Job 41:31
He makes the deep to boil like a pot: he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(31) The seai.e., not necessarily the salt water, for the Nile is still called the sea by the Arabs, and so with many other large rivers. Example, the “sea-wall” of the Thames below Gravesend.

Job 41:31-32. He maketh the deep — The deep waters; to boil like a pot — To swell, and foam, and froth, by his strong and vehement motion, as any liquor does when it is boiled in a pot, especially boiling ointment. The sea — Either the great sea, the proper place of the whale, Psalm 104:25, or the great river Nile, which is called a sea, both in Scripture, as Isaiah 11:15, and in other authors, as Euphrates is called the sea of Babylon, Isaiah 21:1; Jeremiah 51:36. Lakes also are most frequently called seas, both in the Old and New Testament; and in such lakes the crocodiles are, as well as in the Nile. He maketh a path to shine after him — Houbigant renders the text, He leaves behind him a shining path; that is, the way in which he moves appears shining and conspicuous, as when a ship sails, and leaves a visible path behind it, which in the night appears to shine. One would think the deep to be hoary — It is so covered with froth and foam that it looks as if it were grown old, and become hoary.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.He maketh the deep to boil like a pot - In his rapid motion through it. The word "deep" (מצולה metsôlâh) may refer to any deep place - either of the sea, of a river, or of mire, Psalm 69:2. It is applied to the depths of the sea, Jonah 2:3; Micah 7:19; but there is nothing in the word that will prevent its application to a large river like the Nile - the usual abode of the crocodile.

He maketh the sea - The word "sea" (ים yâm) is often applied to a large river, like the Nile or the Euphrates; see the notes at Isaiah 19:5.

Like a pot of ointment - When it is mixed, or stirred together. Bochart supposes that there is an allusion here to the smell of musk, which it is said the crocodile has, and by which the waters through which he passes seem to be perfumed. But the allusion seems rather to be merely to the fact that the deep is agitated by him when he passes through it, as if it were stirred from the bottom like a pot of ointment.

31. Whenever he moves.

sea—the Nile (Isa 19:5; Na 3:8).

pot of ointment—the vessel in which it is mixed. Appropriate to the crocodile, which emits a musky smell.

The deep; the deep waters, or the sea, which is called the deep, Psalm 107:24 Jonah 2:3, as it is explained in the next clause.

To boil like a pot; to swell, and foam, and froth by his strong and vehement motion, as any liquor doth when it is boiled in a pot.

The sea; either the great sea, the proper place of the whale, Psalm 104:25; or the great river Nilus, which is called a sea, both in Scripture, as Isaiah 11:15, and in other authors, (of which see my Latin Synopsis,) as Euphrates is called the sea of Babylon, Isaiah 21:1 Jeremiah 51:36; or lakes or pools, which are most frequently called seas, both in the Old and New Testament, as every one knows. And in such lakes the crocodiles are no less than in Nilus, as it is attested by Herodotus, and Strabo, and others.

Like a pot of ointment: this clause seems to be added very emphatically, to intimate that this leviathan causeth not only a vehement commotion, but also a great fragrancy in the sea or waters where it is; which, though it was not observed by the ancients, yet is unanimously affirmed by later authors upon their own knowledge and experience, that it casts a perfume like musk; of which see the names and words of the authors in my Latin Synopsis. He maketh the deep to boil (k) like a pot,.... Which is all in a from through the violent agitation and motion of the waves, caused by its tossing and tumbling about; which better suits with the whale than the crocodile, whose motion in the water is not so vehement;

he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment; this also seems to make against the crocodile, which is a river fish, and is chiefly in the Nile. Lakes indeed are sometimes called seas, in which crocodiles are found; yea, they are also said to be in the seas, Ezekiel 32:2; and Pliny (l) speaks of them as common to the land, river, and sea; and the Nile is in the Alcoran (m) called the sea, and its ancient name was "Oceames" with the Egyptians, that is, in Greek, "ocean", as Diodorus Siculus (n) affirms; and so it is thought to be the Egyptian sea in Isaiah 11:15. It is observed that they leave a sweet scent behind them; thus Peter Martyr (o), in his account of the voyages of Columbus in the West Indies, says, they sometimes met with crocodiles, which, when they fled or took water, they left a very sweet savour behind them, sweeter than musk or castoreum. But this does not come up to the expression here of making the sea like a pot of ointment; but the sperm of the whale comes much nearer to it, which is of a fat oily nature, and like ointment, and which the whale sometimes throws out in great abundance, so that the sea is covered with it; whole pails full may be taken out of the water; it swims upon the sea like fat; abundance of it is seen in calm weather, so that it makes the sea all foul and slimy (p): and there are a sort of birds called "mallemuck", which fly in great numbers and feed upon it (q). I cannot but remark what the bishop of Bergen observes (r) of the sea serpent, that its excrements float on the water in summertime like fat slime.

(k) "Fervetque----aequor". Virgil. Georgic. l. 1. v. 327. (l) Nat. Hist. l. 32. c. 11. (m) Schultens in Job, xiv. 11. (n) Bibliothec. l. 1. p. 17. (o) Decad. 3. l. 4. (p) Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 148, 149. (q) Vid. Scheuchzer. ut supra, (vol. 4.) p. 852. & Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 167. (r) Pantoppidan's History of Norway, part 2. p. 204.

He maketh the deep to {k} boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment.

(k) Either he makes the sea to seem like it is boiling by his wallowing, or else he spouts water in such abundance as it would seem that the sea boiled.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
31. The commotion he raises in the deep.

The second clause of the verse hardly refers to fermentation in the pot of ointment, but rather to the foaming mixture of ingredients.Verse 31. - He maketh the deep to boil like a pot. The rush of the crocodile through the water of the stream or pool in which he dwells causes a stir and a commotion which is forcibly compared to the boiling of water in a caldron. He maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. It is generally allowed that by "the sea" here is meant the Nile, as in Isaiah 18:2; Isaiah 19:5; and Nahum 3:8. The swirl of the Nile, as the crocodile makes his rush, is like the heaving of a pot of boiling oil or ointment 22 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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