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? 2 “Can you count the months that they [a]carry offspring, Or do you know the time when they give birth? 3 “They kneel down, they bring forth their young, They cast out their labor pains. 4 “Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open field; They leave and do not return to them.
5 “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], 6 To whom I gave the wilderness as his home And the salt land as his dwelling place? 7 “He scorns the tumult of the city, And does not hear the shouting of the taskmaster. 8 “He explores the mountains as his pasture And searches after every green thing. 9 “Will the wild ox be willing to serve you, Or remain beside your manger at night? 10 “Can you bind the wild ox with a harness [to the plow] in the furrow? Or will he plow the valleys for you? 11 “Will you trust him because his strength is great And leave your labor to him? 12 “Will you have faith and depend on him to return your grain And gather it from your threshing floor?
13 “The [flightless] wings of the ostrich wave joyously; With the pinion (shackles, fetters) and plumage of love, 14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground And warms them in the dust, 15 Forgetting that a foot may crush them, Or that the wild beast may trample them. 16 “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], 17 For God has made her forget wisdom, And has not given her a share of understanding. 18 “Yet when she lifts herself [b]on high, [So swift is she that] she laughs at the horse and his rider.
19 “Have you given the horse his might? Have you clothed his neck with quivering and a shaking mane? 20 “Have you [Job] made him leap like a locust? The majesty of his snorting [nostrils] is terrible. 21 “He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength; He goes out to meet the weapons [of armed men]. 22 “He laughs at fear and is not dismayed; And [in battle] he does not turn back from the sword. 23 “The quiver rattles against him, [As do] the flashing spear and the lance [of his rider]. 24 “With fierceness and rage he races to devour the ground, And he does not stand still at the sound of the [war] trumpet. 25 “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.
26 “Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars, Stretching his wings toward the south [as winter approaches]? 27 “Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up And makes his nest on high [in an inaccessible place]? 28 “On the cliff he dwells and remains [securely], Upon the point of the rock and the inaccessible stronghold. 29 “From there he spies out the prey; His eyes see it from far away. 30 “His young ones suck up blood; And where the slain are, there is he.”
Job: What Can I Say?
40 Then the Lord said to Job,
2 “Will the faultfinder contend with the Almighty? Let him who disputes with God answer it.”
3 Then Job replied to the Lord and said,
4 “Behold, I am of little importance and contemptible; what can I reply to You? I lay my hand on my mouth. 5 “I have spoken once, but I will not reply again— Indeed, twice [I have answered], and I will add nothing further.”
God Questions Job
6 Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, saying,
7 “Now [c]gird up your loins (prepare yourself) like a man, And I will ask you, and you instruct Me. 8 “Will you really annul My judgment and set it aside as void? Will you condemn Me [your God] that you may [appear to] be righteous and justified? 9 “Have you an arm like God, And can you thunder with a voice like His?
10 “Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity [since you question the Almighty], And array yourself with honor and majesty. 11 “Pour out the overflowings of your wrath, And look at everyone who is proud and make him low. 12 Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him, And [if you are so able] tread down the wicked where they stand. 13 “[Crush and] hide them in the dust together; Shut them up in the hidden place [the house of death]. 14 “[If you can do all this, Job, proving your divine power] then I [God] will also praise you and acknowledge That your own right hand can save you.
God’s Power Shown in Creatures
15 “Behold now, [d]Behemoth, which I created as well as you; He eats grass like an ox. 16 “See now, his strength is in his loins And his power is in the muscles and sinews of his belly. 17 “He sways his tail like a cedar; The tendons of his thighs are twisted and knit together [like a rope]. 18 “His bones are tubes of bronze; His [e]limbs are like bars of iron.
19 “He is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God; [Only] He who made him can bring near His sword [to master him]. 20 “Surely the mountains bring him food, And all the wild animals play there. 21 “He lies down under the lotus plants, In the hidden shelter of the reeds in the marsh. 22 “The lotus plants cover him with their shade; The willows of the brook surround him. 23 “If a river rages and overflows, he does not tremble; He is confident, though the Jordan [River] swells and rushes against his mouth. 24 “Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, Or pierce his nose with barbs [to trap him]?
Job 40:15Or the hippopotamus. Although Behemoth cannot be identified with certainty, the biblical description seems most like the hippopotamus. In ancient times it may have been even more formidable than today. In Job’s day the hippopotamus was the largest known creature, was commonly found in the lower Nile River, and may also have existed in the Jordan.
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