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Job 39:20

    Job 39:20 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Can you make him afraid as a grasshopper? the glory of his nostrils is terrible.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Hast thou made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is terrible.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    Is it through you that he is shaking like a locust, in the pride of his loud-sounding breath?

    Webster's Revision

    Hast thou made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is terrible.

    World English Bible

    Have you made him to leap as a locust? The glory of his snorting is awesome.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Hast thou made him to leap as a locust? the glory of his snorting is terrible.

    Barnes' Notes on Job 39:20

    Canst thou make him afraid as a grasshopper? - Or, rather, "as a locust" - כארבה kā'arbeh. This is the word which is commonly applied to the locust considered as gregarious, or as appearing in great numbers (from רבה râbâh, "to be multiplied"). On the variety of the species of locusts, see Bochart "Hieroz." P. ii. Lib. iv. c. 1ff The Hebrew word here rendered "make afraid" (רעשׁ râ‛ash) means properly "to be moved, to be shaken," and hence, to tremble, to be afraid. In the Hiphil, the form used here, it means to cause to tremble, to shake; and then "to cause to leap," as a horse; and the idea here is, Canst thou cause the horse, an animal so large and powerful, to leap with the agility of a locust? See Gesenius, "Lex." The allusion here is to the leaping or moving of the locusts as they advance in the appearance of squadrons or troops; but the comparison is not so much that of a single horse to a single locust, as of cavalry or a company of war-horses to an army of locusts; and the point of comparison turns on the elasticity or agility of the motion of cavalry advancing to the field of battle.

    The sense is, that God could cause that rapid and beautiful movement in animals so large and powerful as the horse, but that it was wholly beyond the power of man to effect it. It is quite common in the East to compare a horse with a locust, and travelers have spoken of the remarkable resemblance between the heads of the two. This comparison occurs also in the Bible; see Joel 2:4, "The appearance of them is as the appearance of horses; and as horsemen so shall they run;" Revelation 9:7. The Italians, from this resemblance, call the locust "cavaletta," or little horse. Sir W. Ouseley says, "Zakaria Cavini divides the locusts into two classes, like horsemen and footmen, 'mounted and pedestrian.' "Niebuhr says that he heard from a Bedouin near Bassorah, a particular comparison of the locust with other animals; but he thought it a mere fancy of the Arabs, until he heard it repeated at Bagdad. He compared the head of a locust to that of a horse, the breast to that of a lion, the feet to those of a camel, the belly with that of a serpent, the tail with that of a scorpion, and the feelers with the hair of a virgin; see the Pictorial Bible on Joel 2:4.

    The glory of his nostrils is terrible - Margin, as in Hebrew, "terrors." That is, it is fitted to inspire terror or awe. The reference is to the wide-extended and fiery looking nostrils of the horse when animated, and impatient, for action. So Lucretius, L. v.:

    Et fremitum patulis sub naribus edit ad arma.

    So Virgil, "Georg." iii.:87:

    Collectumque premens voluit sub naribus ignem.

    Claudian, in iv. "Consulatu Honorii:"

    Ignescunt patulae nares.
    Book: Job