Job 41:24
His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
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(24) His hearti.e., his nature, his disposition. This seems to be the meaning, rather than the physical organ of life.

41:1-34 Concerning Leviathan. - The description of the Leviathan, is yet further to convince Job of his own weakness, and of God's almighty power. Whether this Leviathan be a whale or a crocodile, is disputed. The Lord, having showed Job how unable he was to deal with the Leviathan, sets forth his own power in that mighty creature. If such language describes the terrible force of Leviathan, what words can express the power of God's wrath? Under a humbling sense of our own vileness, let us revere the Divine Majesty; take and fill our allotted place, cease from our own wisdom, and give all glory to our gracious God and Saviour. Remembering from whom every good gift cometh, and for what end it was given, let us walk humbly with the Lord.His heart is as firm as a stone - As hard; as solid. Bochart remarks that the word "heart" here is not to be regarded as denoting the "courage" of the animal, as it sometimes does, but the heart literally. The statement occurs in the description of the various parts of the animal, and the object is to show that there was special firmness or solidity in every one of his members. There is special firmness or strength needed in the "hearts" of all animals, to enable them to propel the blood through the arteries of the body; and in an animal of the size of the crocodile, it is easy to see that the heart must be made capable of exerting vast force. But there is no reason to suppose that the affirmation here is made on the supposition that there is need of extraordinary strength in the heart to propel the blood. The doctrine of the circulation of the blood was not then known to mankind, and it is to be presumed that the argument here would be based on what "was" known, or what might be easily observed. The presumption therefore is, that the statement here is based on what had been "seen" of the remarkable compactness and firmness of the heart of the animal here referred to. Probably there was nothing so unique in the heart of the crocodile that this description would be applicable to that animal alone, but it is such doubtless as would apply to the heart of any animal of extraordinary size and strength.

Yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone - The mills commonly used in ancient times were hand-mills; see a description of them in the notes at Matthew 24:41. Why the lower stone was the hardest, is not quite apparent. Perhaps a more solid stone might have been chosen for this, because it was supposed that there was more wear on the lower than the upper stone, or because its weight would make the machine more solid and steady.

24. heart—"In large beasts which are less acute in feeling, there is great firmness of the heart, and slower motion" [Bochart]. The nether millstone, on which the upper turns, is especially hard. His heart; either,

1. That part of the body is most firm, and hard, and strong. Or,

2. His courage is invincible; he is void of fear for himself, and of compassion to others, which is oft called hardness of heart.

Hard as a piece of the nether millstone; which being to bear the weight of the upper, ought to be the harder and stronger of the two.

His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. Which must be understood not of the substance but of the qualities of it, being bold, courageous, undaunted, and unmerciful; which is true both of the whale and crocodile, and particularly of the crocodile: Aelianus (z) relates of one sort of them that they are unmerciful, though elsewhere (a), he represents them as fearful.

(z) De Animal. l. 12. c. 41. (a) Ibid. l. 10. c. 24.

His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone.
24. The second clause reads,

Yea, firm as the nether millstone.

Gen. “as hard as the nether millstone.” The term “firm,” lit. cast, is repeated from the first clause (cf. Job 41:23). The nether millstone, bearing all the pressure upon it, needs to be harder even than the upper stone.

Verse 24. - His heart is firm as a stone. Some regard this as intended physically, and note that the great saurians, with their cold and sluggish circulation, have hearts which are comparatively torpid, not contracting or expanding readily. Others take the "stony heart" to mean a fierce and obstinate disposition. In either case, the description will well suit the crocodile. Yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone. A repetition and slight exaggeration of the preceding idea. Job 41:2422 Great strength resteth upon his neck,

And despair danceth hence before him.

23 The flanks of his flesh are thickly set,

Fitting tightly to him, immoveable.

24 His heart is firm like stone,

And firm like the nether millstone.

25 The mighty are afraid of his rising up;

From alarm they miss their aim.

Overpowering strength lodges on its neck, i.e., has its abiding place there, and before it despair, prop. melting away, dissolution (דּאבה from דּאב, Arab. ḏ'b equals דּוּב Hiph., Arab. ḍ'b II, to bring into a loose condition, synon. חמס), dances hence, i.e., spring up and away (ידוּץ, Arab. jadisu, to run away), i.e., it spreads before it a despondency which produces terror, and deprives of strength. Even the pendulous fleshy parts (מפּלי), especially of its belly, hang close together, דבקוּ, i.e., they are not flabby, but fit to it, like a metal casting, without moving, for the skin is very thick and covered with thick scales; and because the digestive apparatus of the animal occupies but little space, and the scales of the back are continued towards the belly, the tender parts appear smaller, narrower, and closer together than in other animals. יצוּק here is not, as Job 27:2; Job 29:6, the fut. of צוּק, but the part. of יצק, as also Job 41:24: its heart is firm and obdurate, as though it were of cast brass, hard as stone, and in fact as the nether millstone (פלח from פלח, falacha, to split, crush in pieces), which, because it has to bear the weight and friction of the upper, must be particularly hard. It is not intended of actual stone-like hardness, but only of its indomitable spirit and great tenacity of life: the activity of its heart is not so easily disturbed, and even fatal wounds do not so quickly bring it to a stand. משּׂמו from שׂת equals שׂאת equals שׂאת), primary form שׂאתּ, is better understood in the active sense: afraid of its rising, than the passive: of its exaltedness. אילים (according to another reading אלים) is not, with Ew., to be derived from איל (Arab. ı̂jal), a ram; but אילים Exodus 15:15; Ezekiel 17:13 (comp. גּירים 2 Chronicles 2:16, נירי 2 Samuel 22:29), אלים Ezekiel 31:11; Ezekiel 32:21, and אוּלים Cheth. 2 Kings 24:15, are only alternating forms and modes of writing of the participial adject., derived from אוּל (איל) first of all in the primary form awil (as גּר equals gawir). The signif. assigned to the verb אול: to be thick equals fleshy, which is said then to go over into the signif. to be stupid and strong (Ges. Handwrterb.), rests upon a misconception: âla is said of fluids "to become thick," because they are condensed, since they go back, i.e., sink in or settle (Ges. correctly in Thes.: notio crassitiei a retrocendendo). The verb âla, ja'ûlu, unites in itself the significations to go backward, to be forward, and to rule; the last two: anteriorem and superiorem esse, probably belong together, and אל signifies, therefore, a possessor of power, who is before and over others. התחטּא, Job 41:25, has the signif., which does not otherwise occur, to miss the mark (from חטא, Arab. chaṭiya, to miss, opp. Arab. ṣâb, to hit the mark), viz., (which is most natural where אילים is the subject spoken of) since they had designed the slaughter and capture of the monster. שׁברים is intended subjectively, as תּבירא equals פּחד Exodus 15:16, Targ. II, and also as the Arab. thubûr, employed more in reference to the mind, can be used of pain.

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