Search Engine

Provide a keyword or phrase below to find blog entries relevant to your search:

Results For

No Results

Buy the book for this study on Amazon

©Bonnie LaBelle

Chapter 41 (ESV)

Posted on June 27, 2023  - By Chris LaBelle  

Chapter 41 (ESV) - “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?
Will he make many pleas to you?
    Will he speak to you soft words?
Will he make a covenant with you
    to take him for your servant forever?
Will you play with him as with a bird,
    or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
Will traders bargain over him?
    Will they divide him up among the merchants?
Can you fill his skin with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
Lay your hands on him;
    remember the battle—you will not do it again!
Behold, the hope of a man is false;
    he is laid low even at the sight of him.
No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
    Who then is he who can stand before me?
Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
    Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.

“I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
    or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
Who can strip off his outer garment?
    Who would come near him with a bridle?
Who can open the doors of his face?
    Around his teeth is terror.
His back is made of rows of shields,
    shut up closely as with a 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 sneezings flash forth light,
    and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
    sparks of fire leap forth.
Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
    as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
His breath kindles coals,
    and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
In his neck abides strength,
    and terror dances before him.
The folds of his flesh stick together,
    firmly cast on him and immovable.
His heart is hard as a stone,
    hard as the lower millstone.
When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;
    at the crashing they are beside themselves.
Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
    nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
He counts iron as straw,
    and bronze as rotten wood.
The arrow cannot make him flee;
    for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.
Clubs are counted as stubble;
    he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
    he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
    one would think the deep to be white-haired.
On earth there is not his like,
    a creature without fear.
He sees everything that is high;
    he is king over all the sons of pride.”

Question to consider: What do you think Leviathan represents in this passage?

In order for Job to be worthy to contend with God, he was challenged to be greater than one who could rule the nations and keep peace on the earth or conquer Behemoth, the mightiest beast on earth and yet still one of God’s creatures. Should Job be able to meet these challenges, he still would need to be able to conquer Leviathan, the sea creature more formidable than anything he could encounter on land. Just as there are those who speculate over the type of creature described as Behemoth, there are plenty of speculations regarding Leviathan.

The name literally means “the twisting one”. Given the armored back and teeth, many think of it as a monstrous crocodile which twists and wrestles its prey as it takes it into the depths to drown it. Of course, I think the image breaks down when it is described as having an underside as sharp potsherds or a mouth that breathes fire. Even though a crocodile has a thickly scaled back, it wouldn’t be able to withstand a harpoon or a sword.

If depicted on an ancient mariner’s map, I’d say the Leviathan would exist in the place marked, “Here be dragons!” We obviously don’t encounter fire-breathing dragons today, but almost every ancient culture on earth seems to have some kind of dragon myth associated with it so Job would have been familiar with the idea. Symbolically, I think the Behemoth and Leviathan are worldly manifestations of Satan— the great beast of the sea and the dragon of old. As the apostle John described him in Revelation 12:9, “And the great dragon was thrown down, that ancient serpent, who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world—he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him.”

Should Job be able to conquer the world of men and defeat Satan and his demons, he would be worthy to stand before God and question His authority. Of course, we know from the beginning of the book that God ruled over both the world of men and Satan. We tend to think of Satan as being some great adversary who is on par with God, but that is what Satan would like us to believe. Satan thinks that because he bruised the heel of the seed of the woman on the cross that he really accomplished something. The only thing he accomplished was his own defeat.

Like Job, we have no way to defeat Satan on our own, but through Christ he has no power over us.


Dear heavenly Father, thank You for the promise of redemption in Christ and deliverance from the enemy of our souls. Please keep us walking closely with You through Your word and a body of faithful believers so that we don’t fall prey to his wicked schemes against us. Amen.