Job 41

Wednesday Evening Bible Study

August 6, 2003


God has shown up to ask Job a few questions, actually about 77 questions.

Job has questioned the justice of God

(Job 27:2 KJV) As God liveth, who hath taken away my judgment; and the Almighty, who hath vexed my soul;

Now, in response to that issue, God has challenged Job. If Job thinks he can to a better job of judging the world, then God challenges Job to actually do it, bring justice to the world. That was the gist of:

(Job 40:9-14 The Message) {9} Do you have an arm like my arm? Can you shout in thunder the way I can? {10} Go ahead, show your stuff. Let’s see what you’re made of, what you can do. {11} Unleash your outrage. Target the arrogant and lay them flat. {12} Target the arrogant and bring them to their knees. Stop the wicked in their tracks—make mincemeat of them! {13} Dig a mass grave and dump them in it— faceless corpses in an unmarked grave. {14} I’ll gladly step aside and hand things over to you— you can surely save yourself with no help from me!

And then, to bring his point home, in case Job feels that he can’t handle the whole world, God challenges Job to just try and handle two of God’s finest creations – creatures named “behemoth” and “leviathan”.

We looked at behemoth last week. Though some have tried to make this beast out to be a hippopotamus, I wonder how a hippopotamus is described as having a tail like a “cedar tree” (40:17). I suggested that perhaps God was describing what we might call a dinosaur, something like a brontosaurus.

This flies in the face of most modern science, since science seems to claim that the dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago, and man only arrived on the scene 4 million years ago.

Paluxy River

The Paluxy River basin is in central Texas, near the town of Glen Rose. One of the worst floods of the river occurred in 1908 when the river rose 27 feet. The flood washed away a layer of clay from a layer of limestone, and as a result, a large number of dinosaur tracks were discovered. News reached the universities, and scientists showed up to study the tracks. In 1938, a trail of brontosaurus tracks was removed from the river bottom under the supervision of the paleontologist, Roland T. Bird, and shipped to the American Museum of National History in New York, to be used in a display.

Even stranger was the fact that there were human tracks found at the same place at the same level, having occurred at the same time.

The evolutionists say that dinosaurs died off 65 million years ago and that man didn’t appear until 4 million years ago.

In addition, some carbonized plant life was found and dated using carbon 14 dating. The plant life was found to be 38,000 years old, even though the evolutionists dated the layer as having been in an era of 100,000,000 years old.


Job 41

:1-10 Catching Leviathan

:1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?

leviathanlivyathan – leviathan, exact meaning unknown; the root word means “twisting”, some sort of “twisting monster”.

The language is that used to describe the taking of slaves, putting rings through their nose, being in control.

Just what is this thing?

:2 Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?

hook‘agmown – rush, bulrush; used as cord or line (of twisted rushes or spun of rush fibre)

thornchowach – thorn, brier, bramble, thornbush, thicket; hook, ring, fetter

Can you catch this creature?

:3 Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?

softrak – tender, soft, delicate, weak; gentle words (subst)

Is this creature going to be so afraid of you Job that he’s going to beg for mercy?

(Job 41:3 The Message) {3} Will he beg you over and over for mercy, or flatter you with flowery speech?

:7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?

Some have suggested that Leviathan was a type of whale. Yet whales can be harpooned. Leviathan apparently can’t.

:8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.

(Job 41:8 The Message) {8} If you so much as lay a hand on him, you won’t live to tell the story.

:10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?

“Job, if you can’t capture Leviathan, what makes you think you can challenge Me, the One who created Leviathan.”

:11-34 More on Leviathan

:11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him?

(Job 41:11 NLT)  Who will confront me and remain safe? Everything under heaven is mine.


God is biggest of all

God is reminding Job of his place.  God is God.  He is the Creator.

:12 I will not conceal his parts

Going back to talking about Leviathan

:13 Who can discover the face of his garment?

Who can skin a leviathan?

:14 Who can open the doors of his face?

Can you pry open his jaws?

:18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

neesings‘atiyshah – sneezing

light ‘owr – light; light of day; daylight; lightning; light of lamp

:19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.

burning lampslappiyd – torch.  The word is also found in:

Jud 7:16   And he divided the three hundred men [into] three companies, and he put a trumpet in every man’s hand, with empty pitchers, and lamps within the pitchers.

Jud 15:4  And Samson went and caught three hundred foxes, and took firebrands, and turned tail to tail, and put a firebrand in the midst between two tails.

sparkskiydowd – spark

fire ‘esh – fire; flames

:21 His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.

coalsgechel – coal, burning coal, coals of fire, hot coals

flamelahab – flame, blade

I find it interesting how some commentators treat all this.  I guess that since our culture has completely accepted the idea that dragons are completely mythological, the commentators find ways of making this fit something else.

Even one of my most favorite commentators says this about the passage:

When the crocodile churns up the river and blows out water, the sun reflects from the vapor; and it looks like fire and smoke from a dragon’s mouth (vv. 18–21)[1]

Many commentators say that God is using hyperbole, in a poetic way, to make His point.

Yet the whole point of the passage is to show Job that these creatures, behemoth and leviathan, are so far superior in strength and ability to man that Job ought to back off in his criticism of God.  If Job can’t tame these creatures, how can he judge their Creator?

Why can’t it be exactly what it says?  Why do we struggle with the idea that God might have actually created a fire-breathing creature?

There is a creature known as the bombardier beetle that has an explosion producing mechanism.  It has the ability to produce and shoot out two chemicals (hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone), along with special “inhibitor” chemicals (two enzymes called catalase and peroxidase) that allows the beetle to fire boiling hot noxious gases into the face of its enemies with a loud pop.


Why couldn’t a “leviathan” do this?

:23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together

The scales on this creature can’t be penetrated.

:25 When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.

mighty ‘ayil – ram; strong man, leader, chief

This creature scares even the bravest of the brave.

(Job 41:25 The Message) Even angels run for cover when he surfaces, cowering before his tail-thrashing turbulence.

:26 The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.

spearchaniyth – spear

dartmacca‘– quarry, quarrying, breaking out (of stones); missile, dart

habergeonshiryown – body armour; a weapon; perhaps a lance, javelin

Weapons bounce off this creature.

:30 Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.

(Job 41:30 NASB95) {30} “His underparts are like sharp potsherds; He spreads out like a threshing sledge on the mire.

(Job 41:30 NLT) {30} Its belly is covered with scales as sharp as glass. They tear up the ground as it drags through the mud.

:32 He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.

hoaryseybah – age, gray hair, hoary head, old age

(Job 41:32 NLT) {32} The water glistens in its wake. One would think the sea had turned white.


Just what could this thing be?

The Hebrew word is used several places in the Old Testament:

(Psa 74:12-14 KJV) For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. {13} Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. {14} Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

(Psa 104:24-26 KJV) O LORD, how manifold are thy works! in wisdom hast thou made them all: the earth is full of thy riches. {25} So is this great and wide sea, wherein are things creeping innumerable, both small and great beasts. {26} There go the ships: there is that leviathan, whom thou hast made to play therein.

It seems many seem to favor this being a “crocodile”, but I have trouble with some of these descriptions.  Crocodiles are fierce, but there are people crazy enough to wrestle them.  I’m not sure I’ve seen a fire-breathing crocodile either.

Some have suggested that this might have been some sort of dinosaur, like a “plesiosaurus”


In 1977, a Japanese fishing boat working near New Zealand scooped up a rotting carcase in its nets at a depth of 900 feet. It was thought to have been dead for approximately 30 days. The carcase was 32 feet long and weighed 4,000 pounds. The fishermen were concerned that the carcase would contaminate their cargo of fish, so they just took photographs, clipped off some tissue samples, and then dumped the body back in the ocean. The assistant production manager on the boat, Yano Michihiko, who took the photographs, was convinced that the creature was unusual, and measured parts of it. The head, he said, was 45 centimeters long, the neck 1.5 meters, and the four fins were 1 meter long, while the body from the head to the base of the tail measured 6 meters. He noted carefully that the well-developed vertebrae were about 45 centimeters long and 15 centimeters thick. A laboratory examination of the tissue sample showed it was either a fish or a reptile, but definitely not a mammal.
Evolutionists want to say it’s some sort of shark, but it looks more like a plesiosaurus.

The Scripture speaks of creating “great whales”, but the actual Hebrew word is translated 21/28 times as “dragon”:

(Gen 1:21 KJV) And God created great whales, and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.

whalestanniyn – dragon, serpent, sea monster


It seems that the concept of a creature known as a “dragon” is just about universal in all cultures around the world. The Encyclopedia Brittanica expresses amazement that “The belief in these creatures apparently arose without the slightest knowledge on the part of the ancients of the gigantic, prehistoric, dragon-like reptiles”, in other words, they are surprised that ancient peoples came up with this common idea, even though they supposedly lived millions and millions of years after the dinosaurs supposedly roamed the earth.

Some cultures looked at the dragons as being evil.

The ancient Chaldeans had a goddess named Tiamat that had four legs, a scaly body, and wings.

The Egyptians wrote of the dragon Apophis, enemy of the sun god Re.

Yet in many cultures, the dragon was seen as being something good.

Ancient Greeks and Romans believed that dragons had the ability to understand and teach the secrets of the earth to men. They used the dragon as a military emblem. Roman legions in the first century AD put the dragon on their standards that they carried into battle.

In the northern pagan tribes of Europe, there were legends of heroes who killed dragons. When the Teutons invaded Britain, the dragon was on their shields.

The dragon appeared on the battle standards of the English kings as late as the 1500s, and in the early 1900s it was added to the seal of the Prince of Wales.

In the far east, the dragon was seen as good and was worshipped in the Daoist religion. The dragon was the national emblem of the Chinese Empire. The Chinese associated dragons with power, fertility, and well being. In Japan, the dragon was thought to be able to change its size at will and even could become invisible. Both Chinese and Japanese dragons were considered “powers of the air”, though they didn’t have wings.

Dragons seem to have been everywhere.

The Aztecs' plumed serpent may have represented a hybrid in their thought between a dragon and another creature. The pottery of ancient Nazca culture of Peru shows a cannibal monster much like a dragon.

In British Columbia, Lake Sashwap is believed to be home to the dragon Ta Zam-A, and Lake Cowichan to Tshingquaw. In Ontario, Lake Meminisha is the reputed home of a fish-like serpent feared by the Cree Indians. Angoub is the legendary Huron dragon, Hiachuckaluck the dragon believed in by the Chinooks of British Columbia.

The Bali portray a dragon in their animal mask of Barong, a good spirit that is central in their ritual dramatic presentations.

In literature, dragons are certainly a virtually universal ancient motif. Dragons are found in the early literature of the English, Irish, Danish, Norse, Scandinavians, Germans, Greeks, Romans, Egyptians and Babylonians. Among the American Indians, legends of dragons flourished among the Crees, Algonquins, Onondagas, Ojibways, Hurons, Chinooks, Shoshones, and Alaskan Eskimos.

Francis Schaeffer, philosopher-theologian, has written, “I am not at all convinced it has been proven that the dinosaurs became extinct prior to the advent of man. I believe there is much evidence, ancient and modern, to indicate that dinosaurs and humankind existed on earth contemporaneously, and that human beings, while they probably lived in different regions than dinosaurs for the most part, did on many occasions encounter the sometimes huge and fearsome creatures. The memories of these encounters were so vivid and deep that they were passed down in a multitude of cultures as legends, painted on cave walls, represented in pottery, and written of in literature.”


Microsoft® Encarta® Reference Library 2003. © 1993-2002 Microsoft Corporation. All rights reserved.
Encyclopædia Britannica. 2003. Encyclopædia Britannica Premium Service. 06 Aug, 2003;


I find it interesting that the two concepts of “dragons” and “Satan” are written off in the world as some sort of myths.

Yet we have learned that Satan is very real.  It’s one of his greatest deceptions to fool the world into thinking he doesn’t exist.


Satan is going to lose in the end.

(Isa 27:1 KJV) In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.
(Rev 12:7-13 KJV) And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, {8} And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven.
This war will take place in the middle of the Tribulation period. Up until that time, Satan has and continues to have access to heaven. He is known as the “accuser of the brethren”.
{9} And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him. {10} And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. {11} And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death.
Victory over Satan comes from three things:

The blood of Jesus is what covers our sins. It is what has paid the price for our sins so that when Satan accuses us, he has nothing against us because God has forgiven us.

The word of testimony not only includes telling people what Jesus has done in your life, but it included God’s Word, which is the testimony of God’s people.

Yesterday the Episcopal church ordained a practicing gay man as bishop in their church.  One of the priests was being interviewed on TV and was asked by they didn’t believe what the Scriptures say about homosexuality.  The man said that they didn’t believe in just having one book tell them what to do, but that they believed that the Holy Spirit in the church was guiding them as well.

It’s interesting what Paul says about that:

(1 Th 4:3-8 KJV)  For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication: {4} That every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour; {5} Not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles which know not God: {6} That no man go beyond and defraud his brother in any matter: because that the Lord is the avenger of all such, as we also have forewarned you and testified. {7} For God hath not called us unto uncleanness, but unto holiness. {8} He therefore that despiseth, despiseth not man, but God, who hath also given unto us his holy Spirit.

Paul is saying that it is the Holy Spirit that teaches us about purity.  Homosexuality is part of “fornication”.  They are actually fighting against the Holy Spirit, not listening to Him.

Not loving their lives to death, how can Satan defeat you if you’re willing to die for Jesus?

{12} Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. {13} And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child.
Satan will be behind a great persecution of the Jews during the Tribulation. This is part of the victory that Isaiah is talking about in Is. 27, that God will take care of the dragon who is persecuting the Jews.
When Jesus returns, Satan will be bound for a thousand years, then set loose for a brief period of time, after which …
(Rev 20:10 KJV) And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever.

Satan will one day lose for good.


Be careful about “playing” with Satan

(Job 41:5 KJV)  Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?
I get the feeling from some people that they think they’re smarter than Satan. I remember one fellow telling me that he was going to use Satan’s own tactics against him and what he meant was that he was going to lie and trick someone into being good. It didn’t work. It caused a lot of grief.
Satan is a cruel task master, not someone who is going to be your slave.
Quote from Dilbert: Do not meddle in the affairs of dragons, because you are crunchy and taste good with ketchup.


Use the right weapons

Satan, like leviathan, is FAR too big for us to handle on our own with our own kinds of ideas or weapons.
We need God’s weapons.
(2 Cor 10:3-5 KJV)  For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war after the flesh: {4} (For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) {5} Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;
There are weapons that are effective against Satan.
Not only those listed in Revelation 12, but also in:

(Eph 6:11-18 KJV)  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. {12} For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. {13} Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. {14} Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; {15} And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; {16} Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. {17} And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: {18} Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints;


Pride and dragons

Leviathan was known as:
(Job 41:34 KJV)  He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
This too is an apt description of Satan.  Pride is the sin that caused Satan to rebel against God:
(Isa 14:12-15 KJV)  How art thou fallen from heaven, O Lucifer, son of the morning! how art thou cut down to the ground, which didst weaken the nations! {13} For thou hast said in thine heart, I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars of God: I will sit also upon the mount of the congregation, in the sides of the north: {14} I will ascend above the heights of the clouds; I will be like the most High. {15} Yet thou shalt be brought down to hell, to the sides of the pit.
God is opposed to pride.
(1 Pet 5:5b-6 KJV)  …Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble. {6} Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time:
(James 4:10 KJV)  Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.
I wonder if this isn’t somehow a bit of a warning towards Job against pride.
It seems that as the arguments have gone on between Job and his friends, that there has been a bit of pride slip into Job’s remarks.
And when things turn around for Job, part of what happens in his life is a shift towards humility.  He will exclaim:

(Job 42:6 KJV)  Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.

[1]Wiersbe, W. W. (1996, c1991). Be patient. An Old Testament study. (Job 40:6). Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books.