Job 39:8
The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searches after every green thing.
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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.The range of the mountains is his pasture - The word rendered "range" יתור yâthûr, means properly a "searching out," and then that which is obtained by search. The word "range" expresses the idea with sufficient exactness. The usual range of the wild ass is the mountains. Pallas, who has given a full description of the habits of the Onager, or wild ass, states, that it, especially loves desolate hills as its abode. "Acts of the Society of Sciences of Petersburg," for the year 1777. 8. The range—literally, "searching," "that which it finds by searching is his pasture." The range of the mountains; that which he searcheth out or findeth in the mountains. He prefers that mean provision and hardship with his freedom, before the fattest pastures with servitude. Why so weak and harmless a creature as the wild ass should be untamable, when the most savage lions and tigers have been tamed, and how there comes to be so vast a difference between the tame and the wild ass, thou canst give no reason, but must refer it wholly to my good pleasure; to which also thou shouldst upon the same grounds refer all the various methods of my providence and dealings with thee, and with other men, and not so boldly censure what thou dost not understand. The range of the mountains is his pasture,.... It ranges about the mountains for food; it looks about for it, as the word signifies, and tries first one place and then another to get some, it having short commons there;

and he searcheth after every green thing; herb or plant, be it what it will that is green, it seeks after; and which being scarce in deserts and mountains, it searches about for and feeds upon it, wherever it can find it; grass being the peculiar food of these creatures, see Job 6:5; and which is observed by naturalists (x).

(x) Oppiani Cyneget. l. 3.

The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 8. - The range of the mountains is his pasture. By "mountains" we must here understand rocky ranges like the Sinjar and the mountains of Beloochistan, or again those of the Sinaitic peninsula. Wild asses do not frequent the regions which we commonly call mountainous. And he searcheth after every green thing; i.e. he seeks out the small patches of pasture which are to be found in such rocky regions. 1 Dost thou know the bearing time of the wild goats of the rock?

Observest thou the circles of the hinds?

2 Dost thou number the months which they fulfil,

And knowest thou the time of their bringing forth?

3 They bow down, they let their young break through,

They cast off their pains.

4 Their young ones gain strength, grow up in the desert,

They run away and do not return.

The strophe treats of the female chamois or steinbocks, ibices (perhaps including the certainly different kinds of chamois), and stags. The former are called יעלים, from יעל, Arab. w‛l (a secondary formation from עלה, Arab. ‛lâ), to mount, therefore: rock-climbers. חולל is inf. Pil.: τὸ ὠδίνειν, comp. the Pul. Job 15:7. שׁמר, to observe, exactly as Ecclesiastes 11:4; 1 Samuel 1:12; Zechariah 11:11. In Job 39:2 the question as to the expiration of the time of bearing is connected with that as to the time of bringing forth. תּספּור, plene, as Job 14:16; לדתּנה (littâna, like עת equals עדתּ) with an euphonic termination for לדתּן, as Genesis 42:36; Genesis 21:29, and also out of pause, Ruth 1:19, Ges. 91, 1, rem. 2. Instead of תּפלּחנה Olsh. wishes to read תּפלּטנה, but this (synon. תמלטנה) would be: they let slip away; the former (synon. תבקענה): they cause to divide, i.e., to break through (comp. Arab. felâh, the act of breaking through, freedom, prosperity). On כּרע, to kneel down as the posture of one in travail, vid., 1 Samuel 4:19. "They cast off their pains" is not meant of an easy working off of the after-pains (Hirz., Schlottm.), but חבל signifies in this phrase, as Schultens has first shown, meton. directly the foetus, as Arab. ḥabal, plur. ahbâl, and ὠδίν, even of a child already grown up, as being the fruit of earlier travail, e.g., in Aeschylus, Agam. 1417f.; even the like phrase, ῥίψαι ὠδῖνα equals edere foetum, is found in Euripides, Ion 45. Thus born with ease, the young animals grow rapidly to maturity (חלם, pinguescere, pubescere, whence חלום, a dream as the result of puberty, vid., Psychol. S. 282), grow in the desert (בּבּר, Targ. equals בּחוּץ, vid., i. 329, note), seek the plain, and return not again למו, sibi h. e. sui juris esse volentes (Schult.), although it might also signify ad eas, for the Hebr. is rather confused on the question of the distinction of gender, and even in חבליהם and בניהם the masc. is used ἐπικοίνως. We, however, prefer to interpret according to Job 6:19; Job 24:16. Moreover, Bochart is right: Non hic agitur de otiosa et mere speculativa cognitione, sed de ea cognitione, quae Deo propria est, qua res omnes non solum novit, sed et dirigit atque gubernat.

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