What does “bray” mean in Job?


by Shawn Brasseaux

What does “bray” mean in Job?

  • Job 6:5: “Doth the wild ass bray when he hath grass? or loweth the ox over his fodder?”
  • Job 30:7: “Among the bushes they brayed; under the nettles they were gathered together.”

By the way, this is not to be confused with “bray” (pound, crush, smash) in Proverbs 27:22. See our related study linked at the end of this article.

The first Job verse is in connection to animal noises. A “wild ass” or donkey will “bray” (groan or wail) when hungry, just as an “ox” will “loweth” (moo or moan) when it is famished. “Braire” is an Old French word for “cry out;” the Old Norse term “Hloi” means “bellower, shouter.” Of course, you can guess “fodder” means food. As these creatures wish to eat, so suffering Job longs for death to come upon him and “put him out of his misery!”

Concerning the second Job verse, these are societal outcasts or wretched people, the lowliest of humanity, assembling under “nettles” (prickly or stinging plants). They also groan or moan, desiring food and/or other necessities. Job is even more miserable than they are, for, he claims, even they despise him.

Also see:
» What does, “bray a fool,” mean?
» Can you explain Job 32:8?
» What does skin for skin mean in Job 2:4?
» How could Satan access Heaven in Job and the Revelation?