Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 39:29

"From there he spies out food; His eyes see it from afar.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Birds;   Eagle;   God;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Eagle, the;  
Dictionaries:
Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Eagle;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Birds;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Knowledge;   Nature;   World;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Eagle;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Eagle;   The Jewish Encyclopedia - Vulture;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

Her eyes behold afar off - The eagle was proverbial for her strong and clear sight. So Horace, lib. i., sat. iii., ver. 25: -

Cum tua pervideas oculis mala lippus inunctis,

Cur in amicorum vitas tam cernis acutum,

Quam aut aquila, aut serpens Epidaurius?

"For wherefore while you carelessly pass by

Your own worst vices with unheeding eye,

Why so sharp-sighted in another's fame,

Strong as an eagle's ken, or dragon's beam?"

Francis.

So Aelian, lib. i., cap. 42. And Homer, Iliad xvii., calls the eagle οξυτατον ὑπουρανιων πετεηνων, "The most quick-sighted of all fowls under heaven."

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 39:29". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-39.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

From, thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off - “When far aloft, and no longer discernible by the human eye, such is the wonderful acuteness of its sight, that from the same elevation it will mark a hare, or even a smaller animal, and dart down on it with unerring aim.” “Edin. Ency.” “Of all animals, the eagle has the quickest eye; but his sense of smelling is far inferior to that of the vulture. He never pursues, therefore, but in sight.” “Goldsmith.” This power of sight was early known, and is celebrated by the ancients. Thus, Homer, r‘ - . verse 674.

- ὥστ ̓ ἀιετός ὄν ῥά τε φασὶν

Ὀξύσατον δέρκεσθαι ὑπουρανίων πετεηνῶν.

- hōst' aietos on ra te fasin

Oxusaton derkesthai hupouraniōn peteēnōn the eagle of whom it is said that it enjoys the keenest vision of

All the fowls under heaven.”

So Aelian, II. L. i. 32. Also Horace “Serm.” L. i. Sat. 3:

- tam cernit acutum

Quam aut aquila, aut serpeus Epidaurus.

The Arabic writers say that the eagle can see “four hundred parasangs.” “Damir,” as quoted by Scheutzer. It is now ascertained that birds of prey search out or discern their food rather by the sight than the smell. No sooner does a camel fall and die on the plains of Arabia, than there may be seen in the far-distant sky apparently a black speck, which is soon discovered to be a vulture hastening to its prey. From that vast distance the bird, invisible to human eye, has seen the prey stretched upon the sand and immediately commences toward it its rapid flight.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 39:29". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-39.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

From thence she seeketh the prey,.... From the high rock; from whence she can look down into valleys, and even into the sea; and spy what is for her purpose, and descend and seize upon them; as lambs, fawns, geese, shellfish, &c. though they may lie in the most hidden and secret places. Wherefore in the original text it is, "she diggeth the prey or food"F19חפר אכל "fodit escam"; Montanus, Mercerus. ; as treasure hid in secret is dug or diligently searched for; and for which she is qualified by the sharpness of her sight, as follows:

and her eyes behold afar off; from the high rocks and higher clouds, even from the high sky, as AelianusF20De Animal. l. 2. c. 26. & l. 1. c. 42. Aristot. & Plin. ut supra. (Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 32. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 3.) expresses it; and who observes that she is the most sharp sighted of all birds; and so, HomerF21Iliad. 17. v. 674,675. so Diodor. Sic. l. 3. p. 145. says, some affirm.

Copyright Statement
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 39:29". "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

seeketh — is on the lookout for.

behold — The eagle descries its prey at an astonishing distance, by sight, rather than smell.

Copyright Statement
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 39:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-39.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.

Her eyes — Her sight is exceeding sharp and strong, so that she is able to look upon the sun with open eyes, and to behold the smallest prey upon the earth or sea, when she is mounted out of our sight.

Copyright Statement
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 39:29". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-39.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

Job 39:29 From thence she seeketh the prey, [and] her eyes behold afar off.

Ver. 29. From thence she seeketh her prey] Besides fowls (whereof she is called the queen) she preyeth upon hares, hinds, foxes, and such other beasts as she can master. Hence that complaint of the hare,

In me omnis terraeque marisque aviumque ruina est (Martial).

And her eyes behold afar off] To a very great distance. She has sharp sight, and first sees her prey, and then seeks it. Her sight is so strong, that she can look intently into the body of the sun without being dazzled; and by that property makes proof of her young ones whether they be right or not. Those that cannot so behold the sun she drives out of the nest as spurious. Those that can she owneth, and beareth abroad with her open wings (as Munster noteth out of R. Solomon, Schol. in Deuteronomy 32:11), that none can shoot them but through her body; and thereto Moses alludeth, Exodus 19:4.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 39:29". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-39.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 39:29. Her eyes behold afar off Dr. Young paraphrases this well:

Thence [from the rock] wide o'er nature takes her dread survey, And, with a glance predestinates her prey.

And he observes, that the eagle is said to be of so acute a sight, that when she is so high in the air that man cannot see her, she can discern the smallest fish under water. The author of this book accurately understood the nature of the creatures which he describes, and seems to have been as great a naturalist as a poet. The classical reader will have a fine comment on this passage in the 4th book of Horace, Ode 4.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, How little Job's knowledge was, and how infinite that of God, is here most beautifully manifested; and while his tender mercies are seen over all his works, how unreasonable were Job's complaints against God, as cruel or unkind?

1. Who knows, but God alone, when the wild goats and hinds bring forth, how long they bear their burden, and the hour and moment in which they shall be delivered? Though their travailing pangs are sharp, they are safely preserved. Their young ones grow up by their sides, till able to seek their own sustenance; and then they quit their dam, forgetting and forgotten.

2. Who gave the wild ass liberty, and that untameable spirit which rejects restraint? God gives each beast its peculiar qualities, and provides for each a suitable provision and abode. The wilderness and barren mountain are his dwelling: far from the haunts of men, preferring liberty, though with poverty, to slavery with plenty; he despises the multitude that would seize him, and no driver urges him on with his cries. From place to place he roams in search of food, and finds pasture even in the wilderness. Note; (1.) Liberty is a precious jewel; and they who are free should, with noble spirit, maintain their happy independence. (2.) Shall man, who cannot give law to the wild ass's colt, presume to direct his Maker?

3. God bids him try to bind the רים riim, which we translate unicorn; though it is much doubted whether there be any such creature as we represent him. It is therefore frequently rendered the wild bull, which comes in appositely after what had been spoken of the wild ass. The tame ox might be brought to the yoke and crib; but who could make the wild bull serviceable, or break him to the plough or harrow? Great as his strength is, he is too unruly to be trusted with any labour of the field, and can neither be led nor driven. If Job then was not able to govern one creature, much more unfit was he to preside over the world, and direct the ways of Providence. Note; It is not ability, but the willingness to do good, which makes a man truly valuable.

2nd, The ostrich is next produced, as among the wondrous works of God. Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks, or rather ostriches, as others translate the word, to which alone the following verses relate, and whose wings are beautiful, while the peacocks have nothing singular. She layeth her eggs on the earth; not that, as some have suggested, they are dropped at random, and left to be hatched by the sun; for she has a nest where her eggs are deposited, yet on the earth, where every foot may crush them; and so forgetful is she, that when she lights on another nest, she will sit and hatch there, leaving her eggs, and hardened against her real young, as though they were not her own. Thus her labour is frequently for another, without fear of what will happen to her own; and this because God, from whom alone the different instincts of beasts, as well as reason in man, are derived, hath deprived her of wisdom. But, though so stupid and unnatural in danger, her speed is most rapid: raising herself (though unable to fly) by the assistance of her wings, she leaves the fleetest horse and its rider far behind. Note; (1.) How many ungodly parents, like the cruel ostrich, insensible to the fruit of their womb, expose their children to want by their extravagancies, or their souls to ruin by their neglect! (2.) Thus careless ministers desert their flocks, indifferent as to what becomes of them: if deceivers seduce them, or they perish for lack of knowledge, they are hardened against the loss. One thing, however, they forget not; though they refuse to feed their young, they are abundantly careful to feed themselves, and will have the fleece, though the devil seize the fold.

3rdly, How inimitably beautiful is the description of the Horse! Behold the horse trained for war; strength is in every motion; his rising neck is clothed with thunder; from his wide nostrils issues the copious stream; pawing in the valley, he seems to glory in his might; the armed host and glittering spear cannot intimidate him: eager to engage, he scarce can bear restraint, and, prancing fierce, seems as if he would swallow the ground under his feet; his ears erect, catch with delight the martial trumpet's sound; he snuffs the smell of battle from afar, and, animated by the shout or signal for engagement, fearless of death or danger, on he rushes, defies the sharp sword and rattling quiver, and tramples with resistless fury on whatever opposes him in his course: Note; such is the sinner: Jeremiah 8:6 hurried on by inordinate appetite, he rushes to the gratification of his lusts; no danger, loss, or suffering can restrain him; yea, the very terrors of God's wrath he scorns, and runs on the thick bosses of his buckler; till, smitten through with the sword of death, he falls, and plunges into that gulph of perdition which he would not be warned to avoid.

4thly, The hawk and eagle are produced, among birds, in proof of the power and providence of God: the hawk, which with such sagacity pursues her prey, swift and strong, and from the colder climes at winter's approach, follows the southern sun: the eagle, which mounts to such a towering height, fixes her nest on the craggy rock, and makes it her abode; thence darting on her prey, descried from afar, she feeds her young with the raw flesh of slaughtered beasts; or, at the battle, waits for the carcases of the slain. Who taught such wisdom to the feathered fowl, or who directs their flight? not Job: and if he pretended not to challenge these, much less ought he to claim a right to direct the providence of God. Note; (1.) Though the sinner, like the eagle, builds his nest on the rock, Jeremiah 44:16, he that set him up on high can also cast him down. (2.) The greedy eye, sharp as the eagle's, ever attentive on gain, little cares how it be obtained, whether by sucking the blood of the oppressed, or by practices corrupt as the corpses of the dead.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 39:29". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-39.html. 1801-1803.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Her sight is exceeding sharp and strong, so that she is able to look upon the sun with open eyes, and to behold the smallest prey upon the earth or sea, when she is mounted out of our sight; which when she spies, she flies to it with incredible swiftness, even like an arrow out of a bow.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 39:29". 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

29.Her eyes behold afar — Homer accords to the eagle the keenest vision of all birds. (Iliad, 17:674.) Similarly, Horace, “sharp-sighted as an eagle.” — Satire I, 3:27. The Arabs have a proverb, “More quick sighted than the eagle,” and they say, hyperbolically, that she can see a carcass at the distance of forty parasangs, or about one hundred and fifty miles.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 39:29". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-39.html. 1874-1909.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Off. The eagle was remarkably (Calmet) quick-sighted, (Worthington) as well as the serpent. (Horace i. Sat. iii.; Homer, Iliad xvii.) --- They say it can discern a fly or a fish from the highest situation; (Bochart) and if its young seem dazzled with the sun-beams, it hurls them down as spurious. (Pliny x. 3.)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 39:29". "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

From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.

Seeketh - is on the look out for.

Behold - the eagle descries its prey at an astonishing distance by sight rather than smell.

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 39:29". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/job-39.html. 1871-8.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.
she
9:26
her
The eagle is proverbial for her strong and clear sight.
Reciprocal: Luke 17:37 - wheresoever

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 39:29". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-39.html.