God’s Power Shown in Creatures
41 “[a]Can you draw out [b]Leviathan with a fishhook?
Or press down his tongue with a cord?
“Can you put a rope [made] of rushes into his nose
Or pierce his jaw through with a hook?
“Will he make many supplications to you [begging to be spared]?
Or will he speak soft words to you [to coax you to treat him kindly]?
“Will he make a covenant or an arrangement with you?
Will you take him for your servant forever?
“Will you play with him as with a bird?
Or will you bind him [and put him on a leash] for your maidens?
“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 hand on him;
Remember the battle [with him]; you will not do such [an ill-advised thing] again!
“[c]Behold, his [assailant’s] hope and expectation [of defeating Leviathan] is false;
Will not one be overwhelmed even at the sight of him?
“No one is so fierce [and foolhardy] that he dares to stir up Leviathan;
Who then is he who can stand before Me [or dares to contend with Me, the beast’s creator]?
“Who has first given to Me that I should repay him?
Whatever is under the whole heaven is Mine. [Who can have a claim against Me who made the unmastered beast?](A)
“I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
Nor his mighty strength, nor his orderly frame.
“Who can penetrate or strip off his outer armor?
Who can come to his jaws with a double bridle?
“Who can open the doors (jaws) of his face?
Around his [open jaws and] teeth there is terror.
“His strong scales are his pride,
Bound together as with a tight seal.
“One is so near to another
That no air can come between them.
“They are joined one to another;
They stick together and cannot be separated.
“His sneezes flash forth light,
And his eyes are like the [reddish] eyelids of the dawn.
“Out of his mouth go burning torches,
And sparks of fire leap out.
“Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth
As from a boiling pot and [as from] burning rushes.
“His breath kindles coals,
And a flame goes forth from his mouth.
“In Leviathan’s neck resides strength,
And dismay and terror dance before him.
“The folds of his flesh are joined together,
Firm on him and immobile [when he moves].
“His heart is as hard as a stone,
Indeed, as solid as a lower millstone.
“When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
Because of the crashing they are bewildered.
“The sword that reaches him cannot avail,
Nor [does] the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
“He considers iron as straw,
Bronze as rotten wood.
“The arrow cannot make him flee;
Slingstones are treated as stubble by him.
“Clubs [also] are regarded as stubble;
He laughs at the rushing and the rattling of the javelin.
“His underparts are like sharp pieces of broken pottery;
He moves across and spreads out [grooves] like a threshing sledge on the mire (muddy river banks).
“He makes the deep water boil like a pot;
He makes the sea like a [foaming] pot of ointment.
“Behind him he makes a shining wake;
One would think the deep to be gray-haired [with foam].
“Upon earth there is nothing like him—no equal exists,
A creature made without fear.
“He looks on everything that is high [without terror];
He is monarch over all the sons of pride. [And now, Job, [d]who are you who does not dare to disturb the beast, yet who dares resist Me, the beast’s creator? Everything under the heavens is Mine; therefore, who can have a claim against God?]”
- Job 41:1 Ch 40:25 in Hebrew.
- Job 41:1 Or the crocodile. In recent years archeologists have uncovered the remains of crocodiles much larger and far more terrifying than those known today.
- Job 41:9 Ch 41:4 in Hebrew.
- Job 41:34 This repeats the thought of vv 10, 11, which is the key to God’s argument with Job.