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Bible Commentaries

Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible
Job 41

 

 

Introduction

Job 38:1 to Job 42:6. The Divine Speeches.—Here after the Elihu interpolation Job 32-37, we return to the original poem and the solution of Job 31, in which Job summed up his second problem, that of Divine Providence, by challenging God to show the justice of His treatment of himself. The poet has no direct answer to give to the problem Job has raised. He cannot lift the veil of the future, and show another world where wrongs are righted and the balance of this world is redressed. He can only point to the creation and say, "God is there; how wonderful is His creative power." The world is certainly an enigma; well, let it be an enigma. God is greater than we. Moreover, the poet teaches that, enigma or no enigma, piety is still possible. Though Job never comes to understand the Divine Providence, yet he sees God face to face and bows in humility before Him. We may compare with the argument of the poet, "Providence is a mystery, but so is the creation," that of Butler's Analogy, "Revelation is a mystery, but so is nature."


Verses 1-34

Job 41. Leviathan.—The author regards the crocodile as impossible of capture. In Job 41:1 b perhaps the meaning is that when caught the crocodile cannot be led about by a rope round his tongue and lower jaw. In Job 41:8 "Remember the battle" seems to mean, "Bethink thee of the struggle involved." We have already noted that Duhm places Job 41:9-12 after Job 39:24. In Job 41:10 b me" is of course God, but Targ, and some MSS. read "him" so mg.). Whatever we do with Job 41:9 f. the following verses, Job 41:11 f. present difficulty. If Job 41:10 b is to be understood of God, then Job 41:11 is very loosely attached to it. Job 41:12 seems unsuitable in the mouth of God. Duhm reads, "Who has assailed him and been safe? Under the whole heaven not one! He would not renew his boastings and the talk of valiant deeds and his rich outfit." The meaning is Behemoth will soon stop the hunter's boast of his exploits.

With Job 41:13 we return to Leviathan. The double bridle in his jaws. LXX his double breastplate, i.e. his scales and hide together. The doors of his face (Job 41:14) are the jaws. Neesings in Job 41:18 is an old form of "sneezings." The spray breathed through the nostrils of the crocodile is luminous in the sunshine. His eyes are compared to the dawn (Job 3:9*) because they are visible some distance under water. The Egyptians used them in the hieroglyphs as a symbol of the dawn. Job 41:19-21 is an exaggerated description of the crocodile's steaming breath. Job 41:22 b describes the terrified convulsions of other creatures when the crocodile appears. "The flakes of his flesh" refers to his under parts, which are not flabby like those of other animals. In Job 41:30 it is said that the scales on the under part are like sharp potsherds, making a mark on the mire like that of a threshing sledge. Job 41:31 describes how the crocodile churns the Nile (often called the sea, Isaiah 19:5; Isaiah 21:1, or the deep, Ezekiel 31:4-5) into froth. In Job 41:34 a read "everything that is high feareth him": "the sons of pride" (Job 41:34 b) are the proud beasts of prey.

 


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Bibliography Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Job 41:4". "Arthur Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pfc/job-41.html. 1919.

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Thursday, December 5th, 2019
the First Week of Advent
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