1 September 2017 Bible Reading
At the end of the book of Job, in God’s speech to Job, two large animals are described. The first, behemoth, is described in ten verses (40:15–24) and the second, leviathan, in no less than 34 verses (41:1–34). English translations tend to use the Hebrew names rather than a translation: behemoth and leviathan. The word ‘behemoth’ is the plural for ‘livestock’ (see Gen. 2:20). Leviathan is mentioned once as denoting a normal sea creature (Psa. 104:26) and three times in a symbolic manner (Job 3:8; Isa. 27:1 and Psa. 74:14). While what is known about several species of dinosaurs may appear to fit some aspects of God’s description of behemoth and leviathan, the most we can say with confidence is that the descriptions do not match any known living species today.
40 Moreover Yahweh answered Job,
2 “Shall he who argues contend with the Almighty?
He who argues with God, let him answer it.”
3 Then Job answered Yahweh,
4 “Behold, I am of small account. What shall I answer you?
I lay my hand on my mouth.
5 I have spoken once, and I will not answer;
Yes, twice, but I will proceed no further.”
6 Then Yahweh answered Job out of the whirlwind,
7 “Now brace yourself like a man.
I will question you, and you will answer me.
8 Will you even annul my judgment?
Will you condemn me, that you may be justified?
9 Or do you have an arm like God?
Can you thunder with a voice like him?
10 “Now deck yourself with excellency and dignity.
Array yourself with honor and majesty.
11 Pour out the fury of your anger.
Look at everyone who is proud, and bring him low.
12 Look at everyone who is proud, and humble him.
Crush the wicked in their place.
13 Hide them in the dust together.
Bind their faces in the hidden place.
14 Then I will also admit to you
that your own right hand can save you.
15 “See now, behemoth, which I made as well as you.
He eats grass as an ox.
16 Look now, his strength is in his thighs.
His force is in the muscles of his belly.
17 He moves his tail like a cedar.
The sinews of his thighs are knit together.
18 His bones are like tubes of brass.
His limbs are like bars of iron.
19 He is the chief of the ways of God.
He who made him gives him his sword.
20 Surely the mountains produce food for him,
where all the animals of the field play.
21 He lies under the lotus trees,
in the covert of the reed, and the marsh.
22 The lotuses cover him with their shade.
The willows of the brook surround him.
23 Behold, if a river overflows, he doesn’t tremble.
He is confident, though the Jordan swells even to his mouth.
24 Shall any take him when he is on the watch,
or pierce through his nose with a snare?
41 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fish hook,
or press down his tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope into his nose,
or pierce his jaw through with a hook?
3 Will he make many petitions to you,
or will he speak soft words to you?
4 Will he make a covenant with you,
that you should take him for a servant forever?
5 Will you play with him as with a bird?
Or will you bind him for your girls?
6 Will traders barter for him?
Will they part him among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his skin with barbed irons,
or his head with fish spears?
8 Lay your hand on him.
Remember the battle, and do so no more.
9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain.
Won’t one be cast down even at the sight of him?
10 None is so fierce that he dare stir him up.
Who then is he who can stand before me?
11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him?
Everything under the heavens is mine.
12 “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs,
nor his mighty strength, nor his goodly frame.
13 Who can strip off his outer garment?
Who shall come within his jaws?
14 Who can open the doors of his face?
Around his teeth is terror.
15 Strong scales are his pride,
shut up together with a close seal.
16 One is so near to another,
that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined to one another.
They stick together, so that they can’t be pulled apart.
18 His sneezing flashes out light.
His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.
19 Out of his mouth go burning torches.
Sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of his nostrils a smoke goes,
as of a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.
21 His breath kindles coals.
A flame goes out of his mouth.
22 There is strength in his neck.
Terror dances before him.
23 The flakes of his flesh are joined together.
They are firm on him.
They can’t be moved.
24 His heart is as firm as a stone,
yes, firm as the lower millstone.
25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid.
They retreat before his thrashing.
26 If one attacks him with the sword, it can’t prevail;
nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shaft.
27 He counts iron as straw;
and brass as rotten wood.
28 The arrow can’t make him flee.
Sling stones are like chaff to him.
29 Clubs are counted as stubble.
He laughs at the rushing of the javelin.
30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds,
leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 He makes the deep to boil like a pot.
He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 He makes a path shine after him.
One would think the deep had white hair.
33 On earth there is not his equal,
that is made without fear.
34 He sees everything that is high.
He is king over all the sons of pride.”
42 Then Job answered Yahweh,
2 “I know that you can do all things,
and that no purpose of yours can be restrained.
3 You asked, ‘Who is this who hides counsel without knowledge?’
therefore I have uttered that which I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me, which I didn’t know.
4 You said, ‘Listen, now, and I will speak;
I will question you, and you will answer me.’
5 I had heard of you by the hearing of the ear,
but now my eye sees you.
6 Therefore I abhor myself,
and repent in dust and ashes.”
7 It was so, that after Yahweh had spoken these words to Job, Yahweh said to Eliphaz the Temanite, “My wrath is kindled against you, and against your two friends; for you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has. 8 Now therefore, take to yourselves seven bulls and seven rams, and go to my servant Job, and offer up for yourselves a burnt offering; and my servant Job shall pray for you, for I will accept him, that I not deal with you according to your folly. For you have not spoken of me the thing that is right, as my servant Job has.”
9 So Eliphaz the Temanite and Bildad the Shuhite and Zophar the Naamathite went, and did what Yahweh commanded them, and Yahweh accepted Job.
10 Yahweh turned the captivity of Job, when he prayed for his friends. Yahweh gave Job twice as much as he had before. 11 Then came there to him all his brothers, and all his sisters, and all those who had been of his acquaintance before, and ate bread with him in his house. They comforted him, and consoled him concerning all the evil that Yahweh had brought on him. Everyone also gave him a piece of money, and everyone a ring of gold.
12 So Yahweh blessed the latter end of Job more than his beginning. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, one thousand yoke of oxen, and a thousand female donkeys. 13 He had also seven sons and three daughters. 14 He called the name of the first, Jemimah; and the name of the second, Keziah; and the name of the third, Keren Happuch. 15 In all the land were no women found so beautiful as the daughters of Job. Their father gave them an inheritance among their brothers. 16 After this Job lived one hundred forty years, and saw his sons, and his sons’ sons, to four generations. 17 So Job died, being old and full of days.
2 Corinthians 5:11-21
11 Knowing therefore the fear of the Lord, we persuade men, but we are revealed to God; and I hope that we are revealed also in your consciences. 12 For we are not commending ourselves to you again, but speak as giving you occasion of boasting on our behalf, that you may have something to answer those who boast in appearance, and not in heart. 13 For if we are beside ourselves, it is for God. Or if we are of sober mind, it is for you. 14 For the love of Christ constrains us; because we judge thus, that one died for all, therefore all died. 15 He died for all, that those who live should no longer live to themselves, but to him who for their sakes died and rose again. 16 Therefore we know no one after the flesh from now on. Even though we have known Christ after the flesh, yet now we know him so no more. 17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old things have passed away. Behold, all things have become new. 18 But all things are of God, who reconciled us to himself through Jesus Christ, and gave to us the ministry of reconciliation; 19 namely, that God was in Christ reconciling the world to himself, not reckoning to them their trespasses, and having committed to us the word of reconciliation. 20 We are therefore ambassadors on behalf of Christ, as though God were entreating by us: we beg you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. 21 For him who knew no sin he made to be sin on our behalf; so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.
For the Chief Musician. Set to “The Lilies.” A contemplation by the sons of Korah. A wedding song.
45 My heart overflows with a noble theme.
I recite my verses for the king.
My tongue is like the pen of a skillful writer.
2 You are the most excellent of the sons of men.
Grace has anointed your lips,
therefore God has blessed you forever.
3 Strap your sword on your thigh, mighty one:
your splendor and your majesty.
4 In your majesty ride on victoriously on behalf of truth, humility, and righteousness.
Let your right hand display awesome deeds.
5 Your arrows are sharp.
The nations fall under you, with arrows in the heart of the king’s enemies.
6 Your throne, God, is forever and ever.
A scepter of equity is the scepter of your kingdom.
7 You have loved righteousness, and hated wickedness.
Therefore God, your God, has anointed you with the oil of gladness above your fellows.
8 All your garments smell like myrrh, aloes, and cassia.
Out of ivory palaces stringed instruments have made you glad.
9 Kings’ daughters are among your honorable women.
At your right hand the queen stands in gold of Ophir.
10 Listen, daughter, consider, and turn your ear.
Forget your own people, and also your father’s house.
11 So the king will desire your beauty,
honor him, for he is your lord.
12 The daughter of Tyre comes with a gift.
The rich among the people entreat your favor.
13 The princess inside is all glorious.
Her clothing is interwoven with gold.
14 She shall be led to the king in embroidered work.
The virgins, her companions who follow her, shall be brought to you.
15 With gladness and rejoicing they shall be led.
They shall enter into the king’s palace.
16 Your sons will take the place of your fathers.
You shall make them princes in all the earth.
17 I will make your name to be remembered in all generations.
Therefore the peoples shall give you thanks forever and ever.
14 The mouth of an adulteress is a deep pit:
he who is under Yahweh’s wrath will fall into it.