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On the Birth of Young

39 “Do you know when the mountain goat gives birth?
    Do you watch the doe as it calves its young?
Can you count the months of their gestation?
    Do you know the time when they give birth,
when they crouch down[a] to give birth[b] to their offspring,
    and let go[c] of their birth pangs?
Their young are strong;
    they grow up in the open field;
then they go off
    and don’t return to them.”

On Wild Animals

“Who sets the wild donkey free?
    Who loosens the bonds of the wild donkey
to whom I’ve given the Arabah[d] for a home;
    the salt plain for his dwelling place?
He despises city noises;[e]
    he ignores the shouts[f] of the driver.
He ranges the mountains that are his pasture
    to search for anything green.
Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
    Will he sleep at night near your feeding trough?
10 Can you bind the ox to plow a furrow with a rope?
    Will he harrow after you in the valley?
11 Will you trust him because of his great strength
    and entrust your labor to him?
12 Will you trust him that he’ll bring in your grain,
    and gather it to your threshing floor?”

On the Ostrich

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyously,
    but aren’t its pinions and feathers like the stork?
14 She abandons her eggs on the ground
    and lets them be warmed in the sand,
15 but she forgets that a foot might crush them
    or any wild animal might trample them.
16 She mistreats her young as though they’re not hers,
    and she has no fear that her labor may be in vain,
17 because God didn’t grant her wisdom
    and never gave her understanding.
18 And yet when she gets ready to run,
    she laughs at the horse and its rider.”

On the Horse

19 Do you instill the horse with strength?
    Do you clothe its neck with a mane?
20 Can you make him leap like the locust,
    and make the splendor of his snorting terrifying?
21 He paws the ground[g] in the valley
    and rejoices in his strength;
        he goes out to face weapons.
22 He scoffs at fear
    and is never scared;
        he never retreats from a sword.
23 A quiver of arrows rattles against his side,
    along with a flashing spear and a lance.
24 Leaping in his excitement, he takes in[h] the ground;
    he cannot stand still when the trumpets sound!
25 When the trumpet blasts he’ll neigh, ‘Aha! Aha!’
    From a distance he can sense war,
        the war cry of generals,[i] and their shouting.”

On Raptors

26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk flies,
    spreading its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar high at your command[j]
    and build its nest on the highest crags?
28 He dwells on the crags where he makes his home,
    there on the rocky crag is his stronghold.
29 From there he searches for prey,
    and his eyes recognize it from a distance.
30 His young ones feast[k] on blood;
    he’ll be found wherever there’s a carcass.”[l]


  1. Job 39:3 Or bow down
  2. Job 39:3 Lit. cleave open
  3. Job 39:3 Lit. send
  4. Job 39:6 I.e. the desert wilderness of southern Israel
  5. Job 39:7 Or sound
  6. Job 39:7 Or noise
  7. Job 39:21 The Heb. lacks the ground
  8. Job 39:24 Lit. swallows
  9. Job 39:25 Or officers
  10. Job 39:27 Lit. mouth
  11. Job 39:30 Lit. suck up
  12. Job 39:30 Or slain

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats(A) give birth?
    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?(B)
Do you count the months till they bear?
    Do you know the time they give birth?(C)
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(D) go free?
    Who untied its ropes?
I gave it the wasteland(E) as its home,
    the salt flats(F) as its habitat.(G)
It laughs(H) at the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear a driver’s shout.(I)
It ranges the hills(J) for its pasture
    and searches for any green thing.

“Will the wild ox(K) consent to serve you?(L)
    Will it stay by your manger(M) at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?(N)
    Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?(O)
    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.(P)
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.(Q)
16 She treats her young harshly,(R) 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.(S)
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
    she laughs(T) at horse and rider.

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

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

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