« PreviousContinue »
" 3 knowest thou the time when they bring forth? They bow them:
selves, they bring forth their young ones, they cast out their sorrows. Canst thou tell the time and circumstances of their
bringing forth? which intimates that some remarkable providence 4 attended them;* And though Their young ones are brought forth
with pain, yet they are in good liking, they grow up with corn ;
they go forth, and return not unto them; they are provided for, 5 they thrive, they leave their dams, and return not to them. Who
hath sent out the wild ass free ? or who hath loosed the bands
of the wild ass ? who hath sent forth the wild ass free from ser6 vitude ? Whose house I have made the wilderness, and the bars igren land his dwellings. He scorneth the multitude of the city,
neither regardeth he the crying of the driver ; he is not subject 8 to be driven as the tame asses are. The range of the mountains 9 [is] his pasture, and he searchcth after every green thing. Will
the unicorn, or rather, the buffalo, or wild ox, be willing to serve to thee, or abide by thy crib ? Canst thou bind the unicorn with
his band in the furrow ? or will he harrow the vallies after thee? 11 Wilt thou trust him, because his strength (is) great ? or wilt 12 thou leave thy labour to him? Wilt thou believe him, that he
will bring home thy seed, and gather (it into) thy barn? Now thy
oxen and asses are gone, canst thou bring him to plough and har13 row for the., and bring home thy corn from the field ? (Gavest
thou] the goodly wings unto the peacocks ? or wings and feath14 ers unto the ostrich? Which leaveth her eggs in the earth,
15 and warmeth them in the dust,t And forgetteth that the foot + 16 may crush them, or that the wild beast may break them. She
is hardened against her young ones, as though (they were] not her's ; she does not defend them as some birds do, even with great
violence : her labour is in vain without fear, because she has no 17 fear of their being destroyed. The reason is, Because God hath
deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her under
standing ; she has less instinctiva sagacity than other animals. 18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse 19 and his rider.|| Hast thou given the horse strength ? hast thou 20 clothed his neck with thunder ? Canst thou make him afraid as 21 a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils [is] terrible. He paw.
eth in the valley, and rejoiceth in (his) strength : he goeth on 22 to meet the armed men. He mocketh at fear, and is not af. 23 frighted ; neither turneth he back from the sword. The quiver 24 rattleth against him, the glittering spear and the shield. He
• Pliny tells us, that the hinds find out a certain herb which facilitates their labour. Thunder has the same effect, Psalm xxix.
it The ostrich does not secure her eggs as other birds do, but leaves them on the sand, to be hatched by the sun.
| Natnralists relate may instances of the stupidity of these creatures ; of their covering their heart anong the recds, and supposing themselves for that reason safe ; of their being allured with the skin of an ostrich's neck on a man's hand ; swallowing iron, stones, and eren a firebi and.
Ostriches neither Ay nor run distinctly, hut their motion is composed of both: this wings are as sails to assist their fight. Curus had horse that could overtake goats and wild asses, but not an ostrich. A horse equalling an ostrich in speed, was reckoned worth a thousand pieces of gold, ot a bunured anmels.
gwalloweth the ground with fierceness and rage : neither bea 25 lieveth he that [it is) the sound of the trumpet. He saith among
the trumpets, Ha, ha ; and he smelleth the battle afar off, the 26 thunder of the captains, and the shouting.* Doth the hawk fly
by thy wisdom, t (and) stretch her wings toward the south ? 27 Doth the eagle mount up at thy command, and make her nest 28 on high? She dwelleth and abideth on the rock, upon the crag 29 of the rock, and the strong place. From thence she seeketh 30 the prey, (and) her eyes behold afar off. Her young ones also
suck up blood : and where the slain (are,] there [is] she. Is she beholden to thee for her strength and wisdom, the sagacity to find her food, and furnish her young ones with it? She flies with admirable speed to seize her prey, carries it away, and tears it with great strength, and supplies her young with its blood.
T HE grand, leading instructions of this chapter, are the
1 same as the former ; to show us our weakness and ignorance, and how unfit we are to censure the providence of God, which is so powerful, wise, and kind. In order therefore to diversify the scene, let us learn instruction from some of the animals here mentioned.
1. The care God takes of animals in their bringing forth and nourishing their young, should lead mankind to trust his providence. If he takes care of the brute creation in these circumstances, much more will he take care of his servants. It highly becomes them to trust him in such seasons ; and to commit their children to him, who supplies the kid and the ravens and the young eagles.
2. Those who are wild and licentious, and unwilling to be under restraint, may see an emblem of themselves in the wild ass. Man, that is, all men, is born, says Job, like a wild ass's colt ; proud and untractable, and unwilling to submit to discipline. But yet this is necessary to keep their passions in proper bounds, and fit them for usefulness in life. God intended that men should be serviceable to one another ; and those who are above restraint, and choose to range at their pleasure, defeat the designs of Providence, are useless members of society, and sink into just contempt.
3. The ostrich is a lively emblem of the greatest part of the gay and polite world : their inward qualities are not equal to their outward appearances. The ostrich is a fine, noble bird, has beautiful feathers, and looks very gay. But if you mark the inside of the creature, she is destitute of wisdom and understanding. There is
• These verses contain a noble description of the horse. There is a beautiful criticism on this passage in the Guardian, No. 86, to which I refer the curious reader. Other writers only describe his outward figure und motion, while the sacred poet makes all his beauty to How from an inward principle of courage, which is much more striking and majescio.
+ The Egyptians made the hawk a symbol of the wind, so swift is its flight. It is a bird of passage, and seeks a warmer climate in the winter..
| Ezyles are remarkable for flying high, and when quite out of the sight of men, are said to have such piercing eyes, that they can bebold a small serpent on the groued, or even a fish ander water.
indeed this difference, God for wise'ends has híd wisdom from her'; the gay world hide it from themseives, will not seek it, will not use their rational faculties to any valuable purposes. Mothers who will not nurse their infant offspring when they can do it, and all parents who neglect their children's souls, are like the ostrich, who is hardened against her young ones, as though they were not her's. They never consult the true welfare of their offspring ; and will have an awful account to render of that superior wisdom which God has given them above the beasts that perish. Once more,
4. The goodness of God in giving us such noble creatures as horses, ought to be thankfully acknowfedged. How many important uses are they capable of ! what strength and courage, do they possess and yet generally how easily are they managed ! They contribute so much to tillage and traffic, to our health and our pleasă ure, that we ought to give glory to God, who has herein consulted our happiness; and who, in infinite wisdom and goodness, has made them and all brute creatures for our use.
We have here Job's answer and God's reply ; in which he renews the
challenge ; and further enforces humility and submission, by a rena resentation of the strength of Behemoth.
TOREOVER, afier a short tause, to hear what Job I I would say, the LORD answered Job, and said, Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct (him ?) teach him. 10. govern the world belter, and to do greater things than those befare mentioned : he that reproveth Góc, let him answer it; he
that censures his actions, let him answer these questions. 34 Then Job answered the LORD, and said, Behold, I am vile ; , what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth. 5. Once have I spoken ; but I will not answer : yea, twice ; but
I will proceed no further. Job acknowledges his vileness, that
tie had said much amiss, but ncither defends it, nor adds to it. 6 Then, in order to humble him more thoroughly, answered the
Lord unto Job out of the whirlwind, speaking in the same awful 7 manner as before, and said, Gird up thy loins now like a man : . I will deinand of thee, and declare thou unto me ; thou, who 80 ; eagerly desiredst the dispute, pluck up thy spirits, and answer the .8 further questions which I shall put to thee. Wilt thou also dis
annul my judgment ? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest .. be righteous ? wilt thou condemn my judgment, my conduct to
thee, and my government of the world, in order to defend thyself? 9 Hast thou an arm like God : or canst thou thunder with a voice
like him? consider the infinite inferiority of thy power, and then 10 judge whether it is fit to censure my proceedings. Deck thyself
now [with] majesty and excellency : and array thyself with
glory and beauty ; put on all appearances of grandeur ard majesty,
and since thou persistesi to censure me, and complain of proud il oppressors, try thy strength upon one of them. Cast abroad the
rage of thy wrath : and behold every one (that is) proud, and 12 abase him. Look on every one (that is) proud, [and] bring him
low ; and tread down the wicked in their place ; try to bring 13 down insolent tyrants : Hide them in the dust together ; [and]
bind their faces in secret ; bring them to the grave, and cover 14 them with shame and confusion. Then will I also confess unto
thee, that thinc own right land can save thee : I will then own that thou hast some reason to contend with me, and needest not
my help. . 15 Behold now behemoth,* which I made with thee ; he eateth 16 grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength (is) in his loins, and his 17 force (is) in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a 18 cedar : the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His
bones (are as strong pieces of brass ; his bones (are] like bars 19 of iron. He [is] the chief of the ways of God; one of the
strongest creatures ; he that made him can make his sword to -20 approach (unto him.t] Surely the mountains bring him forth
food, where all the beasts of the field play ; at nighi he goes to 21 feed upon the mountains, and in the day He lieth under the shady 22 trees, in the covert of the reed and fens. The shady trees cover
him [with] their shadow ; the willows of the brook compass 23 him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, (and) hasteth not :
he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth ; this 24 deno!es his insatiable thirst, and the great quantity he drinks. He
taketh it with his eyes : (his] nose pierceth through snares. It is better rendered in the margin of our bibles, • Will any take him in his sight, or bore his nose with a gin ? As if he had said, Let Job attack this creature ofienly, and take him in his sight ; or if he uses mets and snares, he can easily break through ihem all,
N E may infer from hence, that those who are once made
VV truly sensible of their own vileness, dare not justify them. selves, or condemn God. Job, overwhelmed with these questions, and the awful majesty with which they were uttered, acknowledged his guilt, and determined never more to censure or complain of God. It is pride and conceit of themselves which makes men cen. sure his providence. It is the design of afflictions to humble them; and where they work right they will produce this effect, and dispose us to say, The Lord is righteous, and we have sinned.
• The word in general signifies heast. Some suppose it refers to the elephant. but some part of the description (see v.21.) does not answer to that creature. It rather refers totle hippopotamus, or sea börse, which is an amphibeous creature ; the strength of his bones and muscles are described, v. 16, 17, 18.
+ This would be better renlered, it is his maker that move th his sword, that is, his share teeth, with which he cuts dowa grass and corn with a scythe.
2. Here is a good idea given us of repentance. It consists in an humble sense of what we have said and done amiss ; an ingenuous confession of it, with grief and shame; and a determinate resolution to proceed no further. Let us inquire whether we have been thus penitent, for this alone is repentance to salvation.
3. When the heart is truly ashamed and humbled for sin, it may be necessary and useful to dwell on those thoughts and considerations which tend to humble it still more. Job was convinced that he had been in the wrong, and had said and done much that was amiss. God nevertheless puts more questions to him, with the same awful voice to humble him further, and make him more sensible of his sin, This shows the meaning of God's continuing to afflict those who appear to be humble and penitent; it is to increase so excellent a disposition in them, and lay a foundation for higher improvements, in religion.
4. It is the prerogative and peculiar glory of God to humble proud oppressors. Job is called upon to try what he could do ; which plainly implies that God can do it. Though men's hands are weak, his arm can reach and bring them down ; and though the voice of men does not affect them, the thunder of God's voice will terrify and confound them. If he casts about his wrath, they cannot stand before him. One look of his eye brings them down to the dust and overwhelms them with horror and confusion. Since this is the case, we may be sure, that while such sinners continue to prosper, God has wise and good ends to be answered by it ; and it is folly and arrogance in us to complain of him, or in any instance to prescribe to him.
5. The description of behemoth suggests to us what use we are to make of the sight of large and strong animals ; namely, to mag: nify the power and wisdom of God. When strange creatures are to be seen among us, such as lions, tigers, elephants, &c. it is proper to indulge young persons with a sight of them, and inculcate upon them the amazing skill and power of the great Creator ; that they may learn to reverence him, who made small and great bea818, who gives to them their food, and appoints to them their proper uses. The same reflections we should make when we hear or read of such creatures ; the Lord made all the beasts of the earth, and gave all their strength, magnitude and beauty ; that we may learn from them to magnify and adore the greatCreator, who is the proprietor of the beasts of the forests, and the cattle on a thousand hills.