The LORD Speaks of His Creation
1 “Do you know when mountain goats give birth?
Have you watched the doe bear her fawn?
2 Can you count the months they are pregnant?
Do you know the time they give birth?
3 They crouch down and bring forth their young;
they deliver their newborn.
4 Their young ones thrive and grow up in the open field;
they leave and do not return.
5 Who set the wild donkey free?
Who released the swift donkey from the harness?
6 I made the wilderness his home
and the salt flats his dwelling.
7 He scorns the tumult of the city
and never hears the shouts of a driver.
8 He roams the mountains for pasture,
searching for any green thing.
9 Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
Will he stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold him to the furrow with a harness?
Will he plow the valleys behind you?
11 Can you rely on his great strength?
Will you leave your hard work to him?
12 Can you trust him to bring in your grain
and gather it to your threshing floor?
13 The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
but cannot match the pinions a and feathers of the stork.
14 For she leaves her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand.
15 She forgets that a foot may crush them,
or a wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if not her own,
with no concern that her labor was in vain.
17 For God has deprived her of wisdom;
He has not endowed her with understanding.
18 Yet when she proudly spreads her wings,
she laughs at the horse and its rider.
19 Do you give strength to the horse
or adorn his neck with a mane?
20 Do you make him leap like a locust,
striking terror with his proud snorting?
21 He paws in the valley and rejoices in his strength;
he charges into battle.
22 He laughs at fear, frightened of nothing;
he does not turn back from the sword.
23 A quiver rattles at his side,
along with a flashing spear and lance. b
24 Trembling with excitement, he devours the distance;
he cannot stand still when the ram’s horn sounds.
He catches the scent of battle from afar—
the shouts of captains and the cry of war.
26 Does the hawk take flight by your understanding
and spread his wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and make his nest on high?
28 He dwells on a cliff and lodges there;
his stronghold is on a rocky crag.
29 From there he spies out food;
his eyes see it from afar.
30 His young ones feast on blood;
and where the slain are, there he is.”
13 a Pinions are the outer parts of a bird’s wings, including the flight feathers.
23 b Or javelin
25 c Or he snorts, ‘Aha!’