Continuing: The LORD Himself tells Job about leviathan in Job 41. The ending chapters of Job have always been thought to be very cryptic while in fact they are easily understood when the context of our previous posts is applied.
In earlier posts we have examined the meaning of the LORD’s asking Jeremiah a question in Jeremiah 12 in response to Jeremiah complaining about how his persecutors were seemingly having better success than he. This complaint is not only common to Job but also to many asking the same question in our time. Understanding the reason is what we have discussed in reference to leviathan. This is what we see in Job 40 embodied in “behemoth” as the contrasting one standing in the face of the raging rivers of persecution.
The Hebrew word behemowth is the word for hippopotamus, meaning water horse. Jeremiah 12:5 is the LORD saying to Jeremiah, “If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trusted, they wearied you, then how will you do in the swelling of Jordan?” In our previous studies we have seen this word “swelling” has the meaning of a person swelled up with pride and an inflated self-image. It is referencing those persecuting Jeremiah and asking how he will respond when it get much worse.
1 Righteous art you, O LORD, when I plead with you: yet let me talk with you of your judgments: Wherefore doth the way of the wicked prosper? wherefore are all they happy that deal very treacherously?
2 You have planted them, yea, they have taken root: they grow, yea, they bring forth fruit: you art near in their mouth, and far from their reins.
3 But you, O LORD, know me: you have seen me, and tried mine heart toward you: pull them out like sheep for the slaughter, and prepare them for the day of slaughter.
4 How long shall the land mourn, and the herbs of every field wither, for the wickedness of them that dwell therein? the beasts are consumed, and the birds; because they said, He shall not see our last end.
5 If you have run with the footmen, and they have wearied you, then how can you contend with horses? and if in the land of peace, wherein you trustedst, they wearied you, then how wilt you do in the swelling of Jordan?
6 For even thy brethren, and the house of thy father, even they have dealt treacherously with you; yea, they have called a multitude after you: believe them not, though they speak fair words unto you.
7 I have forsaken mine house, I have left mine heritage; I have given the dearly beloved of my soul into the hand of her enemies.
8 Mine heritage is unto me as a lion in the forest; it cries out against me: therefore have I hated it.
9 Mine heritage is unto me as a speckled bird, the birds round about are against her; come ye, assemble all the beasts of the field, come to devour.
10 Many pastors have destroyed my vineyard, they have trodden my portion under foot, they have made my pleasant portion a desolate wilderness.
11 They have made it desolate, and being desolate it mourns unto me; the whole land is made desolate, because no man laid it to heart.
12 The spoilers are come upon all high places through the wilderness: for the sword of the LORD shall devour from the one end of the land even to the other end of the land: no flesh shall have peace.
13 They have sown wheat, but shall reap thorns: they have put themselves to pain, but shall not profit: and they shall be ashamed of your revenues because of the fierce anger of the LORD.
14 Thus says the LORD against all mine evil neighbors, that touch the inheritance which I have caused my people Israel to inherit; Behold, I will pluck them out of their land, and pluck out the house of Judah from among them.
15 And it shall come to pass, after that I have plucked them out I will return, and have compassion on them, and will bring them again, every man to his heritage, and every man to his land.
16 And it shall come to pass, if they will diligently learn the ways of my people, to swear by my name, The LORD lives; as they taught my people to swear by Baal; then shall they be built in the midst of my people.
17 But if they will not obey, I will utterly pluck up and destroy that nation, says the LORD.
The predicament is the same as Job’s. Jeremiah 12 tells us the meaning through coinciding elements. We know in the book of Job we are told of Job neighbors’ persecuting him unjustly; this is the swelling of Jordan. In Job 40:23 we are told of behemoth drinking up the Jordan – as in being unaffected by the persecutions. The following verse tell us of his not being taken in their snares – meaning not taken off mission or message no matter what the persecutors say or do.
This entire matter is told in the following chapter of Job when leviathan is introduced. We see he has been draw out by the unrelenting stand of behemoth. Only he stands in the face of leviathan. The final verse of chapter 41 tells us leviathan is the king over all the children of pride. He is the ruler over all those living in their self-created confusion. He is the leviathan – the dragon. Revelation 16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.
1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,
2 Shall he that contends with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproves God, let him answer it.
3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer you? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.
5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.
6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,
7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me.
8 Wilt you also disannul my judgment? wilt you condemn me, that you may be righteous?
9 Have you an arm like God? or can you thunder with a voice like him?
10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.
11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.
12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.
14 Then will I also confess unto you that your own right hand can save you.
15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with you; he eats grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
17 He moves his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21 He lies under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
23 Behold, he drinks up a river, and hastes not: he trusts that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24 He takes it with his eyes: his nose pierces through snares.
1 Can you draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which you let down?
2 Can you put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?
3 Will he make many supplications unto you? will he speak soft words unto you?
4 Will he make a covenant with you? wilt you take him for a servant for ever?
5 Wilt you play with him as with a bird? or wilt you bind him for thy maidens?
6 Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?
8 Lay your hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more.
9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?
10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?
11 Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine.
12 I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion.
13 Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?
14 Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.
15 His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.
16 One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered.
18 By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
19 Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of his nostrils goes smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.
21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.
22 In his neck remains strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him.
23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved.
24 His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
25 When he raises up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves.
26 The sword of him that lays at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.
27 He esteems iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee: sling-stones are turned with him into stubble.
29 Darts are counted as stubble: he laughs at the shaking of a spear.
30 Sharp stones are under him: he spreads sharp pointed things upon the mire.
31 He makes the deep to boil like a pot: he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 He makes a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary.
33 Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
34 He beholds all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
1 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,
2 I know that you can do every thing, and that no thought can be withheld from you.
3 Who is he that hides counsel without knowledge? therefore have I uttered that I understood not; things too wonderful for me, which I knew not.
4 Hear, I beseech you, and I will speak: I will demand of you, and declare you unto me.
5 I have heard of you by the hearing of the ear: but now mine eye see you.
6 Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes.
and full of days.