Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 39:25

"As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!' And he scents the battle from afar, And the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - God;   Horse;   Trumpet;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Beasts;   Trumpet;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Horses;   War;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Aha!;   Horse;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Transportation and Travel;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Horse;   Knowledge;   Nature;   World;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Horse;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Ha, Ha;   Horse;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Greyhound;   Horse;   War;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Horse;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Ah;   Ha;   Horse;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Thunder;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha - The original is peculiarly emphatical: האח Heach ! a strong, partly nasal, partly guttural sound, exactly resembling the first note which the horse emits in neighing. The strong, guttural sounds in this hemistich are exceedingly expressive: מלחמה יריח ומרחוק האח Heach ! umerachok yariach milchamah ; "Heach, for from afar he scenteth the battle."

The reader will perceive that Mr. Good has given a very different meaning to Job 39:20; from that in the present text, Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? by translating the Hebrew thus: -

"Hast thou given him to launch forth as an arrow?"

The word ארבה arbeh, which we translate locust or grasshopper, and which he derives from רבה rabah, the א aleph being merely formative, he says, "may as well mean an arrow as it does in Job 16:13, רביו rabbaiv, 'His arrows fly around me.'" The verb רעש raash in the word התועישנו hatharishennu, "Canst thou make him afraid?' he contends, "signifies to tremble, quiver, rush, launch, dart forth; and, taken in this sense, it seems to unite the two ideas of rapidity and coruscation." This is the principal alteration which this learned man has made in the text.

I shall conclude on this subject by giving Coverdale's translation: Hast thou geven the horse his strength, or lerned him how to bow down his neck with feare; that he letteth himself be dryven forth like a greshopper, where as the stout neyenge that he maketh is fearfull? He breaketh the grounde with the hoffes of his fete chearfully in his strength, and runneth to mete the harnest men. He layeth aside all feare, his stomach is not abated, neither starteth he aback for eny swerde. Though the qyvers rattle upon him, though the speare and shilde glistre: yet russheth he in fearsley, and beateth upon the grounde. He feareth not the noise of the trompettes, but as soone as he heareth the shawmes blowe, Tush (sayeth he) for he smelleth the batell afarre of, the noyse, the captaynes, and the shoutinge. This is wonderfully nervous, and at the same time accurate.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-39.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha - That is,” When the trumpet sounds, his voice is heard “as if” he said, Aha - or said that he heard the sound calling him to the battle.” The reference is to the impatient neighing of the war horse about to rush into the conflict.

And he smelleth the battle afar off - That is, he snuffs, as it were, for the slaughter. The reference is to the effect of an approaching army upon a spirited war-horse, as if he perceived the approach by the sense of smelling, and longed to be in the midst of the battle.

The thunder of the captains - literally, “the war-cry of the princes.” The reference is to the loud voices of the leaders of the army commanding the hosts under them. In regard to the whole of this magnificent description of the war-horse, the reader may consult Bochart, “Hieroz.” P. i. L. ii. c. viii., where the phrases used are considered and illustrated at length. The leading idea. here is, that the war-horse evinced the wisdom and the power of God. His majesty, energy, strength, impatience for the battle, and spirit, were proofs of the greatness of Him who had made him, and might be appealed to as illustrating His perfections. Much as people admire the noble horse, and much as they take pains to train him for the turf or for battle, yet how seldom do they refer to it as illustrating the power and greatness of the Creator; and, it may be added, how seldom do they use the horse as if he were one of the grand and noble works of God!

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-39.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He saith among the trumpets, ha, ha,.... As pleased with the sound of them, rejoicing thereat, and which he signifies by neighing;

and he smelleth the battle afar off; which respects not so much the distance of place as of time; he perceives beforehand that it is near, by the preparations making for it, and particularly by what follows; so PlinyF2Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 42. says of horses, they presage a fight. The thunder of the captains, and the shouting; they understand an engagement is just about to start by the loud and thundering voice of the captains, exhorting and spiralling up their men, and giving them the word of command; and by the clamorous shout of the soldiers echoing to the speech of their captains; and which are given forth upon an onset, both to animate one another, and intimidate the enemy. BootiusF3Animadvers. Sacr. l. 3. c. 6. s. 1. observes, that VirgilF4Georgic. l. 3. and OppianusF5Cyneget. l. 1. say most of the same things in praise of the horse which are here said, and seem to have taken them from hence; and someF6Horus Aegypt. apud Steeb. Coelum Sephirot. Heb. c. 6. s. 1. p. 106. give the horse the preference to the lion, which, when it departs from a fight, never returns, whereas the horse will. This is an emblem both of good men, Zechariah 10:3; and of bad men, Jeremiah 8:6.

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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.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-39.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

saith — poetically applied to his mettlesome neighing, whereby he shows his love of the battle.

smelleth — snuffeth; discerneth (Isaiah 11:3, Margin).

thunder — thundering voice.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-39.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

Ha, ha — An expression of joy and alacrity declared by his proud neighings.

Thunder — The loud and joyful clamour begun by the commanders, and followed by the soldiers when they are ready to join battle.

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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.
Bibliographical Information
Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-39.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 39:25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

Ver. 25. He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha] Or, Euge. A note of rejoicing, which he seemeth to utter in his language: these are poetic terms.

He smelleth out the battle afar off] He knows that the onset is about to be given. Pliny writeth, That horses will perceive beforehand the very time of the fight, if it be but

By the thunder of the captains, and the shouting] The captains’ adhortations and the soldiers’ acclamations, &c. The Hebrew word signifieth the noise either of joy or sorrow: both are commonly heard in battles. "For every battle of the warrior is with confused noise, and garments rolled in blood," Isaiah 9:5. The glory of all this that is said of the horse the Lord assumeth to himself; and yet the horse is not so courageous, but that he is as much afraid of and troubled at the sight of the stone Taraxippe (which therehence also hath its name) as the elephant is at the sight of a hog, and a lion of a cock, wherewith they have a natural antipathy, as naturalists tell us (Bodin. Theat. Nat. p. 407).

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Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 39:25". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-39.html. 1865-1868.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Ha, ha; an expression of joy and alacrity, declared by his proud neighings; whereby he doth in some sort answer the sound of the trumpets, in way of scorn and challenge.

He smelleth, i.e. he perceiveth, as this phrase is used, Jude 16:9.

Afar off; at some distance, either of place, or rather of time, as the word is most frequently used. He perceives by the motion of the soldiers, and the clattering of the arms, that the battle is at hand, which is very welcome to him.

The thunder of the captains; by which he understands, either the military orations which the captains make and deliver with a loud voice to animate their soldiers to the battle; or rather the loud and joyful clamour begun by the commanders, and followed by the soldiers, when they are ready to join battle, that thereby they may both daunt their enemies, and encourage themselves.

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Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 39:25". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-39.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

25.He saith among the trumpets — At every blast, (literally, “trumpet,”) he saith, Aha!

Smelleth the battle — A like instinct is attributed to the horse in Pliny — “He presages the battle.” Layard, in his “New Discoveries,” (p. 330,) says: “Although docile as a lamb, and requiring no other guide than the halter, when the Arab mare hears the war-cry of the tribe, and sees the quivering spear of her rider, her eyes glitter with fire, her blood-red nostrils open wide, her neck is nobly arched, and her tail and mane are raised and spread out to the wind. The Bedawin proverb says, that a highbred mare, when at full speed, should hide her rider between her neck and her tail.”

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-39.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ha. Literally, "Vah," a sound of joy, (Menochius) or of contempt. Septuagint, The trumpet having given the sign, he will say, Well: Euge. Nothing could be more poetically descriptive of the war-horse. (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-39.html. 1859.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

Saith - poetically applied to his mettlesome neighing, whereby he shows his love of the battle.

Smelleth - snuffeth: discerneth (margin, Isaiah 11:3).

Thunder - thundering voice.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-39.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(25) He saith among the trumpets—Literally, when there are plenty of trumpets: 1 e., as often as the trumpet soundeth.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-39.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
Ha, ha
Psalms 70:3; Ezekiel 26:2; 36:2
Reciprocal: Exodus 32:17 - There is a noise;  Job 39:19 - thunder;  Ezekiel 21:22 - to lift;  Amos 1:14 - with shouting;  1 Corinthians 14:8 - GeneralRevelation 9:9 - and the

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Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 39:25". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-39.html.