Job 38:39

39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,

Job 38:39 Meaning and Commentary

Job 38:39

Wilt thou hunt the prey for the lion?
&c.] From meteors the Lord passes to animals, beasts, and birds, wherefore some here begin the thirty ninth chapter, which only treats of such; and he begins with the lion, the strongest among beasts, and most fierce; cruel, and voracious; and asks, who hunts his prey for him? Not man, who cannot; and if he could, durst not: but the Lord does; and, according to some writers F24, he has provided a small creature, between a fox and a wolf, called a jackal; which goes before the lion, and hunts the prey for him. And could this be understood particularly of the old lion, as Cocceius and others, naturalists F25 observe, that young lions hunt for the old ones, when they are not able to go in search of prey; and when they have got it, either bring it to them, or call them to partake of it with them;

or fill the appetite of the young lions,
whose appetite is sharp and keen, and requires a great deal to fill it, and especially to satisfy a great many of them; herds of them, as Mr. Broughton renders the word, and which signifies a company; see ( Psalms 68:30 ) . Men cannot feed them, but God can and does; there being some ends in Providence to be answered thereby, see ( Psalms 104:21 ) ; see also ( Psalms 34:8-10 ) .


F24 Thevenot's Travels, part 2. c. 13.
F25 Aelian. de Animal. l. 9. c. 1.

Job 38:39 In-Context

37 Who has the wisdom to number the clouds? Or who can tilt the waterskins of the heavens,
38 when the dust runs into a mass and the clods cling together?
39 "Can you hunt the prey for the lion, or satisfy the appetite of the young lions,
40 when they crouch in their dens, or lie in wait in their covert?
41 Who provides for the raven its prey, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?
New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.