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Job 39 New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Chapter 39

Do you know when mountain goats are born,
    or watch for the birth pangs of deer,
Number the months that they must fulfill,
    or know when they give birth,
When they crouch down and drop their young,
    when they deliver their progeny?
Their offspring thrive and grow in the open,
    they leave and do not return.
Who has given the wild donkey his freedom,
    and who has loosed the wild ass from bonds?
I have made the wilderness his home
    and the salt flats his dwelling.
He scoffs at the uproar of the city,
    hears no shouts of a driver.
He ranges the mountains for pasture,
    and seeks out every patch of green.
Will the wild ox consent to serve you,
    or pass the nights at your manger?
10 Will you bind the wild ox with a rope in the furrow,
    and will he plow the valleys after you?
11 Will you depend on him for his great strength
    and leave to him the fruits of your toil?
12 Can you rely on him to bring in your grain
    and gather in the yield of your threshing floor?
13 The wings of the ostrich[a] flap away;
    her plumage is lacking in feathers.
14 When she abandons her eggs on the ground[b]
    and lets them warm in the sand,
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them,
    that the wild beasts may trample them;
16 She cruelly disowns her young
    and her labor is useless; she has no fear.
17 For God has withheld wisdom from her
    and given her no share in understanding.
18 Yet when she spreads her wings high,
    she laughs at a horse and rider.
19 Do you give the horse his strength,[c]
    and clothe his neck with a mane?
20 Do you make him quiver like a locust,
    while his thunderous snorting spreads terror?
21 He paws the valley, he rejoices in his strength,
    and charges into battle.
22 He laughs at fear and cannot be terrified;
    he does not retreat from the sword.
23 Around him rattles the quiver,
    flashes the spear and the javelin.
24 Frenzied and trembling he devours the ground;
    he does not hold back at the sound of the trumpet;
25     at the trumpet’s call he cries, “Aha!”
Even from afar he scents the battle,
    the roar of the officers and the shouting.
26 Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
    that he spreads his wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle fly up at your command
    to build his nest up high?
28 On a cliff he dwells and spends the night,
    on the spur of cliff or fortress.
29 From there he watches for his food;
    his eyes behold it afar off.
30 His young ones greedily drink blood;
    where the slain are, there is he.


  1. 39:13 The wings of the ostrich cannot raise her from the ground, but they help her to run swiftly.
  2. 39:14–16 People thought that, because the ostrich laid her eggs on the sand, she was thereby cruelly abandoning them; cf. Lam 4:3.
  3. 39:19–25 A classic description of a war horse.
New American Bible (Revised Edition) (NABRE)

Scripture texts, prefaces, introductions, footnotes and cross references used in this work are taken from the New American Bible, revised edition © 2010, 1991, 1986, 1970 Confraternity of Christian Doctrine, Inc., Washington, DC All Rights Reserved. No part of this work may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system, without permission in writing from the copyright owner.

Job 39 New International Version (NIV)

39 “Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
    Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
Do you count the months till they bear?
    Do you know the time they give birth?
They crouch down and bring forth their young;
    their labor pains are ended.
Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
    they leave and do not return.

“Who let the wild donkey go free?
    Who untied its ropes?
I gave it the wasteland as its home,
    the salt flats as its habitat.
It laughs at the commotion in the town;
    it does not hear a driver’s shout.
It ranges the hills for its pasture
    and searches for any green thing.

“Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
    Will it stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?
    Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
    Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
    and bring it to your threshing floor?

13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
    though they cannot compare
    with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
    and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
    that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
    she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
    or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
    she laughs at horse and rider.

19 “Do you give the horse its strength
    or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
    striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
    and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
    it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
    along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
    it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
    It catches the scent of battle from afar,
    the shout of commanders and the battle cry.

26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
    and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
    and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
    a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;
    its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
    and where the slain are, there it is.”

New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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