Job 38:40
When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
38:25-41 Hitherto God had put questions to Job to show him his ignorance; now God shows his weakness. As it is but little that he knows, he ought not to arraign the Divine counsels; it is but little he can do, therefore he ought not to oppose the ways of Providence. See the all-sufficiency of the Divine Providence; it has wherewithal to satisfy the desire of every living thing. And he that takes care of the young ravens, certainly will not be wanting to his people. This being but one instance of the Divine compassion out of many, gives us occasion to think how much good our God does, every day, beyond what we are aware of. Every view we take of his infinite perfections, should remind us of his right to our love, the evil of sinning against him, and our need of his mercy and salvation.When they couch in their dens - For the purpose of springing upon their prey.

And abide in the covert to lie in wait? - The usual posture of the lion when he seeks his prey. He places himself in some unobserved position in a dense thicket, or crouches upon the ground so as not to be seen, and then springs suddenly upon his victim. The common method of the lion in taking his prey is to spring or throw himself upon it from the place of his ambush, with one vast bound and to inflict the mortal blow with one stroke of his paw. If he misses his aim, however, he seldom attempts another spring at the same object, but deliberately returns to the thicket in which he lay in concealment. See the habits of the lion illustrated in the Edinburgh Encyclopedia, "Mazology."

40. lie in wait?—for their prey (Ps 10:9). When through age and infirmity they cannot range abroad for prey, as the young lions do; but lie still in their dens, as if they were expecting their food from God, from whom also they receive it.

To lie in wait; watching till some beast come that way upon which they may prey.

When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait? Which some understand of old lions, who, for want of strength, lie couchant in their dens, or in some covert place, waiting for any prey that passes by, to seize upon it. But the same pasture and places are used by younger lions, as well as old ones; who are emblems of wicked men, cruel persecutors, and bloodthirsty tyrants, who fill their palaces and kingdoms with murder and rapine; see Psalm 10:8, Nahum 2:11. When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 40. - When they couch in their dens, and abide in the covert to lie in wait (comp. Psalm 10:9, 10; Psalm 17:12). Job 38:4039 Dost thou hunt for the prey of the lioness

And still the desire of the young lions,

40 When they couch in the dens,

Sit in the thicket lying in wait for prey?

41 Who provideth for the raven its food,

When its young ones cry to God,

They wander about without food?

On the wealth of the Old Testament language in names for the lion, vid., on Job 4:10. לביא can be used of the lioness; the more exact name of the lioness is לביּה, for לביא is equals לבי, whence לבאים, lions, and לבאות, lionesses. The lioness is mentioned first, because she has to provide for her young ones (גּוּרים); then the lions that are still young, but yet are left to themselves, כּפירים. The phrase מלּא חיּה (comp. חיּה of life that needs nourishment, Job 33:20) is equivalent to מלּא נפשׁ, Proverbs 6:30 (Psychol. S. 204 ad fin.). The book of Psalms here furnishes parallels to every word: comp. on Job 38:39, Psalm 104:21; on ישׁחוּ, Psalm 10:10;

(Note: The Semitic is rich in such words as describe the couching posture of beasts of prey lying in wait for their prey, which then in general signify to lie in wait, lurk, wait (רצד, רבץ, Arab. rbṣ, lbd, wkkd); Arab. q‛d lh, subsedit ei, i.e., insidiatus est ei, which corresponds to ישׁבו, Job 38:40, also belongs here, comp. Psalter, i. 500 note.)

on מעונות, lustra, Psalm 104:22 (compared on Job 37:8 already); on סכּה, סך, which is used just in the same way, Psalm 10:9; Jeremiah 25:38. The picture of the crying ravens has its parallel in Psalm 147:9. כּי, quum, is followed by the fut. in the signif. of the praes., as Psalm 11:3. As here, in the Sermon on the Mount in Luke 12:24 the ravens, which by their hoarse croaking make themselves most observed everywhere among birds that seek their food, are mentioned instead of the fowls of heaven.

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