The Trial of Job

Chapter 40

Job humbles himself to God, 1-5. God stirs him up to show his righteousness, power, and wisdom, 6-15. Of the behemoth, 16-24.

1 Moreover, the LORD answered Job and said,

2 "Shall he who contends with the Almighty instruct him? He who reproves God, let him answer it."

3 Then Job answered the LORD and said,

4 "Behold, I am vile. What shall I answer you? I will lay my hand upon my mouth.

5 Once I have spoken, but I will not answer, even twice, but I will proceed no further."

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

7 "Now gird up your loins like a man. I will demand of you, and you declare to me.

8 Will you also disannul my judgment? Will you condemn me so that you may be righteous?

9 Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like his?

10 Deck yourself now with majesty and excellence and array yourself with glory and beauty.

11 Cast abroad the rage of your wrath. Behold everyone who is proud and abase him.

12 Look at everyone who is proud and bring him low. Tread down the wicked in their place.

13 Hide them in the dust together. Bind their faces in secret.

14 Then I will also confess to you that your own right hand can save you.

15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with you, he eats grass as an ox.

16 Behold now, his strength is in his loins and his force is in the navel of his belly.

17 He moves his tail like a cedar. The sinews of his male organs are wrapped together.

18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass. His bones are like bars of iron.

19 He is the chief of the ways of God. He who made him can make his sword to approach him.

20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, and all the beasts of the field play there.

21 He lies under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed and mire.

22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow. The willows of the brook encompass him.

23 Behold, he drinks up a river and does not hasten. He trusts that he can draw up the Jordan into his mouth.

24 He takes it with his eyes. His nose pierces through snares."


Matthew Henry Commentary - Job, Chapter 40[➚]


John Gill's Chapter Summary:

In this chapter Job is called upon to give in his answer (verses 1-2), which he does in the most humble manner, acknowledging his vileness and folly (verses 3-5); and then the Lord proceeds to give him further conviction of his superior justice and power (verses 6-9); and one thing he proposes to him, to humble the proud, if he could, and then he would acknowledge that his own right hand could save him (verses 10-15); and observes to him another instance of his power in a creature called behemoth, which he had made, and gives a description of (verses 15-24).

[v.15a] - "behemoth" - LXX: "wild beasts." From John Gill's Exposition: "The word is plural, and signifies beasts, and may be used to denote the chiefest and largest of beasts, and therefore is commonly understood of the elephant; and certain it is that a single beast is described in the following account, and so the word is rendered, Psalm 73:22; The word is here rendered by the Septuagint 'beasts'; which is the word used by the Greeks for elephants as 'belluae', a word of the same signification, is by the Latins: and so the Sabines called an elephant 'barrus', and the Indians 'barro', a 'beast'; and it may be observed, that ivory is called 'shenhabbim', 1st Kings 10:22; that is, 'shenhabehim', 'behem' or 'behemoth', the tooth of the beast: and it may be also observed, that Seneca says, that the Nile produces beasts like the sea; meaning particularly the crocodile and hippopotamus. Bochart dissents from the commonly received opinion of the elephant being meant; and thinks the 'hippopotamus', or river horse, is intended so called from its having a head like a horse; and is said to have a mane, and to neigh like one, and to bear some resemblance to it in its snout, eyes, ears, and back. And the reasons that celebrated author has given for this his opinion have prevailed on many learned men to follow him; and there are some things in the description of behemoth, as will be observed, which seem better to agree with the river horse than with the elephant. It is an amphibious creature, and sometimes lives upon the land, and sometimes in the water; and by various writers is often called a beast and four footed one."

[v.15b] - "which I made with you" - This text may also be read as, "which I made as well as you," or, "which I made along with you."