Job 41:33
Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
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(33, 34) Upon earth there is not his like.—Some have proposed to take away the last two verses of Job 41 from their connection with the crocodile, and to transpose them, referring them to man, so as to come before Job 41:8, understanding them thus: “There is one whose like is not upon earth, who is made without dread. He seeth every high thing, and is king over all the proud beasts. To Him then I say (Job 41:8), Lay thine hand upon him; remember the battle, and do so no more. Lo! his hope is deceived. Is he indeed cast down at the very eight of him? He is not so cruel to himself that he should rouse him up. Who then can stand before me? Who hath first given to me, that I should have to repay him? That which is under the whole heavens is mine.” It cannot be denied that this makes very good sense, but it seems to be too great a liberty to take with the text as we find it to adopt this as the true order of the verses; for in that case, what is there that we might not deal with in a like manner? Those who advocate this transposition in the order of the verses would also place Job 40:1-5 so as to follow Job 40:6, in this manner: “Then Job answered the Lord and said, I know that thou canst do everything, and that no purpose can be withholden from thee, or that no purpose of thine can be restrained.” Then the next words come in as the implied answer of God: “Who is this that hideth my counsel for want of knowledge?” To which Job replies: “Therefore (I confess that) I have uttered without understanding things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.” Again God replies, as in Job 38:3; Job 40:7 : “Hear, I beseech thee and I will speak, I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me; to which Job answers: “I have heard of thee by the hearing of the ear, but now mine eye seeth thee. Wherefore I abhor what I have said, and repent it in dust and ashes.” Then the Lord answered Job and said, “Is he that contended with the Almighty reproved? Does he acknowledge his discomfiture? He that argueth with God, let him answer this question.” Then Job answered the Lord and said, “Behold I am vile. What shall I answer thee? I lay my hand before my mouth; once I have spoken, but I will not answer; yea twice, but I will not do so again.” There is a certain amount of sharpness and point obtained in thus making this confession the climax of the poem, and a kind of formal consistency is secured in regarding this resolution as Job’s last utterance instead of making him speak again, as he does, according to the present order, in Job 42:2. But this consistency is formal rather than real, inasmuch as there is no inconsistency in the tone of Job 42:2 seqq., and the promise of Job 40:5. Whatever advantage may be derived from the re-arrangement will be a matter for individual taste rather to decide, which will vary with the individual; and at all events, the climax of Job 42:6 as it stands is a very noble one, and we may question whether we can heighten its grandeur.

Job 41:33. Upon the earth there is not his like — No creature in this world is comparable to him for strength and terror. Or the earth is here distinguished from the sea; for the Hebrew, אין על עפר משׁלו, een gnal gnapar mashelo, may be properly rendered, His dominion is not upon the earth; namely, but upon the waters. Houbigant renders it, His dwelling is not upon the dust; which, as he understands it of the crocodile, he supposes to express the amphibious nature of the animal, which, although it is observed every day at morning and evening to come out of the waters, and to continue awhile on the land, yet, properly speaking, is an inhabitant of the waters, and it is well for man that he is so; for if such a terrible creature were allowed to roam and ravage upon this earth, it would be an unsafe and uncomfortable habitation for the children of men, for whom it is intended. Who is made without fear — Fears no enemy, as being sensible of his own invincible strength. But לבלי חת, libli chath, may be rendered, so as he cannot be bruised, or broken; namely, because of his prodigious hardness, of which we have spoken before.

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.Upon earth there is not his like - Hebrew, "Upon the dust." The meaning is, that no other animal can be compared with him; or the land does not produce such a monster as this. For size, strength, ferocity, courage, and formidableness, no animal will hear a comparison with him. This can be true only of some such fierce creature as the crocodile.

Who is made without fear - Margin, "Or, behave themselves with fear." The meaning is, that he is created not to be afraid; he has no dread of others In this respect he is unlike other animals. The Septuagint renders this, "He is made to be sported with by my angels."

33. who—being one who, &c. Upon earth; either,

1. Strictly so called, as it is distinguished from the sea or rivers. There is no land creature comparable to him for strength and courage. Or,

2. Largely taken. No creature equals him in all points. Or, upon the dust, as the word properly signifies, i.e. among the things that creep in the dust, among which this may in some sort be numbered for the shortness of its feet. But this were no great honour to it, to be the chief of creeping things; and therefore the former translation seems more proper for the present design of magnifying this creature above all others.

Who is made without fear; fears no enemy, as being full of courage, and sensible of his own invincible strength. Or, so as he cannot be bruised or broken, by reason of his prodigious hardness, of which I have spoken before.

Upon the earth there is not his like,.... As to form and figure; in most creatures there is some likeness between those in the sea and on the land, as sea horses, calves, &c. but there is no likeness between a whale and any creature on earth; there is between the crocodile and the lizard; nor is any like the whale for the largeness of its bulk; the Targum is,

"his dominion is not on the earth,''

but on the sea, as Aben Ezra notes; but rather the sense is, there is no power on earth that he obeys and submits to, as the Tigurine version; though the meaning seems to be, that there is none like him, for what follows:

who is made without fear; yet this agrees not neither with the crocodile, which Aelianus (w) says is fearful; nor with the whale, which will make off and depart at the shoutings of men, blowing of trumpets, and making use of any tinkling instruments, at which it is frightened, as Strabo (x), Philostratus (y), and Olaus Magnus (z), relate. It is observed (a); of their valour, that if they see a man or a long boat, they go under water and run away; and are never known to endeavour to hurt any man, but when in danger; though a voyager (b) of our own says,

"we saw whales in Whale-sound, and lying aloft on the water, not fearing our ships, or aught else.''

The Targum is,

"he is made that he might not be broken;''

or bruised, as Bochart; as reptiles usually may, among whom the crocodile may be reckoned, because of its short legs; and yet is made with such a hard scaly skin, that it cannot be crushed, bruised, and broken. Aben Ezra observes that some say, the word "hu", that is, "he", is wanting, and should be supplied, "he", that is, "God, made him without fear"; or that he might not be bruised; wherefore Cocceius interprets the following words entirely of God.

(w) De Animal. l. 10. c. 24. (x) Geograph. l. 15. p. 499. (y) Vit. Apollon. l. 3. c. 16. (z) De Ritu Gent. Septent. l. 21. c. 3, 6. (a) Voyage to Spitzbergen, p. 153. (b) Baffin in the North-West Fox, p. 150.

Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
33. who is made] That is, he who is made without fear—so as to fear nothing.

33, 34. He has no rival, he is king among the proud beasts.

Verse 33. - Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear (comp. vers. 24-29). Job 41:3330 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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