Job 41: Human Impotence on the sea or river
Comments: The whole of this chapter is taken up with
the example of a powerful sea monster – the Leviathan – that some
have suggested might be a whale, others that it is a river creature,
a crocodile, but we don't know. But the same point is being made:
such creatures that are merely part of God's creation are more
powerful than man. Yet a further call to Job to realise his limitations
in the light of God's creation. How much more infinitely greater
is the Lord who created all these things. How can a man dare to
argue with the Creator?]
The impotence of human power in respect of the fiercest sea creature
“Can you pull
in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its
tongue with a rope?
you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?
it keep begging you for mercy? Will it speak to you with gentle
Will it make
an agreement with you for you to take it as your slave for life?
you make a pet of it like a bird or put it on a leash for the
young women in your house?
traders barter for it? Will they divide it up among the merchants?
Can you fill
its hide with harpoons or its head with fishing spears?
you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never
do it again!
Any hope of
subduing it is false; the mere sight of it is overpowering.
No one is
fierce enough to rouse it. Who then is able to stand against me?
Who has a claim
against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to
“I will not
fail to speak of Leviathan's limbs, its strength and its graceful
strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate its double coat of
open the doors of its mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth?
Its back has rows
of shields tightly sealed together;
each is so
close to the next that no air can pass between.
They are joined
fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.
throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from its mouth.
resides in its neck; dismay goes before it.
of its flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.
chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.
When it rises
up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before its thrashing.
that reaches it has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart
or the javelin.
it treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
not make it flee; slingstones are like chaff to it.
A club seems
to it but a piece of straw; it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like
a threshing sledge.
makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the
sea like a pot of ointment.
a glistening wake behind it; one would think the deep had white
earth is its equal— a creature without fear.
looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are