Job 39:18

18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run, she laughs at horse and rider.

Job 39:18 in Other Translations

18 What time she lifteth up herself on high, she scorneth the horse and his rider.
18 When she rouses herself to flee, she laughs at the horse and his rider.
18 But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider.
18 But when she runs, oh, how she runs, laughing, leaving horse and rider in the dust.
18 When she proudly spreads her wings, she laughs at the horse and its rider.

Job 39:18 Meaning and Commentary

Job 39:18

What time she lifted up herself on high
It is sometimes eight foot high F12; when alarmed with approaching danger she raises up herself, being sitting on the ground, and erects her wings for flight, or rather running;

she scorneth the horse and his rider;
being then, as Pliny F13 says, higher than a man on horseback, and superior to a horse in swiftness; and though horsemen have been able to take wild asses and goats, very swift creatures, yet never ostriches, as Xenophon relates F14 of those in Arabia; and this creature has another method, when pursued, by which it defies and despises, as well as hurts and incommodes its pursuers, which is by casting stones backward at them with its feet as out of a sling F15.


F12 Philosoph. Transact. abridged, vol. 2. p. 360.
F13 Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 1.
F14 De Expedit. Cyri, l. 1.
F15 Plin. ut supra. (Nat. Hist. l. 10. c. 1.) Aelian. de Animal. l. 4. c. 37.

Job 39:18 In-Context

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?

Cross References 1

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.