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Job 39 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord Continues

When Do Mountain Goats Give Birth?

39 When do mountain goats
    and deer give birth?
Have you been there
    when their young are born?
How long are they pregnant
    before they deliver?
Soon their young grow strong
and then leave
    to be on their own.

Who set wild donkeys free?
I alone help them survive
    in salty desert sand.
They stay far from crowded cities
    and refuse to be tamed.
Instead, they roam the hills,
    searching for pastureland.

Would a wild ox agree
to live in your barn
    and labor for you?
10 Could you force him to plow
or to drag a heavy log
    to smooth out the soil?
11 Can you depend on him
to use his great strength
    and do your heavy work?
12 Can you trust him
    to harvest your grain
or take it to your barn
    from the threshing place?

An Ostrich Proudly Flaps Her Wings

13 An ostrich proudly
    flaps her wings,
but not because
    she loves her young.
14 She abandons her eggs
and lets the dusty ground
    keep them warm.
15 And she doesn’t seem to worry
that the feet of an animal
    could crush them all.
16 She treats her eggs as though
    they were not her own,
unconcerned that her work
    might be for nothing.
17 I myself made her foolish
    and without common sense.
18 But once she starts running,[a]
she laughs at a rider
    on the fastest horse.

Did You Give Horses Their Strength?

19 Did you give horses their strength
and the flowing hair
    along their necks?
20 Did you make them able
    to jump like grasshoppers
or to frighten people
    with their snorting?

21 Before horses are ridden
    into battle,
they paw at the ground,
    proud of their strength.
22 Laughing at fear, they rush
    toward the fighting,
23 while the weapons of their riders
    rattle and flash in the sun.
24 Unable to stand still,
they gallop eagerly into battle
    when trumpets blast.
25 Stirred by the distant smells
and sounds of war,
they snort
    in reply to the trumpet.

26 Did you teach hawks to fly south
    for the winter?
27 Did you train eagles[b] to build
28     their nests on rocky cliffs,
29 where they can look down
    to spot their next meal?
30 Then their young gather to feast
    wherever the victim lies.

Footnotes:

  1. 39.18 starts running: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
  2. 39.27 eagles: Or “vultures.”

Job 39 New International Version (NIV)

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
    Do you know the time they give birth?
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
    their labor pains are ended.
Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
    they leave and do not return.

“Who let the wild donkey go free?
    Who untied its ropes?
I gave it the wasteland as its home,
    the salt flats as its habitat.
It laughs at the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear a driver’s shout.
It ranges the hills for its pasture
    and searches for any green thing.

“Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
    Will it stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?
    Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
    Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
    and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
    though they cannot compare
    with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
    and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
    that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
    she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
    or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
    she laughs at horse and rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength
    or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
    striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
    and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
    it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
    along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
    it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
    It catches the scent of battle from afar,
    the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
    and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
    and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
    a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;
    its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
    and where the slain are, there it is.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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