Job 41:22
In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(22) Sorrow is turned into joy before him.—Literally, and before him danceth fear, or pining sorrow exulteth before him. A marvellous personification of the terror which goes with him wherever he goes.

Job 41:22-24. In his neck remaineth strength, &c. — Houbigant’s translation of this is excellent; Strength has its dwelling (so ילין עז, jalin gnoz, literally signifies) on his neck — His head and body are firmly joined together, and therefore what may be called his neck is exceeding strong. This is equally applicable to the whale and the crocodile, neither of which has any more neck than other fishes have. And sorrow is turned into joy before him — The approach of any enemy, which usually causeth fear and sorrow in others, fills him with joy, as being desirous of nothing more than fighting. Or, as the Hebrew may be rendered, sorrow rejoices, or dances, or triumphs, &c., that is, is prevalent and victorious; and quickly invades and conquers all those men, or other creatures, which are in his way. Sorrow is his companion, or harbinger, which attends upon him wheresoever he goes. So anger and fear are said by the poets to accompany the god of war into the battle. Houbigant translates the clause, Before him marches destruction; he makes terrible work wherever he comes. The flakes of his flesh are joined together — Or, the parts of his flesh which stick out, or hang loose, and are ready to fall from other fishes, or creatures. The word flesh is sometimes used of fishes also, as Leviticus 11:11; 1 Corinthians 15:39. They cannot be moved — Without difficulty, namely, out of their place, or from the other members of the body. His heart is as hard as a stone — His courage is invincible; he is void of fear for himself, and of compassion for others, which is often termed, hardness of heart. As hard as a piece of the nether millstone — Which being to bear the weight of the upper, ought to be the harder and stronger of the two. On these last three verses also, Dr. Young’s paraphrase is worthy of the reader’s attention:

“Strength on his ample shoulder sits in state;

His well-join’d limbs are dreadfully complete;

His flakes of solid flesh are slow to part;

As steel his nerves, as adamant his heart.”


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.In his neck remaineth strength - That is, strength is "permanently residing" there. It is not assumed for the moment, but his neck is so constructed as to be the abode of strength. The word here rendered "remaineth" (ילין yālı̂yn), means properly to pass the night; then to abide or dwell; and there is a designed contrast here with what is said of "sorrow" in this verse. This description of strength residing in the neck, agrees well with the crocodile; see the figure of the animal on p. 255. It is not easy, however, to see how this is applicable to the whale, as Prof. Lee supposes. The whale is endowed, indeed, with great strength, as Prof. Lee has shown, but that strength is manifested mainly by the stroke of the tail.

And sorrow is turned into joy before him - Margin, "rejoiceth." The proper meaning of the word used here (תדוץ tādûts) is "to dance, to leap, to skip;" and the sense is, that "terror dances before him." It does not refer to the motion of the animal, as if he were brisk and rapid. but it is a poetic expression, as if terror played or pranced along wherever he came. Strength "resided" in his neck, but his approach made terror and alarm play before him wherever he went; that is, produced terror and dread. In his neck is permanent, calm strength; before him, everything trembles and is agitated. The beauty of the passage lies in this contrast between the strength and firmness which repose calmly in the neck of the animal, and the consternation which he everywhere produces, causing all to tremble as he approaches. Bochart has well illustrated this from the Classical writers.

22. remaineth—abideth permanently. His chief strength is in the neck.

sorrow—anxiety or dismay personified.

is turned into joy—rather, "danceth," "exulteth"; wherever he goes, he spreads terror "before him."

His neck is exceeding strong. This is meant either

1. Of the whale, who though he hath no neck no more than other fishes have, yet he hath a part in some sort answerable to it, where the head and body are joined together. Or,

2. Of the crocodile, whom Aristotle, (who made it his business to search out the several natures and parts of all living creatures, and had all the helps and advantages which he desired to find them out,) and Scaliger, and others affirm to have a neck, though some deny it.

Sorrow is turned into joy before him, i.e. the approach of any enemy, which usually causeth fear and sorrow in others, fills him with joy, as being desirous of nothing more than fighting. Or, sorrow rejoiceth, or danceth, or triumpheth, &c., i.e. is prevalent and victorious, and quickly invades and conquers all those men, or other creatures, which are in his way. Sorrow is his companion or harbinger, which attends upon him wheresoever he goes. This may be a poetical expression, like that of the poets, when they bring in anger and fear going along with or before Mars into the battle.

In his neck remaineth strength,.... This is thought to be an argument against the whale, which is said to have no neck: but whatever joins the head and body may be called the neck, though ever so small; and the shorter the neck is, the stronger it is. It is also said by some, that the crocodile has no neck also; but the philosopher (x) is express for it, that it has one and moves it: and Pliny (y) speaks of it as turning its head upwards, which it could not do without a neck;

and sorrow is turned into joy before him; or leaps and dances before him; it departs from him: he is not afraid of anything, though ever so threatening. Or sorrow and distress at the sight of him, in men and fishes, make them leap, and hasten to get out of the way of him and escape him.

(x) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 6. & Part. Animal l. 4. c. 11. (y) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 25.

In his neck remaineth strength, and {h} sorrow is turned into joy before him.

(h) Nothing is painful or hard for him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
22. The verse means,

In his neck dwelleth strength,

And terror leapeth up before him.

His neck is the dwelling-place, the home of strength; and wherever he appears terror leaps up. The prosaic meaning in the last words is that in the presence of Leviathan every thing starts up affrighted and seeks escape.

22–24. His strength and hardness of muscle.

Verse 22. - In his neck remaineth strength. It has been well remarked that the whale has no neck, or at any rate none {hat is visible, while the crocodile has one that is of great strength, and that naturally attracts observation. "Le cou assez marque," says the 'Dictionnaire des Sciences' (l.s.c.). It is nearly of the same diameter with the head at the point of junction, and where it adjoins the body is still larger. And sorrow is turned into joy before him; rather, and terror rid'seth before him (see the Revised Version). Whithersoever he proceeds, he causes terror; people tremble, take to flight, and disappear. Job 41:2222 Great strength resteth upon his neck,

And despair danceth hence before him.

23 The flanks of his flesh are thickly set,

Fitting tightly to him, immoveable.

24 His heart is firm like stone,

And firm like the nether millstone.

25 The mighty are afraid of his rising up;

From alarm they miss their aim.

Overpowering strength lodges on its neck, i.e., has its abiding place there, and before it despair, prop. melting away, dissolution (דּאבה from דּאב, Arab. ḏ'b equals דּוּב Hiph., Arab. ḍ'b II, to bring into a loose condition, synon. חמס), dances hence, i.e., spring up and away (ידוּץ, Arab. jadisu, to run away), i.e., it spreads before it a despondency which produces terror, and deprives of strength. Even the pendulous fleshy parts (מפּלי), especially of its belly, hang close together, דבקוּ, i.e., they are not flabby, but fit to it, like a metal casting, without moving, for the skin is very thick and covered with thick scales; and because the digestive apparatus of the animal occupies but little space, and the scales of the back are continued towards the belly, the tender parts appear smaller, narrower, and closer together than in other animals. יצוּק here is not, as Job 27:2; Job 29:6, the fut. of צוּק, but the part. of יצק, as also Job 41:24: its heart is firm and obdurate, as though it were of cast brass, hard as stone, and in fact as the nether millstone (פלח from פלח, falacha, to split, crush in pieces), which, because it has to bear the weight and friction of the upper, must be particularly hard. It is not intended of actual stone-like hardness, but only of its indomitable spirit and great tenacity of life: the activity of its heart is not so easily disturbed, and even fatal wounds do not so quickly bring it to a stand. משּׂמו from שׂת equals שׂאת equals שׂאת), primary form שׂאתּ, is better understood in the active sense: afraid of its rising, than the passive: of its exaltedness. אילים (according to another reading אלים) is not, with Ew., to be derived from איל (Arab. ı̂jal), a ram; but אילים Exodus 15:15; Ezekiel 17:13 (comp. גּירים 2 Chronicles 2:16, נירי 2 Samuel 22:29), אלים Ezekiel 31:11; Ezekiel 32:21, and אוּלים Cheth. 2 Kings 24:15, are only alternating forms and modes of writing of the participial adject., derived from אוּל (איל) first of all in the primary form awil (as גּר equals gawir). The signif. assigned to the verb אול: to be thick equals fleshy, which is said then to go over into the signif. to be stupid and strong (Ges. Handwrterb.), rests upon a misconception: âla is said of fluids "to become thick," because they are condensed, since they go back, i.e., sink in or settle (Ges. correctly in Thes.: notio crassitiei a retrocendendo). The verb âla, ja'ûlu, unites in itself the significations to go backward, to be forward, and to rule; the last two: anteriorem and superiorem esse, probably belong together, and אל signifies, therefore, a possessor of power, who is before and over others. התחטּא, Job 41:25, has the signif., which does not otherwise occur, to miss the mark (from חטא, Arab. chaṭiya, to miss, opp. Arab. ṣâb, to hit the mark), viz., (which is most natural where אילים is the subject spoken of) since they had designed the slaughter and capture of the monster. שׁברים is intended subjectively, as תּבירא equals פּחד Exodus 15:16, Targ. II, and also as the Arab. thubûr, employed more in reference to the mind, can be used of pain.

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