|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
39:1-30 God inquires of Job concerning several animals. - In these questions the Lord continued to humble Job. In this chapter several animals are spoken of, whose nature or situation particularly show the power, wisdom, and manifold works of God. The wild ass. It is better to labour and be good for something, than to ramble and be good for nothing. From the untameableness of this and other creatures, we may see, how unfit we are to give law to Providence, who cannot give law even to a wild ass's colt. The unicorn, a strong, stately, proud creature. He is able to serve, but not willing; and God challenges Job to force him to it. It is a great mercy if, where God gives strength for service, he gives a heart; it is what we should pray for, and reason ourselves into, which the brutes cannot do. Those gifts are not always the most valuable that make the finest show. Who would not rather have the voice of the nightingale, than the tail of the peacock; the eye of the eagle and her soaring wing, and the natural affection of the stork, than the beautiful feathers of the ostrich, which can never rise above the earth, and is without natural affection? The description of the war-horse helps to explain the character of presumptuous sinners. Every one turneth to his course, as the horse rushes into the battle. When a man's heart is fully set in him to do evil, and he is carried on in a wicked way, by the violence of his appetites and passions, there is no making him fear the wrath of God, and the fatal consequences of sin. Secure sinners think themselves as safe in their sins as the eagle in her nest on high, in the clefts of the rocks; but I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord, #Jer 49:16". All these beautiful references to the works of nature, should teach us a right view of the riches of the wisdom of Him who made and sustains all things. The want of right views concerning the wisdom of God, which is ever present in all things, led Job to think and speak unworthily of Providence.
Verse 11. - Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? If a man could bind the urns to his plough or to his harrow, still he could not "trust" him. The huge brute would be sure to prove unmanageable, and would only cause damage to his owner. Or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? As thou leavest many labours to thy oxen, confiding in their docility.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great?.... No; tame oxen are employed because they are strong to labour, Psalm 144:14; and they are to be trusted, in ploughing or treading out the corn, under direction, because they are manageable, and will attend to business with constancy; but the wild ox, though stronger, and so fitter for labour, is yet not to be trusted, because unruly and unmanageable: if that sort of wild oxen called "uri" could be thought to be meant, for which Bootius (h) contends, Caesar's account of them would agree with this character of the "reem", as to his great strength: he says of them (i), they are in size a little smaller than elephants, of the kind, colour, and shape of a bull; they are of great strength and of great swiftness, and not to be tamed;
or wilt thou leave thy labour to him? to plough thy fields, to harrow thy lands, and to bring home the ripe corn? as in Job 39:12; thou wilt not.
(h) Animadvers. Sacr. l. 3. c. 1. s. 14. (i) Comment. de Bello Gall. l. 6. c. 27.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
11. thy labour—rustic work.
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