Job 41:24
His heart is as firm as a stone; yes, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(24) His hearti.e., his nature, his disposition. This seems to be the meaning, rather than the physical organ of life.

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.His heart is as firm as a stone - As hard; as solid. Bochart remarks that the word "heart" here is not to be regarded as denoting the "courage" of the animal, as it sometimes does, but the heart literally. The statement occurs in the description of the various parts of the animal, and the object is to show that there was special firmness or solidity in every one of his members. There is special firmness or strength needed in the "hearts" of all animals, to enable them to propel the blood through the arteries of the body; and in an animal of the size of the crocodile, it is easy to see that the heart must be made capable of exerting vast force. But there is no reason to suppose that the affirmation here is made on the supposition that there is need of extraordinary strength in the heart to propel the blood. The doctrine of the circulation of the blood was not then known to mankind, and it is to be presumed that the argument here would be based on what "was" known, or what might be easily observed. The presumption therefore is, that the statement here is based on what had been "seen" of the remarkable compactness and firmness of the heart of the animal here referred to. Probably there was nothing so unique in the heart of the crocodile that this description would be applicable to that animal alone, but it is such doubtless as would apply to the heart of any animal of extraordinary size and strength.

Yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone - The mills commonly used in ancient times were hand-mills; see a description of them in the notes at Matthew 24:41. Why the lower stone was the hardest, is not quite apparent. Perhaps a more solid stone might have been chosen for this, because it was supposed that there was more wear on the lower than the upper stone, or because its weight would make the machine more solid and steady.

24. heart—"In large beasts which are less acute in feeling, there is great firmness of the heart, and slower motion" [Bochart]. The nether millstone, on which the upper turns, is especially hard. His heart; either,

1. That part of the body is most firm, and hard, and strong. Or,

2. His courage is invincible; he is void of fear for himself, and of compassion to others, which is oft called hardness of heart.

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. His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. Which must be understood not of the substance but of the qualities of it, being bold, courageous, undaunted, and unmerciful; which is true both of the whale and crocodile, and particularly of the crocodile: Aelianus (z) relates of one sort of them that they are unmerciful, though elsewhere (a), he represents them as fearful.

(z) De Animal. l. 12. c. 41. (a) Ibid. l. 10. c. 24.

His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
24. The second clause reads,

Yea, firm as the nether millstone.

Gen. “as hard as the nether millstone.” The term “firm,” lit. cast, is repeated from the first clause (cf. Job 41:23). The nether millstone, bearing all the pressure upon it, needs to be harder even than the upper stone.Verse 24. - His heart is firm as a stone. Some regard this as intended physically, and note that the great saurians, with their cold and sluggish circulation, have hearts which are comparatively torpid, not contracting or expanding readily. Others take the "stony heart" to mean a fierce and obstinate disposition. In either case, the description will well suit the crocodile. Yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. A repetition and slight exaggeration of the preceding idea. 18 His sneezing sendeth forth light,

And his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn;

19 Out of his mouth proceed flames,

Sparks of fire escape from him;

20 Out of his nostrils goeth forth smoke

Like a seething pot and caldron;

21 His breath kindleth coals,

And flames go forth out of his mouth.

That the crocodile delights to sun itself on the land, and then turns its open jaws to the sunny side, most Nile travellers since Herodotus have had an opportunity of observing;

(Note: Dieterici, Reisebilder, i.:194: "We very often saw the animal lying in the sand, its jaws wide open and turned towards the warm sunbeams, while little birds, like the slender white water-wagtail, march quietly about in the deadly abyss, and pick out worms from the watery jaws." Herodotus, ii. 68, tells exactly the same story; as the special friend of the crocodile among little birds, he mentions τὸν τροχῖλον (the sand-piper, Pluvianus Aegyptius).)

and in connection therewith the reflex action of sneezing may occur, since the light of the sun produces an irritation on the retina, and thence on the vagus; and since the sun shines upon the fine particles of watery slime cast forth in the act of sneezing, a meteoric appearance may be produced. This delicate observation of nature is here compressed into three words; in this concentration of whole, grand thoughts and pictures, we recognise the older poet. עטשׁ is the usual Semitic word for "sneezing" (Synon. זרר 2 Kings 4:35). תּהל shortened from תּהל, Job 31:26, Hiph. of הלל. The comparison of the crocodile's eyes with עפעפּי־שׁחר (as Job 3:9, from עפעף, to move with quick vibrations, to wink, i.e., tremble), or the rendering of the same as εἶδος ἑωσφόρου (lxx), is the more remarkable, as, according to Horus, i. 68, two crocodile's eyes are the hieroglyph

(Note: The eyes of the crocodile alone by themselves are no hieroglyph: how could they have been represented by themselves as crocodile's eyes? But in the Ramesseum and elsewhere the crocodile appears with a head pointing upwards in company with couching lions, and the eyes of the crocodile are rendered specially prominent. Near this group it appears again in a curved position, and quite small, but this time in company with a scorpion which bears a disc of the sun. The former (κροκοδείλου δύο ὀφθαλμοί) seems to me to be a figure of the longest night, the latter (κροκόδειλος κεκυφώς in Horapollo) of the shortest, so that consequently ἀνατολή and δύσις do not refer to the rising and setting of the sun, but to the night as prevailing against or succumbing to the day (communicated by Lauth from his researches on the astronomical monuments). But since the growth of the day begins with the longest night, and vice vers, the notions ἀνατολή and δύσις can, as it seems to me, retain their most natural signification; and the crocodile's eyes are, notwithstanding, a figure of the light shining forth from the darkness, as the crocodile's tail signifies black darkness (and Egypt as the black land).)

for dawn, ἀνατολή: ἐπειδ́περ (probably to be read ἐπειδὴ πρὸ) παντὸς σώματος ζώου οἱ ὀφθαλμοὶ ἐκ τοῦ βυθοῦ ἀναφαίνονται. There it is the peculiar brilliancy of the eyes of certain animals that is intended, which is occasioned either by the iris being furnished with a so-called lustrous substance, or there being in the pupil of the eye (as e.g., in the ostrich) that spot which, shining like metal, is called tapetum lucidum. For ἀναφαίνεσθαι of the eyes ἐκ τοῦ βυθοῦ, is the lustre of the pupil in the depth of the eye. The eyes of the crocodile, which are near together, and slanting, glimmer through the water, when it is only a few feet under water, with a red glow.

Nevertheless the comparison in Job 41:18 might also be intended differently. The inner (third) eyelid

continued...

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