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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

9 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 hers: 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.

Commentary for Job 39

God inquires of Job concerning several animals.

- In these questions the Lord continued to humble Job. In this chapter several animals are spoken of, whose nature or situation particularly show the power, wisdom, and manifold works of God. The wild ass. It is better to labour and be good for something, than to ramble and be good for nothing. From the untameableness of this and other creatures, we may see, how unfit we are to give law to Providence, who cannot give law even to a wild ass's colt. The unicorn, a strong, stately, proud creature. He is able to serve, but not willing; and God challenges Job to force him to it. It is a great mercy if, where God gives strength for service, he gives a heart; it is what we should pray for, and reason ourselves into, which the brutes cannot do. Those gifts are not always the most valuable that make the finest show. Who would not rather have the voice of the nightingale, than the tail of the peacock; the eye of the eagle and her soaring wing, and the natural affection of the stork, than the beautiful feathers of the ostrich, which can never rise above the earth, and is without natural affection? The description of the war-horse helps to explain the character of presumptuous sinners. Every one turneth to his course, as the horse rushes into the battle. When a man's heart is fully set in him to do evil, and he is carried on in a wicked way, by the violence of his appetites and passions, there is no making him fear the wrath of God, and the fatal consequences of sin. Secure sinners think themselves as safe in their sins as the eagle in her nest on high, in the clefts of the rocks; but I will bring thee down from thence, saith the Lord, #Jer 49:16|. All these beautiful references to the works of nature, should teach us a right view of the riches of the wisdom of Him who made and sustains all things. The want of right views concerning the wisdom of God, which is ever present in all things, led Job to think and speak unworthily of Providence.

Commentary by Matthew Henry, 1710.

Discussion for Job 39

  • London
    The biblical unicorn was a large animal with great strength num. 23:22 . This animal did exist , according to GOD's word.
  • A disciple
    "Unicorn" is more accurately translated, Wild Ox.
  • Izola bird
    I think the unicorn is just that what we see as a fantasy mythical horse with a horn. So why can't we say the bible is right. Our imagination can't began to comprehend all kinds of creatures from the beginning when God created the earth. Maybe they died off like the giants "David and Goliath."
  • SJames
    Verses about the horse are used very dramatically and effectively in the opening scene of "Secretariat " narrated by Diane Lane.
  • Michael Webb
    Verses 19-25 have topical resonance, having read through the chapter today (from the later NIV) in the wake of the new film 'War Horse'. Would have chimed well with devout cavalry soldiers in WWI who learned their scripture from the KJV. A great-uncle of mine was a Farrier Sergeant in the artillery in same war when horses were employed for gun towing. I still have his 'dog tag' with C.E. initials which would have ensured he was buried with appropriate rites if found dead - fortunately he survived the war.
  • Unicorn... might have been a name for a animal thats extinct now.

    Science is knowledge and truths gained through observation and replecation. So how do you know there has never been a horse with one horn?

    Alot of scientist still beleive in evolution without any evidence or proof and claim it to be scientific fact.
  • Derek
    unicorn in this verse is a hebrew word for wild bull. it is Hebrew 7214 in the Greek/Hebrew dictionary
  • Lynette

    "probably the great aurochs or wild bulls which are now extinct. The exact meaning is not known."

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Bible Trivia

The overall theme of Job chapter 39 seems to be what?
  • God knows everything
  • Job's family is in trouble
  • Satan has limited power
  • Job will inherit eternal life.