Job 41:6
Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
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(6) Shall the companions make a banquet of him?—Or, Shall the bands of fishermen make traffic of him? or, dig a pit for him?—the former suiting the parallelism better.

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.Shall thy companions make a banquet of him? - This is one of the "vexed passages" about which there has been much difference of opinion. Gesenius renders it, "Do the companions ("i. e." the fishermen in company) lay snares for him?" So Noyes renders it. Dr. Harris translates it, "Shall thy partners spread a banquet for him?" The Septuagint renders it, "Do the nations feed upon him?" The Vulgate, "Will friends cut him up?" that is, for a banquet. Rosenmuller renders it, "Will friends feast upon him?" The word rendered "thy companions" (חברים chabbâriym) means properly those joined or associated together for any purpose, whether for friendship or for business. It may refer here either to those associated for the purpose of fishing or feasting. The word "thy" is improperly introduced by our translators, and there is no evidence that the reference is to the companions or friends of Job, as that would seem to suppose. The word rendered "make a banquet" (יכרוּ yikârû) is from כרה kârâh, "to dig," and then to make a plot or device against one - derived from the fact that a "pitfall" was dug to take animals (Psalm 7:15; Psalm 57:6; compare Job 6:27); and according to this it means, "Do the companions, "i. e." the fishermen in company, lay snares for him?" The word, however, has another signification, meaning to buy, to purchase, and also to give a feast, to make a banquet, perhaps from the idea of "purchasing" the provisions necessary for a banquet. According to this, the meaning is, "Do the companions, "i. e." those associated for the purpose of feasting, make a banquet of him?" Which is the true sense here it is not easy to determine. The majority of versions incline to the idea that it refers to a feast, and means that those associated for eating do not make a part of their entertainment of him. This interpretation is the most simple and obvious.

Shall they part him among the merchants? - That is, Shall they cut him up and expose him for sale? The word rendered "merchants" (כנענים kena‛anı̂ym) means properly "Canaanites." It is used in the sense of "merchants, or traffickers," because the Canaanites were commonly engaged in this employment; see the notes at Isaiah 23:8. The crocodile is never made a part of a banquet, or an article of traffic.

6. Rather, "partners" (namely, in fishing).

make a banquet—The parallelism rather supports Umbreit, "Do partners (in trade) desire to purchase him?" So the Hebrew (De 2:6).

merchants—literally, "Canaanites," who were great merchants (Ho 12:7, Margin).

Thy companions; thy friends or assistants in the taking of him.

Make a banquet of him, i.e. feed upon him. Or, for him, i.e. for joy that thou hast taken him.

Shall they part him among the merchants? as is usual in such cases, that all who are partners in the labour amid hazard may partake of the profit also, and divide the spoil.

Shall thy companions make a banquet of him?.... The fishermen that join together in catching fish, shall they make a feast for joy at taking the leviathan? which suggests that he is not to be taken by them, and so they have no opportunity or occasion for a feast: or will they feed on him? the flesh of crocodiles is by some eaten, and said (m) to be very savoury, but not the flesh of the whale;

shall they part him among the merchants? this seems to favour the crocodile, which is no part of merchandise, and to be against the whale, which, at least in our age, occasions a considerable trade for the sake of the bone and oil: but perhaps, in those times and countries in which Job 54ed, the use of them might not be known.

(m) Leo Africanus & Aelian. ut supra. (l. 10. c. 21.)

Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?
6. The first clause reads,

Will the partners bargain over him?

This sense is sustained by the second clause; comp. ch. Job 6:27. By “the partners” is meant the company of fishermen; comp. Luke 5:7; Luke 5:10.

the merchants] lit. the Canaanites. The Phoenicians were the great merchants of antiquity; comp. Isaiah 23:8; Zechariah 14:21; Proverbs 31:24.

Verse 6. - Shall the companions make a banquet of him? rather. Shall the companions make a traffic of him? By "the companions" we may understand either the guilds or companies of fishermen, which might be regarded as engaged in making the capture, or the travelling bands of merchants, who might be supposed willing to purchase him and carry him away. As no one of these last could be imagined rich enough to make the purchase alone, a further question is asked, Shall they part him among the merchants? i.e. allow a number to club together, each taking a share. Job 41:6 6 Do fishermen trade with him,

Do they divide him among the Canaanites?

7 Canst thou fill his skin with darts,

And his head with fish-spears?

8 Only lay thy hand upon him

Remember the battle, thou wilt not do it again!

9 Behold, every hope becometh disappointment:

Is not one cast down even at the sight of him?

The fishermen form a guild (Arab. ṣunf, sunf), the associated members of which are called חבּרים (distinct from חברים). On כּרה על, vid., on Job 6:27. "When I came to the towns of the coast," says R. Akiba, b. Rosch ha-Schana, 26b, "they called selling, which we call מכירה, כירה, there," according to which, then, Genesis 50:5 is understood, as by the Syriac; the word is Sanscrito-Semitic, Sanscr. kri, Persic chirı̂den (Jesurun, p. 178). lxx ἐνσιτούνται, according to 2 Kings 6:23, to which, however, עליו is not suitable. כּנענים are Phoenicians; and then, because they were the merchant race of the ancient world, directly traders or merchants. The meaning of the question is, whether one sells the crocodile among them, perhaps halved, or in general divided up. Further, Job 41:7 : whether one can kill it בּשׂכּות, with pointed missiles (Arab. shauke, a thorn, sting, dart), or with fish-spears (צלצל, so called from its whizzing, צלל, ). In Job 41:8 the accentuation is the right indication: only seize upon him - remember the battle, i.e., thou wilt be obliged to remember it, and thou wilt have no wish to repeat it. זכר .ti t is a so-called imperat. consec.: if thou doest it, thou wilt ... , Ges. 130, 2. תּוסף is the pausal form of תּוסף (once ͂, Proverbs 30:6), of which it is the original form.

The suff. of תּוהלתּו refers to the assailant, not objectively to the beast (the hope which he indulges concerning it). נכזבה, Job 41:9, is 3 praet., like נאלמה, Isaiah 53:7 (where also the participial accenting as Milra, occurs in Codd.); Frst's Concord. treats it as part., but the participial form נקטלה, to be assumed in connection with it, along with נקטלה and נקטלת, does not exist. הגם, Job 41:9, is, according to the sense, equivalent to הלא גם, vid., on Job 20:4. מראיו (according to Ges., Ew., and Olsh., sing., with the plural suff., without a plur. meaning, which is natural in connection with the primary form מראי; or what is more probable, from the plur. מראים with a sing. meaning, as פּנים) refers to the crocodile, and יטּל (according to a more accredited reading, יטּל equals יוּטל) to the hunter to whom it is visible.

What is said in Job 41:6 is perfectly true; although the crocodile was held sacred in some parts of Egypt, in Elephantine and Apollonopolis, on the contrary, it was salted and eaten as food. Moreover, that there is a small species of crocodile, with which children can play, does not militate against Job 41:5. Everywhere here it is the creature in its primitive strength and vigour that is spoken of. But if they also knew how to catch it in very early times, by fastening a bait, perhaps a duck, on a barb with a line attached, and drew the animal to land, where they put an end to its life with a lance-thrust in the neck (Uhlemann, Thoth, S. 241): this was angling on the largest scale, as is not meant in Job 41:1. If, on the other hand, in very early times they harpooned the crocodile, this would certainly be more difficult of reconcilement with v. 31, than that mode of catching it by means of a fishing-hook of the greatest calibre with Job 41:1. But harpooning is generally only of use when the animal can be hit between the neck and head, or in the flank; and it is very questionable whether, in the ancient times, when the race was without doubt of an unmanageable size, that has now died out, the crocodile hunt (Job 7:12) was effected with harpoons. On the whole subject we have too little information for distinguishing between the different periods. So far as the questions of Jehovah have reference to man's relation to the two monsters, they concern the men of the present, and are shaped according to the measure of power which they have attained over nature. The strophe which follows shows what Jehovah intends by these questions.

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