Job 41:34

This magniloquent title crowns the elaborate description of leviathan, which occupies the whole chapter. It gives us a vivid idea of the supremacy and kinship that are to be found in nature.

I. THERE ARE GRADATIONS OF RANK IN NATURE. Nature is not democratic or communistic. Among her various orders we observe ascending ranks of living creatures. There is a natural aristocracy; there is a natural kingship. All creatures are not endowed alike. Some are gifted with powers that lift them above their fellows. We see the same facts in the human world. All men are not endowed equally. Some have five talents, some two talents, some but one talent. There are men who seem born to rule; power is native to them. Now, these facts may seem to justify a rigid adherence to differences of rank and a repression of efforts to bring about a state of equality. But we must modify the application of them to men in two or three respects.

1. Men are all of one greatly, and are therefore am! brethren, whereas in the animal world we have been considering differences of species.

2. Men have a moral nature, and can discern a higher right than that of might.

3. Men have a religion, which teaches them that their own instincts and wills are to be subordinate to the will of God.

II. THE HIGHEST KINGSHIP IS MENTAL AND MORAL. It is only in a highly rhetorical description that the crocodile, even when idealized, can be described as "a king over all the children of pride," for he does not really rule over the beasts and birds and fishes of the Nile. It is his dragon-like size and form and power that suggest to us an idea of royalty. And what royalty! Here we have the reductio ad absurdum of the kingship of force. It is natural and right in the crocodile, who lives up to his nature. Yet with all his toughness and terror this animal is one of the most senseless of creatures. It is not much to be able to boast of physical supremacy. The born kings of men are the great leaders in the higher life - leaders of thought, as Plato, Augustine, Aquinas, Bacon, Newton, Kant; leaders of religious life and conduct, as St. Paul, Athanasius, Luther, Wesley.

III. GOD IS KING OF KINGS. It would be a fearful thing if the power and supremacy that are entrusted to the larger animals had been given to them without limits or restraints. But the kingly animals, the lion and the eagle, as well as leviathan himself, are all obedient subjects of the Lord who rules over all the works of nature. They could not rebel against their Suzerain if they would. Their kingdoms are but satrapies of the grand empire of nature which God rules absolutely. Hence the order of the worm in spite of the power of these monstrous creatures. Man alone is able to rebel. Yet God overrules the rebellion even of the human world, and brings kings to do his will, although they may recognize him as little as leviathan recognizes his Lord and Maker. Thus God gives power within limits. Men of the largest liberty and the highest privileges will be called to account before their supreme Master. Therefore it is for us to look up above all earthly greatness and rule to that perfect kingship and that one supreme authority which has been revealed to us in Christ for the guidance of our lives into the path of loyal obedience. - W.F.A.

Upon the earth there is not his like.
The lion is often spoken of as "the king of the forest," or the "king of beasts," and in a similar sense the leviathan is here spoken of as at the head of the animal creation. He is afraid of none of them; he is subdued by none of them; he is the prey of none of them. The whole argument, therefore, closes with this statement, that he is at the head of the animal creation; and it was by this magnificent description of the power of the creatures which God had made, that it was intended to impress the mind of Job with a sense of the majesty and power of the Creator. It had the effect. He was overawed with the conviction of the greatness of God, and he saw how wrong it had been for him to presume to call in question the justice, or sit in judgment on the doings of such a Being. God did not, indeed, go into an examination of the various points which had been the subject of controversy; He did not explain the nature of His moral administration so as to relieve the mind from perplexity; but He evidently meant to leave the impression that He was vast and incomprehensible in His government, infinite in power, and had a right to dispose of His creation as He pleased. No one can doubt that God could, with infinite ease, have so. explained the nature of His administration as to flee the mind from perplexity, and so as to have resolved the difficulties which hung over the various subjects which had come into debate between Job and his friends. Why He did not do this is nowhere stated, and can only be the subject of conjecture. It is possible, however, that the following suggestions may do something to show the reasons why this was not done.

1. We are to remember the early period of the world when these transactions occurred, and when this Book was composed. It was in the infancy of society, and when little light had gleamed on the human mind in regard to questions of morals and religion.

2. In that state of things it is not probable that either Job or his friends would have been able to comprehend the principles in accordance with which the wicked are permitted to flourish, and the righteous are so much afflicted, if they had been stated. Much higher knowledge than they then possessed about the future world was necessary to understand the subject which then agitated their minds. It could not have been done without a very decided reference to the future state, where all these inequalities are to be removed.

3. It has been the general plan of God to communicate knowledge by degrees: to impart it when men have had full demonstration of their own imbecility, and when they feel the need of Divine teaching; and to reserve the great truths of religion for an advanced period of the world. In accordance with this arrangement, God has been pleased to keep in reserve, from age to age, certain great and momentous truths, and such as were particularly adapted to throw light on the subjects of discussion between Job and his friends. They are the truths pertaining to the resurrection of the body; the retributions of the Day of Judgment; the glories of heaven and the woes of hell, where all the inequalities of the present state may receive their final and equal adjustment. These great truths were reserved for the triumph and glory of Christianity; and to have stated them in the time of Job would have been to have anticipated the most important revelations of that system. The truths of which we are now in possession would have relieved much of the anxiety then felt, and solved most of these questions; but the world was not then in the proper state for their revelation.

4. It was a very proper lesson to be taught men, to bow with submission, to a sovereign God, without knowing the reason of His doings. No lesson, perhaps, could be learnt of higher value than this. To a proud, self-confident, philosophic mind, a mind prone to rely on its own resources and trust to its own deductions, it was of the highest importance to inculcate the duty of submission to will and sovereignty. This is a lesson which we often have to learn in life, and which almost all the trying dispensations of providence are fitted to teach us. It is not because God has no reason for what He does; it is not because He intends we shall never know the reason: but it is because it is our duty to bow with submission to His will, and to acquiesce in His right to reign, even when we cannot see the reason of His doings. Could we reason it out, and then submit because we saw the reason, our submission would not be to our Maker's pleasure, but to the deductions of our own minds. Hence, all along, He so deals with man, by concealing the reason of His doings, as to bring him to submission to His authority, and to humble all human pride. To this termination all the reasonings of the Almighty in this Book are conducted; and after the exhibition of His power in the tempest, after His sublime description of His own works, after His appeal to the numerous things which are, in fact, incomprehensible to man, we feel that God is great — that it is presumptuous in man to sit in judgment on His works, and that the mind, no matter what it does, should bow before Him with profound veneration and silence.

(Albert Barnes.).

Beasts, Beholdeth, Beholds, Fear, Goes, Haughty, Looks, Pride, Proud, Sees, Sons
1. Of God's great power in the leviathan

Dictionary of Bible Themes
Job 41:1-34

     4604   animals, nature of

Covenant Duties.
It is here proposed to show, that every incumbent duty ought, in suitable circumstances, to be engaged to in the exercise of Covenanting. The law and covenant of God are co-extensive; and what is enjoined in the one is confirmed in the other. The proposals of that Covenant include its promises and its duties. The former are made and fulfilled by its glorious Originator; the latter are enjoined and obligatory on man. The duties of that Covenant are God's law; and the demands of the law are all made
John Cunningham—The Ordinance of Covenanting

Whether There is Hope in the Damned
Whether there is Hope in the Damned We proceed to the third article thus: 1. It seems that there is hope in the damned. For the devil is damned, and the prince of the damned, according to Matt. 25:41: "Depart from me, ye cursed, into everlasting fire, prepared for the devil and his angels." Yet the devil has hope, according to Job 41:9: "Behold, the hope of him is in vain." It seems, therefore, that the damned have hope. 2. Again, just as faith can be formed and unformed, so can hope. Now there can
Aquinas—Nature and Grace

Whether the Good Will be Judged at the Judgment?
Objection 1: It would seem that none of the good will be judged at the judgment. For it is declared (Jn. 3:18) that "he that believeth in Him is not judged." Now all the good believed in Him. Therefore they will not be judged. Objection 2: Further, those who are uncertain of their bliss are not blessed: whence Augustine proves (Gen. ad lit. xi) that the demons were never blessed. But the saints are now blessed. Therefore they are certain of their bliss. Now what is certain is not submitted to judgment.
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil Can Induce Man to Sin of Necessity?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil can induce man to sin of necessity. Because the greater can compel the lesser. Now it is said of the devil (Job 41:24) that "there is no power on earth that can compare with him." Therefore he can compel man to sin, while he dwells on the earth. Objection 2: Further, man's reason cannot be moved except in respect of things that are offered outwardly to the senses, or are represented to the imagination: because "all our knowledge arises from the senses, and
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether a Spell Can be an Impediment to Marriage?
Objection 1: It would seem that a spell cannot be an impediment to marriage. For the spells in question are caused by the operation of demons. But the demons have no more power to prevent the marriage act than other bodily actions; and these they cannot prevent, for thus they would upset the whole world if they hindered eating and walking and the like. Therefore they cannot hinder marriage by spells. Objection 2: Further, God's work is stronger than the devil's. But a spell is the work of the devil.
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether by Divine Justice an Eternal Punishment is Inflicted on Sinners? [*Cf. Fs, Q , Aa ,4]
Objection 1: It would seem that an eternal punishment is not inflicted on sinners by Divine justice. For the punishment should not exceed the fault: "According to the measure of the sin shall the measure also of the stripes be" (Dt. 25:2). Now fault is temporal. Therefore the punishment should not be eternal. Objection 2: Further, of two mortal sins one is greater than the other. and therefore one should receive a greater punishment than the other. But no punishment is greater than eternal punishment,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether There is Sorrow in the Demons?
Objection 1: It would seem that there is no sorrow in the demons. For since sorrow and joy are opposites, they cannot be together in the same subject. But there is joy in the demons: for Augustine writing against the Maniches (De Gen. Contra Manich. ii, 17) says: "The devil has power over them who despise God's commandments, and he rejoices over this sinister power." Therefore there is no sorrow in the demons. Objection 2: Further, sorrow is the cause of fear, for those things cause fear while they
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether Fearlessness is a Sin?
Objection 1: It seems that fearlessness is not a sin. For that which is reckoned to the praise of a just man is not a sin. Now it is written in praise of the just man (Prov. 28:1): "The just, bold as a lion, shall be without dread." Therefore it is not a sin to be without fear. Objection 2: Further, nothing is so fearful as death, according to the Philosopher (Ethic. iii, 6). Yet one ought not to fear even death, according to Mat. 10:28, "Fear ye not them that kill the body," etc., nor anything that
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

Whether the Devil is the Head of all the Wicked?
Objection 1: It would seem that the devil is not the head of the wicked. For it belongs to the head to diffuse sense and movement into the members, as a gloss says, on Eph. 1:22, "And made Him head," etc. But the devil has no power of spreading the evil of sin, which proceeds from the will of the sinner. Therefore the devil cannot be called the head of the wicked. Objection 2: Further, by every sin a man is made evil. But not every sin is from the devil; and this is plain as regards the demons, who
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

On the Interior Man
The interior man is the rational soul; in the apostle: have in your hearts, in the interior man, Christ through faith. [Eph. 3:16] His head is Christ; in the apostle: the head of the man is Christ. [I Cor. 11:3] The crown of the head is the height of righteousness; in Solomon: for the crown of your head has received the crown of grace. The same in a bad part: the crown of hairs having walked about in their own delights, that is, in the height of iniquity. [Prov. 4:9; Ps. 67(68):22(21)] The hair is
St. Eucherius of Lyons—The Formulae of St. Eucherius of Lyons

That the Ruler Should Be, through Humility, a Companion of Good Livers, But, through the Zeal of Righteousness, Rigid against the vices of Evildoers.
The ruler should be, through humility, a companion of good livers, and, through the zeal of righteousness, rigid against the vices of evil-doers; so that in nothing he prefer himself to the good, and yet, when the fault of the bad requires it, he be at once conscious of the power of his priority; to the end that, while among his subordinates who live well he waives his rank and accounts them as his equals, he may not fear to execute the laws of rectitude towards the perverse. For, as I remember to
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

How Sowers of Strifes and Peacemakers are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 24.) Differently to be admonished are sowers of strifes and peacemakers. For sowers of strifes are to be admonished to perceive whose followers they are. For of the apostate angel it is written, when tares had been sown among the good crop, An enemy hath done this (Matth. xiii. 28). Of a member of him also it is said through Solomon, An apostate person, an unprofitable man, walketh with a perverse mouth, he winketh with his eyes, he beateth with his foot, he speaketh with his finger,
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Whether Wisdom Should be Reckoned among the Gifts of the Holy Ghost?
Objection 1: It would seem that wisdom ought not to be reckoned among the gifts of the Holy Ghost. For the gifts are more perfect than the virtues, as stated above ([2705]FS, Q[68], A[8]). Now virtue is directed to the good alone, wherefore Augustine says (De Lib. Arb. ii, 19) that "no man makes bad use of the virtues." Much more therefore are the gifts of the Holy Ghost directed to the good alone. But wisdom is directed to evil also, for it is written (James 3:15) that a certain wisdom is "earthly,
Saint Thomas Aquinas—Summa Theologica

The Beginning of Justification. In what Sense Progressive.
1. Men either idolatrous, profane, hypocritical, or regenerate. 1. Idolaters void of righteousness, full of unrighteousness, and hence in the sight of God altogether wretched and undone. 2. Still a great difference in the characters of men. This difference manifested. 1. In the gifts of God. 2. In the distinction between honorable and base. 3. In the blessings of he present life. 3. All human virtue, how praiseworthy soever it may appear, is corrupted. 1. By impurity of heart. 2. By the absence of
John Calvin—The Institutes of the Christian Religion

How the Humble and the Haughty are to be Admonished.
(Admonition 18.) Differently to be admonished are the humble and the haughty. To the former it is to be insinuated how true is that excellence which they hold in hoping for it; to the latter it is to be intimated how that temporal glory is as nothing which even when embracing it they hold not. Let the humble hear how eternal are the things that they long for, how transitory the things which they despise; let the haughty hear how transitory are the things they court, how eternal the things they
Leo the Great—Writings of Leo the Great

Epistle Xliii. To Eulogius and Anastasius, Bishops.
To Eulogius and Anastasius, Bishops. Gregory to Eulogius, Bishop of Alexandria, and Anastasius, Bishop of Antioch. When the excellent preacher says, As long as I am the apostle of the Gentiles I will honour my ministry (Rom. xi. 13); saying again in another place, We became as babes among you (1 Thess. ii. 7), he undoubtedly shews an example to us who come after him, that we should retain humility in our minds, and yet keep in honour the dignity of our order, so that neither should our humility be
Saint Gregory the Great—the Epistles of Saint Gregory the Great

And for Your Fearlessness against them Hold this Sure Sign -- Whenever There Is...
43. And for your fearlessness against them hold this sure sign--whenever there is any apparition, be not prostrate with fear, but whatsoever it be, first boldly ask, Who art thou? And from whence comest thou? And if it should be a vision of holy ones they will assure you, and change your fear into joy. But if the vision should be from the devil, immediately it becomes feeble, beholding your firm purpose of mind. For merely to ask, Who art thou [1083] ? and whence comest thou? is a proof of coolness.
Athanasius—Select Works and Letters or Athanasius

Degrees of Sin
Are all transgressions of the law equally heinous? Some sins in themselves, and by reason of several aggravations, are more heinous in the sight of God than others. He that delivered me unto thee, has the greater sin.' John 19: 11. The Stoic philosophers held that all sins were equal; but this Scripture clearly holds forth that there is a gradual difference in sin; some are greater than others; some are mighty sins,' and crying sins.' Amos 5: 12; Gen 18: 21. Every sin has a voice to speak, but some
Thomas Watson—The Ten Commandments

The book of Job is one of the great masterpieces of the world's literature, if not indeed the greatest. The author was a man of superb literary genius, and of rich, daring, and original mind. The problem with which he deals is one of inexhaustible interest, and his treatment of it is everywhere characterized by a psychological insight, an intellectual courage, and a fertility and brilliance of resource which are nothing less than astonishing. Opinion has been divided as to how the book should be
John Edgar McFadyen—Introduction to the Old Testament

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