Job 41

8 Lay thine 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?

In the exposition of God’s capabilities by God Himself to Job, the above verses appear. It is in continuation of the description, by God, of the awesomeness of the creature Leviathan.

From the description of the foregoing verses it is clear – that the animal lived in water; that there was a possibility to hook him like a fish; that he was huge etc. Nowhere is the capability of this creature on land been mentioned.

It is therefore safe to assume that the creature was more like fish, yet not merely predatory like a shark, but awesome as well. Therefore the commentaries mentioning Leviathan as an equivalent to a crocodile appears inaccurate.

A Whale like creature in size but at the same time not playfully amusing but inspiring Fear.

To say that Hebrew language doesn’t have an equivalent for crocodiles and therefore the Hebrew texts arrived on the conclusion that a Leviathan is a crocodile, seems inappropriate. The Hebrews, if at all they grew into a nation, it was in Goshen, a place not far from the Nile, where crocs were in plenty. I’m sure Moses and Aaron would have invented a word for it.

Further, to assume that Leviathan must have been seen by the Hebrews does not appear necessary, as the period of Job is still a matter of surmise, despite much biblical research.

God tells Job, rather demonstrates to Job how he cannot judge God. Judging is a function to be followed up with exoneration or punishment. If the person doesn’t have the power to punish or exonerate, how could he judge? Therefore Job cannot show to God that He has been unjust.

It is at this juncture that God describes the massiveness of Leviathan and tells Job “Lay thine hand upon him” and if Job laid his hand upon Leviathan, God tells Job to remember the battle that ensues. God challenges Job to just recall the ensuing battle and requires Job just to remember the battle and nothing more.

If Job cannot remember the ensuing battle after he had laid his hand upon Leviathan, after all a creature created by God, how could Job justify himself condemning God who is far greater and incomparable with merely one of his creations?

The challenge of God: “do no more”, just remember the moment after you laid your hands on Leviathan, is a poetic knock out.

I suppose, the passage ought to be read the way I’d interpreted it.