41 Can you catch a sea monster[a] by using a fishhook? Can you tie its mouth shut with a rope? 2 Can it be led around by a ring in its nose or a hook in its jaw? 3 Will it beg for mercy? 4 Will it surrender as a slave for life? 5 Can it be tied by the leg like a pet bird for little girls? 6 Is it ever chopped up and its pieces bargained for in the fish-market? 7 Can it be killed with harpoons or spears? 8 Wrestle it just once— that will be the end. 9 Merely a glimpse of this monster makes all courage melt. 10 And if it is too fierce for anyone to attack, who would dare oppose me? 11 I am in command of the world and in debt to no one.
12 What powerful legs, what a stout body this monster possesses! 13 Who could strip off its armor or bring it under control with a harness? 14 Who would try to open its jaws, full of fearsome teeth? 15 Its back[b] is covered with shield after shield, 16 firmly bound and closer together 17 than breath to breath.
When This Monster Sneezes
18 When this monster sneezes, lightning flashes, and its eyes glow like the dawn. 19 Sparks and fiery flames explode from its mouth. 20 And smoke spews from its nose like steam from a boiling pot, 21 while its blazing breath scorches everything in sight.
22 Its neck is so tremendous that everyone trembles, 23 the weakest parts of its body are harder than iron, 24 and its heart is stone. 25 When this noisy monster appears, even the most powerful[c] turn and run in fear. 26 No sword or spear can harm it, 27 and weapons of bronze or iron are as useless as straw or rotten wood. 28 Rocks thrown from a sling cause it no more harm than husks of grain. This monster fears no arrows, 29 it simply smiles at spears, and striking it with a stick is like slapping it with straw.
30 As it crawls through the mud, its sharp and spiny hide tears the ground apart. 31 And when it swims down deep, the sea starts churning like boiling oil, 32 and it leaves behind a trail of shining white foam. 33 No other creature on earth is so fearless. 34 It is king of all proud creatures, and it looks upon the others as nothing.
41.1sea monster: The Hebrew text has “Leviathan,” which may refer to a sea monster or possibly to a crocodile in this verse (see the note at 3.8).
41.15back: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “pride.”
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