Job 41:34
He beholds all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.
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Job 41:34. He beholdeth all high things — He looks about him with contempt and disdain on every thing he sees. He does not turn his back upon, or hide his face from, the highest and mightiest creatures, but beholds them with a bold and undaunted countenance, as being without any fear of them. He is king over all the children of pride — He carries himself with princely majesty and courage toward the strongest, loftiest, and fiercest creatures, which, though far higher in stature than himself, he strikes down with one stroke of his tail, as he commonly does cows and horses, and sometimes elephants. Heath’s translation of this verse seems peculiarly proper, as referring to, and closing the description of, the crocodile: He will look upon any thing with contempt, be it ever so high: he is king over all the sons of rapine; that is, over the most ravenous beasts, according to the Syriac and Arabic. Dr. Young’s paraphrase on these last two verses will please the reader, and give him a juster idea of their contents, than any thing we have said upon them:

“His like earth bears not on her spacious face;

Alone in nature stands his dauntless race,

For utter ignorance of fear renown’d;

In wrath he rolls his baleful eyes around;

Makes every swoll’n, disdainful heart subside,

And holds dominion o’er the sons of pride.”

Here end the words of God to Job, whereby he sets forth his wisdom and power, in the works of the creation: from whence Job might be led to infer, that the wisdom and power of God being so immense, men ought to speak most reverently of him, and think most humbly and lowly of themselves; persuaded that, though we cannot always see the reason why the divine providence suffers certain things to come to pass, yet we ought to rest assured that they are wisely, and therefore justly, ordered, and therefore we should resignedly submit our selves to the divine will in all things. 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.He beholdeth all high things - That is, he looks down on everything as inferior to him.

He is a king over all the children of pride - Referring, by "the children of pride," to the animals that are bold, proud, courageous - as the lion, the panther, etc. The lion is often spoken of as "the king of the forest," or "the king of beasts," and in a similar sense the leviathan is here spoken of as at the head of the animal creation. He is afraid of none of them; he is subdued by none of them; he is the prey of none of them. The whole argument, therefore, closes with this statement, that he is at the head of the animal creation; and it was by this magnificent description of the power of the creatures which God had made, that it was intended to impress the mind of Job with a sense of the majesty and power of the Creator. It had the effect. He was overawed with a conviction of the greatness of God, and he saw how wrong it had been for him to presume to call in question the justice, or sit in judgment on the doings, of such a Being. God did not, indeed, go into an examination of the various points which had been the subject of controversy; he did not explain the nature of his moral administration so as to relieve the mind from perplexity; but he evidently meant to leave the impression that he was vast and incomprehensible in his government, infinite in power, and had a right to dispose of his creation as he pleased. No one can doubt that God could with infinite ease have so explained the nature of his administration as to free the mind from perplexity, and so as to have resolved the difficulties which hung over the various subjects which had come into debate between Job and his friends. "Why" he did not do this, is nowhere stated, and can only be the subject of conjecture. It is possible, however, that the following suggestions may do something to show the reasons why this was not done:

(1) We are to remember the early period of the world when these transactions occurred, and when this book was composed. It was in the infancy of society, and when little light had gleamed on the human mind in regard to questions of morals and religion.

(2) In that state of things, it is not probable that either Job or his friends would have been able to comprehend the principles in accordance with which the wicked are permitted to flourish and the righteous are so much afflicted, if they had been stated. Much higher knowledge than they then possessed about the future world was necessary to understand the subject which then agitated their minds. It could not have been done without a very decided reference to the future state, where all these inequalities are to be removed.

(3) It has been the general plan of God to communicate knowledge by degrees; to impart it when people have had full demonstration of their own imbecility, and when they feel their need of divine teaching; and to reserve the great truths of religion for an advanced period of the world. In accordance with this arrangement, God bas been pleased to keep in reserve, from age to age, certain great and momentous truths, and such as were particularly adapted to throw light on the subjects of discussion between Job and his friends. They are the truths pertaining to the resurrection of the body; the retributions of the day of judgment; the glories of heaven and the woes of hell, where all the inequalities of the present state may receive their final and equal adjustment. These great truths were reserved for the triumph and glory of Christianity; and to have stated them in the time of Job, would have been to have anticipated the most important revelations of that system. The truths of which we are now in possession would have relieved much of the perplexity then felt, and solved most of those questions; but the world was not then in the proper state for their revelation.

(4) It was a very important lesson to be taught to people, to bow with submission to a sovereign God, without knowing the reason of his doings. No lesson, perhaps, could be learned of higher value than this. To a proud, self-confident, philosophic mind, a mind prone to rely on its own resources, and trust to its own deductions, it was of the highest importance to inculcate the duty of submission to "will" and to "sovereignty." This is a lesson which we often have to learn in life, and which almost all the trying dispensations of Providence are fitted to teach us. It is not because God has no reason for what he does; it is not because he intends we shall never know the reason; but it is because it is our "duty" to bow with submission to his will, and to acquiesce in his right to reign, even when we cannot see the reason of his doings. Could we "reason it out," and then submit "because" we saw the reason, our submission would not be to our Maker's pleasure, but to the deductions of our own minds.

Hence, all along, he so deals with man, by concealing the reason of his doings, as to bring him to submission to his authority, and to humble all human pride. To this termination all the reasonings of the Almighty in this book are conducted; and after the exhibition of his power in the tempest, after his sublime description of his own works, after his appeal to the numerous things which are in fact incomprehensible by man, we feel that God is great - that it is presumptuous in man to sit in judgment on his works - and that the mind, no matter what he does, should bow before him with profound veneration and silence. These are the great lessons which we are every day called to learn in the actual dispensations of his providence; and the "arguments" for these lessons were never elsewhere stated with so much power and sublimity as in the closing chapters of the book of Job. We have the light of the Christian religion; we can look into eternity, and see how the inequalities of the present order of things can be adjusted there; and we have sources of consolation which neither Job nor his friends enjoyed; but still, with all this light, there are numerous cases where we are required to bow, not because we see the reason of the divine dealings, but because such is the will of God. To us, in such circumstances, this argument of the Almighty is adapted to teach the most salutary lessons.

34. beholdeth—as their superior.

children of pride—the proud and fierce beasts. So Job 28:8; Hebrew, "sons of pride." To humble the pride of man and to teach implicit submission, is the aim of Jehovah's speech and of the book; therefore with this as to leviathan, the type of God in His lordship over creation, He closes.

He doth not turn his back upon nor hide his face from the highest and proudest creatures, but looks upon them with a bold and undaunted countenance, as being without any fear of them, as was now said. He carries himself with princely majesty and courage towards the stoutest and loftiest creatures; which, though of far higher stature than himself, he striketh down with one stroke of his tail, as he commonly doth cows, and horses, and sometimes elephants. He beholdeth all high things,.... Or "who beholdeth all high things"; even he that made leviathan, that is, God, as the above interpreter: he does that which Job was bid to do, and could not; beholds everyone that is proud, and abases him, Job 40:11; and therefore he ought to acknowledge his sovereignty and superiority over him, and submit to him;

he is a king over all the children of pride: the proud angels that fell, and all the proud sons of men; proud monarchs and potentates of the earth, such as Nebuchadnezzar and others, Daniel 4:31. But interpreters generally understand all this either of the crocodile, or of a fish of the whale kind. Bochart observes, that the crocodile, though it has short legs, will behold, and meet unterrified, beasts abundantly taller than itself, and with one stroke of its tail break their legs and bring them low; and will destroy not only men, but all sorts of beasts, as elephants, camels, horses, oxen, boars, and every animal whatsoever. But others apply this to the whale, which beholds the tossing waves of the sea, which mount up to heaven; the clouds of heaven on high over it; the lofty cliffs or shores, and ships of the greatest bulk and height; and which, when it lifts up itself above the water, equals the high masts of ships, and is abundantly superior to all the tribes of watery animals, or the beasts of the sea. But this seems not wholly to come up to the expressions here used. Upon the whole, as there are some things that agree with the crocodile, and not the whale; and others that agree with the whale, of one sort or another, and not with the crocodile; it is uncertain which is meant, and it seems as if neither of them were intended: and to me very probable is the opinion of Johannes Camerensis (c), and to which the learned Schultens most inclines, that the leviathan is the dragon of the land sort, called leviathan, the piercing serpent, as distinct from the dragon in the sea, Isaiah 27:1; which agrees with the description of the leviathan in the whole: as its prodigious size; its terrible countenance; its wide jaws; its three forked tongue; its three rows of sharp teeth; its being covered all over, back and belly, with thick scales, not to be penetrated by arrows and darts; its flaming eyes, its fiery breath, and being most terrible to all, and fearless of every creature; it will engage with any, and conquer and kill an elephant (d); hence in Ethiopia dragons have no other names than elephant killers: and so it may be said to be king over all the children of pride; of all which proof may be given from various writers, as Pliny (e), Aelianus (f), Philostratus (g), and others; and particularly the dragon Attilius Regulus, the Roman general, killed near Bagrade in Africa, is a proof itself of almost all the above articles, as Osorius (h) has described it; nor is it any objection that the leviathan is represented as being in the sea, since the dragon, even the land dragon, will plunge into rivers, and is often found in lakes called seas, and in maritime places, and will go into the sea itself, as Pliny (i) and Philostratus (k) relate. To which may be added, that this creature was found among the Troglodytes (l) who lived near the Red sea, and not far from Arabia, where Job dwelt, and so might be well known by him: and besides, of all creatures, it is the most lively emblem of the devil, which all the ancient Christian writers make leviathan to be; and Satan is expressly called the dragon in Revelation 12:3. So Suidas (m) says, the devil is called a dragon in Job. But be the leviathan what it may, it certainly is an illustrious instance of the power of God in making it; and therefore Job and every other man ought to submit to him that made it, in all things, and be humble under his mighty hand; owning freely, that it is his right hand, and his only, and not man's, that can save, either in a temporal or spiritual sense; for which end this and the behemoth are instanced in.

(See definition for 03882. Editor.)

(c) Apud Pinedam, in v. 1.((d) Isidor. Origin l. 12. c. 4. (e) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 14. (f) De Animal. l. 2. c. 21. & l. 10. c. 48. & l. 15. c. 21. & l. 16. c. 39. (g) Vit. Apollon. l. 3. c. 2. Vid. Ovid. Metamorph. l. 3. Fab. 1.((h) Hist. l. 4. c. 8. (i) Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 13. (k) Ut supra. (Vit. Apollon. l. 3. c. 2. Vid. Ovid. Metamorph. l. 3. Fab. 1.) (l) Plin. Nat. Hist. l. 8. c. 11, 12. & l. 31. c. 2.((m) In voce & in voce

He beholdeth {m} all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.

(m) He despises all other beasts and monsters, and is the proudest of all others.

34. he beholdeth all high things] Or, he looketh on all that is high; he looks them boldly in the face without terror.

the children of pride] That is, the proud beasts; comp. ch. Job 28:8.Verse 34. - He beholdeth all high things He looks without fear on everything that is high and great. Nothing alarms him; nothing disturbs his equanimity. He is a king over all the children (literally, sons) of pride (comp. Job 28:8). He feels himself superior to all other animals that come within his ken. They may be "sons of pride," but he has more to be proud of than the proudest of them. Ordinarily, the lion poses as "the king of beasts;" but here he is, as it were, deposed, and relegated into the second position (Job 38:39), the crocodile being exalted into his place. From different points of view, there are several great beasts which might be regarded as the lords of the animal creation.

26 If one reacheth him with the sword-it doth not hold;

Neither spear, nor dart, nor harpoon.

27 He esteemeth iron as straw,

Brass as rotten wood.

28 The son of the bow doth not cause him to flee,

Sling stones are turned to stubble with him.

29 Clubs are counted as stubble,

And he laugheth at the shaking of the spear.

משּׂיגהוּ, which stands first as nom. abs., "one reaching him," is equivalent to, if one or whoever reaches him, Ew. 357, c, to which בּלי תקוּם, it does not hold fast (בּלי with v. fin., as Hosea 8:7; Hosea 9:16, Chethb), is the conclusion. חרב is instrumental, as Psalm 17:13. מסּע, from נסע, Arab. nz‛, to move on, hasten on, signifies a missile, as Arab. minz‛a, an arrow, manz‛a, a sling. The Targ. supports this latter signification here (funda quae projicit lapidem); but since קלא, the handling, is mentioned separately, the word appears to men missiles in general, or the catapult. In this combination of weapons of attack it is very questionable whether שׁריה is a cognate form of שׁריון (שׁרין), a coat of mail; probably it is equivalent to Arab. sirwe (surwe), an arrow with a long broad edge (comp. serı̂je, a short, round, as it seems, pear-shaped arrow-head), therefore either a harpoon or a peculiarly formed dart.

(Note: On the various kinds of Egyptian arrows, vid., Klemm. Culturgeschichte, v. 371f.)

"The son of the bow" (and of the אשׁפּה, pharetra) is the arrow. That the ἁπ. γεγρ. תותח signifies a club (war-club), is supported by the Arab. watacha, to beat. כּידון, in distinction from חנית (a long lance), is a short spear, or rather, since רעשׁ implies a whistling motion, a javelin. Iron the crocodile esteems as תּבן, tibn, chopped straw; sling stones are turned with him into קשׁ. Such is the name here at least, not for stumps of cut stubble that remain standing, but the straw itself, threshed and easily driven before the wind (Job 13:25), which is cut up for provender (Exodus 5:12), generally dried (and for that reason light) stalks (e.g., of grass), or even any remains of plants (e.g., splinters of wood).

(Note: The Egyptio-Arabic usage has here more faithfully preserved the ancient signification of the word (vid., Fleischer, Glossae, p. 37) than the Syro-Arabic; for in Syria cut but still unthreshed corn, whether lying in swaths out in the field and weighted with stones to protect it against the whirlwinds that are frequent about noon, or corn already brought to the threshing-floors but not yet threshed, is called qashsh. - Wetzst.)

The plur. נחשׁבוּ, Job 41:29, does not seem to be occasioned by תותח being conceived collectively, but by the fact that, instead of saying תותח וכידון, the poet has formed וכידון into a separate clause. Parchon's (and Kimchi's) reading תוחח is founded upon an error.

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