Job 41:3 Commentaries: "Will he make many supplications to you, Or will he speak to you soft words?
Job 41:3
Will he make many supplications to you? will he speak soft words to you?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
Job 41:3-6. Will he make supplications unto thee? — Doth he dread thy anger or power? Or will he earnestly beg thy favour? It is a metaphor from men in distress, who use these means to them to whose power they are subject. Will he make a covenant with thee? — Namely, to do thee faithful service, as the next words explain it. Canst thou bring him into bondage and force him to serve thee? Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? — As children play with little birds kept in cages, which they do at their pleasure, and without any fear. Or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens? — For thy little daughters, which he mentions rather than little sons, because such are most subject to fear. Shall thy companions make a banquet of him? — Hebrew, יכרו, jichru, concident, Vul. Lat., cut, or carve, him up? Shall thy friends, who assisted thee in taking him, feed upon him, or make a banquet for him; that is, for joy, that thou hast taken him? Shall they part him among the merchants? — As is usual in such cases, that all who are partners in the labour and hazard may partake of the profit also, and divide the spoil.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.Will he make many supplications unto thee? - In the manner of a captive begging for his life. That is, will he quietly submit to you? Prof. Lee supposes that there is an allusion here to the well-known cries of the dolphin when taken; but it is not necessary to suppose such an allusion. The idea is, that the animal here referred to would not tamely submit to his captor.

Will he speak soft words unto thee? - Pleading for his life in tones of tender and plaintive supplication.

3. soft words—that thou mayest spare his life. No: he is untamable. Doth he dread thine anger or power? or will he humbly and earnestly beg thy favour, that thou wouldst spare him, and not pursue him, or release him out of prison? It is a metaphor from men in distress and misery, who use these means to them to whose power they are subject. Will he make many supplications unto thee?.... To cease pursuing him, or to let him go when taken, or to use him well and not take away his life; no, he is too spirited and stouthearted to ask any favour, it is below him;

will he speak soft words unto thee? smooth and flattering ones, for the above purposes? he will not: this is a figurative way of speaking.

Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
3. Ironical question whether Leviathan will beg to be spared or treated kindly.Verse 3. - Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee? Ironical. Will he behave as human captives do, when they wish to curry favour with their captors? 19 He is the firstling of the ways of God;

He, his Maker, reached to him his sword.

20 For the mountains bring forth food for him,

And all the beasts of the field play beside him.

21 Under the lote-trees he lieth down,

In covert of reeds and marsh.

22 Lote-trees cover him as shade,

The willows of the brook encompass him.

23 Behold, if the stream is strong, he doth not quake;

He remaineth cheerful, if a Jordan breaketh forth upon his mouth.

24 Just catch him while he is looking,

With snares let one pierce his nose!

God's ways is the name given to God's operations as the Creator of the world in Job 40:19 (comp. Job 26:14, where His acts as the Ruler of the world are included); and the firstling of these ways is called the Behmth, not as one of the first in point of time, but one of the hugest creatures, un chef-d'oeuvre de Dieu (Bochart); ראשׁית not as Proverbs 8:22; Numbers 24:20, of the priority of time, but as Amos 6:1, Amos 6:6, of rank. The art. in העשׁו is, without the pronominal suff. being meant as an accusative (Ew. 290, d), equal to a demonstrative pronoun (comp. Ges. 109, init): this its Creator (but so that "this" does not refer back so much as forwards). It is not meant that He reached His sword to behmoth, but (on which account לו is intentionally wanting) that He brought forth, i.e., created, its (behmoth's) peculiar sword, viz., the gigantic incisors ranged opposite one another, with which it grazes upon the meadow as with a sickle: ἀρούρῃσιν κακὴν ἐπιβάλλεται ἅρπην (Nicander, Theriac. 566), ἅρπη is exactly the sickle-shaped Egyptian sword (harpu equals חרב). Vegetable food (to which its teeth are adapted) is appointed to the behmoth: "for the mountains produce food for him;" it is the herbage of the hills (which is scanty in the lower and more abundant in the upper valley of the Nile) that is intended, after which this uncouth animal climbs (vid., Schlottm.). בּוּל is neither a contraction of יבוּל (Ges.), nor a corruption of it (Ew.), but Hebraeo-Arab. equals baul, produce, from bâla, to beget, comp. aballa, to bear fruit (prop. seed, bulal), root בל, to soak, wet, mix.

(Note: Whether בּליל, Job 6:5; Job 24:6, signifies mixed provender (farrago), or perhaps ripe fruit, i.e., grain, so that jabol, Judges 19:21, in the signification "he gave dry provender consisting of barley-grain," would be the opposite of the jahushsh (יחשׁ) of the present day, "he gives green provender consisting of green grass or green barley, hashı̂sh," as Wetzst. supposes, vid., on Isaiah 30:24.)

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