Job 39:20
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Do you make him leap like the locust? His majestic snorting is terrible.

King James Bible
Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.

Darby Bible Translation
Dost thou make him to leap as a locust? His majestic snorting is terrible.

World English Bible
Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is awesome.

Young's Literal Translation
Dost thou cause him to rush as a locust? The majesty of his snorting is terrible.

Job 39:20 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? - Or, rather, "as a locust" - כארבה kā'arbeh. This is the word which is commonly applied to the locust considered as gregarious, or as appearing in great numbers (from רבה râbâh, "to be multiplied"). On the variety of the species of locusts, see Bochart "Hieroz." P. ii. Lib. iv. c. 1ff The Hebrew word here rendered "make afraid" (רעשׁ râ‛ash) means properly "to be moved, to be shaken," and hence, to tremble, to be afraid. In the Hiphil, the form used here, it means to cause to tremble, to shake; and then "to cause to leap," as a horse; and the idea here is, Canst thou cause the horse, an animal so large and powerful, to leap with the agility of a locust? See Gesenius, "Lex." The allusion here is to the leaping or moving of the locusts as they advance in the appearance of squadrons or troops; but the comparison is not so much that of a single horse to a single locust, as of cavalry or a company of war-horses to an army of locusts; and the point of comparison turns on the elasticity or agility of the motion of cavalry advancing to the field of battle.

The sense is, that God could cause that rapid and beautiful movement in animals so large and powerful as the horse, but that it was wholly beyond the power of man to effect it. It is quite common in the East to compare a horse with a locust, and travelers have spoken of the remarkable resemblance between the heads of the two. This comparison occurs also in the Bible; see Joel 2:4, "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so shall they run;" Revelation 9:7. The Italians, from this resemblance, call the locust "cavaletta," or little horse. Sir W. Ouseley says, "Zakaria Cavini divides the locusts into two classes, like horsemen and footmen, 'mounted and pedestrian.' "Niebuhr says that he heard from a Bedouin near Bassorah, a particular comparison of the locust with other animals; but he thought it a mere fancy of the Arabs, until he heard it repeated at Bagdad. He compared the head of a locust to that of a horse, the breast to that of a lion, the feet to those of a camel, the belly with that of a serpent, the tail with that of a scorpion, and the feelers with the hair of a virgin; see the Pictorial Bible on Joel 2:4.

The glory of his nostrils is terrible - Margin, as in Hebrew, "terrors." That is, it is fitted to inspire terror or awe. The reference is to the wide-extended and fiery looking nostrils of the horse when animated, and impatient, for action. So Lucretius, L. v.:

Et fremitum patulis sub naribus edit ad arma.

So Virgil, "Georg." iii.:87:

Collectumque premens voluit sub naribus ignem.

Claudian, in iv. "Consulatu Honorii:"

Ignescunt patulae nares.

Job 39:20 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Whether the Mode and Order of the Temptation were Becoming?
Objection 1: It would seem that the mode and order of the temptation were unbecoming. For the devil tempts in order to induce us to sin. But if Christ had assuaged His bodily hunger by changing the stones into bread, He would not have sinned; just as neither did He sin when He multiplied the loaves, which was no less a miracle, in order to succor the hungry crowd. Therefore it seems that this was nowise a temptation. Objection 2: Further, a counselor is inconsistent if he persuades the contrary to
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

On the Animals
The birds are the saints, because they fly to the higher heart; in the gospel: and he made great branches that the birds of the air might live in their shade. [Mark 4:32] Flying is the death of the saints in God or the knowledge of the Scriptures; in the psalm: I shall fly and I shall be at rest. [Ps. 54(55):7 Vulgate] The wings are the two testaments; in Ezekiel: your body will fly with two wings of its own. [Ez. 1:23] The feathers are the Scriptures; in the psalm: the wings of the silver dove.
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

Cross References
Job 39:19
"Do you give the horse his might? Do you clothe his neck with a mane?

Psalm 109:23
I am passing like a shadow when it lengthens; I am shaken off like the locust.

Jeremiah 8:16
From Dan is heard the snorting of his horses; At the sound of the neighing of his stallions The whole land quakes; For they come and devour the land and its fullness, The city and its inhabitants.

Joel 2:5
With a noise as of chariots They leap on the tops of the mountains, Like the crackling of a flame of fire consuming the stubble, Like a mighty people arranged for battle.

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