Job 41

1 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook, or press down its tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in its nose, or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it make many supplications to you? Will it speak soft words to you?
4 Will it make a covenant with you to be taken as your servant forever?
5 Will you play with it as with a bird, or will you put it on leash for your girls?
6 Will traders bargain over it? Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill its skin with harpoons, or its head with fishing spears?
8 Lay hands on it; think of the battle; you will not do it again!
9 Any hope of capturing it will be disappointed; were not even the gods overwhelmed at the sight of it?
10 No one is so fierce as to dare to stir it up. Who can stand before it?
11 Who can confront it and be safe? —under the whole heaven, who?
12 "I will not keep silence concerning its limbs, or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.
13 Who can strip off its outer garment? Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?
14 Who can open the doors of its face? There is terror all around its teeth.
15 Its back is made of shields in rows, shut up closely as with a seal.
16 One is so near to another that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18 Its sneezes flash forth light, and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 From its mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of its nostrils comes smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 Its breath kindles coals, and a flame comes out of its mouth.
22 In its neck abides strength, and terror dances before it.
23 The folds of its flesh cling together; it is firmly cast and immovable.
24 Its heart is as hard as stone, as hard as the lower millstone.
25 When it raises itself up the gods are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail, nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 It counts iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make it flee; slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.
29 Clubs are counted as chaff; it laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30 Its underparts are like sharp potsherds; it spreads itself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 It makes the deep boil like a pot; it makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a shining wake behind it; one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33 On earth it has no equal, a creature without fear.
34 It surveys everything that is lofty; it is king over all that are proud."

Job 41 Commentary

Chapter 41

Concerning Leviathan.

- The description of the Leviathan, is yet further to convince Job of his own weakness, and of God's almighty power. Whether this Leviathan be a whale or a crocodile, is disputed. The Lord, having showed Job how unable he was to deal with the Leviathan, sets forth his own power in that mighty creature. If such language describes the terrible force of Leviathan, what words can express the power of God's wrath? Under a humbling sense of our own vileness, let us revere the Divine Majesty; take and fill our allotted place, cease from our own wisdom, and give all glory to our gracious God and Saviour. Remembering from whom every good gift cometh, and for what end it was given, let us walk humbly with the Lord.

Footnotes 11

Chapter Summary


A large description is here given of the leviathan, from the difficulty and danger of taking it, from whence it is inferred that none can stand before God, Job 41:1-10; from the several parts of him, his face, teeth, scales, eyes, mouth and neck, flesh and heart, Job 41:11-24; and from various wonderful terrible things said of him, and ascribed to him, Job 41:25-34.

Job 41 Commentaries

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright 1989, Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.