Job 41:16
One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
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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.His scales are his pride - Margin, "strong pieces of shields." The literal translation of this would be, "Pride, the strong of shields;" that is, the strong shields. There can be no doubt that there is reference to the scales of the animal, as having a resemblance to strong shields laid close to each other. But there is considerable variety of opinion as to its meaning. Umbreit and Prof. Lee take the word here rendered "pride" (גאוה gê'voh) to be the same as (גוה gêvâh), "back," and then the meaning would be that his back was armed as with a shield - referring, as Prof. Lee supposes, to the dorsal fin of the whale. But there is no necessity for this supposition, and it cannot be denied that it is somewhat forced. The "connection" requires that we should understand it, not of the dorsal fin, but of the scales; for a description immediately follows in continuation of this, which will by no means apply to the fin. The obvious and proper meaning is, that the pride or glory of the animal - that on which his safety depended, and which was the most remarkable thing about him - was his "scales," which were laid together like firm and compact shields, so that nothing could penetrate them. This description accords better with the crocodile than with any other animal. It is covered with scales, "which are so hard as to resist a musket-ball." "Ed. Ency." The description cannot be applied to a whale, which has no scales; and accordingly Prof. Lee supposes that the reference in this verse and the two following is not to the "scales," but to the "teeth," and to "the setting in of the dorsal fin!"

Shut up together - Made close or compact.

As with a close seal - As if they had been sealed with wax, so that no air could come between them.

15. Rather, his "furrows of shields" (as "tubes," "channels," see on [564]Job 40:18), are, &c., that is, the rows of scales, like shields covering him: he has seventeen such rows.

shut up—firmly closed together. A musket ball cannot penetrate him, save in the eye, throat, and belly.

Which plainly shows that the shields or scales are several; which agrees better to the crocodile than to the whale, whose skin is all one entire piece, unless there were a sort of whales having thick and strong scales, which some have affirmed, but is not yet known and proved.

One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. This shows that it cannot be understood of the skin of the whale, and the hardness and strength of that, which is alike and of a piece; whereas those scales, or be they what they may, though closely joined, yet are distinct: those who interpret this of whales that have teeth, and these of the teeth, observe, that as they have teeth to the number of forty or fifty in the lower jaw, in the upper one fire holes or sockets into which they go; and they are so very close that no wind or air can come between them (g).

(g) Vid. Scheuchzer. ut supra. (Physic. Sacr. vol. 4. p. 848.)

One is so near to another, that no air can come between them.
16, 17. These verses refer to the close coherence of the scales to one another.

Verse 16. - One is so near to another, that no air can come between them (see the comment on the preceding verse). Job 41:1615 A pride are the furrows of the shields,

Shut by a rigid seal.

16 One joineth on to the other,

And no air entereth between them.

17 One upon another they are arranged,

They hold fast together, inseparably.

Since the writer uses אפיק both in the signif. robustus, Job 12:12, and canalis, Job 40:18, it is doubtful whether it must be explained robusta (robora) scutorum (as e.g., Ges.), or canales scutorum (Hirz., Schlottm., and others). We now prefer the latter, but so that "furrows of the shields" signifies the square shields themselves bounded by these channels; for only thus is the סגוּר, which refers to these shields, considered, each one for itself, suitably attached to what precedes. חותם צר is an acc. of closer definition belonging to it: closed is (each single one) by a firmly attached, and therefore firmly closed, seal. lxx remarkably ὥσπερ σμυρίτης λίθος, i.e., (emery (vid., Krause's Pyrogeteles, 1859, S. 228). Six rows of knotty scales and four scales of the neck cover the upper part of the animal's body, in themselves firm, and attached to one another in almost impenetrable layers, as is described in Job 41:7 in constantly-varying forms of expression (where יגּשׁוּ with Pathach beside Athnach is the correct reading), - a גּאוה, i.e., an equipment of which the animal may be proud. Umbr. takes גאוה, with Bochart, equals גּוה, the back; but although in the language much is possible, yet not everything.

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