Job 40


‘The LORD said to Job: “Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct him? Let him who accuses God answer him!” Job 40:1-2

The LORD Continues Speaking

The Lord asks Job, will the faultfinder continue his accusations against me? If so, let him answer my questions. In other words, if someone is in a position to find fault, then let him assume the position of the reprover.

God is asking Job, is there something he thinks God has failed in? Is there some element of creation which can be improved upon? If so, then God is willing to listen to the arguments, 2 Timothy 4:2-4.

‘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.” Job 40:3-5

Job replies and admits he has spoken rashly. He says, he is weak and he will keep his mouth shut. However, this silence isn’t trust and so the Lord continues.

Job had wanted to speak with God. But when God invites him, Job is wisely silent. Why? Because Job is awe-struck by the power and greatness of God. Job has tried to maintain his humility with his friends and now, in the presence of God, he again demonstrates his humble nature.

He isn’t angry and he shows no resentment for what has happened to him. He is thankful to have his relationship with God back and quickly recognises he is insignificant in comparison to God.

‘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? Do you have an arm like God’s, and can your voice thunder like his? Then adorn yourself with glory and splendour, and clothe yourself in honour and majesty. Unleash the fury of your wrath, look at all who are proud and bring them low, look at all who are proud and humble them, crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the dust together; shroud their faces in the grave. Then I myself will admit to you that your own right hand can save you. “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly! Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit. Its bones are tubes of bronze, its limbs like rods of iron. It ranks first among the works of God, yet its Maker can approach it with his sword. The hills bring it their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plants it lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal it in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround it. A raging river does not alarm it; it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth. Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?’ Job 40:6-24

God once again speaks to Job out of the storm, Exodus 19:19 / Exodus 20:18-21, and asks him questions in the areas that he had challenged God. It was while he began questioning God that Job slipped, he went passed caring. The implication was that Job was more righteous than God, so God allows Job to prove it.

Man isn’t in a position to understand all the ways of God, he is unable to render judgments, let alone show what is flawed in God’s judgments. Therefore, God has the right to do what He has done because His judgments are perfect.

God is saying to Job since he knows so much about everything, and is playing at God when Job has perfectly executed justice, then God Himself will confess how great Job is.

As great as someone who is going to save themselves. The Lord in a short way is telling Job that he is in no position to rule or judge the one who does. If he intends to judge and rule, he had better clothe himself with eminence and majesty.

God finishes His speech by mentioning two of His great creatures, to demonstrate how strong He is. The Behemoth and the Leviathan, Job 41:1-34.

The reason God mentions these two creatures is simply to let Job know that mankind is utterly incapable of controlling that which is easy for God to control. God’s power is seen in the power He is able to give to these creatures.

There are three interpretations of the Behemoth and the Leviathan.

1. They are mythological.

But why use imaginary animals? What difference would that make to Job?

2. They are animals with which we are familiar as listed in most foot-notes, i.e., Behemoth is a hippopotamus or elephant, and the Leviathan is a whale or crocodile.

3. They are dinosaurs.

This explanation seems to be the most logical. Since no animal exists today that would fit the description of these animals, we would assume that one of the dinosaurs that existed either previous to or at the time of Job, would fit the description of both Behemoth and Leviathan. Whatever the case, Job was familiar with the animal.

Coffman, in his commentary, says the following.

‘Both behemoth in this passage and leviathan in Job 41 are creatures which God has made and therefore they may not be identified as mythological creatures. We confess that it is difficult to understand just what God intended by this extensive presentation of these two strange animals. All kinds of explanations have been attempted, identifying the behemoth as a mythological creature, a prehistoric beast now extinct, an elephant, a rhinoceros, or a hippopotamus. The general consensus is that the hippopotamus is the animal spoken of. Still, there are things mentioned here that do not fit that animal at all, for example, the statement that He moves his tail like a cedar, Job 40:17, the tail of a hippopotamus being, in fact, a somewhat insignificant and minor member of his body.’

‘There are many strange and inexplicable things about many of God’s creatures, just as there are of the huge beast mentioned here. That his great strength should come from eating grass appears early in the description, reminding us of the childhood mystery of how a red horse, a yellow cow, a black sheep, and a white goose could all be feeding on a field of green grass, and making diverse coloured coverings for themselves out of the same diet, and how the cow produced milk, the sheep wool, and the goose feathers!’

Go To Job 41