Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Job 40:24

"Can anyone capture him when he is on watch, With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Behemoth;   Leviathan;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Behemoth;   Holman Bible Dictionary - Animals;   Hippopotamus;   Hook;   Job, the Book of;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Behemoth;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Be'hemoth;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Nose;   Kitto Biblical Cyclopedia - Behemoth;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

He taketh it with his eyes - He looks at the sweeping tide, and defies it.

His nose pierceth through snares - If fences of strong stakes be made in order to restrain him, or prevent him from passing certain boundaries, he tears them in pieces with his teeth; or, by pressing his nose against them, breaks them off. If other parts of the description would answer, this might well apply to the elephant, the nose here meaning the proboscis, with which he can split trees, or even tear them up from the roots! Thus ends the description of the behemoth; what I suppose to be the mastodon or mammoth, or some creature of this kind, that God made as the chief of his works, exhibited in various countries for a time, cut them off from the earth, but by his providence preserved many of their skeletons, that succeeding ages might behold the mighty power which produced this chief of the ways of God, and admire the providence that rendered that race extinct which would otherwise, in all probability, have extinguished every other race of animals! I am not unapprized of the strong arguments produced by learned men to prove, on the one hand, that behemoth is the elephant; and, on the other, that he is the hippopotamus or river-horse, and I have carefully read all that Bochart, that chief of learned men, has said on the subject. But I am convinced that an animal now extinct, probably of the kind already mentioned, is the creature pointed out and described by the inspiration of God in this chapter.

On Job 40:1; of this chapter we have seen, from Mr. Heath's remarks, that the fourteen first verses were probably transposed. In the following observations Dr. Kennicott appears to prove the point. "It will be here objected, that the poem could not possibly end with this question from Job; and, among other reasons, for this in particular; because we read in the very next verse, That after the Lord had spoken these words unto Job, etc. If, therefore, the last speaker was not Job, but the Lord, Job could not originally have concluded this poem, as he does at present. "This objection I hold to be exceedingly important; and, indeed, to prove decisively that the poem must have ended at first with some speech from God. "And this remark leads directly to a very interesting inquiry: What was at first the conclusion of this poem? This may, I presume, be pointed out and determined, not by the alteration of any one word, but only by allowing a dislocation of the fourteen verses which now begin the fortieth chapter. Chapters 38, 39, 40, and 41, contain a magnificent display of the Divine power and wisdom in the works of the Creator; specifying the lion, raven, wild goat, wild ass, unicorn, peacock, ostrich, horse, hawk, eagle, behemoth, and leviathan. "Now, it must have surprised most readers to find that the description of these creatures is strangely interrupted at Job 40:1, and as strangely resumed afterwards at Job 40:15; and therefore, if these fourteen verses will connect with and regularly follow what now ends the poem, we cannot much doubt that these fourteen verses have again found their true station, and should be restored to it. "The greatness of the supposed transposition is no objection: because so many verses as would fill one piece of vellum in an ancient roll, might be easily sewed in before or after its proper place. In the case before us, the twenty-five lines in the first fourteen verses of chapter xl. seem to have been sewed in improperly after Job 39:30, instead of after Job 42:6. That such large parts have been transposed in rolls to make which the parts are sewed together is absolutely certain; and that this has been the case here, is still more probable for the following reason: - "The lines here supposed to be out of place are twenty-five, and contain ninety-two words; which might be written on one piece or page of vellum. But the MS. in which these twenty-five lines made one page, must be supposed to have the same, or nearly the same, number of lines in each of the pages adjoining. And it would greatly strengthen this presumption if these twenty-five lines would fall in regularly at the end of any other set of lines, nearly of the same number; if they would fall in after the next set of twenty-five, or the second set, or the third, or the fourth, etc. Now, this is actually the case here; for the lines after these twenty-five, being one hundred or one hundred and one, make just four times twenty-five. And, therefore, if we consider these one hundred and twenty-five lines as written on five equal pieces of vellum, it follows that the fifth piece might be carelessly sewed up before the other four. "Let us also observe that present disorder of the speeches, which is this. In chapters 38 and 39, God first speaks to Job. The end of chapter 39 is followed by, 'And the Lord answered Job and said,' whilst yet Job had not replied. At Job 40:3-5, Job answers; but he says, he had then spoken Twice, and he would add no more; whereas, this was his first reply, and he speaks afterwards. From Job 40:15-41:34 are now the descriptions of behemoth and leviathan, which would regularly follow the descriptions of the horse, hawk, and eagle. And from Job 42:1-6; is now Job's speech, after which we read in Job 42:7, 'After the Lord had spoken these words unto Job!' "Now, all these confusions are removed at once if we only allow that a piece of vellum containing the twenty-five lines, ( Job 40:1-14;), originally followed Job 42:6. For then, after God's first speech, ending with leviathan, Job replies: then God, to whom Job replies the second time, when he added no more; and then God addresses him the third, when Job is silent, and the poem concludes: upon which the narrative opens regularly, with saying, 'After the Lord had spoken these words unto Job,' etc. Job 42:7." - Kennicott's Remarks, p. 161. The reader will find much more satisfaction if he read the places as above directed. Having ended chapter 29, proceed immediately to Job 40:15; go on regularly to the end of Job 42:6, and immediately after that add Job 40:1-14. We shall find then that the poem has a consistent and proper ending, and that the concluding speech was spoken by Jehovah.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/job-40.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

He taketh it with his eyes - Margin, “Or, will any take him in his sight, or, bore his nose with a gin!” From this marginal reading it is evident that our translators were much perplexed with this passage. Expositors have been also much embarrassed in regard to its meaning, and have differed much in their exposition. Rosenmuller supposes that this is to be regarded as a question, and is to be rendered, “Will the hunter take him while he sees him?” - meaning that he could not be taken without some snare or guile. The same view also is adopted by Bochart, who says that the hippopotamus could be taken only by some secret snare or pitfall. The common mode of taking him, he says, was to excavate a place near where the river horse usually lay, and to cover it over with reeds and canes, so that he would fall into it unawares. The meaning then is, that the hunter could not approach him openly and secure him while he saw him, but that some secret plan must be adopted to take him. The meaning then is, “Can he be taken when he sees the hunter?”

His nose pierceth through snares - Or rather, “When taken in snares, can anyone pierce his nose?” That is, Can the hunter even then pierce his nose so as to put in a ring or cord, and lead him wherever he pleases? This was the common method by which a wild animal was secured when taken (see the notes at Isaiah 37:29), but it is here said that this could not be done to this huge animal. He could not be subdued in this manner. He was a wild, untamed and fierce animal, that defied all the usual methods by which wild beasts were made captive. In regard to the difficulty of taking this animal, see the account of the method by which it is now done, in the notes at Job 40:15. That account shows that there is a striking accuracy in the description.

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/job-40.html. 1870.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

He taketh it with his eyes,.... Or "can men take him before his eyes?" so Mr. Broughton; and others translate it to the same purpose; no, he is not to be taken openly, but privately, by some insidious crafty methods; whether it be understood of the elephant or river horse; elephants, according to StraboF17Geograph. l. 15. p. 484. and PlinyF18Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 8. See Ovington's Voyage to Surat, p. 192, 193. were taken in pits dug for them, into which they were decoyed; in like manner, according to someF19Apud Bochart. ut supra, col. 768. , the river horse is taken; a pit being dug and covered with reeds and sand, it falls into it unawares;

his nose pierceth through snares; he discerns them oftentimes and escapes them, so that he is not easily taken in them. It is reported of the sea morssF20Eden's Travels, p. 318. Supplement to the North East Voyages, p. 94. , before mentioned; see Gill on Job 40:20, that they ascend mountains in great herds, where, before they give themselves to sleep, to which they are naturally inclined, they appoint one of their number as it were a watchman; who, if he chances to sleep or to be slain by the hunter, the rest may be easily taken; but if the watchman gives warning by roaring as the manner is, the whole herd immediately awake and fall down from the mountains with great swiftness into the sea, as before described; or, as Mr. Broughton, "cannot men take him, to pierce his nose with many snares?" they cannot; the elephant has no nose to be pierced, unless his trunk can be called so, and no hook nor snare can be put into the nose of the river horse. Diodorus SiculusF21Bibliothec, l. 1. p. 32. says, it cannot be taken but by many vessels joining together and surrounding it, and striking it with iron hooks, to one of which ropes are fastened, and so the creature is let go till it expires. The usual way of taking it now is, by baiting the hook with the roots of water lilies, at which it will catch, and swallow the hook with it; and by giving it line enough it will roll and tumble about, until, through loss of blood, it faints and dies. The way invented by Asdrubal for killing elephants was by striking a carpenter's chopping axe into his earF23Orosii Hist. l. 4. c. 18. p. 62. Liv. Hist. l. 27. c. 49. ; the JewsF24T. Bab. Sabbat, fol. 77. 2. & Gloss. in ib. say a fly is a terror to an elephant, it enters into his nose and torments him grievously.

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The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/job-40.html. 1999.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

Rather, “Will any take him by open force” (literally, “before his eyes”), “or pierce his nose with cords?” No; he can only be taken by guile, and in a pitfall (Job 41:1, Job 41:2).

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/job-40.html. 1871-8.

Wesley's Explanatory Notes

He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.

Sight — Can any man take him in his eyes? Openly and by force? Surely not. His strength is too great for man to overcome: and therefore men are forced to use wiles and engines to catch him.

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Wesley, John. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "John Wesley's Explanatory Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wen/job-40.html. 1765.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

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.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Job 40:24". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/job-40.html. 1865-1868.

Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible

Job 40:24. He taketh it with his eyes Who can take him in his streams? Can cords be drawn through his nose? Heath. Can his nose be perforated with hooks? Houbigant. The way of taking these animals, as related by an ancient writer, Achilles Tatius, will explain this passage. "The huntsmen, having found the places where they haunt, dig a trench, or ditch, which they cover with reeds and earth, having placed underneath a wooden chest, whose lids are open like a folding door on each side, to the height of the cavity; after this they conceal themselves, watching till the beast is taken; for as soon as ever it treads on the surface of the hole it is sure to fall to the bottom. The huntsmen run up immediately to the cavity, and shut down the lids, and by these means catch the beast, which could not be taken by any other method, on account of its prodigious strength." The latter clause of the verse signifies literally, Canst thou bore his nose with cords? but this kind of boring is made with a hook, in order to insert a cord to lead the creature about at pleasure. It is very remarkable, that this cord in the ox's nose serves instead of a bit to guide him. This Thevenot confirms in his voyage to Indostan, where having mentioned that oxen are used instead of horses for travelling, he adds, "These creatures are managed like our horses, and have no other bits or bridles than a cord, which passes through the tendon of their nose or nostrils." So that this boring of his nose, and introducing a cord, was not to take, but to keep him in order, and to make him serviceable when taken. Heath. I would just observe upon this and the following description, that, nervous and excellent as they are, they do not strike us with the same degree of admiration as the foregoing description of the horse, because we are not so well acquainted with the nature of the animals described. Dr. Young renders the two last verses of this chapter thus:

His eye drinks Jordan up; when fir'd with drought, He trusts to turn its current down his throat; In lessen'd waves it creeps along the plain: He sinks a river, and he thirsts again.

REFLECTIONS.—1st, Confounded in silence, Job dares not reply. When, after a short pause,

1. God farther expostulates with him; and, from a view of what he had spoken, demands an answer. Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty (an attempt how insolent!) instruct him? can he be taught knowledge? or, is every fretful murmurer a proper judge how God ought to direct his providences? surely not. Yet this had Job attempted; yea, and he had blamed God for his dispensations, as unjust and severe. He that reproveth God let him answer it, maintain, if he can, his charge, or confess his folly and sin for having done so.

2. Job confesses his error, and submits. He answered the Lord, and said, Behold, I am vile, I acknowledge my sin, I renounce my former opinion of myself, I am abominable in my own eyes, and how much more in thine? What shall I answer thee? I am unable to support the least charge that I have advanced against thee. I will lay mine hand upon my mouth in silence, and my mouth in the dust of humiliation. Once have I spoken in self-vindication; but I will not answer any more, convinced that I played the fool, and erred exceedingly; yea twice; repeatedly have urged my rash plea; but I will proceed no further; I own myself mistaken, and desire to take shame for my perverseness. Note; (1.) However high our former apprehension of our own goodness was, when the Spirit of God convinces the soul of sin, we shall not have a word to say to justify ourselves, but cry for mercy only from our offended God. (2.) The erroneous doctrines which they have maintained, or sinful practices which they indulged, are the shame and grief of true penitents; and they desire henceforward to retract, disclaim, and oppose them.

2nd, To fix more deeply and permanently on Job's mind the conviction which was begun, God proceeds to renew out of the whirlwind his awful challenges. Note; When our consciences are first alarmed, it is most dangerous to heal the hurt slightly: we should look further and deeper, that the discovery of greater abominations may produce abiding humiliation.

1. Wilt thou disannul my judgment, alter my designs, or frustrate their execution? Wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous? accuse me of injustice or severity, in older to support thy character, and maintain thy righteousness before men? how wicked and insolent must such a charge appear! Note; If we murmur, the fault is in ourselves; God's ways are equal, it is our way which is unequal.

2. Hast thou an arm like God? able to contend with the Almighty; or canst thou thunder with a voice like him? alas! man is but a worm, his whispers cannot be heard amid the thunders of God's mighty voice. Note; The sinner who looks biggest and talks loudest must be brought low, either here in repentance, or hereafter in ruin everlasting.

3. Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency, If thou canst vie with me, and array thyself with glory and beauty; how despicable will it appear? not so much as the glow-worm's light compared with the meridian sun. Or it may be spoken ironically; take my throne, and try how thou canst govern the world; that thou mayst feel how unequal thou art to the task.

4. Shew thy universal dominion. Put on the monarch's rage and frown: look sternly at the proud, if thou canst abase him; tread down the wicked from their height, lay them in the dust of death, lead them forth, with their faces covered, to execution as malefactors, or hide them in the grave as slain. Then, when in these acts of justice, power, majesty, and dominion, he can vie with God, he may be allowed to contend with him, and trust in his own right hand for salvation. But when the contrary was so evident, he must submit entirely to God's sovereignty, and expect his salvation temporal, spiritual, and eternal, from his grace and strength alone.

3rdly, To prove his own infinite superiority, God bids him regard Behemoth and Leviathan, those wonders of creation; if he cannot contend with them, much less can he with their maker.

As to what beast is meant by Behemoth, the learned are divided in opinion. It signifies Beasts in general, but must here mean some particular species: two have been suggested, to which the description may be applicable; the hippopotamus, or river horse, and the elephant. He is described as feeding on the grass as the ox; and amazingly strong and large. The mountains provide him food, and harmless around him the other beasts feed without molestation. Under spreading trees near rivers' banks, is his abode. Thirsty, the river scarce affords a draught, and in his greedy eye he thinks he can drain it to its source. No fear interrupts him, he hasteth not away: no snares can bind him: and yet, great and mighty as he is, God made him: his creature he is, as well as man; the work of the same hand, and on the same day: and, terrible as he may appear to us, he is crushed as the worm when God causes his sword to approach him. Let man then own his own littleness, and humbly yield up himself to his Almighty Creator.

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Coke, Thomas. "Commentary on Job 40:24". Thomas Coke Commentary on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tcc/job-40.html. 1801-1803.

Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary

REFLECTIONS

MY soul, hast thou read, and pondered duly over, the instances here brought forward of divine power and sovereignty? and shall not the view induce the greatest lowliness and self abasement of spirit? Shall anything arise in the circumstances of thy GOD'S providence towards thee, after such a review as is here set forth, to tempt thee to murmur or repine at sovereign appointments? Oh! for grace to humble thyself as Job did, and to lay thine hand upon thy mouth. Surely the discoveries the LORD makes of himself are not less now, than when he thus graciously condescended to reason with the man of Uz. Think, my soul, of the immense greatness of the LORD. In this one view, there is sufficient to excite, in every breast, similar sentiments to the Psalmist's, and to say, as he did, When I consider thy heavens the works of thine hands, the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained; what is man that thou art mindful of him, or the son of man that thou visitest him! And if we add to these thoughts, the solemn consideration of GOD'S holiness; that the heavens are not clean in his sight, and even his angels he chargeth with folly; surely every man, like the Prophet, may find cause to exclaim, Woe is me, I am undone, for I am a man of unclean lips, and I dwell in the midst of a people of unclean lips. And what is there that can bring relief to the soul under impressions like these, except the gracious, merciful, and sweet intimations of divine love, as given to us in the person, relations, office, work, and character, Of the LORD JESUS CHRIST? Oh! thou adored Redeemer! how hast thou softened, to our view, the awful majesty of Heaven, that when at any time we feel the heart overpowered in the recollection of the offended justice and holiness of JEHOVAH, we may call to mind, and take comfort, that to this High and Lofty One, whose name is Holy, we are authorized to look up, through an Almighty Mediator; and that amidst our offences and short-comings, and pollutions, we have such an advocate with the FATHER as JESUS CHRIST the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins! Hail, blessed JESUS! to thee, LORD, would I come: in thee would I trust; upon the arm of thy righteousness lean, and here fix all my hopes and assurance of acceptance. And praised be thy holy name, thou hast said, All that put their trust in thee shall never be ashamed, nor confounded, world without end.

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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pmc/job-40.html. 1828.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

According to this translation the sense is this, He taketh, or snatcheth, or draweth up (as was now said, Job 40:23)

it (to wit, the river Jordan) with his eyes, i.e. when he sees it, he trusteth that he can drink it all up; as we use to say, The eye is bigger than the belly: his nose or snout pierceth, &c., i.e. he securely thrusteth his snout into the river, even to the bottom of it, to stir up the mud, because he delights to drink muddy water; and if there be any snares laid for other creatures, he breaks them to pieces. But this verse is otherwise translated by others. Will or can any man take him in his eyes, (i.e. openly, and by manifest force? Surely no. His force and strength is too great for man to resist or overcome; and therefore men are forced to use many wiles and engines to catch him; which is true both of the elephant and of the hippopotamus,) or pierce his nose with snares or gins? No. He may be taken by art and cunning, but not by violence.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Job 40:24". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/job-40.html. 1685.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

24.He taketh it with his eyes Before his eyes do they take him: literally, in his eyes, one takes him. So Ewald, Conant, Hitzig, etc. The sluggish, peaceable disposition of this beast (Job 40:20-21) exposes him to easy capture. With the same indifference with which he floated with the floods he surveys preparations made for his capture before his very eyes. Immense powers of resistance is he endowed with; but these, owing to the sluggishness of his nature, lie in abeyance.

His nose pierceth through snares His nose is pierced with snares; or, as Gesenius and Furst express it, “with hooks;” literally, one pierces the nose with hooks. The sense, therefore, is similar to that of 2 Kings 19:28, where Jehovah threatens Sennacherib, “I will put my hook in thy nose.” This interpretation is also that of the Septuagint, “In his sight, one shall take him; he shall catch him with a cord and pierce his nose.” In like manner, the Chaldee and Vulgate versions. Others (Rosenmuller, Hirtzel, Welte) read the verse as an ironical challenge, “Just catch him while he is looking, with snares let one pierce his nose,” (Delitzsch:) while others regard the passage as an interrogation, denoting the extreme difficulty of taking the animal. The older commentators were partly induced to take such a view of this verse, from the supposition that the beast is bellicose and difficult of capture, which is really the case only in exceptional instances, such as those produced by Ruppell (Reisen in Nubien, 52, seq.) and Sir Samuel Baker, (Ismalia, 37, 120;) and more specifically when the mother is robbed of her young, as in Livingstone. Ibid., p. 537. (See Job 40:20.) The latter case of offensive warfare is so unusual an occurrence, says Livingstone, that his men, when once attacked by a hippopotamus, exclaimed ‘Is the beast mad?’ Stickel, (p. 219, 220,) shows satisfactorily and at large, that neither the interrogative nor the ironical rendering of the passage is justified by the usage of Job, or by the laws of the language. In illustration of the A.V., it may be proper to cite Wood (Bible Animals, p. 327,) who says, “This faculty of detecting snares, is one of the chief characteristics of the hippopotamus, when it lives near places inhabited by mankind, who are always doing their best to destroy it.” Oddly enough, Pliny remarks of the animal, that “it enters the field backwards, to prevent any ambush being laid for it on its return.” — Nat. Hist., Job 8:39. The monuments of Egypt leave us little doubt, but that this animal was easily taken in ancient times. Wilkinson thus describes the accompanying engraving: “The chasseur is here in the act of throwing the spear at the hippopotamus, which he has already wounded by three other blades, indicated by the ropes in his left hand; and having pulled the animal towards the surface of the water, an attendant endeavors to throw a noose over its head, as he strikes it for a fourth time. Behind him is his son, holding a fresh spear in readiness; and in order that there should be no question about the ropes belonging to the blades, the fourth is seen to extend from his hand to the shaft of the spear he is throwing.” See Ancient Egyptians, 3:68-71.

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/job-40.html. 1874-1909.

Joseph Benson's Commentary of the Old and New Testaments

Job 40:24. He taketh it with his eyes — He imagines, when he sees it, that he can take the whole river and drink it up. His nose pierceth through snares — The elephant will not be kept from the water by any snares or impediments, but removes them all by his trunk; and both he and the river- horse securely thrust their snouts deep into the river, through their eagerness to satisfy their thirst. But different constructions are put upon this verse also by learned men. Bochart and several others think the former clause should be read with an interrogation, thus, Who will, or who can take him in his eyes? That is, while he sees them, and is sensible what they are about: or openly, and by manifest force? Surely none. His force and strength are too great for men to resist and overcome, and therefore they are compelled to make use of many wiles and stratagems to take him; which is true, both of the elephant and of the hippopotamus. And the latter clause is rendered by Heath, Can cords be drawn through his nose? and by Houbigant, Can his nose be perforated with hooks? “The way of taking these animals,” (the hippopotami,) says Dr. Dodd, “as related by Achilles Tatius, will explain this passage. The huntsmen, having found the places where they haunt, dig a trench or ditch, which they cover with reeds and earth, having placed underneath a wooden chest whose lids are opens like a folding-door, on each side, to the height of the cavity; after this they conceal themselves, watching till the beast is taken; for as soon as ever it treads on the surface of the hole, it is sure to fall to the bottom. The huntsmen run up immediately to the cavity and shut down the lids, and by these means catch the beast, which could not be taken by any other method, on account of its prodigious strength.” The latter clause of the verse signifies literally, Canst thou bore his nose with cords? But this kind of boring is made by a hook, in order to insert a cord to lead the creature about with pleasure. It is very remarkable, that this cord in the ox’s nose serves instead of a bit to guide him. This Thevenot confirms in his Voyage to Indostan, where, having mentioned that oxen are used instead of horses for travelling, he adds, “These creatures are managed like our horses, and have no other bits or bridles than a cord which passes through the tendon of their nose or nostrils.” So that this boring his nose and introducing a cord were not to take, but to keep him, in order to make him serviceable when taken. — Heath. I would just observe upon this and the following description, that nervous and excellent as they are, they do not strike us with the same degree of admiration as the foregoing description of the horse, because we are not so well acquainted with the nature of the animals described. Dr. Young renders the last two verses of this chapter thus:

“His eye drinks Jordan up, when fired with drought,

He trusts to turn its current down his throat:

In lessen’d waves it creeps along the plain,

He sinks a river, and he thirsts again.”

The reader who can have access to the Encyclop. Brit. may there find a full account both of the elephant and the hippopotamus.

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Bibliographical Information
Benson, Joseph. "Commentary on Job 40:24". Joseph Benson's Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rbc/job-40.html. 1857.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Handmaids? or little girls. (Calmet) Septuagint, "Wilt thou tie it like a sparrow for thy boy?" (Haydock)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/job-40.html. 1859.

Mark Dunagan Commentary on the Bible

This is a brute that cannot be captured, and yet representations of the capture of the hippo are common in Egyptian art.

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Dunagan, Mark. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Mark Dunagan Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dun/job-40.html. 1999-2014.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(24) His nose pierceth through snares.—Some render, “Shall any take him with snares? while he is looking, shall any pierce through his nose?” The sense seems to be rather, Let one take him by his eyes: i.e., by allurements placed before him, as elephants are taken. By means of snares one may pierce his nose. The Authorised Version seems to be less probably right.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/job-40.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
41:1,2
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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Job 40:24". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/job-40.html.