|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
41:1-34 Concerning Leviathan. - The description of the Leviathan, is yet further to convince Job of his own weakness, and of God's almighty power. Whether this Leviathan be a whale or a crocodile, is disputed. The Lord, having showed Job how unable he was to deal with the Leviathan, sets forth his own power in that mighty creature. If such language describes the terrible force of Leviathan, what words can express the power of God's wrath? Under a humbling sense of our own vileness, let us revere the Divine Majesty; take and fill our allotted place, cease from our own wisdom, and give all glory to our gracious God and Saviour. Remembering from whom every good gift cometh, and for what end it was given, let us walk humbly with the Lord.
Verse 19. - Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. The description now becomes highly poetical, and it would be a mistake to endeavour to substantiate it. The intention is to represent the impression which the animal would make on an impressible but unscientific observer viewing it in its native haunts for the first time. Splashing, snorting, and throwing up spray all around, it would seem to be breathing out steam and smoke, from which the idea of fire is inseparable (see the next verse).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Which, though hyperbolical expressions, have some foundation for them in the latter; in the vast quantities of water thrown out by the whale, through its mouth or hole in its frontispiece, which in the sun may look like lamps and sparks of fire, as before observed; and especially in the "orcae", or whales with teeth, which eject in the same way an oily mucus, or the fat liquor of the brain, commonly called spermaceti, which may appear more bright and glittering. Ovid (t) says much the same of the boar as is here said of the leviathan.
(t) "Fulmen ab ore venit; frondesque adflatibus ardent". Metamorph. c. 8. Fab. 4.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. burning lamps—"torches"; namely, in respiring (Job 41:18), seem to go out.
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