Job 39:12
Will you believe him, that he will bring home your seed, and gather it into your barn?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(12) Wilt thou believe him?i.e., trust him, as in the former verse “Wilt thou [trust” was, rather, Wilt thou feel confidence in him?

39:1-30 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.Wilt thou believe him? - That is, wilt thou trust him with the productions of the field? The idea is, that he was an untamed and unsubdued animal. He could not be governed, like the camel or the ox. If the sheaves of the harvest were laid on him, there would be no certainty that he would convey them where the farmer wished them.

And gather it into thy barn? - Or, rather, "to thy threshing-floor," for so the word used here (גרן gôren) means. It was not common to gather a harvest into a barn, but it was usually collected on a hard-trod place and there threshed and winnowed. For the use of the word, see Ruth 3:2; Judges 6:37; Numbers 18:30; Isaiah 21:10.

12. believe—trust.

seed—produce (1Sa 8:15).

into thy barn—rather, "gather (the contents of) thy threshing-floor" [Maurer]; the corn threshed on it.

Will bring home thy seed, Heb. will return thy seed; either,

1. By ploughing and harrowing thy land so well that it shall make a good return to thee for thy seed. Or rather,

2. By bringing into thy barn, as it follows, thy seed, i.e. the product of thy seed, or thy sheaves of corn, as this word is used, Haggai 2:19. Wilt thou believe him that he will bring home thy seed?.... Draw in the cart, and bring home the ripe sheaves of corn, as the tame ox does? no; thou knowest him too well to believe he will bring it home in safety;

and gather it into thy barn; to be trodden out, which used to be done by oxen in those times: if therefore Job could not manage such unruly creatures as the wild ass and the wild ox, and make them serviceable to him, how unfit must he be to govern the world, or to direct in the affairs of Providence?

Wilt thou believe him, that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barn?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
Verse 12. - Wilt thou believe him - rather, Wilt thou confide in him (see the Revised Version) - that he will bring home thy seed, and gather it into thy barns? i.e. convey the harvest from the field to the homestead, that it may be safely lodged in thy barn. The "strength" of the urns (ver. 11) would make all such labours light to him, but his savage nature would render it impossible to use him for them. 5 Who hath sent forth the wild ass free,

And who loosed the bands of the wild ass,

6 Whose house I made the steppe,

And his dwelling the salt country?

7 He scorneth the tumult of the city,

He heareth not the noise of the driver.

8 That which is seen upon the mountains is his pasture,

And he sniffeth after every green thing.

On the wild ass (not: ass of the forest).

(Note: It is a dirty yellow with a white belly, single-hoofed and long-eared; its hornless head somewhat resembles that of the gazelle, but is much later; its hair has the dryness of the hair of the deer, and the animal forms the transition from the stag and deer genus to the ass. It is entirely distinct from the mah or baqar el-wahsh, wild ox, whose large soft eyes are so much celebrated by the poets of the steppe. This latter is horned and double-hoofed, and forms the transition from the stag to the ox distinct from the ri'm, ראם, therefore perhaps an antelope of the kind of the Indian nlgau, blue ox, Portax tragocamelus. I have not seen both kinds of animals alive, but I have often seen their skins in the tents of the Ruwal. Both kinds are remarkable for their very swift running, and it is especially affirmed of the fer that no rider can overtake it. The poets compare a troop of horsemen that come rushing up and vanish in the next moment to a herd of fer. In spite of its difficulty and hazardousness, the nomads are passionately given to hunting the wild ass, and the proverb cited by the Kms: kull es-sêd bigôf el-ferâ (every hunt sticks in the belly of the fer, i.e., compared with that, every other hunt is nothing), is perfectly correct. When the approach of a herd, which always consists of several hundred, is betrayed by a cloud of dust which can be seen many miles off, so many horsemen rise up from all sides in pursuit that the animals are usually scattered, and single ones are obtained by the dogs and by shots. The herd is called gemı̂le, and its leader is called ‛anûd (ענוּד),as with gazelles. - Wetzst.)

In Hebr. and Arab. it is פּרא (ferâ or himâr el-wahsh, i.e., asinus ferus), and Aram. ערוד; the former describes it as a swift-footed animal, the latter as an animal shy and difficult to be tamed by the hand of man; "Kulan" is its Eastern Asiatic name. lxx correctly translates: τίς δὲ ἐστιν ὁ ἀφεὶς ὄνον ἄγριον ἐλεύθερον. חפשׁי is the acc. of the predicate (comp. Genesis 33:2; Jeremiah 22:30). Parallel with ערבה (according to its etymon perhaps, land of darkness, terra incognita) is מלחה, salt adj. or (sc. ארץ) a salt land, i.e., therefore unfruitful and incapable of culture, as the country round the Salt Sea of Palestine: that the wild ass even gladly licks the salt or natron of the desert, is a matter of fact, and may be assumed, since all wild animals that feed on plants have a partiality, which is based on chemical laws of life, for licking slat. On Job 39:8 Ew. observes, to render יתוּר as "what is espied" is insecure, "on account of the structure of the verse" (Gramm. S. 419, Anm.). This reason is unintelligible; and in general there is no reason for rendering יתוּר, after lxx, Targ., Jer., and others, as an Aramaic 3 fut. with a mere half vowel instead of Kametz before the tone equals יתוּר, which is without example in Old Testament Hebrew (for יהוּא, Ecclesiastes 11:3, follows the analogy of יהי), but יתוּר signifies either abundantia (after the form יבוּל, לחוּם Job 20:23, from יתר, Arab. wtr, p. 571) or investigabile, what can be searched out (after the form יקוּם, that which exists, from תּוּר, Arab. târ, to go about, look about), which, with Olsh. 212, and most expositors, we prefer.

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