|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 27. - Doth the eagle mount up at thy command? The enumeration of natural marvels ends with the eagle, the monarch of birds, as it began with the lion, the king of beasts (Job 38:39). The power of the eagle to "mount up," notwithstanding its great size and weight, is very surprising. The species intended in this place is probably the golden eagle (Aquila chrysaetos) or else the imperial eagle (Aquila heliaca)' which arc both of them common in Syria and Mesopotamia. And make her nest on high? The nests of eagles are almost always built on lofty, generally on inaccessible, rocks. Aristotle says, Ποιοῦνται δεαὐτὰς (sc, τὰς νεοττίας), οὐκ ἐν πεδινοῖς τόποις ἀλλ ἐν ὑψηκοῖς μάλιστα μὲν καὶ ἐν πέτραις ἀποκρήμνοις (comp. Jeremiah 49:16).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Doth the eagle mount up at thy command,.... No; but by an instinct which God has placed in it, and a capacity he has given it above all other birds. They take a circuit in their flight, and bend about before they soar aloft: but the eagle steers its course directly upwards towards heaven, till out of sight; and, as Apuleius says (p), up to the clouds, where it rains and snows, and beyond which there is no place for thunder and lightning;
and make her nest on high? so the philosopher says (q); eagles make their nests not in plains, but in high places, especially in cragged rocks, as in Job 39:28.
(p) Florida 1.((q) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 32.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
27. eagle—It flies highest of all birds: thence called "the bird of heaven."
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