Job 41: God Reveals Satan, King Over All the Children of Pride

Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine. Job 41:11

He (Beast/Dragon) beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.” Job 41:34

Everything under heaven is God’s.

41:1 As in the case of behemoth, the description of Leviathan begins as a description of a well-known, formidable beast. But by the time the description is complete, Leviathan has become a fire-breathing dragon, a powerful symbol of chaos, evil, and destruction (vv.18-21).  Ultimately, Leviathan’s image is a portrait of chaos at the beginning of God’s creation and of Satan at the consummation of the ages (see Ps. 74:2-17; Is.27:1;51:9). Only God can control and destroy Leviathan; Job can only shrink back in humble fear.

1  “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

41:2 The reed indicates the material that was twisted or spun into a cord or rope, perhaps to “string” the Leviathan like a fish. However, the clause pierce his jaw with a hook may suggest the picture of Leviathan as a prisoner of war with a hook or ring in his jaw or nose (see 2 Chr. 33:11).  This view is supported by the context of v.4. This imagery is also used in Ezek. 29:3,4, which describes the Lord capturing Pharaoh like a crocodile and putting hooks in his jaw.

2  Can you put a reed through his nose, Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

41:4 The Lord continues to confront Job with a series of rhetorical questions. Can Job make Leviathan an eternal servant or vassal? The Lord’s mention of the covenant implies that perhaps Job could offer it a peace treaty, like a great king subduing a lesser king in battle (see v. 34).

4  Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever?

41:10 When the Lord says no one would be so foolish as to stir Leviathan up, he is replying to Job’s desire that this monster be roused (see 3:8).  In effect, the Lord questions Job: “What would you do, Job, if he were provoked?” (see vv. 8,9).

10  No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me?

41:11 Who has preceded Me could also be rendered “Who has confronted Me?” that I should repay: The Hebrew verb means “to pay a debt” or “to make restitution for something lost or stolen.” The Lord confronts Job for implying that God owed him something for being righteous (see 34:5-8) or that God had to make restitution for the property and posterity He had allegedly stolen from Job (see 10:3). Thus the Lord plainly refutes Job’s misconception that God is obligated to reward a person who is obedient. The idea that God does not have to reward us for what we consider good works is an essential part of the biblical doctrine of salvation by grace apart from our works (see Eph. 2:8-10).

11  Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him? Everything under heaven is Mine.

8  For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9  not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. Eph. 2:8-10


41:19-21 The Lord gradually transforms the physical Leviathan to the dragon (7:12), which breathes fire and smoke. Even though the Leviathan was God’s creature, it terrified the Egyptians so much that they worshiped it as a god.

19  Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out. 20  Smoke goes out of his nostrils, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes. 21  His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes out of his mouth.

41:34 The phrase he beholds every high thing could also be translated “he looks down on everything hauthty.” King Leviathan who is over all who have pride, gazes with a look of superiority at the haughty. Therefore Job, whose pride had been exposed, could never succeed in subduing the mighty Leviathan or validating his claim to be able to rule the world better than God.

34  He beholds every high thing; He is king over all the children of pride.”

⇒ I don’t want this beast to have power over me.  I don’t even want to see it in real life.  So I’ll remember Job 41:34 and not have pride.



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