New International Version
"Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?
King James Bible
Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down?
Darby Bible Translation
Wilt thou draw out the leviathan with the hook, and press down his tongue with a cord?
World English Bible
"Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook, or press down his tongue with a cord?
Young's Literal Translation
Dost thou draw leviathan with an angle? And with a rope thou lettest down -- his tongue?
Job 41:1 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Canst thou draw out leviathan - We come now to a subject not less perplexing than that over which we have passed, and a subject on which learned men are less agreed than on the preceding. What is leviathan? The Hebrew word לויתן livyathan is retained by the Vulgate and the Chaldee. The Septuagint have, Αξεις δε δρακοντα; "Canst thou draw out the Dragon?" The Syriac and Arabic have the same. A species of whale has been supposed to be the creature in question; but the description suits no animal but the crocodile or alligator; and it is not necessary to seek elsewhere. The crocodile is a natural inhabitant of the Nile, and other Asiatic and African rivers. It is a creature of enormous voracity and strength, as well as fleetness in swimming. He will attack the largest animals, and even men, with the most daring impetuosity. In proportion to his size he has the largest mouth of all monsters. The upper jaw is armed with forty sharp strong teeth, and the under jaw with thirty-eight. He is clothed with such a coat of mail as cannot be pierced, and can in every direction resist a musket-ball. The Hebrew לוי levi תן ten signifies the coupled dragon; but what this is we know not, unless the crocodile be meant.
With a hook - That crocodiles were caught with a baited hook, at least one species of crocodile, we have the testimony of Herodotus, lib. ii., c. 70: Επεαν νωτον συος δελεασῃ περι αγκιστρον, μετιει ες μεσον τον ποταμον, κ. τ. λ. "They take the back or chine of a swine, and bait a hook with it, and throw it into the midst of the river; and the fisherman stands at some distance on the shore holding a young pig, which he irritates, in order to make it squeak. When the crocodile hears this he immediately makes towards the sound; and, finding the baited hook in his way, swallows it, and is then drawn to land, when they dash mud into his eyes, and blind him; after which he is soon despatched."
In this way it seems leviathan was drawn out by a hook: but it was undoubtedly both a difficult and dangerous work, and but barely practicable In the way in which Herodotus relates the matter.
Or his tongue with a cord - It is probable that, when the animal was taken, they had some method of casting a noose round his tongue, when opening his mouth; or piercing it with some barbed instrument. Thevenot says that in order to take the crocodile they dig holes on the banks of the river, and cover them with sticks. The crocodiles fall into these, and cannot get out. They leave them there for several days without food, and then let down nooses which they pitch on their jaws, and thus draw them out. This is probably what is meant here.
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
leviathan. that is, a whale, or a whirlpool
lettest down. Heb. drownest
It is here proposed to show, that every incumbent duty ought, in suitable circumstances, to be engaged to in the exercise of Covenanting. The law and covenant of God are co-extensive; and what is enjoined in the one is confirmed in the other. The proposals of that Covenant include its promises and its duties. The former are made and fulfilled by its glorious Originator; the latter are enjoined and obligatory on man. The duties of that Covenant are God's law; and the demands of the law are all made …
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting
Whether the Devil Can Induce Man to Sin of Necessity?
How Sowers of Strifes and Peacemakers are to be Admonished.
Whether Wisdom Should be Reckoned among the Gifts of the Holy Ghost?
May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.
Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?
It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave it as food to the creatures of the desert.
There the ships go to and fro, and Leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.
In that day, the LORD will punish with his sword-- his fierce, great and powerful sword-- Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.
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