Job 41


Can You Catch a Sea Monster?

41 Can you catch a sea monster
by using a fishhook?
Can you tie its mouth shut
with a rope?
2 Can it be led around
by a ring in its nose
or a hook in its jaw?
3 Will it beg for mercy?
4 Will it surrender
as a slave for life?
5 Can it be tied by the leg
like a pet bird
for little girls?
6 Is it ever chopped up
and its pieces bargained for
in the fish-market?
7 Can it be killed
with harpoons or spears?
8 Wrestle it just once—
that will be the end.
9 Merely a glimpse of this monster
makes all courage melt.
10 And if it is too fierce
for anyone to attack,
who would dare oppose me?
11 I am in command of the world
and in debt to no one.

12 What powerful legs,
what a stout body
this monster possesses!
13 Who could strip off its armor
or bring it under control
with a harness?
14 Who would try to open its jaws,
full of fearsome teeth?
15 Its back is covered
with shield after shield,
16 firmly bound and closer together
17 than breath to breath.

When This Monster Sneezes

18 When this monster sneezes,
lightning flashes, and its eyes
glow like the dawn.
19 Sparks and fiery flames
explode from its mouth.
20 And smoke spews from its nose
like steam
from a boiling pot,
21 while its blazing breath
scorches everything in sight.

22 Its neck is so tremendous
that everyone trembles,
23 the weakest parts of its body
are harder than iron,
24 and its heart is stone.
25 When this noisy monster appears,
even the most powerful
turn and run in fear.
26 No sword or spear can harm it,
27 and weapons of bronze or iron
are as useless as straw
or rotten wood.
28 Rocks thrown from a sling
cause it no more harm
than husks of grain.
This monster fears no arrows,
29 it simply smiles at spears,
and striking it with a stick
is like slapping it with straw.

30 As it crawls through the mud,
its sharp and spiny hide
tears the ground apart.
31 And when it swims down deep,
the sea starts churning
like boiling oil,
32 and it leaves behind a trail
of shining white foam.
33 No other creature on earth
is so fearless.
34 It is king of all proud creatures,
and it looks upon the others
as nothing.



The Contemporary English Version, c1995 by the American Bible Society.
Selected texts provided for use with the Hypertext Bible Commentary