God Speaks of Nature and Its Beings
1“Do you know the time when the wild goats of the rock give birth [to their young]?
Do you observe the calving of the deer?
“Can you count the months that they [a]carry offspring,
Or do you know the time when they give birth?
“They kneel down, they bring forth their young,
They cast out their labor pains.
“Their young ones become strong, they grow up in the open field;
They leave and do not return to them.
“Who sent out the wild donkey free [from dependence on man]?
And who has loosed the bonds of the wild donkey [to survive in the wild],
To whom I gave the wilderness as his home
And the salt land as his dwelling place?
“He scorns the tumult of the city,
And does not hear the shouting of the taskmaster.
“He explores the mountains as his pasture
And searches after every green thing.
“Will the wild ox be willing to serve you,
Or remain beside your manger at night?
“Can you bind the wild ox with a harness [to the plow] in the furrow?
Or will he plow the valleys for you?
“Will you trust him because his strength is great
And leave your labor to him?
“Will you have faith and depend on him to return your grain
And gather it from your threshing floor?
“The [flightless] wings of the ostrich wave joyously;
With the pinion (shackles, fetters) and plumage of love,
For she leaves her eggs on the ground
And warms them in the dust,
Forgetting that a foot may crush them,
Or that the wild beast may trample them.
“She treats her young cruelly, as if they were not hers;
Though her labor is in vain because she is unconcerned [for the safety of her brood],
For God has made her forget wisdom,
And has not given her a share of understanding.
“Yet when she lifts herself [b]on high,
[So swift is she that] she laughs at the horse and his rider.
“Have you given the horse his might?
Have you clothed his neck with quivering and a shaking mane?
“Have you [Job] made him leap like a locust?
The majesty of his snorting [nostrils] is terrible.
“He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
He goes out to meet the weapons [of armed men].
“He laughs at fear and is not dismayed;
And [in battle] he does not turn back from the sword.
“The quiver rattles against him,
[As do] the flashing spear and the lance [of his rider].
“With fierceness and rage he races to devour the ground,
And he does not stand still at the sound of the [war] trumpet.
“As often as the trumpet sounds he says, ‘Aha!’
And he smells the battle from far away,
And senses the thunder of the captains and the war cry.
“Is it by your understanding that the hawk soars,
Stretching his wings toward the south [as winter approaches]?
“Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up
And makes his nest on high [in an inaccessible place]?
“On the cliff he dwells and remains [securely],
Upon the point of the rock and the inaccessible stronghold.
“From there he spies out the prey;
His eyes see it from far away.
“His young ones suck up blood;
And where the slain are, there is he.”