Daily Devotional Wednesday 29th September 2021

by William Moody

Job 40:15–41:34

15   “Behold, Behemoth,1
    which I made as I made you;
    he eats grass like an ox.
16   Behold, his strength in his loins,
    and his power in the muscles of his belly.
17   He makes his tail stiff like a cedar;
    the sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18   His bones are tubes of bronze,
    his limbs like bars of iron.
19   “He is the first of the works2 of God;
    let him who made him bring near his sword!
20   For the mountains yield food for him
    where all the wild beasts play.
21   Under the lotus plants he lies,
    in the shelter of the reeds and in the marsh.
22   For his shade the lotus trees cover him;
    the willows of the brook surround him.
23   Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
    he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth.
24   Can one take him by his eyes,3
    or pierce his nose with a snare?
41:1   4 “Can you draw out Leviathan5 with a fishhook
    or press down his tongue with a cord?
  Can you put a rope in his nose
    or pierce his jaw with a hook?
  Will he make many pleas to you?
    Will he speak to you soft words?
  Will he make a covenant with you
    to take him for your servant forever?
  Will you play with him as with a bird,
    or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
  Will traders bargain over him?
    Will they divide him up among the merchants?
  Can you fill his skin with harpoons
    or his head with fishing spears?
  Lay your hands on him;
    remember the battle—you will not do it again!
  6 Behold, the hope of a man is false;
    he is laid low even at the sight of him.
10   No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up.
    Who then is he who can stand before me?
11   Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
    Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
12   “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
    or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
13   Who can strip off his outer garment?
    Who would come near him with a bridle?
14   Who can open the doors of his face?
    Around his teeth is terror.
15   His back is made of7 rows of shields,
    shut up closely as with a seal.
16   One is so near to another
    that no air can come between them.
17   They are joined one to another;
    they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18   His sneezings flash forth light,
    and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19   Out of his mouth go flaming torches;
    sparks of fire leap forth.
20   Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke,
    as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21   His breath kindles coals,
    and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
22   In his neck abides strength,
    and terror dances before him.
23   The folds of his flesh stick together,
    firmly cast on him and immovable.
24   His heart is hard as a stone,
    hard as the lower millstone.
25   When he raises himself up, the mighty8 are afraid;
    at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26   Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail,
    nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27   He counts iron as straw,
    and bronze as rotten wood.
28   The arrow cannot make him flee;
    for him, sling stones are turned to stubble.
29   Clubs are counted as stubble;
    he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30   His underparts are like sharp potsherds;
    he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31   He makes the deep boil like a pot;
    he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32   Behind him he leaves a shining wake;
    one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33   On earth there is not his like,
    a creature without fear.
34   He sees everything that is high;
    he is king over all the sons of pride.”


[1] 40:15 A large animal, exact identity unknown
[2] 40:19 Hebrew ways
[3] 40:24 Or in his sight
[4] 41:1 Ch 40:25 in Hebrew
[5] 41:1 A large sea animal, exact identity unknown
[6] 41:9 Ch 41:1 in Hebrew
[7] 41:15 Or His pride is in his
[8] 41:25 Or gods


God is challenging Job if he measures up to God and to show that he doesn’t, God focuses on two terrifying creatures called the Behemoth (40 v15-24) and the Leviathan (41 v1-34) which he cannot tame.

The Behemoth some have suggested was a hippopotamus but this doesn’t fit the description fully and it probably is a now extinct dinosaur. The Behemoth ate grass like an ox (v15) but was tremendously strong with a ‘tail stiff like a cedar’ (v17). His bones are described as being like bronze and his limbs like iron (v18). The Behemoth is pictured as feeding and resting contently and is so strong it is not easily frightened (v19-23). But despite this peaceful demeanour he can’t be tamed by man (v24).

The Leviathan was more terrifying than the Behemoth and not easily tamed (41 v1-4). Some have thought it was a type of crocodile but it was more likely some sort of sea creature or dinosaur now extinct.

This is not a creature you would want near your children (v5) and the type you would only tangle with once (v7-10). The description continues speaking of the Leviathan’s strength (v12-17), his terrifying breath that breathes fire (v18-22) and his invincibility (v23-34).

As Job is unable to handle these two great creatures, he certainly cannot like God handle all the needs of this world. The Lord is using these creatures to show to Job his limits. Spiritual progress needs a clear understanding of our limits and weaknesses to encourage us to rely fully on the Lord who is unlimited and almighty.

Scripture quotations are from the ESV® Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®),
copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
Used by permission. All rights reserved.