Job 41

1 "Can you draw out Levi'athan with a fishhook, or press down his tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook?
3 Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak to you soft words?
4 Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant for ever?
5 Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on leash for your maidens?
6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears?
8 Lay hands on him; think of the battle; you will not do it again!
9 Behold, the hope of a man is disappointed; he is laid low even at the sight of him.
10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he that can stand before me?
11 Who has given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
12 "I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
13 Who can strip off his outer garment? Who can penetrate his double coat of mail?
14 Who can open the doors of his face? Round about his teeth is terror.
15 His back is made of rows of shields, 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 His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth.
20 Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
22 In his neck abides strength, and terror dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh cleave together, firmly cast upon him and immovable.
24 His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the nether millstone.
25 When he raises himself up the mighty are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail; nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 He counts iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee; for him slingstones are turned to stubble.
29 Clubs are counted as stubble; he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30 His underparts are like sharp potsherds; he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 Behind him he leaves a shining wake; one would think the deep to be hoary.
33 Upon earth there is not his like, a creature without fear.
34 He beholds everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride."

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.

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

Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1952 [2nd edition, 1971] by the 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.