Job 39:23
Verse 23. - The quiver rattleth against him. In the Aasyrian sculptures the quiver of mounted archers is often hung at the side, instead of at the back. In this position it would rattle against the neck of the war-horse (see 'Ancient Monarchies,' vol. 2 p. 25). The glittering spear and the shield would occasionally strike against his neck or his shoulders.

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.The quiver rattleth against him,.... The quiver is what arrows are put into and carried in, and seems here to be put for arrows, which being shot by the enemy come whizzing about him, but do not intimidate him; unless this is to be understood of arrows rattling in the quiver when carried by the rider "upon him", so some render the last word; and thus Homer (w) and Virgil (x) speak of the rattling quiver and sounding arrows in it, as carried on the back or shoulder; but the first sense seems best, in which another poet uses it (y);

the glittering spear and the shield; the lance or javelin, as Mr. Broughton renders it, and others; that is, he does not turn back from these, nor is he frightened at them when they are pointed to him or flung at him; so Aelianus (z) speaks of the Persians training their horses and getting them used to noises, that in battle they might not be frightened at the clashing of arms, of swords and shields against each other; in like manner as our war horses are trained, not to start at the firing of a gun, or the explosion of a cannon.

(w) Iliad. 1. v. 4. (x) "Pharetramqne sonantem". Aeneid. 9. v. 666. (y) "----audito sonitu per inane pharetrae". Ovid. Metamorph. l. 6. v. 230. (z) De Animal. l. 16. c. 25.

Job 39:22
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