“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high? On the rocks it dwells and resides, On the crag of the rock and the stronghold. From there it spies out the prey; Its eyes observe from afar. Job 39:26-29
God Introduces His Creations as Exhibits
39:1-4 God, who provides the prey for the predators (38:39-41), also takes care of that prey, which includes the mountain goats and deer. By taking care of them in their most vulnerable moment of giving birth, the Lord provides for order and balance in nature.
1 “Do you know the time when the wild mountain goats bear young? Or can you mark when the deer gives birth? 2 Can you number the months that they fulfill? Or do you know the time when they bear young? 3 They bow down, They bring forth their young, They deliver their offspring. 4 Their young ones are healthy, They grow strong with grain; They depart and do not return to them.
39:5-7 The wild donkey, the symbol of the exploited poor in 24:5, finds satisfaction where God has placed him on earth free from the shouts of the driver or “slave driver.” This contrasts with Job’s complaints about the voice of the oppressor (3:18). True freedom is found in being content where God has placed us (see Phil. 4:10-12).
5 “Who set the wild donkey free? Who loosed the bonds of the onager, 6 Whose home I have made the wilderness, And the barren land his dwelling? 7 He scorns the tumult of the city; He does not heed the shouts of the driver.
39:13-18 Job had identified himself closely with the ostrich (peacock in KJV) (30:29). Therefore, the Lord ironically agrees that there are similarities. Both are deficient in knowledge. But although the ludicrous-looking ostrich is no doubt laughed at and experiences misfortunes, the ostrich is not concerned about the situation. This contrasts with Job, who has been full of worry.
13 “The wings of the ostrich wave proudly, But are her wings and pinions like the kindly stork’s? 14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground, And warms them in the dust; 15 She forgets that a foot may crush them, Or that a wild beast may break them. 16 She treats her young harshly, as though they were not hers; Her labor is in vain, without concern, 17 Because God deprived her of wisdom, And did not endow her with understanding. 18 When she lifts herself on high, She scorns the horse and its rider.
39:26-30 God asks Job if he designed the majestic birds – the hawk and the eagle – by his aerodynamic genius. Eagle: The context of v. 30, where the young birds feast on the blood of the slain, suggests that a vulture is in view. However, the traditional translation eagle conveys the royal and majestic qualities associated with the vulture in the ancient Middle East (vv. 26-30), in contrast to the revulsion its name brings to many modern readers.
26 “Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? 27 Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high? 28 On the rocks it dwells and resides, On the crag of the rock and the stronghold. 29 From there it spies out the prey; Its eyes observe from afar.
39:30 The implication is that God allows the young vultures to feed on the blood of slain people to help prvent the spread of disease. This is an answer to Job’s complaint about God’s failure to stop the exploitation of the helpless and His ignoring of the pleas of the dying. The Lord demonstrates to Job again that He limits evil.
30 Its young ones suck up blood; And where the slain are, there it is.”