Job 39:17

17 for God did not endow her with wisdom or give her a share of good sense.

Job 39:17 in Other Translations

17 Because God hath deprived her of wisdom, neither hath he imparted to her understanding.
17 because God has made her forget wisdom and given her no share in understanding.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom. He has given her no understanding.
17 She wasn't created very smart, that's for sure, wasn't given her share of good sense.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom; He has not endowed her with understanding.

Job 39:17 Meaning and Commentary

Job 39:17

Because God hath deprived her of wisdom
Or "made her to forget" F4 what she had; an instance of her forgetfulness is mentioned ( Job 39:15 ) ; and so Leo Africanus F5 says of it, that it is of a very short memory, and presently forgets the place where its eggs are laid;

neither hath he imparted to her understanding;
many instances are given of its stupidity by historians, as that it will take anything that is offered to it to eat, stones, iron F6; that it will thrust its head and neck into a thicket, fancying: it is hid and covered, and that none can see it; which Pliny F7 remarks as an instance of its foolishness; though Diodorus Siculus F8 takes this to be a point of prudence, for the preservation of those parts of it which are weakest. Strabo gives F9 another instance of its stupidity, its being so easily deceived by sportsmen, who, by putting the skin of an ostrich on their hands, and reaching out fruits or seeds to it, it will receive them of them, and be taken. Others observe the smallness of their heads, and so of their brains, as an argument of their want of understanding; and it has been remarked, as a proof of their having but few brains, that Heliogabalus, the Roman emperor, had six hundred heads of ostriches dressed at once for his supper, for the sake of their brains F11.


F4 (hvh) "oblivisci fecit eum", Montanus, Mercerus, Drusius, Cocceius, Michaelis, Schultens.
F5 Ut supra. (Desciptio. Africae, l. 9. p. 766.)
F6 Aelian. ut supra. (de Animal. l. 5. c. 21.) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 1.
F7 Ibid. (Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 1.)
F8 Ut supra. (Diodor. Sicul. Bibliothec. l. 2. p. 133.)
F9 Geograph. l. 16. p. 531.
F11 Lamprid. Vit. Heliogab. c. 20, 30.

Job 39:17 In-Context

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?

Cross References 1

  • 1. S ver 16; S Job 21:22; Job 35:11
Scripture quoted by permission.  Quotations designated (NIV) are from THE HOLY BIBLE: NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®.  NIV®.  Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica.  All rights reserved worldwide.