40:1 Then the Lord answered Job:
Let the person who accuses God give him an answer!”
40:3 Then Job answered the Lord:
40:5 I have spoken once, but I cannot answer;
twice, but I will say no more.” 6
40:6 Then the Lord answered Job from the whirlwind:
I will question you and you will inform me!
Would you declare me guilty so that you might be right?
and can you thunder with a voice like his?
40:10 Adorn yourself, then, with majesty and excellency,
and clothe yourself with glory and honor!
Look at every proud man 13 and bring him low;
40:12 Look at every proud man and abase him;
crush the wicked on the spot! 14
that your own right hand can save you. 20
it eats grass like the ox.
and its power in the muscles of its belly.
the sinews of its thighs are tightly wound.
40:18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like bars of iron.
the One who made it
has furnished it with a sword. 27
where all the wild animals play.
40:21 Under the lotus trees it lies,
in the secrecy of the reeds and the marsh.
the poplars by the stream conceal it.
it is secure, 31 though the Jordan
should surge up to its mouth.
or pierce its nose with a snare? 33
[40:2] 2 tn The verb יִסּוֹר (yissor) is found only here, but comes from a common root meaning “to correct; to reprove.” Several suggestions have been made to improve on the MT. Dhorme read it יָסוּר (yasur) in the sense of “to turn aside; to yield.” Ehrlich read this emendation as “to come to an end.” But the MT could be read as “to correct; to instruct.”
[40:4] 3 tn The word קַלֹּתִי (qalloti) means “to be light; to be of small account; to be unimportant.” From this comes the meaning “contemptible,” which in the causative stem would mean “to treat with contempt; to curse.” Dhorme tries to make the sentence a conditional clause and suggests this meaning: “If I have been thoughtless.” There is really no “if” in Job’s mind.
[40:6] 7 sn The speech can be divided into three parts: the invitation to Job to assume the throne and rule the world (40:7-14), the description of Behemoth (40:15-24), and the description of Leviathan (41:1-34).
[40:8] 9 tn The verb פָּרַר (parar) means “to annul; to break; to frustrate.” It was one thing for Job to claim his own integrity, but it was another matter altogether to nullify God’s righteousness in the process.
[40:12] 14 tn The expression translated “on the spot” is the prepositional phrase תַּחְתָּם (takhtam, “under them”). “Under them” means in their place. But it can also mean “where someone stands, on the spot” (see Exod 16:29; Jos 6:5; Judg 7:21, etc.).
[40:15] 21 sn The next ten verses are devoted to a portrayal of Behemoth (the name means “beast” in Hebrew). It does not fit any of the present material very well, and so many think the section is a later addition. Its style is more like that of a textbook. Moreover, if the animal is a real animal (the usual suggestion is the hippopotamus), then the location of such an animal is Egypt and not Palestine. Some have identified these creatures Behemoth and Leviathan as mythological creatures (Gunkel, Pope). Others point out that these creatures could have been dinosaurs (P. J. Maarten, NIDOTTE, 2:780; H. M. Morris, The Remarkable Record of Job, 115-22). Most would say they are real animals, but probably mythologized by the pagans. So the pagan reader would receive an additional impact from this point about God’s sovereignty over all nature.
[40:16] 24 tn In both of these verses הִנֶּה (hinneh, “behold”) has the deictic force (the word is from Greek δείκνυμι, deiknumi, “to show”). It calls attention to something by pointing it out. The expression goes with the sudden look, the raised eye, the pointing hand – “O look!”
[40:17] 25 tn The verb חָפַץ (khafats) occurs only here. It may have the meaning “to make stiff; to make taut” (Arabic). The LXX and the Syriac versions support this with “erects.” But there is another Arabic word that could be cognate, meaning “arch, bend.” This would give the idea of the tail swaying. The other reading seems to make better sense here. However, “stiff” presents a serious problem with the view that the animal is the hippopotamus.
[40:19] 27 tc The literal reading of the MT is “let the one who made him draw near [with] his sword.” The sword is apparently a reference to the teeth or tusks of the animal, which cut vegetation like a sword. But the idea of a weapon is easier to see, and so the people who favor the mythological background see here a reference to God’s slaying the Beast. There are again many suggestions on how to read the line. The RV probably has the safest: “He that made him has furnished him with his sword” (the sword being a reference to the sharp tusks with which he can attack).
[40:20] 28 tn The word בּוּל (bul) probably refers to food. Many take it as an abbreviated form of יְבוּל (yÿvul, “produce of the field”). The vegetation that is produced on the low hills is what is meant.
[40:23] 30 tn The word ordinarily means “to oppress.” So many commentators have proposed suitable changes: “overflows” (Beer), “gushes” (Duhm), “swells violently” (Dhorme, from a word that means “be strong”).
[40:24] 32 tn The idea would be either (1) catch it while it is watching, or (2) in some way disabling its eyes before the attack. But others change the reading; Ball suggested “with hooks” and this has been adopted by some modern English versions (e.g., NRSV).