In this final chapter before the epilogue, God describes the creature called the Leviathan, which may have been a large sea dinosaur. Verses 1-2 illustrate the insufficient means foolish man employs to complete a task; here, using mere hooks and lines to capture a monster. With His many questions, God seeks to convince Job that Leviathan "plays hard-ball;" it will not make peace (vv. 3-4a), be subjugated (v. 4b), domesticated (v. 5), or killed (v. 6). Vain and dangerous would be the attempt at landing it; in fact, no one should even dare to bother it (vv. 7-10). As Leviathan is master of the sea, so God is King of the universe, indebted to no one (vv. 10b-11). The LORD seems to enjoy describing Leviathan (v. 12), especially its impenetrable hide and scales (vv. 15-17).
Verses 18-21 portray nothing less than a "fire-breathing dragon." Its horrible strength terrifies everyone (vv. 22, 25); its tough flesh and hard chest area indicate that it is a formidable foe (vv. 23-24). No weapon of man can harm it (vv. 26-29); even its underbelly is guarded with armor and causes grooves in the earth when it moves (v. 30). Leviathan greatly affects the sea when it submerges (v. 31a), surfaces (v. 31b), or swims on top of the water (v. 32). It is unique in that it is fearless (v. 33), the king of animal pride (v. 34). [God used Leviathan as a parallel to Himself. As man cannot conquer it, so he cannot approach Him either].
The epilogue commences with Job confessing God's omnipotence and sovereignty (vv. 1-2). The phrase "counsel without knowledge" appears again; this time Job acknowledges that his behavior fits the bill (v. 3; cf. 35:16; 38:2). Job begs just a few last words in response to God's questions (v. 4). He has heard and seen enough to move him to self-deprecation and repentance (vv. 5-6).
After inducing Job to repent, the LORD turns His gaze upon the three friends, and especially Eliphaz as their designated leader, and rebukes them for their wrong words regarding Him (v. 7). He commands them to sacrifice a burnt offering, while the vindicated Job intercedes for them (vv. 8-9).
The LORD then restores Job to prosperity, even up to twice what he previously enjoyed (v. 10). Afterwards, all the "fair weather" relatives and friends rejoin Job and give him a token present (v. 11). Verses 12-15 delineate the doubled blessings of Job, including three new daughters, who are beautiful and soon to be very wealthy. Job lives another 140 years before he completes his days. [Interceding for his three friends was a test in itself; having passed it, he received a reward].
1. What is "traditional wisdom"? Why is it not always wise?
2. Do you think that Job's complaint was justified? Why, or why not?
3. What did God wish to accomplish by testing Job?
4. What contradictory emotions often exist in the life of a suffering saint?
5. Given the example of Job's friends, how should we comfort a sufferer today?
6. What impressions of God do you receive from reading Job?
7. What might we conclude about men who know all the theological facts, but who still take the position of the comforters?
8. Do you think that Elihu's argument completely answered Job's dilemma?
9. What must believers realize about Job's case?
10. What could the “fire-breathing” dragon represent?
11. Why was Elihu not included when God rebuked the friends?
12. Why does Satan not appear in the epilogue?