Job 41-42: God’s Final Word
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Job 41-42: God’s Final Word

Original Publication Date
June 10, 2017
Updated
Aug 12, 2023 8:09 PM
Tags
JobChapter StudyAnimalsWaterRepentance and Forgiveness
Bible References
Job 41-42
Status
Done
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Table of Contents
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This page was originally posted on my Blogger version of the blog on June 10, 2017 The content below has a few minor tweaks for clarity, and additional references, and some updated information.

Introduction

God finishes His Words to Job in the last two chapters of the book and Job realizes his error. I imagine, on Judgment Day, non-believers will be like Job, standing in awe at the wonder of God and realizing how wrong they've been. Unfortunately for them, it will be too late. Fortunately for Job, it was not too late.

God's Message

In the previous chapter, God reminded us that only He could subdue a monstrous creature called Behemoth. In Job 41, God tells us only He can subdue Leviathan. We'll talk about whether Leviathan is a creature or a symbol later; for now, let's stick to God's power. The main problem we have as humans is a loss of perspective. We become so involved in our own world, that we forget how small and insignificant we truly are. This has a tendency to make us prideful and vain. God's reason for describing such a ferocious creature and asking Job if he can subdue it is to remind Job of his frailty. We don't have control over anything in our world, except ourselves, and sometimes we don't have control over ourselves either (I'd never be sick if I had 100% control over myself). Even with tame, house broken animals such as a dog or cat, they are not completely under our submission. Your dog may scratch your chair or keep trying to play with you after you tell him to sit. My cat brings lizards in the house no matter how many times I tell her not to... We aren't in control.

Job Repents

Once Job hears this from God Himself, he realizes that we can't know everything. Job may not know why God allowed him so suffer, but he should always know that God's reason is pure and just. Job repents of accusing God of being unjust, and he also asks for forgiveness for his friends. Eliphaz, Zophar, and Bildad angered God—just as they angered Elihu—with their false doctrine. Part of being a believer, a leader, and a servant of God, is asking for forgiveness for those around us. Although Job was hard on his friends and was frustrated with their lack of answers, Job knew that like himself, they couldn't know everything. He recognized that they had tried to help him and were not spreading false doctrine on purpose. Now that Job understood the truth, he could teach his friends. It is only after Job prays for his friends that his fortune is reversed.

It is interesting to note that Job's friends must make sacrifices for their sin, but Job does not. I think the reason is the nature of the sin. Job did not violate any of God's laws; however, he was over confident in his own righteousness. Job's friends spread false doctrine, a practice that has severely crippled the modern church and continues to drive people away from God. Most likely God found the latter to be more harmful.

In the aftermath, Job is blessed two-fold, receiving double of everything he once had (except children). I have heard people question why Job didn't receive twice as many children afterward, and I would assume it's because he didn't actually lose the first 10. Example: if I have a house and it burns down, then I buy a new house, I only have 1 house. If I have a child and he or she dies, then I have another child, I'm still a mother of 2. Another reason could be the fact that 10 is the number of completeness in the Bible. Both 7 and 3 have Biblical significance as well.

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It’s important to note that while God gave Job more children, Job likely mourned his original children for the rest of his life. The kids he had after this ordeal may have brought him joy, continued his name, and taken care of him in his old age, but human beings cannot be replaced. This is a reminder that unlike movies where conflict is resolved in 2 hours, there are lasting consequences to Satan’s rebellion. Just as there are consequences to his rebellions, there are consequences to ours as well.

Leviathan

The Leviathan has appeared in many legends. Scholars attribute the origin story of the Leviathan to pagan myths found in Baal Cycle; they argue that the name and thus the creature are a continuation of Lôtān, a sea monster found in Ugarit myths.[1] Bible believers, however, argue that Leviathan was (or is) a real creature. Leviathan is mentioned 6 times in scripture: Job 3:8, Job 40:15–41:26, Amos 9:3, Psalms 74:13–23, Psalm 104:26 and Isaiah 27:1. Depending on which translation you're reading, the text may say serpent.

Job 3:8 in the KJV doesn't say anything that seems remotely related to Leviathan, but my study Bible has a footnote that says the Hebrew text translated "their mourning" could also be translated to Leviathan.[2]

In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.

From a Biblical stand point, Leviathan could be real or symbolic (or both). The language in Isaiah 27:1 sounds very symbolic. The serpent and dragon are often used to describe Satan. This verse sounds like much of the text in Revelation in which we are told God will defeat the dragon (i.e., Satan) on Judgement Day. In Job 41, God is asking if Job can tame the beast. The list of questions God asks could be in reference to a real creature, but God also asks Job if he can make a covenant with Leviathan. I would think only beings with intelligence can make a covenant: God, angels, and humans.[3]

References and Footnotes

  1. Leviathan". Wikipedia; visited June 2017
  2. Holman Bible Publishers. Holman KJV Study Bible, pg. 867. 2014
  3. Jeffrey J. Meyers. "Leviathan and Job, Part 2". Biblical Horizons Newsletter, No. 88. October 1996

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