Job 41:6
Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
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(6) Shall the companions make a banquet of him?—Or, Shall the bands of fishermen make traffic of him? or, dig a pit for him?—the former suiting the parallelism better.

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.Shall thy companions make a banquet of him? - This is one of the "vexed passages" about which there has been much difference of opinion. Gesenius renders it, "Do the companions ("i. e." the fishermen in company) lay snares for him?" So Noyes renders it. Dr. Harris translates it, "Shall thy partners spread a banquet for him?" The Septuagint renders it, "Do the nations feed upon him?" The Vulgate, "Will friends cut him up?" that is, for a banquet. Rosenmuller renders it, "Will friends feast upon him?" The word rendered "thy companions" (חברים chabbâriym) means properly those joined or associated together for any purpose, whether for friendship or for business. It may refer here either to those associated for the purpose of fishing or feasting. The word "thy" is improperly introduced by our translators, and there is no evidence that the reference is to the companions or friends of Job, as that would seem to suppose. The word rendered "make a banquet" (יכרוּ yikârû) is from כרה kârâh, "to dig," and then to make a plot or device against one - derived from the fact that a "pitfall" was dug to take animals (Psalm 7:15; Psalm 57:6; compare Job 6:27); and according to this it means, "Do the companions, "i. e." the fishermen in company, lay snares for him?" The word, however, has another signification, meaning to buy, to purchase, and also to give a feast, to make a banquet, perhaps from the idea of "purchasing" the provisions necessary for a banquet. According to this, the meaning is, "Do the companions, "i. e." those associated for the purpose of feasting, make a banquet of him?" Which is the true sense here it is not easy to determine. The majority of versions incline to the idea that it refers to a feast, and means that those associated for eating do not make a part of their entertainment of him. This interpretation is the most simple and obvious.

Shall they part him among the merchants? - That is, Shall they cut him up and expose him for sale? The word rendered "merchants" (כנענים kena‛anı̂ym) means properly "Canaanites." It is used in the sense of "merchants, or traffickers," because the Canaanites were commonly engaged in this employment; see the notes at Isaiah 23:8. The crocodile is never made a part of a banquet, or an article of traffic.

6. Rather, "partners" (namely, in fishing).

make a banquet—The parallelism rather supports Umbreit, "Do partners (in trade) desire to purchase him?" So the Hebrew (De 2:6).

merchants—literally, "Canaanites," who were great merchants (Ho 12:7, Margin).

Thy companions; thy friends or assistants in the taking of him.

Make a banquet of him, i.e. feed upon him. Or, for him, i.e. 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 amid hazard may partake of the profit also, and divide the spoil. Shall thy companions make a banquet of him?.... The fishermen that join together in catching fish, shall they make a feast for joy at taking the leviathan? which suggests that he is not to be taken by them, and so they have no opportunity or occasion for a feast: or will they feed on him? the flesh of crocodiles is by some eaten, and said (m) to be very savoury, but not the flesh of the whale;

shall they part him among the merchants? this seems to favour the crocodile, which is no part of merchandise, and to be against the whale, which, at least in our age, occasions a considerable trade for the sake of the bone and oil: but perhaps, in those times and countries in which Job 54ed, the use of them might not be known.

(m) Leo Africanus & Aelian. ut supra. (l. 10. c. 21.)

Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
6. The first clause reads,

Will the partners bargain over him?

This sense is sustained by the second clause; comp. ch. Job 6:27. By “the partners” is meant the company of fishermen; comp. Luke 5:7; Luke 5:10.

the merchants] lit. the Canaanites. The Phoenicians were the great merchants of antiquity; comp. Isaiah 23:8; Zechariah 14:21; Proverbs 31:24.Verse 6. - Shall the companions make a banquet of him? rather. Shall the companions make a traffic of him? By "the companions" we may understand either the guilds or companies of fishermen, which might be regarded as engaged in making the capture, or the travelling bands of merchants, who might be supposed willing to purchase him and carry him away. As no one of these last could be imagined rich enough to make the purchase alone, a further question is asked, Shall they part him among the merchants? i.e. allow a number to club together, each taking a share. 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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