Job 39:25
He said among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smells the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(25) He saith among the trumpets—Literally, when there are plenty of trumpets: 1 e., as often as the trumpet soundeth.

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.He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha - That is," When the trumpet sounds, his voice is heard "as if" he said, Aha - or said that he heard the sound calling him to the battle." The reference is to the impatient neighing of the war horse about to rush into the conflict.

And he smelleth the battle afar off - That is, he snuffs, as it were, for the slaughter. The reference is to the effect of an approaching army upon a spirited war-horse, as if he perceived the approach by the sense of smelling, and longed to be in the midst of the battle.

The thunder of the captains - literally, "the war-cry of the princes." The reference is to the loud voices of the leaders of the army commanding the hosts under them. In regard to the whole of this magnificent description of the war-horse, the reader may consult Bochart, "Hieroz." P. i. L. ii. c. viii., where the phrases used are considered and illustrated at length. The leading idea. here is, that the war-horse evinced the wisdom and the power of God. His majesty, energy, strength, impatience for the battle, and spirit, were proofs of the greatness of Him who had made him, and might be appealed to as illustrating His perfections. Much as people admire the noble horse, and much as they take pains to train him for the turf or for battle, yet how seldom do they refer to it as illustrating the power and greatness of the Creator; and, it may be added, how seldom do they use the horse as if he were one of the grand and noble works of God!

25. saith—poetically applied to his mettlesome neighing, whereby he shows his love of the battle.

smelleth—snuffeth; discerneth (Isa 11:3, Margin).

thunder—thundering voice.

Ha, ha; an expression of joy and alacrity, declared by his proud neighings; whereby he doth in some sort answer the sound of the trumpets, in way of scorn and challenge.

He smelleth, i.e. he perceiveth, as this phrase is used, Judges 16:9.

Afar off; at some distance, either of place, or rather of time, as the word is most frequently used. He perceives by the motion of the soldiers, and the clattering of the arms, that the battle is at hand, which is very welcome to him.

The thunder of the captains; by which he understands, either the military orations which the captains make and deliver with a loud voice to animate their soldiers to the battle; or rather the loud and joyful clamour begun by the commanders, and followed by the soldiers, when they are ready to join battle, that thereby they may both daunt their enemies, and encourage themselves. He saith among the trumpets, ha, ha,.... As pleased with the sound of them, rejoicing thereat, and which he signifies by neighing;

and he smelleth the battle afar off; which respects not so much the distance of place as of time; he perceives beforehand that it is near, by the preparations making for it, and particularly by what follows; so Pliny (b) says of horses, they presage a fight. The thunder of the captains, and the shouting; they understand an engagement is just about to start by the loud and thundering voice of the captains, exhorting and spiralling up their men, and giving them the word of command; and by the clamorous shout of the soldiers echoing to the speech of their captains; and which are given forth upon an onset, both to animate one another, and intimidate the enemy. Bootius (c) observes, that Virgil (d) and Oppianus (e) say most of the same things in praise of the horse which are here said, and seem to have taken them from hence; and some (f) give the horse the preference to the lion, which, when it departs from a fight, never returns, whereas the horse will. This is an emblem both of good men, Zechariah 10:3; and of bad men, Jeremiah 8:6.

(b) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 42. (c) Animadvers. Sacr. l. 3. c. 6. s. 1.((d) Georgic. l. 3.((e) Cyneget. l. 1.((f) Horus Aegypt. apud Steeb. Coelum Sephirot. Heb. c. 6. s. 1. p. 106.

He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
25. he saith among the trumpets] Rather, as oft as the trumpet soundeth he saith, Ha, ha! The “thunder” of the captains is the roar of command; and the “shouting” is the battle-cry of the soldiery.

Has Job created this wonder of beauty and fierceness and endowed him with his extraordinary qualities, which make him mingle in the conflicts of men with a fury and lust of battle greater even than their own?Verse 25. - He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha! literally, at the trumpet; i.e. at the sound of the trumpet. The utterance, "Ha, ha!" (heakh)' is an imitation of the horse's snort or neigh. And he smelleth the battle afar off. Not merely presages it, as Pliny Bye ("Equi praesagiunt pugnam, 'Hist. Nat,' 8:42), or perceives it. but seems to scent it. The open and quivering nostrils raise this idea. The thunder of the captains, and the shouting. On the great noise made by advancing armies in ancient times, see 2 Kings 7:6; Isaiah 5:28-30: Jeremiah 8:16, etc. 19 Dost thou give to the horse strength?

Dost thou clothe his neck with flowing hair?

20 Dost thou cause him to leap about like the grasshopper?

The noise of his snorting is a terror!

21 He paweth the ground in the plain, and boundeth about with strength.

He advanceth to meet an armed host.

22 He laugheth at fear, and is not affrighted,

And turneth not back from the sword.

23 The quiver rattleth over him,

The glittering lance and spear.

24 With fierceness and rage he swalloweth the ground,

And standeth not still, when the trumpet soundeth.

25 He saith at every blast of the trumpet: Ha, ha!

And from afar he scenteth the battle,

continued...

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