[b-hebrew] Job 39:13 - peacocks, ostriches, storks, feathersand wings and things

Karl Randolph kwrandolph at email.com
Thu Jun 3 19:05:48 EDT 2004

Good questions, Steven.

Let me add another.

----- Original Message -----
From: Schmuel <Schmuel at escape.com>

> Hi b-hebrew,
> NowI do have a question, mainly masoretic text related, on this verse...
> Job 39:13 (KJB)
> Gavest thou the goodly wings unto the peacocks? or wings and feathers unto the ostrich? 
>    (margin note-"the  feathers  of  the  stork  and  ostrich")
> JPS-1985
> The wings of the ostrich beats joyously; Are her pinions and plumage like the storks ?
> Understanding that there is a *lot* of variation in various translations (list and notes available :-)
> including the translation of potential bird words --
>   renanim -   greediness, gluttony 
>                   ostriches, some singular ostrich, similar to ye'enim (male) Lam 4:3 
>   chasidah - kindness, stork 
>   notsah    - feathers (ostrich in KJB in Job usage.. some put hawk, pelican)
>   awlas      - root - from rejoicing -- KJB- peacock 
> And other words are used elsewhere, for some of these birds
>     tukkim         --> peacocks KJB 1 King 10:22  2 Chronicles 9:21
>     bat-ya`anah  --> ostrich (some translations)
>    Since many translations lead to logical difficulties, such as eliminating the plural of renanim, or assigning proudness to the rather mundane ostrich wings, or weakening the flow of logic to the ostrich which continues in the chapter....
> ** Are there significant variations in the Masoretic Text manuscripts ? **
> If others want to comment in general, that is fine :-)  So far, I have gathered a number of interesting and widely and wildly conflicting translations and views.  However, I really would like to know if the various MT texts are all in agreement here.
> Shalom,
> Steven Avery
> Queens, NY

How much do we know of the fauna of ancient Canaan? Do we have them properly identified? From what sources? How many of the animals mentioned in Tanakh are now extinct?

For example, NMR is usually recognized as a type of big cat. In Jeremiah 13:23 it is mentioned as having stripes, yet no one no where that I have read mentions that there were tigers in Canaan.

Getting back to Job 39: verses 14–18 remind me of the PBS Nature film I watched on ostriches, so much so that I can see images of that film as I read the section. But verse 13 is a question. Actually several questions.

Is NCH &#1504;&#1510;&#1492; the same as NWCH &#1504;&#1493;&#1510;&#1492; in Ezekiel 17:3,7 or is it the name for a type of bird? Or in this verse is it a verb with the same meaning as Lamentations 4:15?

Is XSYDH &#1495;&#1505;&#1497;&#1491;&#1492; an ostrich or a stork? Right now I lean towards the former.

Is )BRH &#1488;&#1489;&#1512;&#1492; a noun meaning pinion (soaring feathers) or the verb feminine to soar? From the grammatical form, I would guess the latter.

Is KNP &#1499;&#1504;&#1507; the word for wing, or a K prefix on the verb NWP &#1504;&#1493;&#1507; to present?

RNNYM &#1512;&#1504;&#1504;&#1497;&#1501; shouts of joy?

N(LSH &#1504;&#1506;&#1500;&#1505;&#1492; make merry, a verb referring to XSYDH &#1495;&#1505;&#1497;&#1491;&#1492; ostrich?

After reading my questions, could a workable translation be ”As presenting shouts of joy, does the ostrich make merry, as if it should soar and depart?“ This is a rhetorical question.

Now wait for me to get my asbestos BVDs 

Karl W. Randolph.
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