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)He saith among the trumpets—Literally, when there are plenty of trumpets: 1 e., as often as the trumpet soundeth.
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!
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.
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.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.
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,
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