted towards heaven, and its noise making it seem as if it mourned over its fate [Bochart].

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These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-30.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.

A brother — By imitation of their cries: persons of like qualities are often called brethren.

Dragon — Which howl and wail mournfully in the deserts.

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These files are public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available on the Christian Classics Ethereal Library Website.
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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-30.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 30:29 I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.

Ver. 29. I am a brother to dragons, &c.] i.e. I utter a very lamentable voice, or rather noise, like dragons, which sucking the elephant’s blood till he fall down dead upon them, and quell them with his huge bulk, make a horrible howling; so horrible and hideous, say some, that they amaze, yea, kill those that hear it (Plin. Solin.).

And a companion to owls] I give forth rude and confused cries, as if I howled with owls, or grunted with ostriches. We use to say of such, that they roar like bears and bellow like bulls, filling the air with their outcries. Young ostriches cast off by their dams, Job 39:14, Lamentations 4:3, make a pitiful moan; so do the young ravens for like cause, Psalms 147:9. Job cried out more like a beast than a man, in his pain and misery. This the Stoics censured as effeminate, and would not allow a wise or valiant man to sigh, or cry, or show any token of grief, whatever befell him. But this was to destroy nature, and to transform men into stocks and stones void of sense. The patriarchs bewailed their deceased friends. David, likely, was not ignorant of the Gentile’s proverb, Weeping becometh not a king; yet he wept abundantly, yea, he out wept Jonathan. Because the better anyone is, the more inclined to weeping and lamentation, which yet must be duly moderated (Eurip. - Aγαθοι δ αριδακρυες ανδρες).

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 30:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-30.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 30:29. I am a brother to dragons, &c.— I am a brother to jackals, and a companion to ostriches. See Bochart Hieroz. lib. 2: cap. 14. The jackal and the female ostrich are both remarkable for their mournful cry, and for their inhabiting desolate places.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 30:29". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-30.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

A brother, to wit, by imitation of their cries: persons of like qualities are oft called brethren, as Genesis 49:5 Proverbs 18:9.

To dragons; which howl and wail mournfully in the deserts, Micah 1:8, either through hunger or thirst, or when he fights with and is beaten by the elephant. To owls; whose sad and mournful noises are known. Or, ostriches; which also is noted to make lamentable outcries.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 30:29". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-30.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

29.Brother — See note, Job 17:14. By his cry he has become a brother to dragons, (Hebrew, tannim,) rather, jackals, whose howl is a wailing like that of a child. It begins with the setting of the sun and continues all night. Dr. Thomson speaks of a concert of jackals as the most frightful noise he ever heard. (Land and Book, 1:113.)

Owls — Literally, daughters of the ostrich. The cry of the ostrich is hideous, sometimes resembling the roar of a lion; then again, the hoarse voice of the bull. “I have often heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies.” — Dr. Shaw, (comp. Micah 1:8.) Shakspeare borrows the imagery of this verse, —

though I go alone,

Like to a lonely dragon, that his fen Makes feared.

Coriolanus, iv, sc. 1.

 

 

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-30.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 30:29. I am a brother — By imitation of their cries; to dragons — Which howl and wail mournfully in the deserts, (Micah 1:8,) either through hunger and thirst, or when they fight with, and are beaten by, the elephant. Persons of like qualities are often called brethren. And a companion to owls — Whose doleful noises are well known: or, ostriches, as Dr. Waterland renders the word; the females of which are also remarkable for their mournful cry, and which have their habitation in desolate places.

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Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 30:29". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-30.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Brother of dragons, &c. Imitating these creatures in their lamentable noise. (Challoner) -- I was like those beasts which retire in order to lament. (Worthington) --- The dragons his dreadfully, when crushed by the elephant; (St. Jerome) and the young ostriches, being abandoned, make great lamentations. (Menochius) (Delrio, t. ii. adag. 18.) --- This comparison occurs, Micheas i. 8. Natural history does not, however, represent these animals as very plaintive. The former term may denote sea monsters, or crocodiles; thannim: (Septuagint, syrens) and "the daughters of the yahana," signify "swans," (Isaias xiii. 21.) though commonly rendered ostriches, as they are by the Septuagint, &c. (Calmet) --- Protestants have, "owls." But we may adhere to the Vulgate. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-30.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

"Jackals live in the desert, and the only place that Job is welcome is there. The jackals are also known for their plaintive cry, with which he also identifies. The ostrich, too, is known for its hissing, cackling, and doleful moaning. The mournful howl of these animals still disturbs the desert nights" (Strauss p. 300).

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-30.html. 1999-2014.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.

Dragons ... owls - rather, jackals, ostriches, both of which utter dismal screams (Micah 1:8); in which respect, as also in their living amidst solitudes, the emblem of desolation, Job is their brother and companion - i:e., resembles them. "Dragon," Hebrew Tannim, usually means the crocodile; so perhaps here, its open jaws lifted toward heaven, and its noise, making it seem as if it mourned over its fate (Bochart).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-30.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(29) Dragons and owls are, according to some moderns, jackals and ostriches.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-30.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls.
a brother
17:14; Psalms 102:6; Isaiah 13:21,22; 38:14; Micah 1:8; Malachi 1:3
owls
or, ostriches. Benoth yäânah, in Arabic, bintu näâmatin, not owls, but ostriches, so called from their doleful and hideous noises. "I have often," says Dr. Shaw, "heard them groan as if they were in the greatest agonies."
Reciprocal: Deuteronomy 14:15 - GeneralJob 13:28 - And he;  Job 39:13 - wings and feathers unto the;  Proverbs 18:9 - is brother;  Isaiah 59:11 - mourn

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 30:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-30.html.