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Bible Commentaries
Job 41

Dunagan's Commentary on the BibleDunagan's Commentary

Verse 1

41:1-2 This is a creature that can neither be hooked nor roped. Herodotus says that the Egyptians tamed the crocodile, but if this is a description of the crocodile, God may be speaking about a more ancient and much larger ancestor. Compare with chapter 39 that spoke of the wild ox.

Verse 3

41:3-5 He cannot be tamed.

Verse 6

41:6-7 He is so fierce that fishermen and merchants do not attempt to capture or kill him and market him commercially. His tough hide resists sharp weapons.

Verse 8

41:8-10 "Any attempt to lay a hand on him will teach one a lesson that will have lasting effects. Capture of leviathan is hopeless; the mere sight of him is discouraging. No man is rugged enough as to be up to the task of arousing him" (Jackson p. 87). In view of such language I must rule out the modern crocodile being leviathan, for people capture them all the time. This is clearly an animal that people do not mess with.

Verse 10

41:10-11 "Who then is he that can stand before Me?" The point is that neither Job nor any man is qualified to challenge leviathan, then clearly one is not qualified to take on his Maker! "The Lord then declares that no one can put Him under obligation. What would you give Him, since everything under the whole heaven is His anyway? Job had felt that Jehovah was under obligation to explain what He was doing in his life, but he is learning better" (Jackson p. 87). If Job panicked at seeing leviathan then how could he stand boldly before leviathan's Maker?

Verse 12

41:12-17 God now gives an up close and detailed description of the anatomy of this beast. He has limbs, is tremendously strong, and is covered in armor that cannot be penetrated. He has a ferocious mouth full of teeth, and his back is a layer of rows of shields that are tightly fitted together. The mention of the teeth may indicate that this animal is a meat-eater.

Verse 18

41:18-21 Did leviathan actually breathe fire? Some see this as a poetic description of the blast of steam that comes forth from this creature as he emerges from beneath the water. This section of Scripture does have some poetic statements, compare with 39:24. Yet there are some writers who feel that there may be a grain of truth behind all the stories about fire-breathing dragons. See Dinosaurs Those Terrible Lizards by Duane Gish.

41:18 "Eyelids of the morning": "When this reptile emerges from the water, its small eyes, with slits for pupils like a cat's eyes, are seen first, like the dawn's rays. The Egyptian hieroglyphs, the crocodile's eye represents the dawn" (Bible Knowledge Comm. p. 773).

Verse 22

41:22-34 No one, not even those with iron weapons and arrows, can bring him down. All weapons of the time were of no avail against him, this is another reason I must rule out the modern crocodile or any other modern creature. His sharp underparts leave a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge. His huge body even makes the sea to boil when he churns. "As he swims in the water, he leaves a shining wake that looks like a streak of white hair. Nothing on earth is his equal" (Jackson p. 88). "Swimming in a river or sea, he churns up the water like a boiling pot and like a jar of ointment, meaning the foam on the tope of the ingredients of an ointment being boiled or stirred by an apothecary" (Zuck p. 183).

"Animals independent of man (38:39-39:30) and animals dangerous and repulsive to man (40:15-41:34) were all a grand zoological exhibition to help Job sense that because he had nothing to do with making, sustaining, or even subduing them, it was unthinkable that he could question their Creator. Anyone who cannot undertake God's works has no right to undermine God's ways. And anyone who trembles at the sight of fierce beasts is unwise in boldly contending with the beast's Maker" (Zuck p. 183).

One of the dangers of the theory of Evolution is that everything is simply viewed as a product of chance, and therefore, a person ends up fearing chance or the unknown and unpredictable, rather than God. Or, man ends up worshiping nature rather than worshiping the God who created it.

Bibliographical Information
Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 41". "Dunagan's Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/dun/job-41.html. 1999-2014.
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