Job 41:30
Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.
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(30) He spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.—Some render, “He spreadeth, as it were, a threshing-wain upon the mire.” The statement is, that he not only can lie without inconvenience upon sharp-pointed things, but his own body presents a sharp surface to the mud he lies on.

Job 41:30. Sharp stones — חדודי חרשׂ, chadudee chares, acumina testæ, vel testacea, sharp points of potsherds, are under him — He can repose himself on rocks, or stones, whose edges, or points, are sharp, like those of shells, or broken potsherds; and yet he is not sensible of them, says R. Levi. and Ab. Ezra. His skin is so hard and impenetrable that they make no impression upon him, but are as easy to him as a bed of clay. He spreadeth sharp pointed things: &c. — Hebrew, חרוצ, charutz, acutum, any thing which cuts, or makes an incision. The word also means, and is rendered by Bochart, tribula, an instrument used in thrashing corn, a kind of sledge, furnished with sharp iron wheels, which was drawn over the straw by oxen, and at the same time thrashed out the corn, and cut the straw into small pieces, reducing it to chaff. Heath, therefore, translates the verse, His nether parts are like sharp potsherds: he dasheth himself on the mud like a thrashing-cart.

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.Sharp stones are under him - Margin, as in Hebrew, "pieces of pot sherd." The Hebrew word (חדוד chaddûd), means "sharp, pointed"; and the phrase used here means "the sharp points of a potsherd," or broken pieces of earthenware. The reference is, undoubtedly, to the scales of the animal, which were rough and pointed, like the broken pieces of earthenware. This description would not agree with the whale, and indeed will accord with no other animal so well as with the crocodile. The meaning is, that the under parts of his body, with which he rests upon the mire, are made up of sharp, pointed things, like broken pottery.

He spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire - That is, when he rests or stretches himself on the mud or slime of the bank of the river. The word used here and rendered "sharp pointed things" (חרוץ chârûts) means properly something "cut in;" then something sharpened or pointed; and is used to denote "a threshing sledge;" see this instrument described in Isaiah 28:27-28, note; Isaiah 41:15, note. It is not certain, however, that there is any allusion here to that instrument. It is rather to anything that is rough or pointed, and refers to the lower part of the animal as having this character. The Vulgate renders this, "Beneath him are the rays of the sun, and he reposeth on gold as on clay." Dr. Harris, Dr. Good, and Prof. Lee, suppose it refers to what the animal lies on, meaning that he lies on splinters of rock and broken stone with as much readiness and ease as if it were clay. But the above seems to me to be the true interpretation. It is that of Gesenius, Rosenmuller, and Umbreit. Grotius understands it as meaning that the weapons thrown at him lie around him like broken pieces of pottery.

30. stones—rather, "potsherds," that is, the sharp and pointed scales on the belly, like broken pieces of pottery.

sharp-pointed things—rather, "a threshing instrument," but not on the fruits of the earth, but "on the mire"; irony. When he lies on the mire, he leaves the marks of his scales so imprinted on it, that one might fancy a threshing instrument with its sharp teeth had been drawn over it (Isa 28:27).

According to this translation the sense is, his skin is so hard and impenetrable, that the sharpest stones are as easy to him as the mire, and make no more impression upon him. But the words are and may be otherwise rendered, as continuing the former sense, They (to wit, the arrows, darts, or stones cast at him) are or fall

under him, like (which particle is oft understood) sharp shreds, or fragments of stones;

he spreadeth sharp pointed things (to wit, the pieces of swords or darts which were flung at him, and broken upon him) upon the mire. The fragments of broken weapons lie as thick at the bottom of the water in the place of the fight as little stones do in the mire, or as they do in a field after some fierce and furious battle. Or thus, With him (or for him, i.e. for his defence) are sharp stones; he spreadeth himself like an arrow or threshing instrument (which is filled and fortified with iron)

in the mire or mud in the bottom of the water: so he doth not describe his resting-place, but rather his back, which he not unfitly compares to sharp stones or threshing instruments, because the darts or stones east at him pierce no more into him than they would do into them if they were thrown at them.

Sharp stones are under him,.... And yet give him no pain nor uneasiness;

he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire; and makes his bed of them and lies upon them; as sharp stones, as before, shells of fishes, broken pieces of darts, arrows, and javelins thrown at him, which fall around him: this does not so well agree with the crocodile, the skin of whose belly is soft and thin; wherefore dolphins plunge under it and cut it with a thorn, as Pliny (h) relates, or with spiny fins (i); but with the whale, which lies among hard rocks and sharp stones, and large cutting pieces of ice, as in the northern seas.

(h) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 25. (i) Sandys's Travels, l. 2. p. 78.

Sharp stones {i} are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.

(i) His skin is so hard that he lies with a great ease on the stones as in the mud.

30. The impression left where he has lien.

Under him he hath sharp potsherds,

He spreadeth a threshing-sledge upon the mire.

The scales of the belly, though smoother than those on the back, still are sharp, particularly those under the tail, and leave an impression on the mire where he has lien as if a sharp threshing-sledge with teeth had stood on it or gone over it (Isaiah 41:15).

Verse 30. - Sharp stones are under him; rather, jagged potsherds are under him; i.e. "his belly is covered with jagged scales" - a thing which is true of the crocodile, but scarcely of any other beast. He spreadeth sharp pointed things (rather, a threshing-wain, or a corn-drag) upon the mire. He leaves on the mud on which he has lain, i.e. an impression as of an Oriental threshing-wain, or corn-drag, which is "a thick plank of timber, stuck full on the under side, of flints or hard cutting stones arranged in the form of the palate or rough tongue of a cow" (Sir C. Fellows, 'Asia Minor,' p. 70). The mud-banks on which crocodiles have been lying are said to be scored all over with such impressions. Job 41:3030 His under parts are the sharpest shards,

He spreadeth a threshing sledge upon the mire.

31 He maketh the deep foam like a caldron,

He maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.

32 He lighteth up the path behind him,

One taketh the water-flood for hoary hair.

33 Upon earth there is not his equal,

That is created without fear.

34 He looketh upon everything high,

He is the king over every proud beast.

Under it, or, תּחתּיו taken like תּחת, Job 41:11, as a virtual subject (vid., Job 28:5): its under parts are the most pointed or sharpest shards, i.e., it is furnished with exceedingly pointed scales. חדּוּד is the intensive form of חד (Arab. hadı̂d, sharpened equals iron, p. 542, note), as חלּוּק, 1 Samuel 17:40, of חלק (smooth),

(Note: In Arabic also this substantival form is intensive, e.g., lebbûn, an exceedingly large kind of tile, dried in the open air, of which farm-yards are built, nearly eight times larger than the common tile, which is called libne (לבנח).)

and the combination חדּוּדי חרשׂ (equal the combination חדודי החרשׂים, comp. Job 30:6) is moreover superlative: in the domain of shards standing prominent as sharp ones, as Arab. chairu ummatin, the best people, prop. bon en fait de peuple (Ew. 313, c. Gramm. Arab. 532). lxx ἡ στρωμνὴ αὐτοῦ ὀβελίσκοι ὀξεῖς, by drawing ירפּד to Job 41:30, and so translating as though it were רפידתו (Arab. rifâde, stratum). The verb רפד (rafada), cogn. רבד, signifies sternere (Job 17:13), and then also culcire; what is predicated cannot be referred to the belly of the crocodile, the scales of which are smooth, but to the tail with its scales, which more or less strongly protrude, are edged round by a shallow cavity, and therefore are easily and sharply separated when pressed; and the meaning is, that when it presses its under side in the morass, it appears as though a threshing-sledge with its iron teeth had been driven across it.

The pictures in Job 41:31 are true to nature; Bartram, who saw two alligators fighting, says that their rapid passage was marked by the surface of the water as it were boiling. With מצוּלה, a whirlpool, abyss, depth (from צוּל equals צלל, to hiss, clash; to whirl, surge), ים alternates; the Nile even in the present day is called bahr (sea) by the Beduins, and also compared, when it overflows its banks, to a sea. The observation that the animal diffuses a strong odour of musk, has perhaps its share in the figure of the pot of ointment (lxx ὥσπερ ἐξάλειπτρον, which Zwingli falsely translates spongia); a double gland in the tail furnishes the Egyptians and Americans their (pseudo) musk. In Job 41:32 the bright white trail that the crocodile leaves behind it on the surface of the water is intended; in Job 41:32 the figure is expressed which underlies the descriptions of the foaming sea with πολιός, canus, in the classic poets. שׂיבה, hoary hair, was to the ancients the most beautiful, most awe-inspiring whiteness. משׁלו, Job 41:33, understood by the Targ., Syr., Arab. version, and most moderns (e.g., Hahn: there is not on earth any mastery over it), according to Zechariah 9:10, is certainly, with lxx, Jer., and Umbr., not to be understood differently from the Arab. mithlahu (its equal); whether it be an inflexion of משׁל, or what is more probable, of משׁל (comp. Job 17:6, where this nomen actionis signifies a proverb equals word of derision, and התמשּׁל, to compare one's self, be equal, Job 30:19). על־עפר is also Hebr.-Arab.; the Arabic uses turbe, formed from turâb (vid., on Job 19:25), of the surface of the earth, and et-tarbâ-u as the name of the earth itself. העשׂוּ (for העשׂוּי, as צפוּ, Job 15:22, Cheth. equals צפוּי, resolved from עשׂוּו, ‛asûw, 1 Samuel 25:18, Cheth.) is the confirmatory predicate of the logical subj. described in Job 41:33 as incomparable; and לבלי־חת (from חת, the a of which becomes i in inflexion), absque terrore (comp. Job 38:4), is virtually a nom. of the predicate: the created one (becomes) a terrorless one (a being that is terrified by nothing). Everything high, as the לבלי־חת, Job 41:33, is more exactly explained, it looketh upon, i.e., remains standing before it, without turning away affrighted; in short, it (the leviathan) is king over all the sons of pride, i.e., every beast of prey that proudly roams about (vid., on Job 28:8).

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