|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 30. - Her young ones also suck up blood. It has been asserted that this is not the case, since they are fed on carrion (Merx). But, as eagles are known to seize fawns, hares, lambs, and other small animals, and transport them to their eyries, their young must certainly be nourished, in part, on the flesh of animals newly killed. And where the slain are, there is she (comp. Deuteronomy 21:18; Matthew 24:28; Luke 17:37). Eagles, or at any rate birds "more resembling eagles than vultures," are commonly represented on the Assyrian monuments, especially in battle-scenes, where they either feed on the dead bodies of the slain, or tear out their entrails, or sometimes carry up aloft the decapitated head of some unfortunate soldier (see the 'Transactions of the Society of Biblical Archaeology' vol. 8. p. 59, and pls. 2. and 3.).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Her young ones also suck up blood,.... As well as herself, being brought up to it by her. The eagle cares not for water, but drinks the blood of her prey; and so her young ones after her, as naturalists report (w). And Aelianus says (x) the same of the hawk, that it eats no seeds, but devours flesh and drinks blood, and nourishes her young ones with the same.
And where the slain are, there is she; where there has been a battle, and carcasses left on the field, the eagles will gather to them. This is particularly true of that kind of eagles called vulture eagles, as Aristotle (y) and Pliny (z) observe; see Matthew 24:28. Now since Job was so ignorant of the nature of these creatures, and incapable of governing and directing them; and what they had of any excellency were of God, and not of him, nor of any man; how unfit must he be to dispute with God, and contend with him about his works of providence? which to convince him of was the design of this discourse about the creatures; and which had its intended effect, as appears in the next chapter.
(w) Aristot. de Animal. l. 8. c. 3. 18. Aelianus, l. 2. c. 26. (x) Ib. l. 10. c. 14. (y) Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 32. (z) Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 3.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
30. Quoted partly by Jesus Christ (Mt 24:28). The food of young eagles is the blood of victims brought by the parent, when they are still too feeble to devour flesh.
slain—As the vulture chiefly feeds on carcasses, it is included probably in the eagle genus.
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