Job 41:9
Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(9) Behold the hope of him is in vaini.e., the hope of the rash man who would venture to attack him: at the sight of him, i.e., the infuriated crocodile.

Job 41:9-10. Behold, the hope of him is in vain — That is, the hope of taking, or conquering him. Shall not one be cast down, even at the sight of him? — Not only the fight, but the sight of him is most frightful. Such is even the sight of the whale to mariners, who fear the overturning of their vessel. And such is the sight of the crocodile, by which alone some have been frightened out of their senses. None is so fierce — Hebrew, אכזר, achzer, so resolute, that dare stir him up — When he sleepeth or is quiet. This alludes to a custom of this creature, when sated with fish, to come on shore and sleep among the reeds. Who then is able to stand before me? — To contend with me his Creator, (as thou Job dost,) when one of my creatures is too hard for him? 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.Behold, the hope of him is in vain - That is, the hope of taking him is vain.

Shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? - So formidable is his appearance, that the courage of him who would attack him is daunted, and his resolution fails. This agrees well also with the crocodile. There is perhaps scarcely any animal whose appearance would be more likely to deter one from attacking him.

9. the hope—of taking him.

cast down—with fear "at the (mere) sight of him."

The hope of him; either,

1. Of the fish, i.e. the hope of taking or conquering him. Or rather,

2. Of the man who laid hands upon him, as hoping to take him by force, but in vain.

Shall not; the prefix he being put for halo, as it is ofttimes in the Hebrew text, as Genesis 27:36 1 Samuel 2:28 Jeremiah 3:6 Jeremiah 31:20 Ezekiel 20:30.

Even at the sight of him; not only the fight, but the very sight of him is most frightful. Such is the sight of the whale to mariners, who fear the overturning of their vessel. And such is the sight of the crocodile, by which alone some have been affrighted out of their wits. Behold, the hope of him is in vain,.... Of getting the mastery over him, or of taking him; and yet both crocodiles and whales have been taken; nor is the taking of them to be despaired of; but it seems the "orca", or the whale with many teeth, has never been taken and killed (o);

shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? the sight of a whale is terrible to mariners, lest their ships should be overturned by it; and some have been so frightened at the sight of a crocodile as to lose their senses: and we read of one that was greatly terrified at seeing the shadow of one; and the creature before mentioned is supposed to be much more terrible (p).

(o) Vid. Scheuchzer. Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 846. (p) Scheuchzer. ib.

Behold, {p} the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?

(p) That is, that trusts to take him.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
9. the hope of him is in vain] Rather, behold, one’s hope is belied; lit. his hope. The hope of the assailant to overcome Leviathan is disappointed.Verse 9. - Behold, the hope of him is in vain; i.e. the hope of capturing or killing him. Shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him? The very sight of the savage and invulnerable animal is enough to make a man fall to the ground with fear. 1 Dost thou draw the crocodile by a hoop-net,

And dost thou sink his tongue into the line?!

2 Canst thou put a rush-ring into his nose,

And pierce his cheeks with a hook?

3 Will he make many supplications to thee,

Or speak flatteries to thee?

4 Will he make a covenant with thee,

To take him as a perpetual slave?

5 Wilt thou play with him as a little bird,

And bind him for thy maidens?

In Job 3:8, לויתן signified the celestial dragon, that causes the eclipses of the sun (according to the Indian mythology, râhu the black serpent, and ketu the red serpent); in Psalm 104:26 it does not denote some great sea-saurian after the kind of the hydrarchus of the primeval world,

(Note: Vid., Grsse, Beitrge, S. 94ff.)

but directly the whale, as in the Talmud (Lewysohn, Zoologie des Talm. 178f.). Elsewhere, however, the crocodile is thus named, and in fact as תּנּין also, another appellation of this natural wonder of Egypt, as an emblem of the mightiness of Pharaoh (vid., on Psalm 74:13.), as once again the crocodile itself is called in Arab. el-fir‛annu. The Old Testament language possesses no proper name for the crocodile; even the Talmudic makes use of קרוקתא equals κροκόδειλος (Lewysohn, 271). לויתן is the generic name of twisted, and תנין long-extended monsters. Since the Egyptian name of the crocodile has not been Hebraized, the poet contents himself in תּמשׁך with making a play upon its Egyptian, and in Arab. tmsâḥ, timsâḥ,

(Note: Herodotus was acquainted with this name (χάμψαι equals κροκόδειλοι); thus is the crocodile called also in Palestine, where (as Tobler and Joh. Roth have shown) it occurs, especially in the river Damr near Tantra.)

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