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Job 41 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

The Lord Continues

Can You Catch a Sea Monster?

41 Can you catch a sea monster[a]
    by using a fishhook?
Can you tie its mouth shut
    with a rope?
Can it be led around
by a ring in its nose
    or a hook in its jaw?
Will it beg for mercy?
Will it surrender
    as a slave for life?
Can it be tied by the leg
like a pet bird
    for little girls?
Is it ever chopped up
and its pieces bargained for
    in the fish-market?
Can it be killed
    with harpoons or spears?
Wrestle it just once—
    that will be the end.
Merely a glimpse of this monster
    makes all courage melt.
10 And if it is too fierce
for anyone to attack,
    who would dare oppose me?
11 I am in command of the world
    and in debt to no one.

12 What powerful legs,
what a stout body
    this monster possesses!
13 Who could strip off its armor
or bring it under control
    with a harness?
14 Who would try to open its jaws,
    full of fearsome teeth?
15 Its back[b] is covered
    with shield after shield,
16 firmly bound and closer together
17     than breath to breath.

When This Monster Sneezes

18 When this monster sneezes,
lightning flashes,
and its eyes
    glow like the dawn.
19 Sparks and fiery flames
    explode from its mouth.
20 And smoke spews from its nose
like steam
    from a boiling pot,
21 while its blazing breath
    scorches everything in sight.

22 Its neck is so tremendous
    that everyone trembles,
23 the weakest parts of its body
are harder than iron,
24     and its heart is stone.
25 When this noisy monster appears,
even the most powerful[c]
    turn and run in fear.
26 No sword or spear can harm it,
27 and weapons of bronze or iron
    are as useless
as straw
    or rotten wood.
28 Rocks thrown from a sling
cause it no more harm
    than husks of grain.
This monster fears no arrows,
29     it simply smiles at spears,
and striking it with a stick
is like slapping it with straw.

30 As it crawls through the mud,
its sharp and spiny hide
    tears the ground apart.
31 And when it swims down deep,
the sea starts churning
    like boiling oil,
32 and it leaves behind a trail
    of shining white foam.
33 No other creature on earth
    is so fearless.
34 It is king of all proud creatures,
and it looks upon the others
    as nothing.


  1. 41.1 sea monster: The Hebrew text has “Leviathan,” which may refer to a sea monster or possibly to a crocodile in this verse (see the note at 3.8).
  2. 41.15 back: Two ancient translations; Hebrew “pride.”
  3. 41.25 most powerful: Or “gods.”

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