Job 40
Keil and Delitzsch OT Commentary
Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
1 Then Jehovah answered Job, and said:

2 Will now the censurer contend with the Almighty?

Let the instructor of Eloah answer it!

3 Then Job answered Jehovah, and said:

With Job 40:1; Job 38:1 is again taken up, because the speech of Jehovah has now in some measure attained the end which was assigned to it as an answer to Job's outburst of censure. רב is inf. abs., as Judges 11:25; it is left to the hearer to give to the simple verbal notion its syntactic relation in accordance with the connection; here it stands in the sense of the fut. (comp. 2 Kings 4:43): num litigabit, Ges. 131, 4, b. The inf. abs. is followed by יסּור as subj., which (after the form שׁכּור) signifies a censurer and fault-finder, moomeetee's. The question means, will Job persist in this contending with God? He who sets God right, as though he knew everything better than He, shall answer the questions put before him.

Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.
Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
4 Behold, I am too mean: what shall I answer Thee?

I lay my hand upon my mouth.

5 Once have I spoken, and will not begin again;

And twice - I will do it no more.

He is small, i.e., not equal to the task imposed, therefore he keeps his mouth firmly closed (comp. Job 21:5; Job 29:9), for whatever he might say would still not be to the point. Once he has dared to criticise God's doings; a second time (שׁתּים equals שׁנית, Ges. 120, 5) he ventures it no more, for God's wondrous wisdom and all-careful love dazzle him, and he gladly bows.

But how? Is not the divine speech altogether different from what one ought to expect? One expects to hear from the mouth of Jehovah something unheard of in the previous course of the drama, and in this expectation we find ourselves disappointed at the outset. For one need only look back and read Job 9:4-10, where Job acknowledges and describes God as a wise and mighty Lord over the natural world, especially as an irresistible Ruler over everything great in it; Job 12:7-10, where he refers to the creatures of the sky and deep as proofs of God's creative power; Job 12:11-25, where he sketches the grandest picture of God's terrible doings in nature and among men; Job 26:5-14, where he praises God as the Creator and Lord of all things, and describes what he says concerning Him as only a faint echo of the thunder of His might; Job 28:23, where he ascribes absolute wisdom to Him as the Creator of and Ruler of the world. If one ponders these passages of Job's speeches, he will not be able to say that the speech of Jehovah, in the exhibition of the creative power and wisdom of God, which is its theme, would make Job conscious of anything which was previously unknown to him; and it is accordingly asked, What, then, is there that is new in the speech of Jehovah by which the great effect is brought about, that Job humbles himself in penitence, and becomes ready for the act of redemption which follows?

It has indeed never occurred to Job to desire to enter into a controversy with God concerning the works of creation; he is far from the delusion of being able to stand such a test; he knows in general, that if God were willing to contend with him, he would not be able to answer God one in a thousand, Job 9:3. And yet God closely questioned him, and thereby Job comes to the perception of his sin - how comes it to pass? Has the plot of the drama perhaps failed in this point? Has the poet made use of means unsuited to the connection of the whole, to bring about the needful effect, viz., the repentance of Job, - because, perhaps, the store of his thoughts was exhausted? But this poet is not so poor, and we shall therefore be obliged to try and understand the disposition of the speech of Jehovah before we censure it.

When one of Job's last words before the appearing of Jehovah was the word שׁדי יענני, Job thereby desired God's decision concerning the testimony of his innocence. This wish is in itself not sinful; yea, it is even a fruit of his hidden faith, when he casts the look of hope away from his affliction and the accusation of the friends, into the future to God as his Vindicator and Redeemer. But that wish becomes sinful when he looks upon his affliction as a de facto accusation on the part of God, because he cannot think of suffering and sin as separable, and because he is conscious of his innocence, looks upon it as a decree of God, his opponent and his enemy, which is irreconcilable with the divine justice. This Job's condition of conflict and temptation is the prevailing one; his faith is beclouded, and breaks through the night which hangs over him only in single rays. The result of this condition of conflict is the sinful character which that wish assumes: it becomes a challenge to God, since Job directs against God Himself the accusation which the friends have directed against him, and asserts his ability to carry through his good cause even if God would enter with him into a judicial contention; he becomes a יסור and מוכיח אלוה, and raises himself above God, because he thinks he has Him for an enemy who is his best friend. This defiance is, however, not common godlessness; on the contrary, Job is really the innocent servant of God, and his defiant tone is only the result of a false conception which the tempted one indulges respecting the Author of his affliction. So, then, this defiance has not taken full possession of Job's mind; on the contrary, the faith which lays firm hold on confidence in the God whom he does not comprehend, is in conflict against it; and this conflict tends in the course of the drama, the nearer it comes to the catastrophe, still nearer to the victory, which only awaits a decisive stroke in order to be complete. Therefore Jehovah yields to Job's longing שׁדי יענני, in as far as He really answers Job; and even that this takes place, and that, although out of the storm, it nevertheless takes place, not in a way to crush and destroy, but to instruct and convince, and displaying a loving condescension, is an indirect manifestation that Job is not regarded by God as an evil-doer mature for judgment. But that folly and temerity by which the servant of God is become unlike himself must notwithstanding be destroyed; and before Job can realize God as his Witness and Redeemer, in which character his faith in the brighter moments has foreseen Him, his sinful censuring and blaming of God must be blotted out by penitence; and with it at the same time his foolish imagination, by which his faith has been almost overwhelmed, must be destroyed, viz., the imagination that his affliction is a hostile dispensation of God.

And by what means is Job brought to the penitent recognition of his gloomy judgment concerning the divine decree, and of his contending with God? Is it, perhaps, by God's admitting to him what really is the case: that he does not suffer as a sinner the punishment of his sin, but showing at the same time that the decree of suffering is not an unjust one, because its design is not hostile? No, indeed, for Job is not worthy that his cause should be acknowledged on the part of God before he has come to a penitent recognition of the wrong by which he has sinned against God. God would be encouraging self-righteousness if He should give Job the testimony of his innocence, before the sin of vainglory, into which Job has fallen in the consciousness of his innocence, is changed to humility, by which all uprightness that is acceptable with God is tested. Therefore, contrary to expectation, God begins to speak with Job about totally different matters from His justice or injustice in reference to his affliction. Therein already lies a deep humiliation for Job. But a still deeper one in God's turning, as it were, to the abecedarium naturae, and putting the censurer of His doings to the blush. That God is the almighty and all-wise Creator and Ruler of the world, that the natural world is exalted above human knowledge and power, and is full of marvellous divine creations and arrangements, full of things mysterious and incomprehensible to ignorant and feeble man, Job knows even before God speaks, and yet he must now hear it, because he does not know it rightly; for the nature with which he is acquainted as the herald of the creative and governing power of God, is also the preacher of humility; and exalted as God the Creator and Ruler of the natural world is above Job's censure, so is He also as the Author of his affliction. That which is new, therefore, in the speech of Jehovah, is not the proof of God's exaltation in itself, but the relation to the mystery of his affliction, and to his conduct towards God in this his affliction, in which Job is necessitated to place perceptions not in themselves strange to him. He who cannot answer a single one of those questions taken from the natural kingdom, but, on the contrary, must everywhere admire and adore the power and wisdom of God-he must appear as an insignificant fool, if he applies them to his limited judgment concerning the Author of his affliction.

The fundamental tone of the divine speech is the thought, that the divine working in nature is infinitely exalted above human knowledge and power, and that consequently man must renounce all claim to better knowledge and right of contention in the presence of the divine dispensations. But at the same time, within the range of this general thought, it is also in particular shown how nature reflects the goodness of God as well as His wisdom (He has restrained the destructive power of the waters, He also sendeth rain upon the steppe, though untenanted by man); how that which accomplishes the purposes for which it was in itself designed, serves higher purposes in the moral order of the world (the dawn of day puts an end to the works of darkness, snow and hail serve as instruments of divine judgments); how divine providence extends to all creatures, and always according to their need (He provides the lion its prey, He satisfies the ravens that cry to Him); and how He has distributed His manifold gifts in a way often paradoxical to man, but in truth worthy of admiration (to the steinbock ease in bringing forth and growth without toil, to the wild ass freedom, to the antelope untameable fleetness, to the ostrich freedom from anxiety about its young and swiftness, to the horse heroic and proud lust for the battle, to the hawk the instinct of migration, to the eagle a lofty nest and a piercing sight). Everywhere the wonders of God's power and wisdom, and in fact of His goodness abounding in power, and His providence abounding in wisdom, infinitely transcend Job's knowledge and capacity. Job cannot answer one of all these questions, but yet he feels to what end they are put to him. The God who sets bounds to the sea, who refreshes the desert, who feeds the ravens, who cares for the gazelle in the wilderness and the eagle in its eyrie, is the same God who now causes him seemingly thus unjustly to suffer. But if the former is worthy of adoration, the latter will also be so. Therefore Job confesses that he will henceforth keep silence, and solemnly promises that he will now no longer contend with Him. From the marvellous in nature he divines that which is marvellous in his affliction. His humiliation under the mysteries of nature is at the same time humiliation under the mystery of his affliction; and only now, when he penitently reveres the mystery he has hitherto censured, is it time that its inner glory should be unveiled to him. The bud is mature, and can now burst forth, in order to disclose the blended colours of its matured beauty.

Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
6 Then Jehovah answered Job out of the storm, and said:

This second time also Jehovah speaks to Job out of the storm; not, however, in wrath, but in the profound condescension of His majesty, in order to deliver His servant from dark imaginings, and to bring him to free and joyous knowledge. He does not demand blind subjection, but free submission; He does not extort an acknowledgement of His greatness, but it is effected by persuasion. It becomes manifest that God is much more forbearing and compassionate than men. Observe the friends, the defenders of the divine honour, these sticklers for their own orthodoxy, how they rave against Job! How much better is it to fall into the hands of the living God, than into the hands of man! For God is truth and love; but men have at one time love without truth, at another truth without love, since they either connive at one or anathematize him. When a man who, moreover, like Job, is a servant of God, fails in one point, or sins, men at once condemn him altogether, and admit nothing good in him; God, however, discerns between good and evil, and makes the good a means of freeing the man from the evil. He also does not go rashly to work, but waits, like an instructor, until the time of action arrives. How long He listens to Job's bold challenging, and keeps silence! And then, when He does begin to speak, He does not cast Job to the ground by His authoritative utterances, but deals with him as a child; He examines him from the catechism of nature, and allows him to say for himself that he fails in this examination. In this second speech He acts with him as in the well-known poem of Hans Sachs with St. Peter: He offers him to take the government of the world for once instead of Himself. Here also He produces conviction; here also His mode of action is a deep lowering of Himself. It is Jehovah, the God, who at length begets Himself in humanity, in order to convince men of His love.

Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.
7 Gird up thy loins manfully:

I will question thee, and do thou answer me!

8 Wilt thou altogether annul my right,

Condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

9 And hast thou then an arm like God,

And canst thou with the voice thunder like Him?

The question with האף stands to Job 40:2 in the relation of a climax: Job contended not alone with God, which is in itself wrong, let it be whatsoever it may; he went so far as to lose sight of the divine justice in the government of the world, and in order not to be obliged to give up his own righteousness, so far as to doubt the divine. ואם, Job 40:9, is also interrogative, as Job 8:3; Job 21:4; Job 34:17, comp. Job 39:13, not expressive of a wish, as Job 34:16. In the government of the world, God shows His arm, He raises His voice of thunder: canst thou perhaps - asks Jehovah - do the like, thou who seemest to imagine thou couldst govern the world more justly, if thou hadst to govern it? וּבקוּל כּמהוּ are to be combined: of like voice to Him; the translation follows the accents (ובקול with Rebia mugrasch).

Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?
Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?
Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
10 Deck thyself then with pomp and dignity,

And in glory and majesty clothe thyself!

11 Let the overflowings of thy wrath pour forth,

And behold all pride, and abase it!

12 Behold all pride, bring it low,

And cast down the evil-doers in their place;

13 Hide them in the dust together,

Bind their faces in secret:

14 Then I also will praise thee,

That thy right hand obtaineth thee help.

He is for once to put on the robes of the King of kings (עדה, comp. עטח, to wrap round, Psalm 104:2), and send forth his wrath over pride and evil-doing, for their complete removal. הפיץ, effundere, diffundere, as Arab. afâda, vid., Job 37:11. עברות, or rather, according to the reading of Ben-Ascher, עברות ,rehcsA, in its prop. signif. oversteppings, i.e., overflowings. In connection with Job 40:11, one is directly reminded of the judgment on everything that is high and exalted in Isaiah 2, where beטמנם בּעפר also has its parallel (Isaiah 2:10). Not less, however, does Job 40:14 recall Isaiah 59:16; Isaiah 63:5 (comp. Psalm 98:1); Isaiah I and II have similar descriptions to the book of Job. The ἁπ. λεγ. הדך is Hebraeo-Arab.; hadaka signifies, like hadama, to tear, pull to the ground. In connection with תמוּן (from טמן; Aram., Arab., טמר), the lower world, including the grave, is thought of (comp. Arab. mat-murât, subterranean places); חבשׁ signifies, like Arab. ḥbs IV, to chain and to imprison. Try it only for once - this is the collective thought - to act like Me in the execution of penal justice, I would praise thee. That he cannot do it, and yet venture with his short-sightedness and feebleness to charge God's rule with injustice, the following pictures of foreign animals are now further intended to make evident to him: -

Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.
Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
15 Behold now the behmth,

Which I have made with thee:

He eateth grass like an ox.

16 Behold now, his strength is in his loins,

And his force in the sinews of his belly.

17 He bendeth his tail like a cedar branch,

The sinews of his legs are firmly interwoven.

18 His bones are like tubes of brass,

His bones like bars of iron.

בּהמות (after the manner of the intensive plur. הוללות, חכמות, which play the part of the abstract termination), which sounds like a plur., but without the numerical plural signification, considered as Hebrew, denotes the beast κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν, or the giant of beasts, is however Hebraized from the Egyptian p-ehe-mau, (muau), i.e., the (p) ox (ehe) of the water (mau as in the Hebraized proper name משׁה). It is, as Bochart has first of all shown, the so-called river or Nile horse, Hippopotamus amphibius (in Isaiah 30:6, בּהמות נגב, as emblem of Egypt, which extends its power, and still is active in the interest of others), found in the rivers of Africa, but no longer found in the Nile, which is not inappropriately called a horse; the Arab. water-hog is better, Italian bomarino, Eng. sea-cow ?, like the Egyptian p-ehe-mau. The change of p and b in the exchange of Egyptian and Semitic words occurs also elsewhere, e.g., pug' and בּוּץ, harpu and חרב (ἅρπη), Apriu and עברים (according to Lauth). Nevertheless p-ehe-mau (not mau-t, for what should the post-positive fem. art. do here?) is first of all only the בהמות translated back again into the Egyptian by Jablonsky; an instance in favour of this is still wanting. In Hieroglyph the Nile-horse is called apet; it was honoured as divine. Brugsch dwelt in Thebes in the temple of the Apet.

(Note: In the astronomical representations the hippopotamus is in the neighbourhood of the North Pole in the place of the dragon of the present day, and bears the name of hes-mut, in which mut equals t. mau, "the mother." Hes however is obscure; Birch explains it by: raging.)

In Job 40:15 עמּך signifies nothing but "with thee," so that thou hast it before thee. This water-ox eats חציר, green grass, like an ox. That it prefers to plunder the produce of the fields - in Arab. chadı̂r signifies, in particular, green barley - is accordingly self-evident. Nevertheless, it has gigantic strength, viz., in its plump loins and in the sinews (שׁרירי, properly the firm constituent parts,

(Note: Staring from its primary signification (made firm, fast), Arab. srı̂r, שׁרירא can signify e.g., also things put together from wood: a throne, a hand-barrow, bedstead and cradle, metaphor. the foundation. Wetzst. otherwise: "The שׂרירי הבטן are not the sinews and muscles, still less 'the private parts' of others, but the four bearers of the animal body equals arkân el-batn, viz., the bones of the מתנים, Job 40:16, together with the two shoulder-blades. The Arab. sarı̂r is that on which a thing is supported or rests, on which it stands firmly, or moves about. Neshwn (i. 280) says: ‛sarı̂r is the substratum on which a thing rests,' and the sarı̂r er-ra's, says the same, is the place where the head rests upon the nape of the neck. The Kms gives the same signification primo loco, which shows that it is general; then follows in gen. Arab. muḍṭaja‛, "the support of a thing.")

therefore: ligaments and muscles) of its clumsy belly. The brush of a tail, short in comparison with the monster itself, is compared to a cedar (a branch of it), ratione glabritiei, rotunditatis, spissitudinis et firmitatis (Bochart); since the beast is in general almost without hair, it looks like a stiff, naked bone, and yet it can bend it like an elastic cedar branch; חפץ is Hebraeo-Arab., ḥfḍ

(Note: Wetzst. otherwise: One may compare the Arab. chafaḍa, fut. i, to hold, sit, lie motionless (in any place), from which the signification of desiring, longing, has been developed, since in the Semitic languages the figure of fixing (ta‛alluq) the heard and the eye on any desired object is at the basis of this notion (wherefore such verbs are joined with the praep. בּ). According to this, it is to be explained, "his tail is motionless like (the short and thick stem of) The cedar," for the stunted tail of an animal is a mark of its strength to a Semite. In 1860, as I was visiting the neighbouring mountain fortress of el-Hosn with the octogenarian Fjd, the sheikh of Fk in Gln, we rode past Fjd's ploughmen; and as one of them was letting his team go slowly along, the sheikh cried out to him from a distance: Faster! faster! They (the steers, which thou ploughest) are not oxen weak with age, nor are they the dower of a widow (who at her second marriage receives only a pair of weak wretched oxen from her father or brother); but they are heifers (3-4 year-old steers) with stiffly raised tails (wadhujûluhin muqashmare, מקשׁמר an intensive קשׁוּר or שׁלאנן comp. שׁלאנן, Job 21:23).)

is a word used directly of the bending of wood (el-‛ûd).

Since this description, like the whole book of Job, is so strongly Arabized, פחד, Job 40:17, will also be one word with the Arab. fachidh, the thigh; as the Arabic version also translates: ‛urûku afchâdhihi (the veins or strings of its thigh). The Targ., retaining the word of the text here,

(Note: Another Targ., which translates גבריה ושׁעבוזוהי, penis et testiculi ejus, vid., Aruch s.v. שׁעבז.)

has פּחדין in Leviticus 21:20 for אשׁך, a testicle, prop. inguina, the groins; we interpret: the sinews of its thighs or legs

(Note: According to Fleischer, fachidh signifies properly the thick-leg ( equals thigh), from the root fach, with the general signification of being puffed out, swollen, thick.)

are intertwined after the manner of intertwined vine branches, שׂריגים.

(Note: In the choice of the word ישׂרגו, the mushâgarat ed-dawâlı̂ (from שׁגר equals שׂרג), "the interweaving of the vine branches" was undoubtedly before the poet's eye; comp. Deutsch. Morgenl. Zeitschr. xi. 477: "On all sides in this delightful corner of the earth (the Ghta) the vine left to itself, in diversified ramifications, often a dozen branches resembling so many huge snakes entangled together, swings to and fro upon the shining stem of the lofty white poplar." And ib. S. 491: "a twisted vine almost the thickness of a man, as though formed of rods of iron (comp. Job 40:18).")

But why is פחדיו pointed thus, and not פחדיו (as e.g., שׁעריו)? It is either an Aramaizing (with אשׁריו it has another relationship) pointing of the plur., or rather, as Khler has perceived, a regularly-pointed dual (like רגליו), from פּחדים (like פּעמים), which is equally suitable in connection with the signification femora as testiculi. מטיל, Job 40:18, is also Hebraeo-Arab.; for Arab. mṭl signifies to forge, or properly to extend by forging (hammering), and to lengthen, undoubtedly a secondary formation of טוּל, tâla, to be long, as makuna of kâna, madana of dâna, massara (to found a fortified city) of sâra, chiefly (if not always) by the intervention of such nouns as makân, medı̂ne, misr ( equals מצור), therefore in the present instance by the intervention of this metı̂l ( equals memtûl)

(Note: The noun מטיל is also found in the Lexicon of Neshwn, i.:63: "מטיל is equivalent to ממטוּל, viz., that which is hammered out in length, used of iron and other metals; and one says חדידה מטילה of a piece of iron that has been hammered for the purpose of stretching it." The verb Neshwn explains: "מטל said of iron signifies to stretch it that it may become long." The verb מטל can be regarded as a fusion of the root מדד (מטט, טוּט, comp. מוטה, and Arab. mûṭ Beduin: to take long steps) with the root טוּל, to be long. - Wetzst. The above explanation of the origin of the verb מטל seems to us more probable.)

whence probably μέταλλον (metal), properly iron in bars or rods, therefore metal in a wrought state, although not yet finished.

(Note: Ibn-Koreisch in Pinsker, Likkute, p. קנא, explains it without exactness by sebikat hadı̂d, which signifies a smelted and formed piece of iron.)

Its bones are like tubes of brass, its bones (גּרמיו, the more Aram. word) like forged rods of iron - what an appropriate description of the comparatively thin but firm as iron skeleton by which the plump mass of flesh of the gigantic boar-like grass-eater is carried!

Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
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.)

Job 40:20 describes how harmless, and if unmolested, inoffensive, the animal is; שׁם there, viz., while it is grazing.

In Job 40:21 Saadia correctly translates: Arab. tḥt 'l-ḍâl; and Job 40:22, Abulwalid: Arab. ygṭı̂h 'l-ḍl mdlllâ lh, tegit eum lotus obumbrans eum, by interpreting Arab. 'l-ḍl, more correctly Arab. 'l-ḍâl, with es-sidr el-berrı̂, i.e., Rhamnus silvestris (Rhamnus Lotus, Linn.), in connection with which Schultens' observation is to be noticed: Cave intelligas lotum Aegyptiam s. plantam Niloticam quam Arabes Arab. nûfr. The fact that the wild animals of the steppe seek the shade of the lote-tree, Schultens has supported by passages from the poets. The lotus is found not only in Syria, but also in Egypt, and the whole of Africa.

(Note: The Arab. ḍâl or Dûm-tree, which likes hot and damp valleys, and hence is found much on the northern, and in great numbers on the eastern, shores of the Sea of Galilee, is called in the present day sidra, collect. sidr; and its fruit, a small yellow apple, dûma, collect. dûm, perhaps "the not ending, perennial," because the fruit of the previous year only falls from the tree when that of the present year is ripe. Around Bagdad, as they told me, the Dûm-tree bears twice a year. In Egypt its fruit is called nebq (נבק, not nibq as in Freytag), and the tree is there far stronger and taller than in Syria, where it is seldom more than about four and twenty feet high. Only in the Wdi 's-sidr on the mountains of Judaea have I seen several unusually large trunks. The Kms places the signification "the sweet Dûm-tree" first of all to Arab. ḍâl, and then "the wild D." In hotter regions there may also be a superior kind with fine fruit, in Syria it is only wild - Neshwn (ii. 192) says: "dâla, collect. dâl, is the wild Dûm-tree," - yet I have always found its fruit sweet and pleasant to the taste. - Wetzst.)

The plur. is formed from the primary form צאל, as שׁקמים from שׁקם, Olsh. 148, b; the single tree was perhaps called צאלה ( equals Arab. ḍâlt), as שׁקמה (Ew. 189, h). Ammianus Marc. xxii. 15 coincides with Job 40:21: Inter arundines celsas et squalentes nimia densitate haec bellua cubilia ponit. צללו, Job 40:22 (resolved from צלּו, as גּללו, Job 20:7, from גּלּו),

(Note: Forms like גּלל, צלל, are unknown to the language, because it was more natural for ease of pronunciation to make the primary form סבבּ into סב than into סבב, גּללו (vid., p. 449), צללו, might more readily be referred to גּלל, צלל (in which the first a is a helping vowel, and the second a root vowel); but although the form קטל and the segolate forms completely pass into one another in inflection, still there does not exist a safe example in favour of the change of vowels of קטל into קטלי; wherefore we have also derived אגלי, Job 38:28, from אגל, not from אגל, although, moreover, ̇̇ frequently enough alternates with ̇̇ (e.g., ישׁעך), and a transition into ̇̇ of the ̇̇ weakened from ̇̇ (e.g., ידכם) also occurs. But there are no forms like נטפי equals נטפי from נטף in reality, although they would be possible according to the laws of vowels. In Ges. Handwrterb. (1863) גּללו stands under גּלל (according to the form לבב, which, however, forms לבבו) and צללו under סלל ( a rare noun-form, which does not occur at all from verbs double Ayin).)

is in apposition with the subj.: Lote-trees cover it as its shade (shading it). The double play of words in Job 40:22 is not reproduced in the English translation.

הן, Job 40:23, pointing to something possible, obtains almost the signification of a conditional particle, as Job 12:14; Job 23:8; Isaiah 54:15. The Arabic version appropriately translates Arab. 'n ṭgâ 'l-nhr, for Arab. ṭgâ denotes exactly like עשׁק, excessive, insolent behaviour, and is then, as also Arab. dlm, ‛tâ, and other verbs given by Schultens, transferred from the sphere of ethics to the overflow of a river beyond its banks, to the rush of raging waters, to the rising and bursting forth of swollen streams. It does not, however, terrify the behmoth, which can live as well in the water as on the land; לא יחפּוז, properly, it does not spring up before it, is not disturbed by it. Instead of the Jordan, Job 40:23, especially in connection with יגיח, the 'Gaihn (the Oxus) or the 'Gaihn (the Pyramus) might have been mentioned, which have their names from the growing force with which they burst forth from their sources (גּיח, גּוּח, comp. 'gâcha, to wash away). But in order to express the notion of a powerful and at times deep-swelling stream, the poet prefers the ירדּן of his fatherland, which moreover, does not lie so very far from the scene, according to the conception at least, since all the wadis in its neighbourhood flow directly or indirectly (as Wdi el-Meddn, the boundary river between the district of Suwt and the Nukra plain) into the Jordan. For ירדּן (perhaps from ירד)

(Note: Certainly one would have expected ירדּן like גּרזן, while ירדּן like יעבּץ, יעזר, appears formed from רדן; nevertheless ירדּן (with changeable Ssere) can be understood as a change of vowel from ירדּן (comp. ישׁב for ישׁב).)

does not here signify a stream (rising in the mountain) in general; the name is not deprived of its geographical definiteness, but is a particularizing expression of the notion given above.

The description closes in Job 40:24 with the ironical challenge: in its sight (בּעיניו as Proverbs 1:17) let one (for once) catch it; let one lay a snare which, when it goes into it, shall spring together and pierce it in the nose; i.e., neither the open force nor the stratagem, which one employs with effect with other animals, is sufficient to overpower this monster. מוקשׁים is generally rendered as equal to חחים, Isaiah 37:29; Ezekiel 19:4, or at least to the cords drawn through them, but contrary to the uniform usage of the language. The description of the hippopotamus

(Note: Vid., Grehm, Aus dem Leben des Nilpferds, Gartenlaube 1859, Nr. 48, etc.)

is not followed by that of the crocodile, which also elsewhere form a pair, e.g., in Achilles Tatius, iv. 2, 19. Behemoth and leviathan, says Herder, are the pillars of Hercules at the end of the book, the non plus ultra of another world distant from the scene. What the same writer says of the poet, that he does not "mean to furnish any contributions to Pennant's Zoologie or to Linnaeus' Animal Kingdom," the expositor also must assent to.

Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, by Carl Friedrich Keil and Franz Delitzsch [1857-78].
Text Courtesy of Internet Sacred Texts Archive.

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