|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 7. - Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? The hippopotamus was captured in this way by the Egyptians at an early date, and hence the idea of trying the same mode of capture with the crocodile would naturally arise; but in the time of Job it would seem that no one had been bold enough to attempt it. The skin of the crocodile is penetrable in very few places, and his capture by a single man with a harpoon, though now sometimes practised (Wilkinson, in the author's 'Herodotus,' vol. 2. p. 99), is still a work of danger and difficulty. Or his head with fish-spears? Fish-spears would have small effect on the head of a crocodile, which is bony and covered by a very tough skin. There is a vulnerable place, however, at the point where the head joins the spine, at which the ancient Egyptians, when they ventured to attack the crocodile, were wont to strike (see the author's 'History of Ancient Egypt,' vol. 1. p. 545).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears? This seems not so well to agree with the whale; whose skin, and the several parts of his body, are to be pierced with harpoons and lances, such as fishermen use in taking whales; and their flesh to be cut in pieces with their knives: but better with the crocodile, whose skin is so hard, and so closely set with scales, that it is impenetrable; See Gill on Ezekiel 29:4. Or if the words are rendered, as by some, "wilt thou fill ships with his skin? and the fishermen's boat with his head" (n)? it makes also against the whale; for this is done continually, ships of different nations are loaded every year with its skin, flesh, and the bones of its head.
(n) Vid. Schultens in loc.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
7. His hide is not penetrable, as that of fishes.
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