Job – Chapter 41

More About the Leviathan

By Rabbi Jack Abramowitz

G-d continues telling Job about the Leviathan, continued from the previous chapter:

“The Leviathan is so imposing, the mere sight of it can fill a person with fear. A human couldn’t rouse the sleeping Leviathan, so how could he hope to stand up before Me, the One Who created it? I will reward those who keep My laws; everything in the universe is Mine, so I certainly have the means to do so. I will even reward the children of righteous people in merit for their deeds.”

“Getting back to the Leviathan, who can tame it like one tames a horse? You could never put a bridle in its mouth because its teeth are so fearsome! Its scales are like armor; they are so close together that they cannot be penetrated. The Leviathan sneezes light and its eyes shine like the sun. Fire goes forth from its mouth and smoke from its nostrils. Power is in the neck of the Leviathan and its heart is as strong as stone. The mighty of other species quake before it. A person could not defeat the Leviathan with a sword or a spear, and chain mail would not protect a person from it. Iron weapons and stones are as effective as straw against it. The Leviathan basks in the golden sunlight and it makes the water churn like a pot boiling. It swins so swiftly, it cuts a path in the water. No other creature rules over the Leviathan.”

There are some who identify the Leviathan as the crocodile. The verses in this chapter are actually a pretty good description of a crocodile, assuming, of course, that the part about breathing fire is a metaphor.

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