Will you trust him, because his strength is great? or will you leave your labor to him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Because his strength is great? - Wilt thou consider his strength as a reason why important interests might be entrusted to him? The strength of the ox, the camel, the horse, and the elephant was a reason why their aid was sought by man to do what he could not himself do. The idea is, that man could not make use of the same reason for employing the rhinoceros.Wilt thou trust him, to wit, for the doing of these works, because he is very able for thy work? And wilt thou by thy power make him willing, or force him, to put forth and spend his strength in thy service?
Thy labour; either,
1. Thy work of ploughing and harrowing. Or rather,
2. The fruit of thy labour, or the goods gotten by thy labour, as this word is oft used, as Deu 28:33 Job 20:18 Psalm 78:46 128:2 John 4:38, to wit, the fruits of the earth procured by God’s blessing upon thy industry.
To him; to be brought home by him into thy barns, as the next verse explains it. 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.Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)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.
And who loosed the bands of the wild ass,
6 Whose house I made the steppe,
And his dwelling the salt country?
7 He scorneth the tumult of the city,
He heareth not the noise of the driver.
8 That which is seen upon the mountains is his pasture,
And he sniffeth after every green thing.
On the wild ass (not: ass of the forest).
(Note: It is a dirty yellow with a white belly, single-hoofed and long-eared; its hornless head somewhat resembles that of the gazelle, but is much later; its hair has the dryness of the hair of the deer, and the animal forms the transition from the stag and deer genus to the ass. It is entirely distinct from the mah or baqar el-wahsh, wild ox, whose large soft eyes are so much celebrated by the poets of the steppe. This latter is horned and double-hoofed, and forms the transition from the stag to the ox distinct from the ri'm, ראם, therefore perhaps an antelope of the kind of the Indian nlgau, blue ox, Portax tragocamelus. I have not seen both kinds of animals alive, but I have often seen their skins in the tents of the Ruwal. Both kinds are remarkable for their very swift running, and it is especially affirmed of the fer that no rider can overtake it. The poets compare a troop of horsemen that come rushing up and vanish in the next moment to a herd of fer. In spite of its difficulty and hazardousness, the nomads are passionately given to hunting the wild ass, and the proverb cited by the Kms: kull es-sêd bigôf el-ferâ (every hunt sticks in the belly of the fer, i.e., compared with that, every other hunt is nothing), is perfectly correct. When the approach of a herd, which always consists of several hundred, is betrayed by a cloud of dust which can be seen many miles off, so many horsemen rise up from all sides in pursuit that the animals are usually scattered, and single ones are obtained by the dogs and by shots. The herd is called gemı̂le, and its leader is called ‛anûd (ענוּד),as with gazelles. - Wetzst.)
In Hebr. and Arab. it is פּרא (ferâ or himâr el-wahsh, i.e., asinus ferus), and Aram. ערוד; the former describes it as a swift-footed animal, the latter as an animal shy and difficult to be tamed by the hand of man; "Kulan" is its Eastern Asiatic name. lxx correctly translates: τίς δὲ ἐστιν ὁ ἀφεὶς ὄνον ἄγριον ἐλεύθερον. חפשׁי is the acc. of the predicate (comp. Genesis 33:2; Jeremiah 22:30). Parallel with ערבה (according to its etymon perhaps, land of darkness, terra incognita) is מלחה, salt adj. or (sc. ארץ) a salt land, i.e., therefore unfruitful and incapable of culture, as the country round the Salt Sea of Palestine: that the wild ass even gladly licks the salt or natron of the desert, is a matter of fact, and may be assumed, since all wild animals that feed on plants have a partiality, which is based on chemical laws of life, for licking slat. On Job 39:8 Ew. observes, to render יתוּר as "what is espied" is insecure, "on account of the structure of the verse" (Gramm. S. 419, Anm.). This reason is unintelligible; and in general there is no reason for rendering יתוּר, after lxx, Targ., Jer., and others, as an Aramaic 3 fut. with a mere half vowel instead of Kametz before the tone equals יתוּר, which is without example in Old Testament Hebrew (for יהוּא, Ecclesiastes 11:3, follows the analogy of יהי), but יתוּר signifies either abundantia (after the form יבוּל, לחוּם Job 20:23, from יתר, Arab. wtr, p. 571) or investigabile, what can be searched out (after the form יקוּם, that which exists, from תּוּר, Arab. târ, to go about, look about), which, with Olsh. 212, and most expositors, we prefer.
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