Job 39:15
And forgets that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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.And forgetteth that the foot may crush them - She lays her eggs in the sand, and not, as most birds do, in nests made on branches of trees, or on the crags of rocks, where they would be inaccessible, as if she was forgetful of the fact that the wild beast might pass along and crush them. She often wanders away from them, also, and does not stay near them to guard them, as most parent birds do, as if she were unmindful of the danger to which they might be exposed when she was absent. The object of all this seems to be, to call the attention to the uniqueness in the natural history of this bird, and to observe that there were laws and arrangements in regard to it which seemed to show that she was deprived of wisdom, and yet that everything was so ordered as to prove that she was under the care of the Almighty. The great variety in the laws pertaining to the animal kingdom, and especially their lack of resemblance to what would have occurred to man, seems to give the special force and point to the argument used here. 14, 15. Yet (unlike the stork) she "leaveth," &c. Hence called by the Arabs "the impious bird." However, the fact is, she lays her eggs with great care and hatches them, as other birds do; but in hot countries the eggs do not need so constant incubation; she therefore often leaves them and sometimes forgets the place on her return. Moreover, the outer eggs, intended for food, she feeds to her young; these eggs, lying separate in the sand, exposed to the sun, gave rise to the idea of her altogether leaving them. God describes her as she seems to man; implying, though she may seem foolishly to neglect her young, yet really she is guided by a sure instinct from God, as much as animals of instincts widely different. The feet, to wit, of wild beasts as it follows passing that way. And forgetteth that the foot may crush them,.... The foot of the traveller, they being laid in the ground, where he may walk, or on the sand of the seashore, where he may tread and trample upon them unawares, and crush them to pieces; to prevent which this creature has no foresight;

or that the wild beast may break them; supposing they may be, though not where men walk, yet where wild beasts frequent, they may be as easily broken by the one as the other; against which it guards not, having no instinct in nature, as some creatures have, to direct to the preservation of them.

And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
15. may break them] lit. trample them.Verse 15. - And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. Where the eggs are covered by a layer of sand a foot thick, this danger is not incurred. But when the eggs are numerous - and they are sometimes as many as thirty - they are apt to be very poorly covered, and the results follow which are described in the text. 9 Will the oryx be willing to serve thee,

Or will he lodge in thy crib?

10 Canst thou bind the oryx in the furrow with a leading rein,

Or will he harrow the valleys, following thee?

11 Wilt thou trust him because his strength is great,

And leave thy labour to him?

12 Wilt thou confide in him to bring in thy sowing,

And to garner thy threshing-floor?

In correct texts רים has a Dagesh in the Resh, and היאבה the accent on the penult., as Proverbs 11:21 ינּקה רע, and Jeremiah 39:12 רּע מאוּמה. The tone retreats according to the rule, Ges. 29, 3, b; and the Dagesh is, as also when the second word begins with an aspirate,

(Note: The National Grammarians call this exception to the rule, that the muta is aspirated when the preceding word ends with a vowel, אתי מרחיק (veniens e longinquo), i.e., the case, where the word ending with a vowel is Milel, whether from the very first, or, when the second word is a monosyllable or has the tone on the penult., on account of the accent that has retreated (in order to avoid two syllables with the chief tone coming together); in this case the aspirate, and in general the initial letter (if capable of being doubled) of the second monosyllabic or penultima-accented word, takes a Dagesh; but this is not without exceptions that are quite as regular. Regularly, the second word is not dageshed if it begins with ו, כ, ל, ב, or if the first word is only a bare verb, e.g., עשׂה לו, or one that has only ו before it, e.g., ועשׂה פסח; the tone of the first word in both these examples retreats, but without the initial of the second being doubled. This is supplementary, and as far as necessary a correction, to what is said in Psalter, i 392, Anm.)

Dag. forte conj., which the Resh also takes, Proverbs 15:1 מענה־רּך, exceptionally, according to the rule, Ges. 20, 2, a. In all, it occurs thirteen times with Dagesh in the Old Testament - a relic of a mode of pointing which treated the ר (as in Arabic) as a letter capable of being doubled (Ges. 22, 5), that has been supplanted in the system of pointing that gained the ascendency. רים (Psalm 22:22, רם) is contracted from ראם (Psalm 92:11, plene, ראים), which ( equals ראם) is of like form with Arab. ri'm (Olsh. 154, a).

(Note: Since ra'ima, inf. ri'mân, has the signification assuescere, ראם, רים, רימנא (Targ.) might describe the oryx as a gregarious animal, although all ruminants have this characteristic in common. On ראם, Arab. r'm, vid., Seetzen's Reise, iii. S. 393, Z 9ff., and also iv. 496.)

Such, in the present day in Syria, is the name of the gazelle that is for the most part white with a yellow back and yellow stripes in the face (Antilope leucoryx, in distinction from Arab. ‛ifrı̂, the earth-coloured, dirty-yellow Antilope oryx, and Arab. ḥmrı̂, himrı̂, the deer-coloured Antilope dorcas); the Talmud also (b. Zebachim, 113b; Bathra, 74b) combines ראימא and אורזילא or ארזילא, a gazelle (Arab. gazâl), and therefore reckons the reêm to the antelope genus, of which the gazelle is a species; and the question, Job 39:10, shows that an animal whose home is on the mountains is intended, viz., as Bochart, and recently Schlottm. (making use of an academic treatise of Lichtenstein on the antelopes, 1824), has proved, the oryx, which the lxx also probably understands when it translates μονοκέρως; for the Talmud. קרש, mutilated from it, is, according to Chullin, 59b, a one-horned animal, and is more closely defined as טביא דבי עילאי, "gazelle (antelope) of Be (Beth)-Illi" (comp. Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talmuds, 1858, 146).

The oryx also appears on Egyptian monuments sometimes with two horns, but mostly with one variously curled; and both Aristotle

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