Job 40:21
He lies under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
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(21) He lieth under the shady trees.—If this description applies to any one animal, it seems on the whole more appropriate to the elephant than the hippopotamus. No doubt the judgment of critics has been biased by their pre-conceived notions about the circumstances under which they suppose the Book of Job to have been written; and the author was more likely, it is thought, to have been acquainted with the river-horse of Egypt than with the elephant of India, though, to be sure, elephants abound also in Africa, and may very well have been known to the writer of Job from that quarter, if the other is less likely.

Job 40:21-22. He lieth under the shady trees, &c. — Or, He lieth down secretly between the shady trees, under the covert of the reed, and in the fens, Houbigant and Heath. The shady trees cover him — The Hebrew, literally translated, is, The shady trees, (צללו, tzillo,) his shadow, cover him, or, are his arbour: the willows of the brook, or, as נחל, nachal, is often rendered, of the river, compass him about. Bochart argues, that the elephant is not described here, because he rarely lies down, sed rectus dormit, sleeps standing upright. And he quotes a passage from Marcellinus, exactly parallel to this, to show that it is perfectly applicable to the river-horse, which inter arundines celsas et squalentes nimia densitate cubilia ponit, makes his bed among the lofty reeds and in muddy fens.40:15-24 God, for the further proving of his own power, describes two vast animals, far exceeding man in bulk and strength. Behemoth signifies beasts. Most understand it of an animal well known in Egypt, called the river-horse, or hippopotamus. This vast animal is noticed as an argument to humble ourselves before the great God; for he created this vast animal, which is so fearfully and wonderfully made. Whatever strength this or any other creature has, it is derived from God. He that made the soul of man, knows all the ways to it, and can make the sword of justice, his wrath, to approach and touch it. Every godly man has spiritual weapons, the whole armour of God, to resist, yea, to overcome the tempter, that his never-dying soul may be safe, whatever becomes of his frail flesh and mortal body.He lieth under the shady trees - Referring to his usually inactive and lazy life. He is disposed to lie down in the shade, and especially in the vegetable growth in marshy places on the banks of lakes and rivers, rather than to dwell in the open field or in the upland forest. This account agrees well with the habits of the hippopotamus. The word here and in Job 40:22 rendered "shady trees" (צאלים tse'eliym), is by Gesenius, Noyes, Prof. Lee, and Schultens, translated "lotus," and "wild lotus." The Vulgate, Syriac, Rosenmuller, Aben-Ezra, and others, render it "shady trees." It occurs nowhere else in the Scriptures, and it is difficult, therefore, to determine its meaning. According to Schultens and Gesenius, it is derived from the obsolete word צאל tsā'al, "to be thin, slender;" and hence, in Arabic it is applied to the "wild lotus" - a plant that grows abundantly on the banks of the Nile, and that often serves the wild beasts of the desert for a place of retreat. It is not very important whether it be rendered the "lotus," or "shades," though the probable derivation of the word seems to favor the former.

In the covert of the reed - It is well known that reeds abounded on the banks of the Nile. These would furnish a convenient and a natural retreat for the hippopotamus.

And fens - בצה bitstsâh - "marsh, marshy places." This passage proves that the elephant is not here referred to. He is never found in such places.

21. lieth—He leads an inactive life.

shady trees—rather, "lotus bushes"; as Job 40:22 requires.

The elephant lies down to rest himself; and it is but fabulous which some writers affirm, that they have no joints in their legs, and so cannot lie down, but sleep or rest themselves standing or leaning against a tree; which is denied and confuted by Aristotle in his History of Living Creatures, 2, 4. and by later writers. For the elephant, being a creature naturally hot, and living generally in hot countries, diligently seeks for and delights in shady and waterish places, as is noted by Aristotle, and after him by Pliny and Ælian. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed,

and fens. This may be thought to agree very well with the river horse, the inhabitant of the Nile, where reeds in great plenty grew, and adjoining to which were fenny and marshy places, and shady trees; and, as historians relate (e), this creature takes its lodging among high reeds, and in shady places; yea, the reeds and sugar canes, and the leaves of the papyrus, are part of the food on which it lives; and hence the hunters of them sometimes cover their bait with a reed to take them; though it must be allowed that the elephant delights to be about rivers, and in clayey and fenny places (f), and therefore Aelianus (g) says it may be called the fenny animal.

(e) Ammian. Marcellin. l. 22. Bellonius & Achilles Tatius apud Bochart ut supra. (Apud Hierozoic. par. 2. l. 5. c. 14. col. 760.) (f) Aristot. Hist. Animal. l. 9. c. 46. Plin. l. 8. c. 10. Aelian. de Animal. l. 9. c. 56. (g) lbid. l. 9. c. 24.

He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
21. the shady trees] Rather, the lotus trees. And so in Job 40:22.Verse 21. - He listh under the shady trees; or, under the lotus trees (Revised Version). The Lotus sylvestris or Lotus Cyrenaiea "grows abundantly an the hot banks of the Upper Nile" (Cook). and is thought to be the tree here intended (Schultens. Cook, Houghton, and others). But the identification is very doubtful. The dense shade of trees is sought alike by the hippopotamus and the elephant. In the covert of the reed, and fens. This is exactly descriptive of the hippopotamus; far less so of the elephant. Gordon Cumming says, "At every turn there occurred deep still pools, and occasional sandy islands, densely clad with lofty reeds Above and beyond these reeds stood trees of immense age. beneath which grew a rank kind of grass, on which the sea-cow (hippopotamus) delights to pasture" ('Lion-Hunter of South Africa,' p. 297). 15 Behold now the behmth,

Which I have made with thee:

He eateth grass like an ox.

16 Behold now, his strength is in his loins,

And his force in the sinews of his belly.

17 He bendeth his tail like a cedar branch,

The sinews of his legs are firmly interwoven.

18 His bones are like tubes of brass,

His bones like bars of iron.

בּהמות (after the manner of the intensive plur. הוללות, חכמות, which play the part of the abstract termination), which sounds like a plur., but without the numerical plural signification, considered as Hebrew, denotes the beast κατ ̓ ἐξοχήν, or the giant of beasts, is however Hebraized from the Egyptian p-ehe-mau, (muau), i.e., the (p) ox (ehe) of the water (mau as in the Hebraized proper name משׁה). It is, as Bochart has first of all shown, the so-called river or Nile horse, Hippopotamus amphibius (in Isaiah 30:6, בּהמות נגב, as emblem of Egypt, which extends its power, and still is active in the interest of others), found in the rivers of Africa, but no longer found in the Nile, which is not inappropriately called a horse; the Arab. water-hog is better, Italian bomarino, Eng. sea-cow ?, like the Egyptian p-ehe-mau. The change of p and b in the exchange of Egyptian and Semitic words occurs also elsewhere, e.g., pug' and בּוּץ, harpu and חרב (ἅρπη), Apriu and עברים (according to Lauth). Nevertheless p-ehe-mau (not mau-t, for what should the post-positive fem. art. do here?) is first of all only the בהמות translated back again into the Egyptian by Jablonsky; an instance in favour of this is still wanting. In Hieroglyph the Nile-horse is called apet; it was honoured as divine. Brugsch dwelt in Thebes in the temple of the Apet.

(Note: In the astronomical representations the hippopotamus is in the neighbourhood of the North Pole in the place of the dragon of the present day, and bears the name of hes-mut, in which mut equals t. mau, "the mother." Hes however is obscure; Birch explains it by: raging.)

In Job 40:15 עמּך signifies nothing but "with thee," so that thou hast it before thee. This water-ox eats חציר, green grass, like an ox. That it prefers to plunder the produce of the fields - in Arab. chadı̂r signifies, in particular, green barley - is accordingly self-evident. Nevertheless, it has gigantic strength, viz., in its plump loins and in the sinews (שׁרירי, properly the firm constituent parts,

(Note: Staring from its primary signification (made firm, fast), Arab. srı̂r, שׁרירא can signify e.g., also things put together from wood: a throne, a hand-barrow, bedstead and cradle, metaphor. the foundation. Wetzst. otherwise: "The שׂרירי הבטן are not the sinews and muscles, still less 'the private parts' of others, but the four bearers of the animal body equals arkân el-batn, viz., the bones of the מתנים, Job 40:16, together with the two shoulder-blades. The Arab. sarı̂r is that on which a thing is supported or rests, on which it stands firmly, or moves about. Neshwn (i. 280) says: ‛sarı̂r is the substratum on which a thing rests,' and the sarı̂r er-ra's, says the same, is the place where the head rests upon the nape of the neck. The Kms gives the same signification primo loco, which shows that it is general; then follows in gen. Arab. muḍṭaja‛, "the support of a thing.")

therefore: ligaments and muscles) of its clumsy belly. The brush of a tail, short in comparison with the monster itself, is compared to a cedar (a branch of it), ratione glabritiei, rotunditatis, spissitudinis et firmitatis (Bochart); since the beast is in general almost without hair, it looks like a stiff, naked bone, and yet it can bend it like an elastic cedar branch; חפץ is Hebraeo-Arab., ḥfḍ


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