The Bible – Old Testament
Do you know about the birth of the mountain goats, watch for the birth pangs of the hinds,
Number the months that they must fulfill, and fix the time of their bringing forth?
They crouch down and bear their young; they deliver their progeny in the desert.
When their offspring thrive and grow, they leave and do not return.
Who has given the wild ass his freedom, and who has loosed him from bonds?
I have made the wilderness his home and the salt flats his dwelling.
He scoffs at the uproar of the city, and hears no shouts of a driver.
He ranges the mountains for pasture, and seeks out every patch of green.
Will the wild ox consent to serve you, and to pass the nights by your manger?
Will a rope bind him in the furrow, and will he harrow the valleys after you?
Will you trust him for his great strength and leave to him the fruits of your toil?
Can you rely on him to thresh out your grain and gather in the yield of your threshing floor?
1 The wings of the ostrich beat idly; her plumage is lacking in pinions.
2 When she leaves her eggs on the ground and deposits them in the sand,
Unmindful that a foot may crush them, that the wild beasts may trample them,
She cruelly disowns her young and ruthlessly makes nought of her brood;
For God has withheld wisdom from her and has given her no share in understanding.
Yet in her swiftness of foot she makes sport of the horse and his rider.
3 Do you give the horse his strength, and endow his neck with splendor?
Do you make the steed to quiver while his thunderous snorting spreads terror?
He jubilantly paws the plain and rushes in his might against the weapons.
He laughs at fear and cannot be deterred; he turns not back from the sword.
Around him rattles the quiver, flashes the spear and the javelin.
Frenzied and trembling he devours the ground; he holds not back at the sound of the trumpet,
but at each blast he cries, “Aha!” Even from afar he scents the battle, the roar of the chiefs and the shouting.
Is it by your discernment that the hawk soars, that he spreads his wings toward the south?
Does the eagle fly up at your command to build his nest aloft?
On the cliff he dwells and spends the night, on the spur of the cliff or the fortress.
From thence he watches for his prey; his eyes behold it afar off.
His young ones greedily drink blood; where the slain are, there is he.
1  The wings of the ostrich cannot raise her from the ground, but they help her to run swiftly.
2 [14-16] It was popularly believed that, because the ostrich laid her eggs on the sand, she was thereby cruelly abandoning them; cf ⇒ Lam 4:3.
3 [19-25] The famous description of a war horse.