Job Series Daily Reading Week Eight
Week Eight – Day 36
Elihu’s final speech….
37:1 “At this my heart pounds
and leaps from its place.
2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice,
to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
3 He unleashes his lightning beneath the whole heaven
and sends it to the ends of the earth.
4 After that comes the sound of his roar;
he thunders with his majestic voice.
When his voice resounds,
he holds nothing back.
5 God’s voice thunders in marvelous ways;
he does great things beyond our understanding.
6 He says to the snow, ‘Fall on the earth,’
and to the rain shower, ‘Be a mighty downpour.’
7 So that everyone he has made may know his work,
he stops all people from their labor.
8 The animals take cover;
they remain in their dens.
9 The tempest comes out from its chamber,
the cold from the driving winds.
10 The breath of God produces ice,
and the broad waters become frozen.
11 He loads the clouds with moisture;
he scatters his lightning through them.
12 At his direction they swirl around
over the face of the whole earth
to do whatever he commands them.
13 He brings the clouds to punish people,
or to water his earth and show his love.
14 “Listen to this, Job;
stop and consider God’s wonders.
15 Do you know how God controls the clouds
and makes his lightning flash?
16 Do you know how the clouds hang
those wonders of him who has perfect knowledge?
17 You who swelter in your clothes
when the land lies hushed under the south wind,
18 can you join him in spreading out the skies,
hard as a mirror of cast bronze?
19 “Tell us what we should say to him;
we cannot draw up our case because of our darkness.
20 Should he be told that I want to speak?
Would anyone ask to be swallowed up?
21 Now no one can look at the sun,
bright as it is in the skies
after the wind has swept them clean.
22 Out of the north he comes in golden splendor;
God comes in awesome majesty.
23 The Almighty is beyond our reach and exalted in power;
in his justice and great righteousness, he does not oppress.
24 Therefore, people revere him,
for does he not have regard for all the wise in heart?”
Notes on Job 37
“With all his verbosity and lack of humility, Elihu did say some good things that Job needed to hear. Elihu’s use of rhetorical questions in Job 37:14–18 prepared Job for the series of questions Jehovah would ask him in Job 38—41. Unlike the three friends, Elihu assessed Job’s problem accurately: Job’s actions may have been right—he was not the sinner his three friends described him to be—but his attitude was wrong. He was not the “saint” Job saw himself to be. Job was slowly moving toward a defiant, self-righteous attitude that was not at all healthy. It was this know-it-all attitude that God exposed and destroyed when He appeared to Job and questioned Him.”
Vs.1-2 “At this my heart pounds and leaps from its place. Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.”
Elihu’s heart jumps and races when he watches the awesome display that God puts on in a thunderstorm. Just like a thunderstorm demands our attention, so does God as HE calls us to listen to His voice. No thunderstorm can compare with God as HE cries out LISTEN, LISTEN!
“When God speaks in the heavens, it is with roaring (rōḡez) and rumbling (heḡeh). The first word, rōḡez, captures both the clash of the thunder and the fear it arouses in the human breast. While Job has stated that his sufferings have disturbed him deeply (30: 17, 26), Elihu asks him why he should not expect to be unsettled by God’s presence.”(John Hartley)
Vs. 3-5 Lightning and thunder play prominent roles in a thunderstorm. God sends lightning that illuminates the whole sky and is directed where ever He wants. But it is the sound that really gets our attention. His voice is a rolling, roaring marvelous sound that echoes and reverberates because He is God. God’s voice thunders with a greatness and majesty that is beyond our comprehension.
Vs. 6-13 The creator has ordained the weather. Whether it is the snow or a “mighty downpour”, God uses the weather to designate the seasons. All stop their work in order to see the Almighty act. The animals run for cover as the cold winds combined with God’s breath make the deepest rivers to freeze. The weather serves God’s commands. Weather can act as a punishment or revelation of His love.
Vs.14-20 Elihu tells Job listen, stop everything and focus on God.
Vs.14-15 “Listen to this, Job; stop and consider God’s wonders. Do you know how God controls the clouds and makes his lightning flash?
God is in control. He controls nature and all things. Nature is his laboratory where these truths are revealed. Our challenge is to then apply these truths in our lives. Verse 19 says, “Tell us what we should say to him”. There is very little to say to the teacher. It is the teacher that does all the talking.
“In his final speech Elihu seeks to persuade Job to focus on God, the Supreme Teacher. The mighty power of God is emphasized in order to make it crystal clear to Job that no human being is ever in a position to dispute with God. Nevertheless, God is compassionate, insistently luring a person from the error of his ways through discipline. Whoever listens to God’s instruction will receive blessing.
This time Elihu focuses more on the Teacher than on the Teacher’s instructional methods. The incredible wisdom of this Teacher is clearly visible in nature, the particularly marvelous thunderstorm. God’s marvelous ways of directing a storm testify to his great wisdom. God masters all forces, and his ways cannot be surpassed. In fact, He uses the weather to affect the course of human and animal activity. In doing this he wishes that all people may know his work. His direction of the clouds and the winds leads people to ponder his perfect knowledge. Such a wise and a good Creator instructs human beings in order that they might revere him.”
Vs. 21-24 No one can look directly at the sun after the clouds are all swept away from the sky, and no one can look at God in all of majesty and splendor. He is the almighty! He is exalted in power. He does not crush, abuse or disregard those who are wise in heart. Wisdom literature (which the book of Job is) focuses a lot on wisdom and heart. Elihu is saying that God uses pain to teach the heart about wisdom.
This chapter is preparing Job to hear God. Unlike Job’s other friends, who were searching for some sin that was the cause for Job’s suffering, Elihu is questioning how Job is responding to suffering. Nature can cause suffering or blessing, and Elihu is saying that in the same way God’s work can unsettle us or bless us. All of creation is crying out, “Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice.”
Week Eight – Day 37
38 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm. He said:
2 “Who is this that obscures my plans
with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—
7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?
8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,
9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,
10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,
11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt’?
12 “Have you ever given orders to the morning,or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges
and shake the wicked out of it?
14 The earth takes shape like clay under a seal; its features stand out like those of a garment.
15 The wicked are denied their light,
and their upraised arm is broken.
16 “Have you journeyed to the springs of the sea or walked in the recesses of the deep?
17 Have the gates of death been shown to you?
Have you seen the gates of the deepest darkness?
18 Have you comprehended the vast expanses of the earth?
Tell me, if you know all this.
19 “What is the way to the abode of light?
And where does darkness reside?
20 Can you take them to their places?
Do you know the paths to their dwellings?
21 Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!
22 “Have you entered the storehouses of the snow or seen the storehouses of the hail,
23 which I reserve for times of trouble,
for days of war and battle?
24 What is the way to the place where the lightning is dispersed,
or the place where the east winds are scattered over the earth?
25 Who cuts a channel for the torrents of rain,
and a path for the thunderstorm,
26 to water a land where no one lives,
an uninhabited desert,
27 to satisfy a desolate wasteland
and make it sprout with grass?
28 Does the rain have a father?
Who fathers the drops of dew?
29 From whose womb comes the ice?
Who gives birth to the frost from the heavens
30 when the waters become hard as stone,
when the surface of the deep is frozen?
31 “Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades Can you loosen Orion’s belt?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?
Can you set up God’s dominion over the earth?
34 “Can you raise your voice to the clouds
and cover yourself with a flood of water?
35 Do you send the lightning bolts on their way?
Do they report to you, ‘Here we are’?
36 Who gives the ibis wisdom[f]
or gives the rooster understanding?
37 Who has the wisdom to count the clouds?
Who can tip over the water jars of the heavens
38 when the dust becomes hard
and the clods of earth stick together?
39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
Notes on Job 38
Vs. 1 In the last two chapters Elihu has spoken eloquently about storms. Now God speaks to Job out of this very storm. Vs.37:2 Listen! Listen to the roar of his voice, to the rumbling that comes from his mouth.
“In breaking his silence Yahweh fulfills Job’s deepest yearning. Although the plot requires a word from God, his coming surprises everyone. The air is full of excitement. The greatest wonder of all is that God himself speaks to a mere man. Job has had to wait for the moment of Yahweh’s choosing. It is important also to note that Yahweh comes out of concern for his servant, not because he has been coerced by Job’s oath of innocence (ch. 31). In answering Job he expresses his merciful goodness to his suffering servant.
Amazingly, Yahweh ignores Job’s complaints and avoids making a direct response to his avowal of innocence, and, contrary to the friends’ expectations, he does not reprove Job for some wrongdoing. Rather he addresses Job like a teacher instructing a student who fails to understand an important matter, for he wishes to open up for him new ways of understanding the created order and his wise care of that order. Yahweh seeks to temper the bitter strains of Job’s lament by having Job contemplate his gracious ways in governing the world. He also hopes to persuade Job to perceive the false inferences that have led to his complaint that God fails to keep the times of judgment.” (John Hartley)
Vs. 2-3 “Why are you using your ignorance to deny my providence? Now get ready to fight, for I am going to demand some answers from you, and you must reply.”(Living Bible)
God does not question Job about his guilt or sinfulness. But God does question Job on the lack of humility he showed in questioning God. If he is going to do that he better brace himself and get ready for the questions that will be asked of him.
Vs. 4-7 God is the master builder who laid the earth’s foundation, marked off its dimensions, set its footings and He did all of it while the stars and angels sang. God asks Job,”If you are so smart where were you when I did that”?
Vs. 8-11 God continues with the questions. Who enclosed the seas? Who wore the clouds and darkness like a cape? When I set the boundaries for the sea and the sky and told them where to go where Job were you?
Vs. 12-15 God questions Job instead of answering Job’s questions of why he has suffered so. He asks Job have you ever commanded the morning or shown the sun how to rise?
Vs. 16-24 God fires one question after another at Job. Have you visited the depths of the sea, or the deepest darkest places of hell? Do you understand how vast the earth is or where light and darkness live? Do you know where I have stored all the snow and hail? Or do you know the place where lighting and the wind originate and are then dispersed? God speaks to Job ironically doing further damage to Job’s pride. “Tell me, if you know all this. Surely you know, for you were already born! You have lived so many years!”
Vs. 25-30 God asks Job, “Do you understand the mysteries of rain, thunderstorms, and how the earth is watered so that it can be fertile and grow grass?” Does the rain and the dew have a father? And who is ice’s mother and who gives birth to frost? Who understands what makes water freeze and change its form?
Vs. 31-33 God continues his torrent of questions directed at Job.“Can you bind the chains of the Pleiades Can you loosen Orion’s belt?” God does not let Job relax but challenges him. Do you know how the heavens work and can you set up your own jurisdiction over the earth? “Job, if you understand so much about the heavenly bodies that are thought by some to affect the earth, then why don’t you use that authority to change your situation?” The Lord was speaking with “holy sarcasm” and not revealing some profound truth.
Vs. 34-37 Still God keeps hammering Job with the questions. What do you know about clouds Job? Can you speak to the clouds and cover yourself with their water? Does lightening report to you and go where you send it? Can you count the clouds and pour out the rain that is stored in them?
“Job has complained and agonized out of a sincere heart with an increasing faith, but he has not discerned the judicious counsel of God that permeates all of his deeds throughout the world. Although Job has lacked insight, Yahweh does not say that Job has sinned. He never rebukes Job forswearing his avowal of innocence. But he contends that Job’s limited understanding hinders him from disputing wisely with his Creator about his own fate.” (John Hartley)
Week Eight – Day 38
38:39 “Do you hunt the prey for the lioness
and satisfy the hunger of the lions
40 when they crouch in their dens
or lie in wait in a thicket?
41 Who provides food for the raven
when its young cry out to God
and wander about for lack of food?
39:1“Do you know when the mountain goats give birth?
Do you watch when the doe bears her fawn?
2 Do you count the months till they bear?
Do you know the time they give birth?
3 They crouch down and bring forth their young;
their labor pains are ended.
4 Their young thrive and grow strong in the wilds;
they leave and do not return.
5 “Who let the wild donkey go free?
Who untied its ropes?
6 I gave it the wasteland as its home,
the salt flats as its habitat.
7 It laughs at the commotion in the town;
it does not hear a driver’s shout.
8 It ranges the hills for its pasture
and searches for any green thing.
9 Will the wild ox consent to serve you?
Will it stay by your manger at night?
10 Can you hold it to the furrow with a harness?
Will it till the valleys behind you?
11 Will you rely on it for its great strength?
Will you leave your heavy work to it?
12 Can you trust it to haul in your grain
and bring it to your threshing floor?
13 “The wings of the ostrich flap joyfully,
though they cannot compare
with the wings and feathers of the stork.
14 She lays her eggs on the ground
and lets them warm in the sand,
15 unmindful that a foot may crush them,
that some wild animal may trample them.
16 She treats her young harshly, as if they were not hers;
she cares not that her labor was in vain,
17 for God did not endow her with wisdom
or give her a share of good sense.
18 Yet when she spreads her feathers to run,
she laughs at horse and rider.
19 “Do you give the horse its strength
or clothe its neck with a flowing mane?
20 Do you make it leap like a locust,
striking terror with its proud snorting?
21 It paws fiercely, rejoicing in its strength,
and charges into the fray.
22 It laughs at fear, afraid of nothing;
it does not shy away from the sword.
23 The quiver rattles against its side,
along with the flashing spear and lance.
24 In frenzied excitement it eats up the ground;
it cannot stand still when the trumpet sounds.
25 At the blast of the trumpet it snorts, ‘Aha!’
It catches the scent of battle from afar,
the shout of commanders and the battle cry.
26 “Does the hawk take flight by your wisdom
and spread its wings toward the south?
27 Does the eagle soar at your command
and build its nest on high?
28 It dwells on a cliff and stays there at night;
a rocky crag is its stronghold.
29 From there it looks for food;
its eyes detect it from afar.
30 Its young ones feast on blood,
and where the slain are, there it is.”
Notes on Job 39
“In the ancient world, it was a common academic exercise to make lists of plants, animals, stars, and many other things (professions, words, etc.). Such lists were a type of wisdom, so it is no surprise to find a list such as this in a biblical wisdom book.”
“CAN YOU OVERSEE MY CREATION?” (38:39—39:30) The Lord brought before Job’s imagination a parade of six beasts (lioness, goat, hind [deer], wild donkey, wild ox, and horse) and five birds (raven, ostrich, stork, hawk, and eagle). As he contemplated these creatures, Job had to answer the question, “Do you understand how they live and how to take care of them?” Obviously, Job’s reply had to be no.” (Warren Wiersbe)
38:39-41 Lion & Raven God examines Job with questions. Can you feed the hunter (lion) and the scavenger (the raven)? Yahweh is the Lord and creator over the lion and the raven and provides food for the mighty, the small and their young.
39:1-4 Wild Goat God then questions Job about when and how the mountain goats and deer give birth. Yahweh is the Lord and creator over the animal kingdom and over birth.
39:5-8 Wild donkey God uses his questions here to teach Job about freedom. The wild donkey does not know ropes or riders. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of the freedom that the wild animals know.
39:9-12 Wild Ox God asks Job does the wild ox serve you and give you its strength? Yahweh is the Lord and creator of all animals and their strengths.
39:13-18 Wild Ostrich The ostrich is a silly creature. She can’t fly, she lays her eggs in the sand where they can be trampled, and she does not care for her young. The ostrich was not given any sense, and yet she can run faster than a horse. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and gives to each of them a unique skill.
39:19-25 The Horse Again God questions Job. Did you give the horse its strength, beauty, agility, or courage? The horse goes into battle and follows the commander’s war cry. Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and gives to the horse courage in the face of battle.
39:26-30 Hawk & Eagle
“Yahweh has equipped the birds of prey with keen eyesight and with the ability to soar high above the landscape. From great heights they can spot their prey and swoop down on it swiftly. Yahweh has also endowed these birds with the wisdom to build their nests high on a rocky cliff, making them very secure. All of these wild animals, free from human control, honor Yahweh as their Lord. Each one contributes to the variety and the beauty of the world order. In these portraits Yahweh demonstrates to Job that he graciously rules the remotest spheres of the world, those that lie far beyond human control. The way that he cares for these creatures testifies to his wise goodness.”
Yahweh is the Lord and creator of every animal and takes care of their every need. Through a series of questions God asks Job about creation God’s wisdom and care for all is revealed. The questions reveal the gap that exists between what God knows and what Job knows. . God reveals His care and concern for all of his creation and this puts Job in the place where he has to make a decision. Will he trust in the God who rules with wisdom and creativity over all of creation and give up his accusations. Yahweh presents his arguments to Job expecting that Job will answer. Brace yourself like a man; I will question you and you shall answer me. (38:3)
“Yahweh’s message to Job is that he cares for him even more than for these wild animals. He cares for Job both in the abundance that Job formerly experienced and in his present suffering. His suffering has taken place within the world structure without upsetting that structure. His misfortune does not call into question Yahweh’s lordship, as Job has argued. Nor does it demonstrate that Yahweh acts unjustly or that he permits unjust situations to occur capriciously. All happenings occur within his wise counsel. That means Job’s suffering has taken place within, not outside, God’s wise governance. Just like the wild ass which has to go hungry in exchange for its freedom, so Job has had to endure suffering in exchange for the integrity of his relationship with Yahweh. A human being’s integrity carries far greater value than his physical and emotional health.” (John Hartley)
Week Eight – Day 39
40:1 The Lord said to Job:
2 “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”
3 Then Job answered the Lord:
4 “I am unworthy—how can I reply to you?
I put my hand over my mouth.
5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—
twice, but I will say no more.”
6 Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm:
7 “Brace yourself like a man;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.
8 “Would you discredit my justice?
Would you condemn me to justify yourself?
9 Do you have an arm like God’s,
and can your voice thunder like his?
10 Then adorn yourself with glory and splendor,
and clothe yourself in honor and majesty.
11 Unleash the fury of your wrath,
look at all who are proud and bring them low,
12 look at all who are proud and humble them,
crush the wicked where they stand.
13 Bury them all in the dust together;
shroud their faces in the grave.
14 Then I myself will admit to you
that your own right hand can save you.
15 “Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
19 It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
20 The hills bring it their produce,
and all the wild animals play nearby.
21 Under the lotus plants it lies,
hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
22 The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream surround it.
23 A raging river does not alarm it;
it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
24 Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
or trap it and pierce its nose?
Notes on Job 40
“The book of Job encourages us to avoid the easy reductionism that makes God accountable to how we think the world ought to operate. His wisdom extends far beyond our shortsightedness; there is always more afoot than we can imagine. Our ideas of how things ought to work will always be naive and simplistic. God asks that we trust him.”
Vs.1-2 The Lord said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him?
Let him who accuses God answer him!”
God tolerated Job’s speeches and accusations, but now God begins to direct his questions directly to Job and to what Job has been saying. Job has come to a crisis point with God.
“The tables have been turned. Job, the questioner, is being questioned. Building on the evidence just given, Yahweh asks Job a penetrating question that pinpoints the implication of his complaint. That is, in advocating the rightness of his own position so tenaciously, Job has implied that God needs to be corrected. Having presented his position, Yahweh now offers Job the opportunity to articulate such a correction. Moreover, since Yahweh has spoken in response to Job’s challenge, Job may not remain silent without voiding his oath of innocence. His silence would imply his concession. But if he continues to argue, he will leave himself open to divine rebuke.” (John Hartley)
Vs. 3-5 Then Job answered the Lord:“I am unworthy—how can I reply to you? I put my hand over my mouth. I spoke once, but I have no answer— twice, but I will say no more.”
Many of Job’s speeches have been lengthy but Job’ now has little to say in the presence of Yahweh. Job is overcome in the presence of God with his own insignificance and the insignificance of all of his arguments. The word for worthy in hebrew is kabod and it means heavy. Job’s answer to the kabod and honor of God is to declare how unworthy or light and insignificant he is. Job says how can I reply to you God. Instead of talking I should put my hand over my mouth. Job has talked more than anyone else in the whole book; but in the presence of God, Job is having trouble finding the words to respond.
Vs. 6-8 “Then the Lord spoke to Job out of the storm: “Brace yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer me. “Would you discredit my justice? Would you condemn me to justify yourself?” God continues to speak to Job out of the storm. He says get yourself ready so you can answer me like a man. And though Job is pinned to the wall by God’s questions, God honors him at the same time. No other creature that God has spoken so eloquently about has stood in the position that Job is now in.
“Yahweh confronts Job with the major flaw in his accusations. In defending his own innocence so emphatically and lashing out so vehemently at God because of his suffering, Job has essentially charged God with acting unjustly. For a mortal to presume himself guiltless and to impugn God’s just governance of the world approaches the sin of presumptuous pride.
It is important to observe that Yahweh does not accuse Job of any specific sin, thereby agreeing that Job has lived a righteous life. Nevertheless, if the relationship between himself and his servant is to be restored, Job’s self righteous attitude must be altered and his complaint against God’s just governance of the world must be corrected.” (John Hartley)
Vs. 9-14 This section speaks of God’s power and glory over against pride. God tells Job no one has my strength and no one else has a voice like mine that thunders. If you think you can handle the problems of injustice in the world (see v. 8) then make yourself glorious and go take care of it. You then will be the one to handle the proud, execute wrath, and crush the wicked. Go ahead Job take care of the questions of injustice and then save yourself with your own power.
Job said in earlier verses that he should cover his mouth instead of speak. God has continued to show Job the folly of holding on to pride.
Vs.15-24 “God reminded Job that He was the Creator of both the hippo and man (v. 15), and yet He made them different. The hippo eats grass and is strong and mighty; Job ate a variety of fine foods and was weak and unable to fight with the hippo. The hippo has a powerful body, with strong muscles and bones like iron rods; while man’s body is (comparatively speaking) weak and easily damaged. The hippo lounges in the river, hidden under the water, and feeds on the vegetation that washes down from the hills; while man has to toil to earn his daily bread. A raging river doesn’t frighten the hippo, and hunters don’t alarm him. In Job’s day, it was next to impossible to capture the hippopotamus, but how easy it is to capture a man!
“Now, Job,” asks the Lord, “can you capture and subdue this great creature? If so, then I’ll believe that you have the power and wisdom to judge the world justly.” (Warren Wiersbe)
Week Eight – Day 40
41:1 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down its tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a cord through its nose
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3 Will it keep begging you for mercy?
Will it speak to you with gentle words?
4 Will it make an agreement with you
for you to take it as your slave for life?
5 Can you make a pet of it like a bird
or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?
6 Will traders barter for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?
8 If you lay a hand on it,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
9 Any hope of subduing it is false;
the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.
Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.
12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat?
Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,
ringed about with fearsome teeth?
15 Its back has rows of shields
tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next
that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another;
they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Flames stream from its mouth;
sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from its nostrils
as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames dart from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck;
dismay goes before it.
23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
they are firm and immovable.
24 Its chest is hard as rock,
hard as a lower millstone.
25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;
they retreat before its thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,
nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron it treats like straw
and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make it flee;
slingstones are like chaff to it.
29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;
it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,
leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron
and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal—
a creature without fear.
34 It looks down on all that are haughty;
it is king over all that are proud.”
Notes on Job 41
Vs.1-6 “Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?
Can you put a cord through its nose or pierce its jaw with a hook?
Leviathan comes from the hebrew word meaning to twist. It was a huge crocodile that twisted and churned in the water killing its prey. In ancient literature the Leviathan was a many headed monster or a sea monster. This section introduces the Leviathan and then uses him as an object lesson for Job. Yahweh is showing Job that there are creatures that he can’t, hook, tie down, or pull in. If Job is unable to handle Leviathan then how can he handle the more complex questions about justice and suffering.
God ask Job questions about the leviathan. “Do you think you can talk to Leviathan and reach some kind of agreement?” “Job, if you are inferior in strength to this creature how can you make it your slave?” Vs. 5, God goes on to tell Job, “you can’t domesticate Leviathan so that you can pet him and lead him around on a leash”. Vs. 6 tells Job, “you can’t barter, swap or trade leviathan.”
Vs. 7-11 “Does Job think that he can capture this large creature with harpoons and a fishing spear? Before he attempts to capture Leviathan, he needs to take account of the mighty battle that would ensue. Should he fight this creature once, he would not do so again. Any hope of subduing Leviathan that he has is false. Its very appearance strikes such terror in the human heart that a person is laid low before the beast. The picture is that of one cringing before a brute force without any ability to resist.” (John Hartley) God uses verses 10-11 to drive home his point. No man can stand before Leviathan the most frightening creature that God has created. So how can Job, or any man presume, to stand before a holy, terrifying and almighty God. Vs. 11 makes it clear that no one in their right mind would presume to stand and make a claim against God in His own court. “Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.”
Vs. 12-30 “Leviathan is impregnable. Since nothing can pierce its double coat of mail, hunters used hooks and ropes against its mouth (cf. 40: 25), but no one can pry open Leviathan’s large mouth. If one daringly succeeded in getting its mouth open, its numerous sharp teeth would fill him with terror. In contemplating taking up his case with God, Job has been concerned with being overcome by terror (cf. 9: 32– 35; 13: 20– 21). Now Yahweh is showing Job that his apprehensions were on target. If he would have to retreat in terror before Leviathan, surely he could not stand before God at court. (John Hartley)
Leviathan’s hide is filled with many small shields fitted so closely together that nothing can penetrate. He snorts lightening and his eyes are red like the sun. Truly he is a monster with flames coming out of his mouth and smoke out of his nostrils.
It is the strongest of creatures with a chest like a rock. And when “it rises up, the mighty are terrified”. No sword can pierce Leviathan’s hide or spear break through that chest of rock. If you try and use iron or bronze against Leviathan it will be like straw or rotting wood. Neither arrows, slingshots or clubs work against him. Even his undersides are not soft but are like pieces of broken pottery.
Vs.33-34 Nothing on earth is its equal—a creature without fear. It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.”
No creature is a like the leviathan. Job cannot subdue Leviathan and he certainly cannot subdue the God who created Leviathan.
The most monstrous quality of Leviathan is saved for the last. He is the king over all that is proud.
40:11-12 had a similar message, “Look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them.” God ends his speech speaking about pride. Job has been tempted with pride in the midst of his pain. Pride is not a quality of a wise man but of a monster. As he stands before God pride is more dangerous to Job than Leviathan.
Job 42 – Epilogue and Closing Notes
42:1 Then Job replied to the Lord:
2 “I know that you can do all things;
no purpose of yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this that obscures my plans without knowledge?’
Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 “You said, ‘Listen now, and I will speak;
I will question you,
and you shall answer me.’
5 My ears had heard of you
but now my eyes have seen you.
6 Therefore I despise myself
and repent in dust and ashes.”
7 After the Lord had said these things to Job, he said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “I am angry with you and your two friends, because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has. 8 So now take seven bulls and seven rams and go to my servant Job and sacrifice a burnt offering for yourselves. My servant Job will pray for you, and I will accept his prayer and not deal with you according to your folly. You have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” 9 So Eliphaz the Temanite, Bildad the Shuhite
and Zophar the Naamathite did what the Lord told them; and the Lord accepted Job’s prayer.
10 After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before. 11 All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the Lord had brought on him, and
each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.
12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. 13 And he also had seven sons and three daughters. 14 The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. 15 Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers.
16 After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. 17 And so Job died, an old man and full of years.
Notes on Job 42 and Bibliography
“God wants us to choose to love him freely, even when that choice involves pain, because we are committed to him, not to our own good feelings and rewards. He wants us to cleave to him, as Job did, even when we have every reason to deny him hotly. That, I believe, is the central message of Job. Satan had taunted God with the accusation that humans are not truly free. Was Job being faithful simply because God had allowed him a prosperous life? Job’s fiery trials proved the answer beyond doubt. Job clung to God’s justice when he was the best example in history of God’s apparent injustice. He did not seek the Giver because of his gifts; when all gifts were removed he still sought the Giver.”
― Philip Yancey, Where Is God When It Hurts?
Job, after a long wait, has heard from God. Job’s task now is to respond to the God who has spoken to him out of the whirlwind. His response is not an admission of sin, but it is a realization that his brash words have put him perilously close to sin. Job says to God, “I admit it. I was the one. I babbled on about things far beyond me, made small talk about wonders way over my head..”(The Message)
“I know that you can do all things”, Job says to God. God has revealed Himself personally to Job as the LORD over all of creation. He is the God who laid the foundations of the world, knows where hail and snow are stored and the One who hung the stars. Job has spoken personally to the God who can do all things. Job admits to God, now that I have heard you and now have seen you, logically and with reason then I must repent.
“Job abases himself and recants, confessing himself to be no better than the dust and ashes on which he has been sitting. Job has come to a true assessment of himself before the holy God. . . . Job both renounces all false pride and concedes that God has been true to justice in allowing him, the noblest sheikh, to be brought so low that he has had to sit outside the city on the ash heap. The term recant (niham) means to turn from a planned course of action and take up a new course. It implies the strongest resolve to change direction, but not an attitude of remorse. It is affirmative action based on conviction. In recanting Job surrenders to God the last vestige of his self-righteousness, i.e., he withdraws his avowal of innocence. From now on he will locate his self-worth in his relationship with Yahweh, not in his own moral behavior or innocence. Thus Job commits his fate into God’s hands knowing that he can bear any fate, for he has seen Yahweh.” (John Hartley)
Immediately after Job’s repentance God addresses Job’s friends saying “I am angry with you because you have not spoken the truth about me, as my servant Job has.” God asks of the friends an offering that only nobility could afford. The friends, in an act that must have cost their pride greatly, are also instructed to ask Job to pray for them. Job has found such favor with God that what Job asks is granted from God. The friends do what God tells them, and the Lord accepts Job’s prayer. The scene shows how Job has been restored.
God goes further in the restoration of Job. “The Lord restored his fortunes and gave him twice as much as he had before.” The doubling of Job’s fortunes shows the generous nature of God’s blessing, and the completeness of Job’s restoration. Job’s favor with God is restored, fortunes are restored and now God restores familial relationship. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. The meal reestablishes the fellowship between Job and friends and family. The siblings comforted Job and each one brought him a gift of silver or gold. God allows people to be part of his restoration process.
Vs.12 The Lord blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the former part. The epilogue corresponds to the details given in Chapter one. The amount of livestock listed in chapter 42 is double the amount listed in chapter one. Chapter 42 also tells us that Job saw seven sons and three daughters born to him. This has to be the most touching and painful detail included. There is no way to replace the children that Job had lost, but he was able to once again enjoy the blessing of children. Not only did Job enjoy his children but his daughters were the most beautiful in all the land and they were so blessed that they like their brothers received an inheritance. Job was once again the greatest man among all the people of the East as he had been in chapter one. He lived a long and full life. The Lord’s confidence in chapter one when He said to Satan, “Have you considered by servant Job” had been completely vindicated.
Job was a restored and blessed man. His greatest blessing was not in his health, riches, family or livestock. His greatest blessing was hearing God’s voice come out of the whirlwind. Job knew God. Job came to know God not despite the pain but though the pain. As he said, “My ears had heard of you but now my eyes have seen you.”
Hartley, John E. The Book of Job. Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdmans, 1988.
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
Stedman, Jay C., and Jim Denney. Let God Be God: Life-changing Truths from the Book of Job. Grand Rapids, MI: Discovery House, 2007.
Swindoll, Charles R. Job: A Man of Heroic Endurance. Nashville, TN: W Pub. Group, 2004.
Walton, John H. Job: From Bibliical Text … to Contemporary Life. N.p.: n.p., n.d.
Wiersbe, Warren W. Be Patient: Waiting on God in Difficult times. Colorado Springs, CO: David C. Cook, 2009.