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Trapp's Complete Commentary Trapp's Commentary
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These files are public domain.
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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 40". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
commentaries/ eng/ jtc/ job-40.html. 1865-1868.
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 40". Trapp's Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/
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Job 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
Ver. 1. Moreover the Lord answered Job, and said ] Hic verisimile est aliquantisper Deum tacuisse, saith Mercer. Here it is likely that God held his peace awhile, and seeing that Job replied not, he added the following words, the more fully to convince and affect him. There is somewhat to do to reduce a sinner from the error of his way; yea, though he be in part regenerate, the flesh will play its part against the spirit. This must be considered, and all gentleness used to those that offend of infirmity, after God’s example here.
Job 40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct [him]? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Ver. 2. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? ] Or, Is it wisdom to contend with the Almighty? An disputare cum Omnipotente est eruditio? No, but the greatest folly and sottishness. Job might think otherwise, so long as he compared himself with others; but being once set by God in his super excellencies considered, he shall see his own nothingness, and sit down in silence and patience, though severely tried and sharply afflicted.
He that reproveth God, let him answer it ] Answer it if he can, or else yield the cause. Praestat herbam dare quam turpiter pugnare. But if Job have yet further a mind to question and quarrel God in any his ways and works, let it be heard what answer he can return to what hath been already spoken.
Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Ver. 3. Then Job answered the Lord, and said ] It was time for him, if ever, to stoop to the Most High, so far condescending to his meanness, and to answer his expectation by acknowledging a fault, and promising amendment. Lo, this is the guise of a godly person: he may be out, but he will not usually be obstinate. A humble man will never be a heretic; convince him once, and he will yield: not so the obstinate and uncounselable person; he runs away with conviction, as the unruly horse doth with the bit between his teeth; and his wit will better serve to devise a thousand shifts to elude the truth than his pride will suffer him once to yield to it, and acknowledge his error.
Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
Ver. 4. Behold, I am vile ] Light and little worth; and therefore deserve to be slighted and laid by, as a broken vessel. The humble man vilifies, yea, nullifies, himself before God, as Abraham, Genesis 18:27 ; as Agur, Proverbs 30:3 ; as Paul, Ephesians 3:8 ; as that martyr who cried out, Gehenna sum Domine, Lord, Thou art heaven, but I am hell, &c. Tantillitas nostra, saith Ignatius of himself and his colleagues. Behold, I am an abject, saith Job here, contemptible and inconsiderable. This was well, but not all; an excellent confession, but not full enough: his meanness he acknowledgeth, and that he was no fit match for God; but not his sinfulness, with desire of pardon and deprecation of punishment; God therefore gives him not over so, but sets upon him a second time, Job 40:6 , and brings him to it, Job 42:1 . There must be some proportion between a man’s sin and his repentance, Ezra 9:1-15 , and this God will bring all his Jobs to ere he leave them.
What shall I answer thee? ] I am silenced, and set down; I see there is no reasoning against thee; I acknowledge thy greatness so plainly and plentifully demonstrated in the foregoing discourse; and am well pleased that thou shouldest be justified when thou speakest and overcome when thou judgest, Psalms 51:4 Romans 3:4 .
I will lay my hand upon my mouth ] I that have spoken more freely and boldly than I ought, Et ore patulo multa sine iudicio effutivi, and have opened my mouth more wide than was meet, will henceforth be better advised, and keep my mouth with a bridle, or muzzle, as Psalms 31:1 . See Trapp on " Job 21:5 "
Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Ver. 5. Once have I spoken, but I will not answer ] It is enough of that once: the saints, running out, and meeting with a bargain of sin, come back by weeping cross, and cry, What have I to do any more with wickedness? Hosea 14:8 . Judah knew his daughter Tamar no more, Genesis 38:26 . "If I have done iniquity, I will do no more," Job 34:31-32 . That was Elihu’s counsel; and now it is Job’s practice.
Yea, twice ] That is, often; so eager was I set upon a dispute. This was an aggravation of Job’s sin, the committing of it again and again. Numbers added to numbers are first ten times more; then a hundred; then a thousand, &c. "This hath been thy manner from thy youth," Jeremiah 22:21 ; that was an ill business.
But I will proceed no further ] sc. In this controversy. I will not come into the lists to contend with thee. I see there is no safety in such a contest. In many things we offend all, saith St James; and he is a perfect man who sinneth not with his tongue. But as he who hath drunk poison maketh haste to cast it up again, ere it get to the vitals; so should we deal by our daily misdoings. It is not falling into the water that drowns a man, but lying long under it. Bewail thy sin and hasten to get out of it.
Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
Ver. 6. Then answered the Lord unto Job out of a whirlwind ] As before, Job 38:1 , notwithstanding Job’s submission. See the reason on Job 40:4 . God took his outbursts against him so very ill, that he is not easily pacified; but the better to abase Job, and quite to break the neck of his pride, he answereth him again angrily, not by a soft and still voice, as be dealt by Elijah, but out of the whirlwind, though with some abatement of terror, as Rainban conceiveth from the leaving out here the notificative article set before segnarah, the whirlwind, in Job 38:1 . Peter was not overly forward to comfort those that were pricked at heart with sense of sin and fear of wrath; but presseth them yet further to repent, Acts 2:38 . Men are apt to slight and slubber over the work, doing it to the halves; and must therefore be held hard to it, lest it should not be done to purpose.
Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
Ver. 7. Gird up thy loins now like a man ] Resume new strength, and prepare yourself for a second encounter; for I have not yet done with you. If, therefore, you think yourself able to stand in contention with me, show your valour. See Trapp on " Job 38:3 "
Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Ver. 8. Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? ] Dost thou think to ruin my justice to establish thine own innocence? and wilt thou needs be a superior judge over me? Wilt thou not revoke thy former expostulations and complaints against me, and with open mouth give me my due glory? Here God showeth his dissatisfaction with Job’s former confession.
Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? ] Job had bolted out some words that either tended to this purpose, or seemed so to do, to the just grief and offence of his friends. For this, therefore, he must be better humbled, and henceforth learn to abstain not only from things simply evil, but seemingly so; quicquid fuerit male coloratum (as Bernard hath it), whatsoever looks but ill favouredly.
Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
Ver. 9. Hast thou an arm like God? ] That thou shouldest wrestle a fall with him, and hope to overmatch him? "Thou hast a mighty arm," saith David: "strong is thy hand, and high is thy right hand," Psalms 89:13 . It spans the heavens, and holds the earth in the hollow of it. The weight of it broke the angels’ backs; and the terror of it may be seen in all those writs of execution recorded in the Scriptures. Oh, it is a fearful thing, saith the apostle, to fall into the (punishing) hands of the living God! Hebrews 10:31
Or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? ] Of Pericles, the orator, it is said, that when he declaimed, Intonabat., fulgurabat, totam Graeciam commiscebat, &c., he thundered, he lightened, he mingled all Greece together (Cicero). And Livy, speaking of a certain Roman commander, saith, Haec cum intonuisset iracundus, &c., These things, when he had thundered out angrily, and with a courage, the people departed of their own accord. Alexander the Great, being once vexed at his soldiers for mutining and tumultuating, thunder-struck them with these words, Facessite hine ocyus, neminem teneo; liberate occulos meos ingratissimi milites, Get you quickly out of my presence, and be packing hence, ye ungrateful soldiers. And Severus, the emperor, in like sort dealt with his unruly army, Discedite Quirites, said he, et incertum an Quirites. These were terrible hard words, and very resolutely uttered: but what is any or all of this to the voice of God’s thunder, whereof see before? Knowest thou not, O Job, that thine arm is an arm of flesh? and thy voice so small and low that a fly would not be frighted at it?
Job 40:10 Deck thyself now [with] majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
Ver. 10. Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency ] Or, with magnificence and sublimity, &c., i.e. Deum age, show thyself as God; for he thus decks himself, Psalms 93:1 ; Psalms 96:6 ; Psalms 104:1-2 ; Job 29:14 .
And array thyself with glory and beauty ] That thou mayest appear, Os humerosque Deo similis; as Herod afterwards in his cloth of silver, which being beaten upon by the sunbeams, saith Josephus, dazzled the people’s eyes, and drew from them that fond acclamation, "It is the voice of a god," Acts 12:22 .
Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one [that is] proud, and abase him.
Ver. 11. Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath ] In this glorious equipage; make thy just indignation felt by all the rebels of the world, Nemo te impune lacesset.
And behold every one that is proud ] Look upon him oculo minaci, with a flaming eye; look through him, let him see thy displeasure. Upon some God looketh to convert them, as Christ did upon Peter, Luke 22:61 . Upon others, to confound them, -- εχει Yεος εκδικον ομμα ..
And abase him ] Abate his pride, and abase his pomp and greatness; this is God like, Psalms 147:6 . Aesop, being asked by Chilo (one of the seven wise men of Greece), What God was doing? answered, He abaseth the proud, and exalteth the lowly minded. Tamerlane, to manifest that he knew how to punish the haughty, made Bajazet, the Great Turk, to be shackled, and shut up in an iron cage, and so carried up and down as he passed through Asia, to be scorned and derided by his own people. And when one of his favourites requested him to remit some part of his severity against the person of so great a prince, Tamerlane answered, That he did not use that rigour against him out of hatred to the man, but to manifest the just judgment of God against the arrogant folly of so proud a tyrant (Turk. Hist. f. 220).
Job 40:12 Look on every one [that is] proud, [and] bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Ver. 12. Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low ] This God doeth, Isaiah 2:11-12 ; Isaiah 2:17 ; Isaiah 5:15 . The builders of Babel, Pharaoh, Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Herod, Dioclesian, Attilas, and others, for instances. Amurath III, king of Turks, in the pride of his heart, styled himself, God of the earth, governor of the whole world, the messenger of God, and faithful servant of the great prophet. This proud prince was slain by a half dead Christian soldier, who, coming to crave his life of him after a battle, stabbed him in the bottom of his belly with a short dagger, of which wound that king and conqueror presently died. See Trapp on " Job 40:11 " (Turk. Hist.).
And tread down the wicked in their place ] Heb. under them; lay them as low as may be. God putteth away all the wicked of the earth as dross, he treads them, as vile things, under his feet, Psalms 110:1 , till they bethink themselves, and humble their souls at his feet for mercy; for then he will make the place of his feet glorious, as he promiseth, Isaiah 60:13 ; and as, Exodus 24:10 , they saw uuder God’s feet, as it were, a paved work of sapphire stone; to show that he had now changed their condition, the bricks made in their bondage into sapphire. See Isaiah 54:11 .
Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together; [and] bind their faces in secret.
Ver. 13. Hide them in the dust together ] Make a hand of them all at once, as God can do his enemies, by raking them all into the grave; yea, turning into hell whole nations that forget God, a whole rabble of rebels that fight against heaven; he can soon lay them low enough, even in that slimy valley, where are many already like them, and more shall come after them, Job 21:31-32 . Now when God biddeth Job do all this, who was himself lying in the dust, full of sores and sorrows, how could he but be greatly ashamed and affected with grief for his former follies?
And bind their faces in secret ] As Haman’s face was covered when the king had sentenced him, Esther 7:8 ; See Trapp on " Est 7:8 " Or rather, as dead men’s faces use to be bound up and covered; for we like not to look on death’s face. Abraham was desirous to bury his dead out of his sight, Genesis 23:4 , though she had once been the desire of his eyes, Ezekiel 24:16 . Lazarus came out of his grave with his face bound about with a napkin, John 11:44 . See the like done to our Saviour, John 20:6-7 , though there was as little need to have done it as was of those sweet spices brought by the good women to anoint his body, which could not see corruption, Mark 16:1 .
Job 40:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
Ver. 14. Then will I also confess unto thee, &c. ] Or, I will give praise unto thee, as thou by right shouldest do to me; not for my goodness only, but for my greatness and majesty also, in destroying the wicked. See David doing it, Psalms 18:27 , and Moses, Exodus 15:1 , and the whole choir of heaven, Revelation 19:1-2 .
And that thine own right hand can save thee ] That thou art self sufficient, and my peer; strong enough to maintain thine own cause, and that thou hast some show of reason to withstand me, Et ego quoque praedicabo te heroa (Tig.). This is that which we all naturally, but foolishly, fancy, viz. that we are petty gods within ourselves; we would be absolute and independent, when in truth all that we have is derivative: the Church’s beauty is borrowed, Ezekiel 16:3-14 , and we may say of all that we are, as he did with his hatchet, Alas! master, I borrowed it, 2 Kings 6:5 .
Job 40:15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Ver. 15. Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee ] i.e. The elephant, called behemoth, that is, beasts, in the plural, for his size; as if he were made up of many beasts, Vocatur Bellua per antonomasiam, et θηρ Graec. So David, aggravating his own brutishness, saith, "So foolish was I and ignorant: I was as a beast" (Heb. Behemoth, beasts in the plural) "before thee," Psalms 73:22 , that is, as a great beast; his sin swelled in his eyes, as a toad; he befools and bebeasts himself, as reason required; for nothing is more irrational than irreligion.
Which I made with thee ] Thy fellow creature, made to serve thee. He is in the Chaldee called פיל Pil; that is, wonderful; because the wonders of God’s glory do so marvellously appear in him. Made he was the same day with man, and hath a kind of familiarity and love to him, if brought up with him, doing him great good service in peace and war, and may be taught to adore kings.
He eateth grass like an ox ] He is not ravenous nor carnivorous; neither eateth he daily the grass upon a thousand hills, as the Hebrews foolishly fable, and that he is to be killed at the resurrection to feast the saints, as being a creature of a monstrous size (Lyra). As the ox licketh up grass, Numbers 22:4 , so doth the elephant; yet not with his tongue (which for so great a beast is but little, neither read we here anything at all of his voice, to teach great men, saith one, not to speak big swollen words), but with his trunk or great snout, called his tail, Job 40:17 , as Beza thinketh, because it bears the resemblance of a tail, and is of most marvellous and necessary use to him (Arist. de Nat. Anim. l. 2, c. 4,6). With this he grazeth, and with this he overthroweth trees, and then feedeth upon them. But he doth not proudly abuse the mightiness of his limbs to the hurt of other cattle. Yet he will not be wronged, and is of so great strength that no one man dare assault him.
Job 40:16 Lo now, his strength [is] in his loins, and his force [is] in the navel of his belly.
Ver. 16. Lo, now, his strength is in his loins ] Wherein he is so strong that he can bear a wooden tower upon his back, and upon that thirty two men standing to fight therefrom. In India, where the largest elephants are, they ride upon the larger, plough with the lesser, and carry great loads and burdens with both. For which and the like purposes, totus robustissimus est superne et inferne (Junius). Howbeit God hath chiefly placed his strength, not in any offensive part (his head hath no horns, and his feet no claws, to do mischief with), but in his loins, and about his belly.
And his force is in the navel of his belly ] Which must needs be very hard undergirded, when so great weight is made fast to his back. Naturalists observe, that the softest part of the elephant is his belly; and, therefore, the rhinoceros, his deadly enemy, setteth upon him there with his crooked horn whetted against a rock, and overcometh him; yet is he stronger in his belly than other creatures are in the back; and, therefore, his navel is here called navels in the plural. His skin is exceeding hard and rough, so that an arrow can hardly pierce it. Yet Eleazar, /RAPC 1Ma 6:46, rushing into the enemy’s army, got under an elephant’s belly (upon which he thought King Antiochus rode), and killed him, being himself crushed to death with the weight of the beast falling upon him.
Job 40:17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
Ver. 17. He moveth his tail like a cedar ] The elephant hath but a small and short tail for his bulk; Beza, therefore, rendereth it his prominent part, which is as the cedar, and interpreteth it to be his proboscis, or large snout, which truly, saith he, as being proper to the elephant, and of very great use, might not in any wise be pretermitted in this description. See Job 40:15 .
The sinews of his stones are wrapped together ] This is also another of the elephant’s properties, whose testicles are hidden and stick to his belly, fastened there by certain sinews and ligaments, and do not hang, as other beasts’ testicles do. As his genital members are but small, considering his size; so his lust to the female is not great, never coupling with her but in secret, and when she is once filled, forbearing her company.
Job 40:18 His bones [are as] strong pieces of brass; his bones [are] like bars of iron.
Ver. 18. His bones are as strony pieces of brass ] Or, as conduit pipes of brass, whereby may be understood his hollow bones, as by bars of iron the solid ones, and by both (together with his trunk, composed of gristles, and his teeth and tusks, eight feet long, some of them) we may conjecture to be the size of his whole body; the size of all earthly creatures, saith Pliny; nine cubits high, saith Aelian, of some. Now can Job look upon such a monstrous creature, or hear his noise, or stand before him, without great horror? and will he not submit to the great God, and give him all his glory.
Job 40:19 He [is] the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach [unto him].
Ver. 19. He is the chief of the ways of God ] i.e. The masterpiece among all the beasts (and perhaps first made), as man is among all earthly creatures, being divini ingenii cura, as one calls him. Of all earthly irrational creatures the elephant is the largest and strongest and of most understanding.
He that made him can make his sword to approach unto him ] i.e. God alone can deal with him, and kill him, for no man dare undertake him unless it be by art and cunning; and that in Job’s days, likely, was not yet known or practised. And if God had not given a horn to the rhinoceros, and poison to the dragon (who are the elephant’s most mortal enemies), there were no beasts to be found that could have the better of him. He is of himself long lived, saith Aristotle, but God can and doth cut him off at his pleasure; and so he will those masterless monsters that persecute his people, though they may seem to be out of the reach of his rod. Some read the words thus, He that made him made his sword to be near him; and interpret it as his proboscis or snout, wherewith, as with a sword, he fights, and does many feats. Curtius saith, That when Porus, the Indian king, being wounded in battle, fell down armed to the ground, his elephant with his trunk gently took him up, and set him upon his back again. Some in their wars have fastened sharp swords to the snouts of the elephants, and done much mischief therewith to the enemy.
Job 40:20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
Ver. 20. Surely the mountains briny him forth food ] And food enough, though he be of a huge body. Learn we to trust unto God’s providence for our necessary provision: the earth is the Lord’s, and the fulness thereof. See Job 40:15 .
Where all the beasts of the field play ] And play they may securely for him; for he is so far from using his sword to destroy them, that when he is to pass through the herds of other beasts or cattle, he maketh way, saith Pliny, with his snout, that he may not hurt any of them, and beckoneth to them therewith, as it were with his hand, that he will only pass by them, and do them no harm.
Job 40:21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
Ver. 21. He lieth under the shady trees ] Vatablus readeth the words questioning thus, Lieth he under the shady trees, in the covert of the reeds and fens? No such matter, he is too big to be shaded by trees; neither can reeds and fens cover him (So R. Levi, and Kimchi). But Aristotle tells us, That he loves to lie by the banks of rivers beset with trees, as being naturally hot, and bred in hot countries; and yet he is impatient with cold and winter (De Hist. Anim. l. 9, c. 46). And therefore when Hannibal brought many elephants out of Africa into italy, they all perished in the cold Alps, except only that one whereupon Hannibal himself rode (Pliny lib. 8, c. 10).
In the covert of the reed, and fens ] Hence Cardinus saith, That the elephant is of a swinish nature, delighted with mud and mire, Ad calorem frangendum crasso coeno perfunduntur (Plin.). And Gulielmus Parisiensis applieth Behemoth in the fens, to the devil in sensual hearts. He sleepeth in moist places, saith he; that is, in those that lie melting in sinful pleasures and delights; therefore, Luke 11:24 , it is said that he walketh in dry places, seeking rest, but finding none; and, Ezekiel 47:11 , when the waters of the sanctuary overflowed, the miry places could not be healed.
Job 40:22 The shady trees cover him [with] their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
Ver. 22. The shady trees cover him with their shadow, &c. ] He leaneth against those trees and sleepeth, for lie down and rise again he cannot, for want of joints in his limbs. And why may not we conceive the trees in those parts big enough to overshade the elephant, when, as in America, but especially in Brazil, the trees are so huge that it is reported of them that several families have lived in several arms of one tree, to such a number as are in some petty village or parish among us? (Abbot’s Geog., p. 271.)
The willows of the brook compass him about ] To shelter him from the wind and cold. And although they cannot swim, they are so big, yet they love to be about pools and brooks for shade, and to ease their thirst; for the elephant drinketh off fourteen firkins of water in a morning, saith Aristotle, and eight at night, as it followeth,
Job 40:23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, [and] hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
Ver. 23. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not ] viz. Through fear, tanquam canis ad Nilum, as the dogs that drink at Nile fear the crocodile; or as they of this land anciently drank in fear of their lives the while, and were, therefore, wont to have some friend to undertake for their safety: whence that expression of him who is drunk to, I’ll pledge for you. The elephant, as he drinks huge draughts (beyond that of the camel, who drinketh, saith Pliny, lib. 8, cap. 18, Et in praeteritum, et in futurum, for both the time past and the time to come), so he drinks without disturbance, for who dare deal with him? Other cattle, through the frightfulness of their disposition, break their draughts to stare about them. Not so the elephant, who drinks as if he would exhaust and drain dry the river, and steps into it with such a big body as if he would stop the course of it; therefore some read the words thus, He hindereth the river, that it hasteth not. Some by he hasteth not understand that custom of the elephant, not to drink till he have first, by going into and stirring the water, made it puddly, for he loveth not clear waters, as Aelian writeth. Neither yet doth he at any time enter higher into a river than he can breathe through his large snout, for swim he cannot by reason of the weightiness of his body, saith Aristotle (Hist. Anim. l. 9, cap. 46).
He trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth ] In the vast imagination of his fancy he conceits that he can devour and drink up the whole Jordan at once. Jordan is the greatest river of Canaan, running along the land, and falling into the Dead Sea, which yet grows no bigger by swallowing it. Hereunto some think that this text alludeth. But better by Jordan here (which ariseth from the root of Libanus, and, as some say, from a double fountain, the one on the right side, called Dan, and the other on the left, called Jor) we may understand, by a synecdoche, a any river; and so these words are nothing else but a hyperbolic repetition of the former.
a A figure by which a more comprehensive term is used for a less comprehensive or vice versa; as whole for part or part for whole, genus for species or species for genus, etc.
Job 40:24 He taketh it with his eyes: [his] nose pierceth through snares.
Ver. 24. He taketh it with his eyes ] It, that is, Jordan, which he thinks, when he seeth it, to drink up at a draught; but it is better filling his belly than his eye, as we say. Others, He thrusteth his head in up to the eyes through extreme greediness. Brentius readeth it, Oculis suis capitur ipse, decipulis perforatur nasus; and saith, That this creature is taken only by his eyes and nose; for otherwise he is as sleek and slippery as an eel: so is Satan, saith he, neither can we shun his wiles but by the spirit of faith. But Nonne hoc spumosum? Luther in one place calleth allegories, Spumam Scripturae, the froth of the Scriptures (in Gen. iii. p. 67); and in another, the allegorical sense is a beauteous harlot that enticeth idle men, who think themselves in paradise, and in God’s bosom, when they fall upon such speculations. Gregory and others (who have wholly allegorized this and the former chapter, applying all to the devil and Antichrist), observed not what was the state and scope of this disputation. Some read the text thus, Will any take him in his sight, will any pierce his nose with snares? q.d. That is not the way to take him, or hold him when taken. He must be caught by wiles, and not by main force or open strength (see Pliny to this purpose), although when he is once caught he is soon tamed and made tractable to many uses. See Aristotle’s history of living creatures (lib. viii. cap. 8, 9). Pliny saith he had seen elephants dance on the rope, and write Greek letters with their feet (lib. ix. cap. 46).
His nose pierceth through snares ] Or, Will any bore his nose to put in snares? Though he be apt enough to be tamed and taught, yet he will not endure halter, bridle, bit, or ring in his nose; as neither will leviathan, of whom the like is spoken, Job 41:1-2 .