Notes: Job 40-42

English Language Bible Study Guide for January 25, 2008

Having set before Job an extract of natural history, the Lord continues.

Job 40

3-5: Job humbles himself before God, and promises not to speak.

6-14: God challenges Job to exercise divine power. Succeeding in that Job would prove his ability to save himself.

15-24: Behemoth is set before Job as a symbol of all that Job cannot conquer.

Job 41

1-34: Leviathan is set before Job as a symbol of all that Job cannot conquer.

An elephant and an hippopotamus have been suggested as the recognized names of behemoth and leviathan.

Problems exist in both of these interpretations.

a. an elephant does not move his tail as a cedar (40:17).

b. an hippopotamus does not breathe fire (41:19).

Because of these difficulties, some have suggested that the Lord presents dinosaurs and dragons for Job to consider.

If dinosaurs lived 65 million years ago and died off before man, then surely God did not expect Job ever to have seen either a dinosaur or a dragon. On the other hand, Job may have seen dinosaurs and dragons.

By presenting these two giant creatures (regardless of how they should be identified), the Lord is saying that Job is unable to tame them, so how could Job save himself?

Job 42

1-6: Job humbles himself before God yet more.

7-9: The Lord chastises Job’s friends for their ineptitude, and advises that they should seek Job’s mediation on their behalf.

10: Job’s troubles turn around when Job prayed for his friends.

11-17: Job has more children and more money; and he lives for 140 years more.


Why do bad things happen to good people?

Sometimes because they are good, and God wants to display to the world how true faith never fails.