This speech has three parts:1) A challenge to Job to put up or shut up
2) A Discussion of Behemoth: The Largest Land Creature
3) A Discussion of Leviathan: The Largest Sea Creature or The Chief Demon?
|A. The Speaker
Note how God continues in the same manner as the first speech of speaking through the very thing that killed Job's children. But in this speech he omits his evaluation of Job. There is no "Who is this that darkens counsel
|Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm and said,|
|B. The Second Challenge||Now gird up your loins like a man;
I will ask you, and you instruct Me.
The question God asks is at the heart of His "wager" with Satan and the essence of what Job was doing in his earlier speeches. He is appears to be giving Job the chance to do what Satan wants -- curse God to his face. The unbelief of many men is often seen in their attempt to justify self.
|Will you really annul My judgment?
Will you condemn Me that you may be justified?
|C. The Third Challenge: Be God
1) Display Power (Omnipotence)
|Or do you have an arm like God,
And can you thunder with a voice like His?
Adorn yourself with eminence and dignity,
And clothe yourself with honor and majesty.
Pour out the overflowings of your anger,
And look on everyone who is proud, and make him low.
Look on everyone who is proud, and humble him,
And tread down the wicked where they stand.
Hide them in the dust together;
Bind them in the hidden place.
Then I will also confess to you,
That your own right hand can save you.
|D. Look at Behemoth!
The idea here is to show Job again the paradox of life: God can make a large animal like Behemoth that is gentle and harmless and he can make a Leviathan that is not.
|Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you;
He eats grass like an ox.
Behold now, his strength in his loins
And his power in the muscles of his belly.
He bends his tail like a cedar;
The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
His bones are tubes of bronze;
His limbs are like bars of iron.
He is the first of the ways of God;
Let his maker bring near his sword.
Surely the mountains bring him food,
And all the beasts of the field play there.
Under the lotus plants he lies down,
In the covert of the reeds and the marsh.
The lotus plants cover him with shade;
The willows of the brook surround him.
If a river rages, he is not alarmed;
He is confident, though the Jordan rushes to his mouth.
Can anyone capture him when he is on watch,
With barbs can anyone pierce his nose?
|E. Look at Leviathan!
1) The student should go to my special study on whether Leviathan is a theriomorphic description of Satan or a hyperbolic description of a sea creature.
|F. Can you capture him like you would capture a crocodile?|
1) A crocodile is also a very vicious creature, but is able to be caught using the techniques described in this verse.
|Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?
Or press down his tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in his nose
Or pierce his jaw with a hook?
2) Once caught their is no dealing with him or taming him.
|Will he make many supplications to you,
Or will he speak to you soft words?
Will he make a covenant with you?
Will you take him for a servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
Or will you bind him for your maidens?
Will the traders bargain over him?
Will they divide him among the merchants?
3) He can't be killed, but the mere appearance of him will destroy you.
|Can you fill his skin with harpoons,
Or his head with fishing spears?
Lay your hand on him;
Remember the battle; you will not do it again!
Behold, your expectation is false;
Will you be laid low even at the sight of him?
|G. God Warns Against Rousing Leviathan
In chapter three of the book, Job in his first speech called for "who are prepared to rouse Leviathan" to curse the day of his birth. God is basically rebuking Job for that foolish statement.
|No one is so fierce that he dares to arouse him;
Who then is he that can stand before Me?
|H. God Describes Leviathan a Second Time, But in More Graphic
and Powerful Terms
1) This is a classic picture of a Dragon (which is a the usual theriomorphic description of Satan).
|I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
Or his mighty strength, or his orderly frame.
Who can strip off his outer armor?
Who can come within his double mail?
Who can open the doors of his face?
Around his teeth there is terror.
His strong scales are his pride,
Shut up as with a tight seal.
One is so near to another
That no air can come between them.
They are joined one to another;
They clasp each other and cannot be separated.
His sneezes flash forth light,
And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
Out of his mouth go burning torches;
Sparks of fire leap forth.
Out of his nostrils smoke goes forth
As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
His breath kindles coals,
And a flame goes forth from his mouth.
In his neck lodges strength,
And dismay leaps before him.
The folds of his flesh are joined together,
Firm on him and immovable.
His heart is as hard as a stone,
Even as hard as a lower millstone.
When he raises himself up, the mighty fear;
Because of the crashing they are bewildered.
The sword that reaches him cannot avail,
Nor the spear, the dart or the javelin.
He regards iron as straw, Bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee;
Slingstones are turned into stubble for him.
Clubs are regarded as stubble;
He laughs at the rattling of the javelin.
His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
He spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire.
He makes the depths boil like a pot;
He makes the sea like a jar of ointment.
Behind him he makes a wake to shine;
One would think the deep to be gray-haired.
Nothing on earth is like him,
One made without fear.
He looks on everything that is high;
He is king over all the sons of pride."