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The Lord Continues: Can You Conquer Leviathan, Job?

41 [a]“Can you pull Leviathan[b] out of the water with a fishhook
    or tie its tongue down with a rope?
Can you put a ring through its nose
    or pierce its jaw with a hook?
Will it plead with you for mercy
    or speak tenderly to you?
Will it make an agreement with you
    so that you can take it as your permanent slave?
Can you play with it like a bird
    or keep it on a leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over it
    and divide it among the merchants?
Can you fill its hide with harpoons
    or its head with fishing spears?
Lay your hand on it.
    Think of the struggle!
        Don’t do it again!
            Certainly, any hope of defeating it is a false hope.
            Doesn’t the sight of it overwhelm you?
10 No one is brave enough to provoke Leviathan.
    Then who can stand in front of me?[c]
11 Who can confront me that I should repay him?
    Everything under heaven belongs to me!

12 “I will not be silent about Leviathan’s limbs,
    its strength, or its graceful form.
13 Who can skin its hide?
    Who can approach it with a harness?
14 Who can open its closed mouth?
    Its teeth are surrounded by terror.
15 Its back has rows of scales that are tightly sealed.
16 One is so close to the other
    that there is no space between them.
17 Each is joined to the other.
    They are locked together and inseparable.
18 When Leviathan sneezes, it gives out a flash of light.
    Its eyes are like the first rays of the dawn.
19 Flames shoot from its mouth.
    Sparks of fire fly from it.
20 Smoke comes from its nostrils
    like a boiling pot heated over brushwood.
21 Its breath sets coals on fire,
    and a flame pours from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck,
    and power dances in front of it.
23 The folds of its flesh stick to each other.
    They are solid and cannot be moved.
24 Its chest is solid like a rock,
    solid like a millstone.

25 “The mighty are afraid when Leviathan rises.
    Broken down, they draw back.
26 A sword may strike it but not pierce it.
    Neither will a spear, lance, or dart.
27 It considers iron to be like straw
    and bronze to be like rotten wood.
28 An arrow won’t make it run away.
    Stones from a sling turn to dust against it.
29 It considers clubs to be like stubble,
    and it laughs at a rattling javelin.
30 Its underside is like sharp pieces of broken pottery.
    It stretches out like a threshing[d] sledge on the mud.
31 It makes the deep sea boil like a pot.
    It stirs up the ocean like a boiling kettle.
32 It leaves a shining path behind it
    so that the sea appears to have silvery hair.
33 Nothing on land can compare to it.
    It was made fearless.
34 It looks down on all high things.
    It is king of everyone who is arrogant.”


  1. Job 41:1 Job 41:1–34 in English Bibles is Job 40:25–41:26 in the Hebrew Bible.
  2. Job 41:1 Hebrew meaning uncertain.
  3. Job 41:10 Some Hebrew manuscripts; many Hebrew manuscripts “it.”
  4. Job 41:30 Threshing is the process of beating stalks to separate them from the grain.