Job 26:13

13 By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.

Job 26:13 in Other Translations

13 By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens; his hand hath formed the crooked serpent.
13 By his wind the heavens were made fair; his hand pierced the fleeing serpent.
13 His Spirit made the heavens beautiful, and his power pierced the gliding serpent.
13 With one breath he clears the sky, with one finger he crushes the sea serpent.
13 By His breath the heavens gained their beauty; His hand pierced the fleeing serpent.

Job 26:13 Meaning and Commentary

Job 26:13

By his spirit he hath garnished the heavens
The visible heavens, with the sun, moon, and stars, with which they are studded and bespangled, and look exceeding beautiful; and the invisible heavens, with angels, the morning stars, and glorified saints, who especially in the resurrection morn will shine not only like stars, but as the sun in the firmament of heaven; and the church, which is the heaven below, is garnished with Gospel ministers, adorned with the gifts and graces of the spirit of God:

his hand hath formed the crooked serpent;
because Job in the preceding clause has respect to the heavens and the ornament of them, this has led many to think that some constellation in the heavens is meant by the crooked serpent, either the galaxy, or milky way, as Ben Gersom and others; or the dragon star, as some in Aben Ezra F3: but rather Job descends again to the sea, and concludes with taking notice of the wonderful work of God, the leviathan, with which God himself concludes his discourse with him in the close of this book, which is called as here the crooked or "bar serpent", ( Isaiah 27:1 ) ; and so the Targum understands it,

``his hand hath created leviathan, which is like unto a biting serpent.''

Some understand it of the crocodile, and the epithet agrees with it, whether it be rendered a "bar serpent", as some F4; that is, straight, stretched out, long, as a bar, the reverse of our version; or "fleeing" {e}, as others; the crocodile being, as Pliny F6 says, terrible to those that flee from it, but flees from those that pursue it. Jarchi interprets it of Pharaoh, or leviathan, both an emblem of Satan, the old serpent, the devil, who is God's creature, made by him as a creature, though not made a serpent, or a devil, by him, which was of himself. Some have observed the trinity of persons in these words, and who doubtless were concerned in the creation of all things; here is "Jehovah", of whom the whole context is; and "his Spirit", who, as he moved upon the face of the waters at the first creation, is here said to beautify and adorn the heavens; "and his hand"; his Son, the power and wisdom of God, by whom he made all things.


F3 So Dickinson. Physic. Vet. & Vera, c. 9. sect. 23. p. 137.
F4 (xyrb vxn) "serpentem vectem", Pagninus, Cocceius; "oblongum instar vectis", Schmidt; "oblongum", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; "longa trabe rectior". Vide Metamorph. l. 3. Fab. 1. ver. 78.
F5 "Fugacem", Montanus, Vatablus; "fugiens", Codurcus.
F6 Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 25.

Job 26:13 In-Context

11 The pillars of the heavens quake, aghast at his rebuke.
12 By his power he churned up the sea; by his wisdom he cut Rahab to pieces.
13 By his breath the skies became fair; his hand pierced the gliding serpent.
14 And these are but the outer fringe of his works; how faint the whisper we hear of him! Who then can understand the thunder of his power?”

Cross References 2

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