|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 24. - He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and. rage. This is a common metaphor to denote the rapidity with which the horse covers the space that lies before him. Virgil has, "Corripiuut spatia" ('AEnid,' 5:316); Silius ltalions, "Campum volatu rapucre" (3:308); Shakespeare, "He seemed in running to devour the way." Arab poets have similar expressions (see Bochart, ' Hieroz.,' pt. 1. bk. 2. o. 8). Neither beiieveth he that it is the sound of the trumpet. (So Schultens, Canon Cook, and our Revisers.) But most recent critics prefer to render, "He standeth not still when the trumpet soundeth," and compare Virgil's "Stare loco nescit" ('Georg.,' 3:84).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage,.... Being so eager for the battle, and so full of fierceness and rage, he bounds the plain with such swiftness that he seems rather to swallow up the ground than to run upon it;
neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet; for joy at hearing it; or he will not trust to his ears, but will see with his eyes whether the battle is ready, and therefore pushes forward. Mr. Broughton and others read it, "he will not stand still at the noise of the trumpet"; and the word signifies firm and stable, as well as to believe; when he hears the trumpet sound, the alarm of war, as a preparation for the battle, he knows not how to (a) stand; there is scarce any holding him in, but he rushes into the battle at once, Jeremiah 8:6.
(a) "Stare loco nescit". Virgil. Georgic. l. 3. v. 84. "Ut fremit acer equus", &c. Ovid. Metamorph. l. 3. Fab. 10. v. 704.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
24. swalloweth—Fretting with impatience, he draws the ground towards him with his hoof, as if he would swallow it. The parallelism shows this to be the sense; not as Maurer, "scours over it."
neither believeth—for joy. Rather, "he will not stand still, when the note of the trumpet (soundeth)."
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