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Job Forty

by Dr. Henry M. Morris

(taken from the Defender's Study Bible)

Job 40:1 Moreover the LORD answered Job, and said,

Job 40:2 Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty instruct him? he that reproveth God, let him answer it.

contendeth with the Almighty. There is a pause in God's monologue on creation at this point. God rebukes Job mildly for presuming to question His actions, even when he didn't understand them, and Job accepts the rebuke and confesses his sin.

Job 40:3 Then Job answered the LORD, and said,

Job 40:4 Behold, I am vile; what shall I answer thee? I will lay mine hand upon my mouth.

Job 40:5 Once have I spoken; but I will not answer: yea, twice; but I will proceed no further.

Job 40:6 Then answered the LORD unto Job out of the whirlwind, and said,

Job 40:7 Gird up thy loins now like a man: I will demand of thee, and declare thou unto me.

Job 40:8 Wilt thou also disannul my judgment? wilt thou condemn me, that thou mayest be righteous?

Job 40:9 Hast thou an arm like God? or canst thou thunder with a voice like him?

Job 40:10 Deck thyself now with majesty and excellency; and array thyself with glory and beauty.

Job 40:11 Cast abroad the rage of thy wrath: and behold every one that is proud, and abase him.

Job 40:12 Look on every one that is proud, and bring him low; and tread down the wicked in their place.

Job 40:13 Hide them in the dust together; and bind their faces in secret.

Job 40:14 Then will I also confess unto thee that thine own right hand can save thee.

Job 40:15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

behemoth. The word “behemoth” means, simply, “huge beast,” and commentators commonly take it to be either an elephant or a hippopotamus. The subsequent description, however, fits neither of these, nor any other living animal. On the other hand, it seems to match the probable description of a great land dinosaur, such as the tyrannosaurus.

Job 40:16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.

Job 40:17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

tail like a cedar. No elephant or hippo has a tail like a cedar! This description supports the theory mentioned above that a behemoth may have been a dinosaur (see notes on Job 40:19).

Job 40:18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.

Job 40:19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.

chief of the ways. The behemoth was the “chief” of all created land animals, which could only, therefore, have been one of the great land dinosaurs. These, like all other animals, were created on the fifth and sixth days of creation week. Seemingly, the dinosaur had representatives preserved on Noah's ark. Some descendants survived to and beyond Job's day, giving rise to all the traditions of dragons in various parts of the world.

his sword. No mere man could overcome such an animal, but God could! As Job beheld the great reptile, it might well have called to his mind the old Serpent of Eden, who was ultimately responsible for all the world's sin and suffering. He also knew of the ancient promise of the Redeemer who would come some day to slay the Serpent. Furthermore, he had expressed faith in that coming Redeemer (Job 19:25), and had sensed that his sufferings might somehow be a trial to which God was subjecting him (Job 23:10). Perhaps God was helping him realize what was really going on behind the scenes in connection with his trials.

Job 40:20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.

Job 40:21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.

Job 40:22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.

Job 40:23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.

Job 40:24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.