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The Description of Leviathan

41:1 (40:25)1 “Can you pull in2 Leviathan with a hook,

and tie down3 its tongue with a rope?

41:2 Can you put a cord through its nose,

or pierce its jaw with a hook?

41:3 Will it make numerous supplications to you,4

will it speak to you with tender words?5

41:4 Will it make a pact6 with you,

so you could take it7 as your slave for life?

41:5 Can you play8 with it, like a bird,

or tie it on a leash9 for your girls?

41:6 Will partners10 bargain11 for it?

Will they divide it up12 among the merchants?

41:7 Can you fill its hide with harpoons

or its head with fishing spears?

41:8 If you lay your hand on it,

you will remember13 the fight,

and you will never do it again!

41:9 (41:1)14 See, his expectation is wrong,15

he is laid low even at the sight of it.16

41:10 Is it not fierce17 when it is awakened?

Who is he, then, who can stand before it?18

41:11 (Who has confronted19 me that I should repay?20

Everything under heaven belongs to me!)21

41:12 I will not keep silent about its limbs,

and the extent of its might,

and the grace of its arrangement.22

41:13 Who can uncover its outer covering?23

Who can penetrate to the inside of its armor?24

41:14 Who can open the doors of its mouth?25

Its teeth all around are fearsome.

41:15 Its back26 has rows of shields,

shut up closely27 together as with a seal;

41:16 each one is so close to the next28

that no air can come between them.

41:17 They lock tightly together, one to the next;29

they cling together and cannot be separated.

41:18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light;

its eyes are like the red glow30 of dawn.

41:19 Out of its mouth go flames,31

sparks of fire shoot forth!

41:20 Smoke streams from its nostrils

as from a boiling pot over burning32 rushes.

41:21 Its breath sets coals ablaze

and a flame shoots from its mouth.

41:22 Strength lodges in its neck,

and despair33 runs before it.

41:23 The folds34 of its flesh are tightly joined;

they are firm on it, immovable.35

41:24 Its heart36 is hard as rock,

hard as a lower millstone.

41:25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified,

at its thrashing about they withdraw.37

41:26 Whoever strikes it with a sword38

will have no effect,39

nor with the spear, arrow, or dart.

41:27 It regards iron as straw

and bronze as rotten wood.

41:28 Arrows40 do not make it flee;

slingstones become like chaff to it.

41:29 A club is counted41 as a piece of straw;

it laughs at the rattling of the lance.

41:30 Its underparts42 are the sharp points of potsherds,

it leaves its mark in the mud

like a threshing sledge.43

41:31 It makes the deep boil like a cauldron

and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment,44

41:32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;

one would think the deep had a head of white hair.

41:33 The likes of it is not on earth,

a creature45 without fear.

41:34 It looks on every haughty being;

it is king over all that are proud.”46


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