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41 “Can you catch a crocodile[a] with a hook and line? Or put a noose around his tongue? Can you tie him with a rope through the nose, or pierce his jaw with a spike? Will he beg you to desist or try to flatter you from your intentions? Will he agree to let you make him your slave for life? Can you make a pet of him like a bird, or give him to your little girls to play with? Do fishing partners sell him to the fishmongers? Will his hide be hurt by darts, or his head with a harpoon?

“If you lay your hands upon him, you will long remember the battle that ensues and you will never try it again! No, it’s useless to try to capture him. It is frightening even to think about it! 10 No one dares to stir him up, let alone try to conquer him. And if no one can stand before him, who can stand before me? 11 I owe no one anything. Everything under the heaven is mine.

12 “I should mention, too, the tremendous strength in his limbs and throughout his enormous frame. 13 Who can penetrate his hide, or who dares come within reach of his jaws? 14 For his teeth are terrible. 15-17 His overlapping scales are his pride, making a tight seal so no air can get between them, and nothing can penetrate.

18 “When he sneezes, the sunlight sparkles like lightning across the vapor droplets. His eyes glow like sparks. 19 Fire leaps from his mouth. 20 Smoke flows from his nostrils, like steam from a boiling pot that is fired by dry rushes. 21 Yes, his breath would kindle coals—flames leap from his mouth.

22 “The tremendous strength in his neck strikes terror wherever he goes. 23 His flesh is hard and firm, not soft and fat. 24 His heart is hard as rock, just like a millstone. 25 When he stands up, the strongest are afraid. Terror grips them. 26 No sword can stop him, nor spear nor dart nor pointed shaft. 27-28 Iron is nothing but straw to him, and brass is rotten wood. Arrows cannot make him flee. Sling stones are as ineffective as straw. 29 Clubs do no good, and he laughs at the javelins hurled at him. 30 His belly is covered with scales as sharp as shards; they tear up the ground as he drags through the mud.

31-32 “He makes the water boil with his commotion. He churns the depths. He leaves a shining wake of froth behind him. One would think the sea was made of frost! 33 There is nothing else so fearless anywhere on earth. 34 Of all the beasts, he is the proudest—monarch of all that he sees.”


  1. Job 41:1 a crocodile, literally, “leviathan.”

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