|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 31. - He maketh the deep to boil like a pot. The rush of the crocodile through the water of the stream or pool in which he dwells causes a stir and a commotion which is forcibly compared to the boiling of water in a caldron. He maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. It is generally allowed that by "the sea" here is meant the Nile, as in Isaiah 18:2; Isaiah 19:5; and Nahum 3:8. The swirl of the Nile, as the crocodile makes his rush, is like the heaving of a pot of boiling oil or ointment
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
He maketh the deep to boil (k) like a pot,.... Which is all in a from through the violent agitation and motion of the waves, caused by its tossing and tumbling about; which better suits with the whale than the crocodile, whose motion in the water is not so vehement;
he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment; this also seems to make against the crocodile, which is a river fish, and is chiefly in the Nile. Lakes indeed are sometimes called seas, in which crocodiles are found; yea, they are also said to be in the seas, Ezekiel 32:2; and Pliny (l) speaks of them as common to the land, river, and sea; and the Nile is in the Alcoran (m) called the sea, and its ancient name was "Oceames" with the Egyptians, that is, in Greek, "ocean", as Diodorus Siculus (n) affirms; and so it is thought to be the Egyptian sea in Isaiah 11:15. It is observed that they leave a sweet scent behind them; thus Peter Martyr (o), in his account of the voyages of Columbus in the West Indies, says, they sometimes met with crocodiles, which, when they fled or took water, they left a very sweet savour behind them, sweeter than musk or castoreum. But this does not come up to the expression here of making the sea like a pot of ointment; but the sperm of the whale comes much nearer to it, which is of a fat oily nature, and like ointment, and which the whale sometimes throws out in great abundance, so that the sea is covered with it; whole pails full may be taken out of the water; it swims upon the sea like fat; abundance of it is seen in calm weather, so that it makes the sea all foul and slimy (p): and there are a sort of birds called "mallemuck", which fly in great numbers and feed upon it (q). I cannot but remark what the bishop of Bergen observes (r) of the sea serpent, that its excrements float on the water in summertime like fat slime.
(k) "Fervetque----aequor". Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 327. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 32. c. 11. (m) Schultens in Job, xiv. 11. (n) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 17. (o) Decad. 3. l. 4. (p) Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 148, 149. (q) Vid. Scheuchzer. ut supra, (vol. 4.) p. 852. & Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 167. (r) Pantoppidan's History of Norway, part 2. p. 204.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
31. Whenever he moves.
sea—the Nile (Isa 19:5; Na 3:8).
pot of ointment—the vessel in which it is mixed. Appropriate to the crocodile, which emits a musky smell.
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