Job 41

Job 41

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41   “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook
    or press down his tongue with a cord?
  Can you put a rope in his nose
    or pierce his jaw with a hook?
  Will he make many pleas to you?
    Will he speak to you soft words?
  Will he make a covenant with you
    to take him for your servant forever?
  Will you play with him as with a bird,
    or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
  Will traders bargain over him?
    Will they divide him up among the merchants?
  Can you fill his skin with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
  Lay your hands on him;
    remember the battle—you will not do it again!
  Behold, the hope of a man is false;
    he is laid low even at the sight of him.
  No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
    Who then is he who can stand before me?
  Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
    Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
  “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
    or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
  Who can strip off his outer garment?
    Who would come near him with a bridle?
  Who can open the doors of his face?
    Around his teeth is terror.
  His back is made of rows of shields,
    shut up closely as with a seal.
  One is so near to another
    that no air can come between them.
  They are joined one to another;
    they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
  His sneezings flash forth light,
    and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
  Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
    sparks of fire leap forth.
  Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
    as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
  His breath kindles coals,
    and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
  In his neck abides strength,
    and terror dances before him.
  The folds of his flesh stick together,
    firmly cast on him and immovable.
  His heart is hard as a stone,
    hard as the lower millstone.
  When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
    at the crashing they are beside themselves.
  Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
    nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
  He counts iron as straw,
    and bronze as rotten wood.
  The arrow cannot make him flee;
    for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.
  Clubs are counted as stubble;
    he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
  His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
    he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
  He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
  Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
    one would think the deep to be white-haired.
  On earth there is not his like,
    a creature without fear.
  He sees everything that is high;
    he is king over all the sons of pride.”

(ESV)


Job 41 Commentary

by Hank Workman

Job 40 spoke of a Behemoth.  A large unusual animal that does not exist today.  The discussion on this animal is wide-ranging as to what it actually was.  Some believe it to be either an extinct strange massive rhinoceros or elephant that was far different than what we are familiar with.  Others believe this was one of the last remaining dinosaurs on the earth.  In Job 41 God speaks toward another unusual and fearful monster, the Leviathan.  Now, to be fair here – I really was not going to wade into either of these animals but there is an interesting thought to consider.

Once again, the jury is out on this actual sea monster – the Leviathan.  Some believe this is a dragon-like dinosaur that had survived up to Job’s day and was of sea and land.  Others believe it’s nothing more than a massive crocodile. 

But the name means ‘twisting one’ and is used in other places in Scripture!  In Psalms, Isaiah, and now here it is associated with the sea as serpent.  So, here is where it gets all interesting on this creature.  Toward the end of this chapter, God uses descriptions that lead many to lean toward that of a dragon-like creature no longer found.  It has scales, terrible teeth, and flashing lights from its eyes and fire from its mouth.  Whatever this reptilian creature is it was fierce.

There’s a bit of history on this animal that makes drawing some lines toward what God is saying and makes Satan and the backstory of Job more interesting.  Within Scripture  Satan is referred to as dragon or serpent (Genesis 3 and Revelation 12,13). Possibly this animal is a serpent-like manifestation of Satan.  As man is powerless against such a creature so has Job been powerless in what Satan has done to him.  The only thing more powerful is God himself.  And that is what I believe the point is here.

Job cannot fight against this creature only God could defeat him.  Much is the same in the spiritual world.  And if Job has the inability to rule over the animal, how could he ever hope to stand against God the Master of the Leviathan?  These 2 chapters show if anything Job’s proper place before the Almighty.

As commentator Swick states:

“By telling of His dominion over the Behemoth and Leviathan, the Lord is illustrating His triumph over the forces of evil.  Satan, the Accuser, has been proved wrong though Job does not know it.  The author and the reader see the entire picture that Job and his friends never knew.”

What we all must take from this chapter is the fact as God has asked Job to consider these strange unconquerable beasts, in both examples they represented Satan and  his power.  In this aspect, God is letting Job know that he cannot stand before the great accuser’s power without God Himself empowering him.  God who is in control of all things is also in control over the enemy of our souls, Satan.

Our take away is for us to recognize the absolute power of God over all.  It is He who has the ability to conquer.  There is nothing we can do but rely on Him in all of our struggles and what has come against us even.  As the enemy of our souls can appear to be more powerful, we must be reminded God has the last word and His word will stand and conquer!


Job 41 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

It is the mystery of the Leviathan…

No beast, terrestrial or aquatic, deserves the high character here given, though that character only considers him as unconquerably strong, ferociously cruel, and wonderfully made. Perhaps leviathan was some extinct mammoth of the waters, as behemoth was of the land.

Adam Clarke

It’s true most commentaries regard the Leviathan to be a crocodile, but I wholeheartedly agree with Clarke’s analysis that by the description we get from God, the assumption of a crocodile is highly overrated.

The point was to contrast the most fearsome beast with the power of God. Man would look at the Leviathan as an unstoppable force to be feared. To God, it was another one of his created creatures that would submit to Him. The illustration puts into perspective the power and sovereignty of God.

Christ is the visible likeness of the invisible God. He is the first-born Son, superior to all created things. 16 For through him God created everything in heaven and on earth, the seen and the unseen things, including spiritual powers, lords, rulers, and authorities. God created the whole universe through him and for him. 17 Christ existed before all things, and in union with him all things have their proper place.

Colossians 1:15-17 GNB

What do we really know about the spiritual realm? What do we really know about the human body? What do we really know about dinosaurs? Compared to other human beings, we might know a lot. Compared to God, we know nothing.

Most honest experts will tell you they are just beginning to learn about their field of study. This is because the detail of God’s creation goes far beyond the capacity of our brains. What do you know about the Leviathan, Job? The question itself is consistent with how our God taught when He took on the flesh of a human body. The questioning is non-threatening but it leads us to a place of absolute humility.

The answer is nothing. And because the answer is nothing, we come to the realization that we have misspoke about things we know nothing about. We question what God permits with a tiny sliver of information. But when He speaks (and questions us), we, like Job, discover that we were never really qualified to weigh in on how God decides to rule this world.

The description is extremely dignified; and were we sure of the animal, I have no doubt we should find it in every instance correct. But after all that has been said, we have yet to learn what leviathan is!

Adam Clarke
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