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Bible Commentaries

Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures

Job 40

Verses 1-24

God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation Did not Job believe God heard his prayers in the midst of his prosperity? How much more should God hear him in the midst of his suffering? In a mighty display of nature’s energy, a whirlwind approaches Job, and a divine voice begins to come forth and speak to Job. God now reveals His true character to Job because his friends had misrepresented Him. He reveals Himself as the omnipotent Creator of the universe, who daily watches over each aspect of His creatures with love and concern through His omniscience and omnipresence. More specifically, God reveals that He alone is just and Job and all of mankind are in need of redemption through faith in God. In man’s fallen condition since the Garden of Eden, all of creation has been made subject to vanity and endures suffering. God will now lead Job into an act of intercession for his friends in order to receive his own deliverance as a testimony that man will have to redeem himself. Yet, what man is qualified to redeem mankind? Job will understand that it must be a man, a man who was righteous before God, a man who must suffer, a man who must be an intercessor, that will redeem mankind. The fullness of this revelation will come at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, when God Himself becomes a man to redeem His people, and with it, all of creation.

We find a similar passage of Scripture in Isaiah 40:12 to Isaiah 41:29, where God challenges backslidden Israel to produce her reasons for trusting in idols (Job 41:21). In a similar manner God reveals to Israel her frailty and weakness in the midst of His majestic creation that reveals Him as the divine creator of all things.

Here is a proposed outline:

God’s First Speech Job 38:1 to Job 40:2

Job’s Reply Job 40:3-18.40.5

God’s Second Speech Job 40:6 to Job 41:34

Job’s Reply Job 42:1-18.42.6

Job 38:1 to Job 42:6 God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation (The Purpose of the Sciences and Art) The Lord spoke to me this morning and said that the sciences and arts are an expression of God’s divine nature. God reveals His divine nature through His creation (Job 38-41), and the sciences are the tools that mankind uses to explore His creation. The arts are an expression of man’s heart and emotions, and when the Spirit of God is allowed to inspire mankind, he speaks in poetry and song, in paintings and other works of art. (March 24, 2009)

Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 God’s First Speech to Job: The Story of His Creation In Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 God delivers His first speech to Job. The story of creation recorded in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 serves as a testimony to Job of God’s divine attributes. In this passage of Scripture the Lord revealed to Job His omnipotence, His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His infinite wisdom and power over all of His creation. He reveals to Job the fact that He daily oversees the activities of His creation. God’s description of creating the heavens and earth in Job 38:4-18.38.38 reveals His omnipotence. His description of overseeing and sustaining His creatures reveals His omniscience and omnipresence.

In the study of the Holy Scriptures we discover a number of passages revealing the events in the Story of Creation. For example, we have the testimony of the Father’s role in Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4 as the One who has planned and foreknown all things in His creation. We also have the testimony of the Jesus Christ the Son’s role in creation recorded John 1:1-43.1.14, who is the Word of God through whom all things were created. In Proverbs 8:22-20.8.31 we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit’s role in creation as the Wisdom and Power of God. 2 Peter 3:5-61.3.7 refers to the story of creation with emphasis upon God’s pending destruction of all things in order to judge the sins of mankind. Hebrews 11:3 tells us how it is by faith that we understand how the world was created by the Word of God. Another passage of Scripture that reveals the story of Creation is found in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2, where the wisdom and majesty of God Almighty are revealed by describing the details of how His creation came into existence. We can find other brief references to the creation of the earth throughout the Scriptures, such as Psalms 104:0 and many other individual verses.

Here is a proposed summary of Job 38:1 to Job 40:2:

God Asks Job for Dialogue Job 38:1-18.38.3

God As Creator of the Earth Job 38:4-18.38.38

God Created the Earth Job 38:4-18.38.7

God Created the Seas Job 38:8-18.38.11

God Created Day and Night Job 38:12-18.38.15

The Depths and Breath of the Sea & Earth Job 38:16-18.38.18

God Created Light and Darkness Job 38:19-18.38.21

God Created Snow and Ice Job 38:22-18.38.30

God Created the Stars & Constellations Job 38:31-18.38.33

God Created the Clouds Job 38:34-18.38.38

God As Sustainer of Life on the Earth Job 38:39 to Job 39:30

God Sustains the Lion Job 38:39-18.38.40

God Sustains the Raven Job 38:41

God Sustains the Wild Goats & Deer Job 39:1-18.39.4

God Sustains the Wild Donkey Job 39:5-18.39.8

God Sustains the Wild Ox Job 39:9-18.39.12

God Sustains the Ostrich Job 39:13-18.39.18

God Sustains the Horse Job 39:19-18.39.25

God Sustains the Hawk & Eagle Job 39:26-18.39.30

Verses 1-24

God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation Did not Job believe God heard his prayers in the midst of his prosperity? How much more should God hear him in the midst of his suffering? In a mighty display of nature’s energy, a whirlwind approaches Job, and a divine voice begins to come forth and speak to Job. God now reveals His true character to Job because his friends had misrepresented Him. He reveals Himself as the omnipotent Creator of the universe, who daily watches over each aspect of His creatures with love and concern through His omniscience and omnipresence. More specifically, God reveals that He alone is just and Job and all of mankind are in need of redemption through faith in God. In man’s fallen condition since the Garden of Eden, all of creation has been made subject to vanity and endures suffering. God will now lead Job into an act of intercession for his friends in order to receive his own deliverance as a testimony that man will have to redeem himself. Yet, what man is qualified to redeem mankind? Job will understand that it must be a man, a man who was righteous before God, a man who must suffer, a man who must be an intercessor, that will redeem mankind. The fullness of this revelation will come at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ, when God Himself becomes a man to redeem His people, and with it, all of creation.

We find a similar passage of Scripture in Isaiah 40:12 to Isaiah 41:29, where God challenges backslidden Israel to produce her reasons for trusting in idols (Job 41:21). In a similar manner God reveals to Israel her frailty and weakness in the midst of His majestic creation that reveals Him as the divine creator of all things.

Here is a proposed outline:

God’s First Speech Job 38:1 to Job 40:2

Job’s Reply Job 40:3-18.40.5

God’s Second Speech Job 40:6 to Job 41:34

Job’s Reply Job 42:1-18.42.6

Job 38:1 to Job 42:6 God Reveals Himself to Job by His Creation (The Purpose of the Sciences and Art) The Lord spoke to me this morning and said that the sciences and arts are an expression of God’s divine nature. God reveals His divine nature through His creation (Job 38-41), and the sciences are the tools that mankind uses to explore His creation. The arts are an expression of man’s heart and emotions, and when the Spirit of God is allowed to inspire mankind, he speaks in poetry and song, in paintings and other works of art. (March 24, 2009)

Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 God’s First Speech to Job: The Story of His Creation In Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 God delivers His first speech to Job. The story of creation recorded in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2 serves as a testimony to Job of God’s divine attributes. In this passage of Scripture the Lord revealed to Job His omnipotence, His omniscience, His omnipresence, and His infinite wisdom and power over all of His creation. He reveals to Job the fact that He daily oversees the activities of His creation. God’s description of creating the heavens and earth in Job 38:4-18.38.38 reveals His omnipotence. His description of overseeing and sustaining His creatures reveals His omniscience and omnipresence.

In the study of the Holy Scriptures we discover a number of passages revealing the events in the Story of Creation. For example, we have the testimony of the Father’s role in Genesis 1:1 to Genesis 2:4 as the One who has planned and foreknown all things in His creation. We also have the testimony of the Jesus Christ the Son’s role in creation recorded John 1:1-43.1.14, who is the Word of God through whom all things were created. In Proverbs 8:22-20.8.31 we have the testimony of the Holy Spirit’s role in creation as the Wisdom and Power of God. 2 Peter 3:5-61.3.7 refers to the story of creation with emphasis upon God’s pending destruction of all things in order to judge the sins of mankind. Hebrews 11:3 tells us how it is by faith that we understand how the world was created by the Word of God. Another passage of Scripture that reveals the story of Creation is found in Job 38:1 to Job 40:2, where the wisdom and majesty of God Almighty are revealed by describing the details of how His creation came into existence. We can find other brief references to the creation of the earth throughout the Scriptures, such as Psalms 104:0 and many other individual verses.

Here is a proposed summary of Job 38:1 to Job 40:2:

God Asks Job for Dialogue Job 38:1-18.38.3

God As Creator of the Earth Job 38:4-18.38.38

God Created the Earth Job 38:4-18.38.7

God Created the Seas Job 38:8-18.38.11

God Created Day and Night Job 38:12-18.38.15

The Depths and Breath of the Sea & Earth Job 38:16-18.38.18

God Created Light and Darkness Job 38:19-18.38.21

God Created Snow and Ice Job 38:22-18.38.30

God Created the Stars & Constellations Job 38:31-18.38.33

God Created the Clouds Job 38:34-18.38.38

God As Sustainer of Life on the Earth Job 38:39 to Job 39:30

God Sustains the Lion Job 38:39-18.38.40

God Sustains the Raven Job 38:41

God Sustains the Wild Goats & Deer Job 39:1-18.39.4

God Sustains the Wild Donkey Job 39:5-18.39.8

God Sustains the Wild Ox Job 39:9-18.39.12

God Sustains the Ostrich Job 39:13-18.39.18

God Sustains the Horse Job 39:19-18.39.25

God Sustains the Hawk & Eagle Job 39:26-18.39.30

Verses 15-24

God Describes the Largest Animals in Creation - In Job 40:15 through Job 41:34 God describes the greatest land animal (Job 40:15-18.40.24), then the greatest animal of the sea in His divine creation (Job 41:1-18.41.34). The point of God describing these two majestic creatures is to point out to Job that if man cannot tame God’s creatures, neither can he overcome a contest against God. This passage further reveals to Job his frailty and weakness as one of God’s creatures.

The story of Leviathan and Behemoth are embedded in ancient Jewish mythology. The Jewish Pseudepigrapha refer to these two monsters on a number of occasions as figurative images of wickedness. According to ancient Jewish tradition, these two creatures were made on the fifth day of creation and are now reserved by God to be later used as a part of the fulfillment of their Messianic prophecies.

“And on that day were two monsters parted, a female monster named Leviathan, to dwell in the abysses of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. But the male is named Behemoth, who occupied with his breast a waste wilderness named Duidain, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell, where my grandfather was taken up, the seventh from Adam, the first man whom the Lord of Spirits created. And I besought the other angel that he should show me the might of those monsters, how they were parted on one day and cast, the one into the abysses of the sea, and the other unto the dry land of the wilderness.” ( 1 Enoch 60.7-9) [44]

[44] 1 Enoch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:224.

“And these things I saw towards the Garden of the Righteous. And the angel of peace who was with me said to me: These two monsters, prepared conformably to the greatness of God, shall feed . . .” ( 1 Enoch 60.23-24) [45]

[45] 1 Enoch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:225.

“Then didst thou preserve "two living creatures"; the name of the one thou didst call Behemoth and the name of the other thou didst call Leviathan. And thou didst separate the one from the other; for the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, was unable to hold them (both). And thou didst give Behemoth one of the parts which had been dried up on the third day to dwell in, (that namely) where are a thousand hills: but unto Leviathan thou gavest the seventh part, namely the moist: and thou hast reserved them to be devoured by whom thou wilt and when.” ( 4 Ezra 49-52) [46]

[46] 4 Ezra, trans. G. H. Box, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:579.

“And Behemoth shall be revealed from his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they shall be for food for all that are left.” ( 2 Baruch 29.4) [47]

[47] 2 Baruch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:497.

Rabbinic tradition reflects a similar approach in identifying these two creatures.

“And the Lord said, Let the lakes of the waters swarm forth the reptile, the living animal, and the fowl which flieth, whose nest is upon the earth; and let the way of the bird be upon the air of the expanse of the heavens. And the Lord created the great tanins, the lev-ya-than and his yoke-fellow which are prepared for the day of consolation, and every living animal which creepeth, and which the clear waters had swarmed forth after their kind; the kinds which are clean, and the kinds which are not clean; and every fowl which flieth with wings after their kinds, the clean and the unclean.” ( The Targum of Jonathan Genesis 1:21) [48]

[48] J. W. Etheridge, The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee (1862).

Church tradition has followed a literal interpretation for these two creatures, attempting to identify them with some of God’s larger animals, such as the elephant and mastodon, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the whale, and the dinosaur.

Verses 15-24

God Describes the Largest Animals in Creation - In Job 40:15 through Job 41:34 God describes the greatest land animal (Job 40:15-18.40.24), then the greatest animal of the sea in His divine creation (Job 41:1-18.41.34). The point of God describing these two majestic creatures is to point out to Job that if man cannot tame God’s creatures, neither can he overcome a contest against God. This passage further reveals to Job his frailty and weakness as one of God’s creatures.

The story of Leviathan and Behemoth are embedded in ancient Jewish mythology. The Jewish Pseudepigrapha refer to these two monsters on a number of occasions as figurative images of wickedness. According to ancient Jewish tradition, these two creatures were made on the fifth day of creation and are now reserved by God to be later used as a part of the fulfillment of their Messianic prophecies.

“And on that day were two monsters parted, a female monster named Leviathan, to dwell in the abysses of the ocean over the fountains of the waters. But the male is named Behemoth, who occupied with his breast a waste wilderness named Duidain, on the east of the garden where the elect and righteous dwell, where my grandfather was taken up, the seventh from Adam, the first man whom the Lord of Spirits created. And I besought the other angel that he should show me the might of those monsters, how they were parted on one day and cast, the one into the abysses of the sea, and the other unto the dry land of the wilderness.” ( 1 Enoch 60.7-9) [44]

[44] 1 Enoch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:224.

“And these things I saw towards the Garden of the Righteous. And the angel of peace who was with me said to me: These two monsters, prepared conformably to the greatness of God, shall feed . . .” ( 1 Enoch 60.23-24) [45]

[45] 1 Enoch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:225.

“Then didst thou preserve "two living creatures"; the name of the one thou didst call Behemoth and the name of the other thou didst call Leviathan. And thou didst separate the one from the other; for the seventh part, where the water was gathered together, was unable to hold them (both). And thou didst give Behemoth one of the parts which had been dried up on the third day to dwell in, (that namely) where are a thousand hills: but unto Leviathan thou gavest the seventh part, namely the moist: and thou hast reserved them to be devoured by whom thou wilt and when.” ( 4 Ezra 49-52) [46]

[46] 4 Ezra, trans. G. H. Box, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:579.

“And Behemoth shall be revealed from his place and Leviathan shall ascend from the sea, those two great monsters which I created on the fifth day of creation, and shall have kept until that time; and then they shall be for food for all that are left.” ( 2 Baruch 29.4) [47]

[47] 2 Baruch, trans. R. H. Charles, ed. R. H. Charles, in The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English With Introductions and Critical and Explanatory Notes to the Several Books, vol. 2 (Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1913), in Libronix Digital Library System, v. 2.1c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp., 2000-2004), 2:497.

Rabbinic tradition reflects a similar approach in identifying these two creatures.

“And the Lord said, Let the lakes of the waters swarm forth the reptile, the living animal, and the fowl which flieth, whose nest is upon the earth; and let the way of the bird be upon the air of the expanse of the heavens. And the Lord created the great tanins, the lev-ya-than and his yoke-fellow which are prepared for the day of consolation, and every living animal which creepeth, and which the clear waters had swarmed forth after their kind; the kinds which are clean, and the kinds which are not clean; and every fowl which flieth with wings after their kinds, the clean and the unclean.” ( The Targum of Jonathan Genesis 1:21) [48]

[48] J. W. Etheridge, The Targum of Jonathan Ben Uzziel On the Pentateuch With The Fragments of the Jerusalem Targum From the Chaldee (1862).

Church tradition has followed a literal interpretation for these two creatures, attempting to identify them with some of God’s larger animals, such as the elephant and mastodon, the hippopotamus, the crocodile, the whale, and the dinosaur.

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No distribution beyond personal use without permission.
Bibliographical Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Job 40". Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghe/job-40.html. 2013.