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The Lord is still the speaker, through the whole of this chapter. Having before given an instance of the sovereignty of his power, in the creation and government of the largest of land creatures: in this the Lord assumes the like sovereignty of the sea, in the instance of the Leviathian, the largest of creatures in the ocean, A beautiful description is given of this animal, and this forms the whole of the chapter from beginning to end.
(1) ¶ Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? (2) Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn? (3) Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee? (4) Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant forever? (5) Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? (6) Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? (7) Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? (8) Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more. (9) Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? (10) None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
I stay not to offer ally comment upon this description of the Leviathan, neither shall I enter into an enquiry what animal it is that is here intended by the Leviathan: some have thought that it is the crocodile that is meant to be described; and others conceive that it is the whale: but it appears to me to be of little importance to inquire. It is sufficient that it is a creature of GOD, and, as such, displays in its formation GOD'S power and sovereignty. And the conclusion to be made from the view of such a wonderful production, is best made in the words of God himself: 'If a man would tremble at the idea of stirring up such a creature, who can be able to stand before GOD? If the thing created be tremendous, what must the great Creator be?'
(11) ¶ Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine. (12) I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion. (13) Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle? (14) Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about. (15) His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal. (16) One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. (17) They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered. (18) By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. (19) Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. (20) Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. (21) His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth. (22) In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him. (23) The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved. (24) His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. (25) When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves. (26) The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon. (27) He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. (28) The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble. (29) Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear. (30) Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire. (31) He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. (32) He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. (33) Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear. (34) He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
The description here given of the Leviathan is most striking and magnificent. How beautifully the several features of this vast creature is set forth; how grand and lofty the account of him. But after all that is said of the strength and majesty of the Leviathan, the only creature in GOD'S creation that is said to be made without fear, the highest possible representation of created greatness, yet when we call to mind, that this huge animal lies at the mercy of GOD, and is as easily destroyed by his Maker as the smallest fly or worm, how astonishingly great and powerful must be the LORD JEHOVAH; and what an argument ariseth here from, both to humble us to the dust of the earth, in token of our nothingness, before the LORD; and, above all things, to seek his favor, in whose hand all our breath is, and whose are all our ways. Daniel 5:23 .
READER, among many special improvements to be made, under divine teaching, from this chapter, there are two very striking lessons, which I pray the LORD, the HOLY GHOST, to impress with his grace on my mind and yours. The one is, if beasts of prey, and animals of slaughter, become so formidable to our apprehension, since the fall, that their terror make us afraid, think how dreadful it must be to fall, into the hands of offended justice, whose power as infinitely transcends these his creatures, as the great Creator transcends the thing created. And yet doth not every sinner literally expose himself to the tremendous judgment of incensed Heaven, who, despising the only plan of salvation revealed from Heaven by the LORD JESUS CHRIST, sets up a fancied righteousness of his own, and doth, to all intents and purposes, count the blood of the covenant an unholy thing, and doth despite unto the SPIRIT of Grace.
The other improvement from the perusal of this chapter is, to take comfort and the surest confidence in the power, sovereignty, grace, and goodness, of this Almighty GOD, if in the way he himself hath graciously appointed, (even in the name and righteousness of the LORD JESUS CHRIST), we have sought his favor, and cast ourselves wholly upon his free grace in JESUS. Oh! how sure, how eternally sure and safe must be those who have a GOD in CHRIST for their confidence! Did the LORD create Behemoth, and the Leviathan? Doth he feed them, and sustain them, appoint their bounds of their time and existence? And will he not feed, sustain, comfort, and determine the bounds of his people's habitation? Oh! my soul, cast all thy care upon thy GOD in CHRIST, for he careth for thee! 'Fear not, ' he hath said, 'I am with thee.' And surely if the LORD governs with such care the greatest powers in earth and sea, the devils also must be subject to his power, and dare not resist his Command. Precious JESUS! let these views add another argument to make my soul perfectly happy under thy protection. I am thine, O LORD, and thou wilt save me: thou wilt have respect to the works of thine hands. I am thine, O LORD, both by creation and redemption; and therefore thou wilt have regard to the purchase of thy blood and righteousness. Henceforth I cast my soul, and all I have, and am, upon thee; for thou hast redeemed me, O LORD , thou GOD of truth.
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Hawker, Robert, D.D. "Commentary on Job 41". "Hawker's Poor Man's Commentary". https://studylight.org/
the Third Week after Epiphany