but are they the pinions and plumage of a stork? 4
and lets them be warmed on the soil.
39:15 She forgets that a foot might crush them,
or that a wild animal 6 might trample them.
as if they were not hers;
she is unconcerned
about the uselessness of her labor.
39:17 For God deprived her of wisdom,
and did not impart understanding to her.
she laughs at the horse and its rider.
1 tc This whole section on the ostrich is not included in the LXX. Many feel it is an interpolation and should therefore be deleted. The pattern of the chapter changes from the questions being asked to observations being made.
3 tn Many proposals have been made here. The MT has a verb, “exult.” Strahan had “flap joyously,” a rendering followed by the NIV. The RSV uses “wave proudly.”
4 tn The point of this statement would be that the ostrich cannot compare to the stork. But there are many other proposals for this line – just about every commentator has a different explanation for it. Of the three words here, the first means “pinion,” the third “plumage,” and the second probably “stork,” although the LXX has “heron.” The point of this whole section is that the ostrich is totally lacking in parental care, whereas the stork is characterized by it. The Hebrew word for “stork” is the same word for “love”: חֲסִידָה (khasidah), an interpretation followed by the NASB. The most likely reading is “or are they the pinions and plumage of the stork?” The ostrich may flap about, but cannot fly and does not care for its young.
5 tn The meaning may have the connotation of “lays; places,” rather than simply abandoning (see M. Dahood, “The Root ’zb II in Job,” JBL 78 : 307f.).
6 tn Heb “an animal of the field.”
8 tn The colon poses a slight problem here. The literal meaning of the Hebrew verb translated “springs up” (i.e., “lifts herself on high”) might suggest flight. But some of the proposals involve a reading about readying herself to run.