Yahweh questions Job about hawks (Job 39:26-39:30)

“Is it by your wisdom that the hawk soars?

Is it by your wisdom that it spreads its wings toward the south?

Is it at your command that the eagle mounts up?

Is it your command that makes its nest on high?

It lives on the rock.

It makes its home in the fastness of the rocky crag.

From there it spies the prey.

Its eyes see it from far away.

Its young ones suck up blood.

Where the slain are,

There it is.”

Yahweh asked Job if his wisdom made the hawks soar. Did he guide them south for winter hibernation? Did he make the eagle nests on the high mountains? The eagle hawks live in the rocky crags of the mountains so that they can spy on their prey from a long distance. Their young suck up blood. They are the first to arrive when anyone is killed. So we end these questions to Job about the heaven, the earth, and the animals that live in it. These must have been the most important animals and stars at the time of this biblical writing.

The good works of Job (Job 29:11-29:17)

“When the ear heard it,

It commended me.

When the eye saw,

It approved.

I delivered the poor who cried.

I helped the orphan who had no helper.

The blessing of the wretched came upon me.

I caused the widow’s heart to sing for joy.

I put on righteousness.

It clothed me.

My justice was like a robe and a turban.

I was eyes to the blind.

I was feet to the lame.

I was a father to the needy.

I championed the cause of the stranger.

I broke the fangs of the unrighteous.

I made them drop their prey from their teeth.”

Job becomes self-righteous as he listed off all his good works. Both ears and eyes approved what he had done. He answered the cry of the poor and the orphan. He blessed the wretched. He brought joy to the widows. He dressed as if he were righteous with a robe and a turban. He was the eyes for the blind and the feet for the lame. He was the father to the needy. He championed the causes of strangers. He made the unrighteous drop their prey. What a great guy! He was almost perfect in all that he did for others.

The innocent do not perish (Job 4:7-4:11)

“Think now!

Who that was innocent ever perished?

Where were the upright cut off?

As I have seen,

Those who plow iniquity

Those who sow trouble reap the same.

By the breath of God they perish.

By the blast of his anger they are consumed.

The roar of the lion,

The voice of the fierce lion,

The teeth of the young lions are broken.

The strong lion perishes for lack of prey.

The whelps of the lioness are scattered.”

Eliphaz continued to talk about how the innocent and upright ones do not perish. Only the iniquitous or evil ones perish. What you sow is what you reap. The upright ones do not perish. Using beautiful metaphors, the evils one perish by the breath of God and the blast of his anger. The evil people are like fierce lions that have no teeth. They die because of the lack of prey. Meanwhile, their young cubs will scatter. He implied that God only punishes the evil ones not the good ones. The fierce toothless lion dies because he can no longer hunt his prey.

A poem about Judas Maccabeus (1 Macc 3:3-3:9)

“He extended the glory of his people.

He put on his breastplate like a giant.

He tied on his armor of war.

He waged battles.

He protected the camp by his sword.

He was like a lion in his deeds.

He was like a lion’s cub roaring for prey.

He searched out

He pursued those who broke the law.

He burned those who troubled his people.

Lawbreakers shrank back for fear of him.

All the evildoers were confounded.

Deliverance prospered by his hand.

He embittered many kings.

He made Jacob glad by his deeds.

His memory is blessed forever.

He went through the cities of Judah.

He destroyed the ungodly out of the land.

Thus he turned away wrath from Israel.

He was renowned to the ends of the earth.

He gathered in those who were perishing.”

Somehow this poem about Judas Maccabeus is here at the beginning of his adventures, and not at the end. He was the commander of the army of revolutionaries in Judea. He was like a giant of his time. Like a giant, he wore the armor and breastplate of a fighter waging wars. He was like lion or lion’s cub as he went after his prey. He searched out those who broke the Mosaic Law. He made many people fear him, but he made the memory of Jacob proud. He destroyed the ungodly of the land so that the wrath of God was turned away from Israel. He became renowned to the ends of the earth.