39 Knowest thou the time when the wild goats of the rock bring forth? or canst thou mark when the hinds do calve?

Canst thou number the months that they fulfil? or knowest thou the time when they bring forth?

They bow themselves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows.

Their young ones are in good liking, they grow up with corn; they go forth, and return not unto them.

Who hath sent out the wild ass free? or who hath loosed the bands of the wild ass?

Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the barren land his dwellings.

He scorneth the multitude of the city, neither regardeth he the crying of the driver.

The range of the mountains is his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.

Will the unicorn be willing to serve thee, or abide by thy crib?

10 Canst thou bind the unicorn with his band in the furrow? or will he harrow the valleys after thee?

11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength is great? or wilt thou leave thy labour to him?

12 Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?

13 Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich?

14 Which leaveth her eggs in the earth, and warmeth them in dust,

15 And forgetteth that the foot may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them.

16 She is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's: her labour is in vain without fear;

17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.

18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.

19 Hast thou given the horse strength? hast thou clothed his neck with thunder?

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

21 He paweth in the valley, and rejoiceth in his strength: he goeth on to meet the armed men.

22 He mocketh at fear, and is not affrighted; neither turneth he back from the sword.

23 The quiver rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield.

24 He swalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage: neither believeth he that it is the sound of the trumpet.

25 He saith among the trumpets, Ha, ha; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the thunder of the captains, and the shouting.

26 Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?

27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest on high?

28 She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag of the rock, and the strong place.

29 From thence she seeketh the prey, and her eyes behold afar off.

30 Her young ones also suck up blood: and where the slain are, there is she.

God Speaks of Nature and Its Beings

39 “Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock give birth [to their young]?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?

“Can you count the months that they [a]carry offspring,
Or do you know the time when they give birth?

“They kneel down, they bring forth their young,
They cast out their labor pains.

“Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open field;
They leave and do not return to them.

“Who sent out the wild donkey free [from dependence on man]?
And who has loosed the bonds of the wild donkey [to survive in the wild],

To whom I gave the wilderness as his home
And the salt land as his dwelling place?

“He scorns the tumult of the city,
And does not hear the shouting of the taskmaster.

“He explores the mountains as his pasture
And searches after every green thing.

“Will the wild ox be willing to serve you,
Or remain beside your manger at night?
“Can you bind the wild ox with a harness [to the plow] in the furrow?
Or will he plow the valleys for you?
“Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him?
“Will you have faith and depend on him to return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?

“The [flightless] wings of the ostrich wave joyously;
With the pinion (shackles, fetters) and plumage of love,
For she leaves her eggs on the ground
And warms them in the dust,
Forgetting that a foot may crush them,
Or that the wild beast may trample them.
“She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers;
Though her labor is in vain because she is unconcerned [for the safety of her brood],
For God has made her forget wisdom,
And has not given her a share of understanding.
“Yet when she lifts herself [b]on high,
[So swift is she that] she laughs at the horse and his rider.

“Have you given the horse his might?
Have you clothed his neck with quivering and a shaking mane?
“Have you [Job] made him leap like a locust?
The majesty of his snorting [nostrils] is terrible.
“He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
He goes out to meet the weapons [of armed men].
“He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
And [in battle] he does not turn back from the sword.
“The quiver rattles against him,
[As do] the flashing spear and the lance [of his rider].
“With fierceness and rage he races to devour the ground,
And he does not stand still at the sound of the [war] trumpet.
“As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’
And he smells the battle from far away,
And senses the thunder of the captains and the war cry.

“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
Stretching his wings toward the south [as winter approaches]?
“Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
And makes his nest on high [in an inaccessible place]?
“On the cliff he dwells and remains [securely],
Upon the point of the rock and the inaccessible stronghold.
“From there he spies out the prey;
His eyes see it from far away.
“His young ones suck up blood;
And where the slain are, there is he.”


  1. Job 39:2 Lit fulfill.
  2. Job 39:18 Or to flee.

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you observe the calving doe?
Do you count the months they fulfill
    and do you know the time when they give birth
when they kneel, bring forth their young,
    and their labor pains end?
Their young thrive and grow strong in the open field;
They leaveand never return to them.

“Who sent the wild donkey free?
    Who released the bonds of the wild ass,
to whom I gave the Arabah as its home,
    the salt land as its dwelling place?
It scorns the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear the taskmaster’s shouts.
It explores the mountains as its pasture
    and searches after every green thing.

“Is the wild ox willing to serve you?
    Will it spend the night at your manger?
10 Will you bind a wild ox to a furrow with his rope?
    Will it plow valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
    Will you leave your labor to it?
12 Can you trust it to bring in your seed
    and gather it to your threshing floor?
13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyously,
    but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork?
14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground
    and lets them warm in the soil,
15 and forgets that a foot may crush them,
    that a wild beast may trample them.
16 She treats her young ones harshly, as if they were not hers;
She is not concerned that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
    or give her a share of understanding.
18 When she lifts herself to flee
    she laughs at the horse and its rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength?
    Do you clothe his neck with a mane?
20 Do you cause him to leap like locust?
    His majestic snorting is terrifying!
21 He paws in the valley
    and exalting in his strength he charges into the fray.
22 He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
    he does not recoil from the sword.
23 On him the quiver rattles;
    the spear and javelin flash.
24 With quaking and excitement, he swallows up the ground.
    He cannot stand still when the shofar sounds.
25 At the blast of the shofar, he says, ‘Aha!’
From a distance he smells battle,
    the shout of the captains and the battle cry.
26 “Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars,
    spreading its wings toward the south?
27 Is it by your command that an eagle soars
    and builds its nest high?
28 It dwells on a cliff
    and spends the night there, on a rocky crag and stronghold.
29 From there it searches for food;
    its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones suck up blood,
    and where the slain are, there it is.”