Job : How God treats his Friends 5: The Enemy Unmasked



  • The mystery has been seen in the perspective of the created order but what about the world beyond?

  • The key is probably 40:13 – can Job control the underworld?

  • The identity f Behemoth and Leviathan.


Death (40:15-24) – Behemoth is the plural of ‘behema’ – ordinary word for beast, cattle – here it has a singular verb – ‘the Beast’ – elements of description drawn from hippopotamus – but these simply show creature is active in the natural world – in Egyptian myth, Seti, god of darkness takes form of hippopotamus in battle with Horus, god of light.

  • Death tied up with creation and can only be dealt with by Creator

  • Marshland in Canaanite myth is haunt of god of death

  • Figure of mystery lurking in the darkness


This introduces us to the terrifying figure who has the power of death


The Ancient Prince of Hell (Ch 41) – cp King of Babylon in Isa 14 and Prince of Tyre in Ezek 28:

  • Cannot be defeated by human means (vv1-8)

  • Cannot be confronted by humans (vv9-12)

  • Masquerades as God (vv13-30) – now exposed

  • His haunt (vv31-34) – place of evil powers


He occurs in 3 other OT passages : Ps 74:12-17; Ps104:26 and Isa 27:1 – ultimately under God’s control.


A note on Ch 42


Not conventional happy ending: in vv1-6 Job’s response to what he has learned in Chs 38-41; he confesses his ignorance but not sins he did not commit. But he also speaks of seeing God.


Prose epilogue (vv 7-17) – a return to ‘normal’

  • Job’s renewed confidence in God his fortunes are restored

  • New family and renewed prosperity do not take away grief or need for faith

  • Job had indeed seen God but ultimate fulfilment lies beyond the grave (19:24-27).

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