The Bible – Old Testament
The LORD then said to Job:
Will we have arguing with the Almighty by the critic? Let him who would correct God give answer!
Then Job answered the LORD and said:
Behold, I am of little account; what can I answer you? I put my hand over my mouth.
Though I have spoken once, I will not do so again; though twice, I will do so no more.
Then the LORD addressed Job out of the storm and said:
Gird up your loins now, like a man. I will question you, and you tell me the answers!
Would you refuse to acknowledge my right? Would you condemn me that you may be justified?
Have you an arm like that of God, or can you thunder with a voice like his?
Adorn yourself with grandeur and majesty, and array yourself with glory and splendor.
Let loose the fury of your wrath;
tear down the wicked and shatter them. Bring down the haughty with a glance;
bury them in the dust together; in the hidden world imprison them.
Then will I too acknowledge that your own right hand can save you.
1 See, besides you I made Behemoth, that feeds on grass like an ox.
Behold the strength in his loins, and his vigor in the sinews of his belly.
He carries his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are like cables.
His bones are like tubes of bronze; his frame is like iron rods.
He came at the beginning of God’s ways, and was made the taskmaster of his fellows;
For the produce of the mountains is brought to him, and of all wild animals he makes sport.
Under the lotus trees he lies, in coverts of the reedy swamp.
The lotus trees cover him with their shade; all about him are the poplars on the bank.
If the river grows violent, he is not disturbed; he is tranquil though the torrent surges about his mouth.
2 Who can capture him by his eyes, or pierce his nose with a trap?
3 Can you lead about Leviathan with a hook, or curb his tongue with a bit?
Can you put a rope into his nose, or pierce through his cheek with a gaff?
Will he then plead with you, time after time, or address you with tender words?
Will he make an agreement with you that you may have him as a slave forever?
Can you play with him, as with a bird? Can you put him in leash for your maidens?
4 Will the traders bargain for him? Will the merchants divide him up?
Can you fill his hide with barbs, or his head with fish spears?
Once you but lay a hand upon him, no need to recall any other conflict!
1  Behemoth: the hippopotamus.
2  Eyes . . . nose: the only exposed parts of the submerged beast.
3  (25) Leviathan here is the crocodile. But cf ⇒ Job 3:8.
4  (30) Merchants: literally, “Canaanites,” whose reputation for trading was so widespread that their name came to be used for merchants; cf ⇒ Proverb 31:24. The meaning of this verse is that the crocodile is too powerful a creature to be sold like a common fish.