“Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom, and stretch her wings toward the south?” (Job 39:26 KJV)
Red-backed Hawk – Argentina
Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles)
“It is vain for you to rise up early, to sit up late, to eat the bread of sorrows: for so he giveth his beloved sleep.” (Psalms 127:2 KJV)
Short-tailed Hawk (Buteo brachyurus) by Daves BirdingPix
Terrors shall make him afraid on every side and shall chase him at his heels. (Job 18:11 AMP)
Here we go again with a smaller bird attacking a larger bird. This time a Red-winged Blackbird is on a Hawk’s back.
See Rare Picture: Blackbird “Rides” Hawk. from Focusing on Wildlife.
by Emma Foster
Once there were two hawks named Jerry and Jemima. They were looking for a place to live. They both needed just the right place if they wanted to watch some fireworks launch for the Fourth of July in Washington, D.C. The Fourth was almost here and Jerry and Jemima wanted to get the best view.
There were a lot of interesting monuments to nest in, but none of them seemed quite right. First, Jerry decided to make a nest on top of the capital building, but many construction workers were working on the dome of the building. He tried the Lincoln memorial next, but there were so many people, even more the night when the fireworks went off.
Jerry and Jemima tried the Jefferson memorial because there were many birds and geese since it was close to a lake and people fed them. But it seemed to Jerry that there were too many birds.
All this time there was another monument taking up their view. It was the Washington monument and it was the tallest out of all of them.
Jerry and Jemima flew up to the top of the Washington monument. There, on all four sides, were small windows. Jerry and Jemima flew up right past one of the windows and landed above it. They both scared some people who were looking out at that very moment.
Jerry and Jemima had a good view of everything, and Jerry decided this was the perfect place to build a nest.
By that night, they both had collected a bunch of sticks and twigs to make the nest. They finished just in time to see the bright fireworks go off for the Fourth of July celebration.
“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? Does the eagle mount up at your command, And make its nest on high? On the rock it dwells and resides, On the crag of the rock and the stronghold.” (Job 39:26-28 NKJV)
Emma has given us another great story and part of it is true. She and her father were recently in Washington DC and a hawk flew at the window they were looking out of. Both were startled and stepped back. Tried to find a photo with the windows, but couldn’t find one that wasn’t copyrighted.
Is it by your wisdom [Job] that the hawk soars and stretches her wings toward the south [as winter approaches]? (Job 39:26 AMP)
In the Birds of the Bible – Hawk Migration, written in 2008, this verse was introduced. Job was being addressed and the questions started coming:
THEN THE Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said, Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? [Job 35:16.] Gird up now your loins like a man, and I will demand of you, and you declare to Me. (Job 38:1-3 AMP)
Questions of Where…?; Who…?; When…?; Have you commanded…, explored…, entered…?; Can you …?; Do you…? etc. These question run all through Job 38 and 39. That is where we find our question about the hawk.
Commentary Quotes on Job 39:26 (From my e-Sword)
Barnes – “Doth the hawk fly by thy wisdom – The appeal here is to the hawk, because it is among the most rapid of the birds in its flight. The particuIar thing specified is its flying, and it is supposed that there was something special in that which distinguished it from other birds. Whether it was in regard to its speed, to its manner of flying, or to its habits of flying at periodical seasons, may indeed be made a matter of inquiry, but it is clear that the particular thing in this bird which was adapted to draw the attention, and which evinced especially the wisdom of God, was connected with its flight. The word here rendered “hawk,” (נץ nêts) is probably generic, and includes the various species of the falcon or hawk tribe, as the jet-falcon, the goshawk, the sparrow, hawk, the lanner, the saker, the hobby, the kestril, and the merlin. Not less than one hundred and fifty species of the hawk, it is said, have been described, but of these many are little known, and many of them differ from others only by very slight distinctions.
They are birds of prey, and, as many of them are endowed with remarkable docility, they are trained for the diversions of falconry – which has been quite a science among sportsmen. The falcon, or hawk, is often distinguished for fleetness. One, belonging to a Duke of Cleves, flew out of Westphalia into Prussia in one day; and in the county of Norfolk (England) one was known to make a flight of nearly thirty miles in an hour. A falcon which belonged to Henry IV. of France, having escaped from Fontainebleau, was found twenty-four hours after in Malta, the space traversed being not less than one thousand three hundred and fifty miles; being a velocity of about fifty-seven miles an hour, on the supposition that the bird was on the wing the whole time. It is this remarkable velocity which is here appealed to as a proof of the divine wisdom. God asks Job whether he could have formed these birds for their rapid flight. The wisdom and skill which has done this is evidently far above any that is possessed by man.
And stretch her wings toward the south – Referring to the fact that the bird is migratory at certain seasons of the year. It is not here merely the rapidity of its flight which is referred to, but that remarkable instinct which leads the feathered tribes to seek more congenial climates at the approach of winter. In no way is this to be accounted for, except by the fact that God has so appointed it. This great law of the winged tribes is one of the clearest proofs of divine wisdom and agency.”
Pulpit Commentary – ” Doth the hawk fly (or, soar) by thy wisdom? The hawk”s strength of wing is extraordinary, and one of the greatest of natural marvels. Can Job claim to have contrived it? Many as have been the attempts made, human ingenuity has not yet devised anything that can fly. And stretch her wings toward the south? Migrate, i.e. , when winter approaches, to the warmer southern regions. Few things in nature are more remarkable than the instinct of migratory birds.
Matthew Henry – “All these beautiful references to the works of nature, should teach us a right view of the riches of the wisdom of Him who made and sustains all things. The want of right views concerning the wisdom of God, which is ever present in all things, led Job to think and speak unworthily of Providence.
Wesley – Fly – So strongly, constantly, unweariedly, and swiftly. South – At the approach of winter, when wild hawks fly into warmer countries, as being impatient of cold. The birds of the air are proofs of the wonderful providence of God, as well as the beasts of the earth. God instances in two stately ones.
Lange – “… If even the book of nature transcends our ability to decipher it fully, how much more incomprehensible and mysterious will the book of Holy Scripture be for us.—von Gerlach: The fundamental thought of these representations which God here puts forth is that only He who can create and govern all things, who superintends everything and adjusts all things in their relation to each other, can also comprehend the connection of human destinies. Inasmuch however as feeble short-sighted man cannot understand and fathom the created things which are daily surrounding him, how can he assume to himself any part of God’s agency in administering the universe?”
Believers Bible Commentary – “39:26-30 Did Job give wisdom to the hawk to migrate south? And was he the one who taught the eagle to fly, to nest on the high rocky crag, to spy out carrion from a great distance, and to train its young ones to find their food?”
Biblical Illustrator – “The higher teaching of Nature The intent of all these beautiful references to the works of Nature is to teach us, from the wisdom, skill, and curious designs discoverable in the formation and the instincts of various birds and beasts, to impress ourselves with a worthy notion of the “riches of the wisdom” of Him that made and sustaineth all things. These impressions we are to carry with us when we consider the dealings of God in the way of Providence, and in His ordering of all events, as the great Governor of the universe. Can we suppose that there is anything wrong here, or without the design of the most consummate wisdom, when He has put forth so much of His skill and contrivance in the formation and ordering of these inferior animals? May He not be trusted to do all things well, concerning the destiny of man, the greatest of His works? In this higher economy, are we to suppose there is less wisdom and design to be manifested, than in this, which displays itself so visibly in these inferior works of His hand? Thus would our blessed Lord increase the confidence of His disciples in His providential care of them, by observing, “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing, and not one of them falleth to the ground without your Father?” “Fear not,” “are ye not much better than they?—of more value than many sparrows.” It was the want of such due impressions concerning the designing wisdom of God, ever present, and ever operating in all things, that had led Job to think and speak unworthily of that dispensation of Providence under which he now lived, as being altogether arbitrary, discovering no design and discriminating wisdom, nor manifesting the righteous Governor of all things….”
If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. (James 1:5 KJV)
My the Lord continue his blessings as we observe His Wisdom through the birdwatching of His Hawks.
“Does the hawk fly by your wisdom, And spread its wings toward the south? (Job 39:26 NKJV)
In Birds of the Bible – Hawk Migration we covered Job 38:1-3 which talks about birds knowing when to head South. After taking nice pictures of the Red-shouldered and Red-tailed Hawks at the Brevard Zoo, I decided to do another Birds of the Bible about Hawks. Just discovered that I never really did an initial one on Hawks like I did for the other Birds of the Bible articles.
According to the King James Version of Scripture, the other two verses with hawk in them are:
the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after its kind; (Leviticus 11:16 NKJV)
the ostrich, the short-eared owl, the sea gull, and the hawk after their kinds; (Deuteronomy 14:15 NKJV)
Both of these references to the Hawk are in the list of unclean birds the Israelites were not suppose to eat. The list of Clean and Unclean birds were covered in Birds of the Bible – Clean vs. Unclean, Birds of the Bible – The Law Of The Birds and Deuteronomy 14:11-18 Visualized.
The CEV (Contemporary English Version) combines all of the birds together in one verse in Leviticus and then again in Deuteronomy.
Eagles, vultures, buzzards, crows, ostriches, hawks, sea gulls, owls, pelicans, storks, herons, hoopoes, and bats are also disgusting, and you are forbidden to eat any of them. (Leviticus 11:13 CEV)
But don’t eat the meat of any of the following birds: eagles, vultures, falcons, kites, ravens, ostriches, owls, sea gulls, hawks, pelicans, ospreys, cormorants, storks, herons, and hoopoes. You must not eat bats. (Deuteronomy 14:12 CEV)
The GNB (Good News Bible) does basically the same with Leviticus and Deuteronomy:
You must not eat any of the following birds: eagles, owls, hawks, falcons; buzzards, vultures, crows; ostriches; seagulls, storks, herons, pelicans, cormorants; hoopoes; or bats. (Leviticus 11:13 GNB)
But these are the kinds of birds you are not to eat: eagles, owls, hawks, falcons; buzzards, vultures, crows; ostriches; seagulls, storks, herons, pelicans, cormorants; hoopoes; and bats. (Deuteronomy 14:12 GNB)
Let’s see what other references to the Hawk can be found in other version of the Bible.
Job 28:7 talks about the vulture’s or hawk’s eye and it’s vision. The KJV and some of the others translate Job 28:7 with a “vulture’s eye”, where as the BBE, CEV, GNB, MSG, translate it as the “hawk’s eye” or the hawk. Yet others translate it as a falcon or kite.
No bird has knowledge of it, and the hawk’s eye has never seen it. (Job 28:7 BBE)
Miners go to places unseen by the eyes of hawks; (Job 28:7 CEV)
No hawk sees the roads to the mines, And no vulture ever flies over them. (Job 28:7 GNB)
Vultures are blind to its riches, hawks never lay eyes on it. (Job 28:7 MSG)
J Vernon McGee says this about the verse – “The birds fly over the earth and its mountains. There are veins of minerals down in the earth that the birds fly over and know nothing about, neither can the vulture see them. There must be precious stones and veins of riches and wealth which are completely unknown and untapped.”
Adam Clarke’s Commentary -“There is a path which no fowl knoweth – The instinct of birds is most surprising. They traverse vast forests, etc., in search of food, at a great distance from the place which they have chosen for their general residence; and return in all weathers, never missing their track: they also find their own nest without ever mistaking another of the same kind for it. Birds of passage, also, after tarrying in a foreign clime for six or seven months, return to their original abode over kingdoms and oceans, without missing their way, or deviating in the least from the proper direction; not having a single object of sight to direct their peregrinations. In such cases even the keen scent of the vulture, and the quick, piercing sight of the eagle, would be of no use. It is possible that Job may here refer to undiscovered mines and minerals; that notwithstanding man had already discovered much, yet much remained undiscovered, especially in the internal structure and contents of the earth. Since his time innumerable discoveries have been made; and yet how little do we know!”
The only Bible to translate Psalms 74:19 as a “hawk” is the BBE, while most of the rest make it “wild beast” or “wild animal”.
O give not the soul of your dove to the hawk; let not the life of the poor go out of your memory for ever. (Psalms 74:19 BBE)
The DRB (Douay-Reimes Bible) totally misinterprets this verse in my opinion. Check out other translations and you will see the difference.
The wing of the ostrich is like the wings of the heron, and of the hawk. (Job 39:13 DRB)
Isaiah has several verses mentioning the hawk. Isaiah 34 talks about a gathering of birds and these verses mention the hawk:
Owls, hawks, and wild animals will make it their home. God will leave it in ruins, merely a pile of rocks. (Isaiah 34:11 CEV)
Horned owl and hawk will possess it, screech owl and raven will live there; he will stretch over it the measuring line of confusion and the plumbline of the empty void. (Isaiah 34:11 CJB)
But the hawk and the porcupine shall possess it, the owl and the raven shall dwell in it. He shall stretch the line of confusion over it, and the plumb line of emptiness. (Isaiah 34:11 ESV)
The arrowsnake will make her hole and put her eggs there, and get her young together under her shade: there the hawks will come together by twos. (Isaiah 34:15 BBE)
There the owl nests and lays and hatches and gathers her young in her shadow; indeed, there the hawks are gathered, each one with her mate. (Isaiah 34:15 ESV)
The tree snake will make its nest and lay eggs there, And it will hatch and gather them under its protection. Yes, the hawks will be gathered there, Every one with its kind. (Isaiah 34:15 NASB)
The tree snake shall make its nest and lay eggs there, And it will hatch and gather them under its protection. Yes, the hawks shall be gathered there, Every one with its kind. (Isaiah 34:15 NAS77)
There the arrow snake shall make her nest and lay eggs And hatch, and gather them under her shadow; There also shall the hawks be gathered, Every one with her mate. (Isaiah 34:15 NKJV)
Isaiah again in Chapter 46 verse 11 has been translated by some to contain a hawk:
and brought someone from a distant land to do what I wanted. He attacked from the east, like a hawk swooping down. Now I will keep my promise and do what I planned. (Isaiah 46:11 CEV)
I am calling a man to come from the east; he will swoop down like a hawk and accomplish what I have planned. I have spoken, and it will be done. (Isaiah 46:11 GNB)
Here are just various verses that mention hawks:
My people are like a hawk surrounded and attacked by other hawks. Tell the wild animals to come and eat their fill. (Jeremiah 12:9 CEV)
My chosen people are like a bird attacked from all sides by hawks. Call the wild animals to come and join in the feast! (Jeremiah 12:9 GNB)
It happened at once. Nebuchadnezzar was driven out of human company, ate grass like an ox, and was soaked in heaven’s dew. His hair grew like the feathers of an eagle and his nails like the claws of a hawk. (Daniel 4:33 MSG)
Then there are a couple of verse that use “hawk” not as a bird “per se,” but a verb:
They don’t seem to realize that this comprehensive setting-things-right that is salvation is God’s business, and a most flourishing business it is. Right across the street they set up their own salvation shops and noisily hawk their wares. After all these years of refusing to really deal with God on his terms, insisting instead on making their own deals, they have nothing to show for it. (Romans 10:3 MSG)
For we are not as many, hawking the Word of God; but as of sincerity, but as of God, we speak in Christ in the sight of God. (2 Corinthians 2:17 MKJV)
The term hawk can be used in several ways: (from Wikipedia)
The common names of birds in various parts of the world often use hawk in the second sense. For example, the Osprey or “fish hawk”; or, in North America, the various Buteo species (e.g., the Red-tailed Hawk, B. jamaicensis).
In February 2005, the Canadian ornithologist Louis Lefebvre announced a method of measuring avian “IQ” in terms of their innovation in feeding habits. Hawks were named among the most intelligent birds based on his scale. Hawks are widely reputed to have visual acuity several times that of a normal human being. This is due to the many photoreceptors in the retina (up to 1,000,000 per square mm for Buteo, against 200,000 for humans), an exceptional number of nerves connecting these receptors to the brain, and an indented fovea, which magnifies the central portion of the visual field.
Birds of the Bible – Hawk Migration
Ian’s Bird of the Week – Spotted Harrier
Nave’s Topical Bible – Hawk
Accipitriformes – Order, Accipitridae – Family (Kites, Hawks & Eagles