Job 39:7
He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
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(7) The crying of the driver.—Or, the shoutings of the taskmaster. The word is the same as is applied to the taskmasters of Egypt, and this suggests the question whether or not there may be a reminiscence of that bondage here.

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 scorneth the multitude of the city - That is, he sets all this at defiance; he is not intimidated by it. He finds his home far away from the city in the wild freedom of the wilderness.

Neither regardeth he the crying of the driver - Margin, "exacter." The Hebrew word properly means a collector of taxes or revenue, and hence, an oppressor, and a driver of cattle. The allusion here is to a driver, and the meaning is, that he is not subject to restraint, but enjoys the most unlimited freedom.

7. multitude—rather, "din"; he sets it at defiance, being far away from it in the freedom of the wilderness.

driver—who urges on the tame ass to work. The wild ass is the symbol of uncontrolled freedom in the East; even kings have, therefore, added its name to them.

He scorneth; either,

1. He feareth them not when they pursue him, because he is swift, and can easily escape them. Or,

2. He values them not, nor any provisions or advantages which he may have from them, but prefers a vagrant and solitary life in the wilderness before them. Or,

3. He disdains to submit himself to them, and resolutely maintains his own freedom.

The multitude of the city: he mentions the city rather than the country, partly because there is the greatest multitude of people to pursue, and overtake, and subject him; and partly because there is the greatest plenty of all things to invite him; the fruits of the country being laid up in cities in greatest abundance.

Neither regardeth, Heb. heareth, i.e. obeyeth. Of the driver, Heb. of the taskmaster, or exactor of labour, i.e. he will not be brought to receive his yoke, nor to do his drudgery, nor to answer to his cries or commands, as tame asses are forced to do.

He scorneth the multitude of the city,.... Choosing rather to be alone in the wilderness and free than to be among a multitude of men in a city, and be a slave as the tame ass; or it despises and defies a multitude of men, that may come out of cities to take it, Leo Africanus says (r) it yields to none for swiftness but Barbary horses: according to Xenophon (s), it exceeds the horse in swiftness; and when pursued by horsemen, it will outrun them, and stand still and rest till they come near it, and then start again; so that there is no taking it, unless many are employed. Aristotle (t) says it excels in swiftness; and, according to Bochart (u), it has its name in Hebrew from the Chaldee word "to run". Or it may be rendered, "the noise of the city", so Cocceius; the stir and bustle in it, through a multiplicity of men in business;

neither regardeth he the crying of the driver; or "hears" (w): he neither feels his blows, nor hears his words; urging him to move faster and make quicker dispatch, as the tame ass does; he being neither ridden nor driven, nor drawing in a cart or plough.

(r) Ut supra. (Descriptio Africae, l. 9. p. 752.) (s) Ut supra. (De Expedition. Cyril, l. 1.) (t) Hist. Animal. l. 6. c. 36. (u) Hierozoic. par. 1. l. 1. c. 9. Colossians 63. (w) "non audiet", Pagninus, Montanus.

He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.
7. The verse reads,

He scorneth the tumult of the city,

And heareth not the shoutings of the driver.

The wild ass is frequently referred to in the poetry of the Arabs, who were passionately fond of hunting it. Prof. Ahlwardt has collected from his unequalled reading in the Poets a list of statements regarding the creature which is of great interest (Chalef Elaḥmar, pp. 341–360). The colour on the upper part of the body, the neck and higher part of the head is light bay, with a coffee-brown band running down the back to the tuft of the tail; between this band and the bay there is some white. The other parts are of a silver grey, tending to white on the under-side of the body. The animal is described as “thick,” “thick-fleshed,” but also “narrow-built,” that is, behind and in front, and hence it is compared to the point of an arrow. The tail is long. Its pace is exceedingly quick, only the fleetest horses being able to overtake it; and when running it holds its head to the side in frolicsomeness and performs all manner of pranks and capers. A troop of wild asses is usually small, consisting of a male, one or two females, and the young. This is confirmed by Tristram, who says, “I have seen this ass wild in the desert of North Africa, in troops of four or five” (Nat. Hist. of the Bible, p. 43). Wetzstein on the contrary speaks of the herd as consisting of “several hundred” (Del. ii. p. 331). The abode of the wild ass is in deserts, untrodden by man (comp. Job 39:6), hence he is called “the solitary” (comp. Hosea 8:9, “A wild ass alone by himself”). In spring he frequents the plains in which there are pools, and later the heights where grass is abundant (comp. Job 39:8). On these heights he passes the summer with the females; and there he stands and keeps watch, spying the approach of foes (comp. Jeremiah 14:6, “The wild asses did stand in the high places &c.”). The poets compare a deep ravine or abyss to the “belly” of the wild ass, which is often lank and empty from want of food (Jeremiah 14:6). He is said to live to a great age, over a hundred years. The flesh is delicious, and for this reason, as well as for the excitement of the chase, the creature was eagerly hunted by the Arabs. His vigour and hardiness are testified to in the proverb, “sounder than a wild ass.”

Verse 7. - He scorneth the multitude of the city. Avoids, that is, the haunts of men, and is never seen near them. Neither regardeth he the crying of the driver. Nothing will induce the wild ass to submit to domestication. Job 39:7 5 Who hath sent forth the wild ass free,

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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