Job 39:13


King James Version (KJV)

Gave you the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers to the ostrich?

American King James Version (AKJV)

Gave you the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers to the ostrich?

American Standard Version (ASV)

The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; But are they the pinions and plumage of love?

Basic English Translation (BBE)

Is the wing of the ostrich feeble, or is it because she has no feathers,

Webster's Revision

Gavest thou the goodly wings to the peacocks? or wings and feathers to the ostrich!

World English Bible

"The wings of the ostrich wave proudly; but are they the feathers and plumage of love?

English Revised Version (ERV)

The wing of the ostrich rejoiceth, but are her pinions and feathers kindly?

Clarke's Job 39:13 Bible Commentary

The goodly wings unto the peacocks? - I believe peacocks are not intended here; and the Hebrew word רננים renanim should be translated ostriches; and the term חסידה chasidah, which we translate ostrich, should be, as it is elsewhere translated, stork; and perhaps the word נצה notsah, rendered here feathers, should be translated hawk, or pelican. The Vulgate has, Penna struthionis similis est pennis herodii et accipitris; "the feather of the ostrich is like to that of the stork and the hawk." The Chaldee has, "The wing of the wild cock, who crows and claps his wings, is like to the wing of the stork and the hawk." The Septuagint, not knowing what to make of these different terms, have left them all untranslated, so as to make a sentence without sense. Mr. Good has come nearest both to the original and to the meaning, by translating thus: -

"The wing of the ostrich tribe is for flapping;

But of the stork and falcon for flight."

Though the wings of the ostrich, says he, cannot raise it from the ground, yet by the motion here alluded to, by a perpetual vibration, or flapping - by perpetually catching or drinking in the wind, (as the term נעלסה neelasah implies, which we render goodly), they give it a rapidity of running beyond that possessed by any other animal in the world. Adanson informs us, that when he was at the factory in Padore, he was in possession of two tame ostriches; and to try their strength, says he, "I made a full-grown negro mount the smallest, and two others the largest. This burden did not seem at all disproportioned to their strength. At first they went a pretty high trot; and, when they were heated a little, they expanded their wings, as if it were to catch the wind, and they moved with such fleetness as to seem to be off the ground. And I am satisfied that those ostriches would have distanced the fleetest race-horses that were ever bred in England."

As to נצה notsah, here translated falcon, Mr. Good observes, that the term naz is used generally by the Arabian writers to signify both falcon and hawk; and there can be little doubt that such is the real meaning of the Hebrew word; and that it imports various species of the falcon family, as jer-falcon, gos-hawk, and sparrow-hawk.

"The argument drawn from natural history advances from quadrupeds to birds; and of birds, those only are selected for description which are most common to the country in which the scene lies, and at the same time are most singular in their properties. Thus the ostrich is admirably contrasted with the stork and the eagle, as affording us an instance of a winged animal totally incapable of flight, but endued with an unrivalled rapidity of running, compared with birds whose flight is proverbially fleet, powerful, and persevering. Let man, in the pride of his wisdom, explain or arraign this difference of construction.

"Again, the ostrich is peculiarly opposed to the stork and to some species of the eagle in another sense, and a sense adverted to in the verses immediately ensuing; for the ostrich is well known to take little or no care of its eggs, or of its young, while the stork ever has been, and ever deserves to be, held in proverbial repute for its parental tenderness. The Hebrew word חסידה chasidah, imports kindness or affection; and our own term stork, if derived from the Greek στοργη, storge, as some pretend, has the same original meaning." - Good's Job.

Barnes's Job 39:13 Bible Commentary

The eagle and the hawk:

Is it by thy understanding that the hawk flieth,

And spreadeth his wings toward the south?

Is it at thy command that the eagle mounteth up,

And that he buildeth his nest on high?

He inhabiteth the rock and abideth there -

Upon the crag of the rock, and the high fortress.

From thence he spieth out his prey,

His eyes discern it from afar.

His young ones greedily gulp down blood;

And where the slain are, there is he.

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