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Verses 1-34

The Second Speech of the Almighty (concluded)

The second great creature, the Crocodile (with which the ’leviathan’ is generally identified) is now described. If Job cannot control the crocodile, dare he contend with Him who made it? The crocodile is found in the Crocodile River under Carmel as well as in Egypt.

Hook] RV ’fishhook.’

1b. RV ’Or press down his tongue with a cord.’ This may be an allusion to the method of treating a refractory camel or mule by tying down its tongue with the head-rope.

2. Hook] RM ’rope of rushes.’ Thorn] RV ’hook.’

4. Wilt thou take] RV ’That thou shouldest take.’

6a. RV ’Shall the bands of fishermen make traffic of him?’ Merchants] lit. ’Canaanites’ or ’lowlanders’on the trading route from Syria to Egypt, who were great merchants. Their name is sometimes used for merchants generally: cp. Proverbs 31:24; Isaiah 23:8; Zechariah 14:21.

8. Lay thine hand upon him] i.e. if you dare. Do no more] or, ’do not repeat it.’

9. The hope of him] i.e. of overcoming him.

10, 11. If the creature is so great, who can withstand the Creator? 11. Prevented me] RV ’first given unto me.’

12. His parts] i.e. the crocodile’s.

13. RV ’Who can strip off his outer garment? Who shall come within his double bridle?’

14. Doors of his face] his mouth. 14b. RV ’Round about his teeth is terror.’

18a. RV ’His neesings (i.e. sneezings or snortings) flash forth light.’ This and the following vv. poetically describe the snorting and heated breath and spray thrown from the crocodile’s mouth. 18b. In the Egyptian hieroglyphs the dawn is expressed by crocodile’s eyes.

20. Caldron] The crocodile’s breath is likened to vapour that rises from a steaming pot.

22b. RV ’And terror danceth before him.’

25b. RV ’By reason of consternation they are beside themselves.’ But the v. may perhaps, with a slight alteration of the text, be rendered: ’When he raiseth himself up the deer are afraid who slip (or stray) among the broken places on the banks of the river.’ It is not the usual term for ’the mighty’ that is used here. Shebarim, ’broken places,’ in Joshua 7:5, refers to the slope of a ravine.

26. Habergeon] RV ’pointed shaft.’ An ordinary bullet will not pierce a crocodile’s scales.

30. RV ’His underparts are like sharp potsherds: He spreadeth as it were a threshing wain upon the mire.’

31. He lashes the water into foam. Like a pot of ointment] perhaps a reference to the strong musky smell of the crocodile.

34. The meaning is probably, ’Everything that is high feareth him: He is king over all the sons of pride,’ i.e. the other great beasts (Job 28:8).

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