Skip to main content

Job 41:15-17 meaning...

Here we encounter a vivid and poetic description of Leviathan—a mysterious and formidable sea creature whose scales are likened to a closely sealed fortress. Leviathan, as described in these verses, stands as a symbol of untamed power and indomitable strength. The emphasis on its "strong scales" as a source of pride suggests that these scales are not just a physical attribute but a representation of a robust defense mechanism. 

  • The Symbolism of Strong Scales:

The imagery of Leviathan's scales as a source of pride signifies a powerful defense mechanism. In the natural world, scales often serve as protective armor for aquatic creatures, shielding them from external threats. Leviathan, in this portrayal, is presented as a creature whose very identity is intertwined with its imperviousness.

  • Shut Up Together as with a Close Seal:

The metaphor of the scales being shut up together as with a close seal conveys a sense of impenetrability. It brings to mind the idea of a sealed covenant or an unbroken bond. This could be an allegorical reference to the integrity of God's creation, where each element is intricately connected and harmoniously sealed.

  • No Air Can Come Between Them:

The statement that "no air can come between them" underscores the airtight nature of Leviathan's scales. This imagery not only accentuates the creature's impervious defense but also evokes a sense of completeness. Leviathan is portrayed as a unified and indivisible entity, emphasizing the meticulous craftsmanship of its design.

  • Joined to One Another, Sticking Together:

The unity and cohesion described in these verses depict Leviathan's scales as more than just a physical attribute; they are a symbol of harmonious integration. The scales, joined and sticking together, form a collective defense that is greater than the sum of its parts. This could symbolize the interconnectedness of God's creation, where each element contributes to the overall balance.

  • Paleontological Perspectives:

From a paleontological standpoint, these verses may evoke imagery of ancient sea creatures with protective armor. Fossils of such creatures may have been known to the author of Job. While the specific creature referred to as Leviathan remains a subject of debate, the description aligns with the existence of large marine reptiles or creatures with formidable scales in Earth's ancient oceans. 

Cross References:

Psalm 74:14: "You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces. You gave him as food to people and desert creatures." This cross reference provides a glimpse into the divine mastery over Leviathan, reinforcing the theme of God's control over mighty sea creatures. The breaking of Leviathan's heads symbolizes divine authority.

Isaiah 27:1: "In that day, Yahweh with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea." Isaiah's prophecy adds a layer to the understanding of Leviathan, portraying it as a creature subject to divine judgment and control.

Psalm 104:24-26: "Yahweh, how many are your works! In wisdom have you made them all. The earth is full of your riches. There is the sea, great and wide, in which are innumerable living things, both small and large animals. There the ships go, and leviathan, whom you formed to play there." This passage from Psalms recognizes the diversity of God's creation, including the sea and the mysterious Leviathan formed by divine wisdom.

In these verses, the symbolism of Leviathan's scales invites us to contemplate the intricacies of God's creation. The sea, often a symbol of chaos in ancient literature, becomes a stage for the display of divine craftsmanship. The impervious scales of Leviathan, sealed together like a covenant, point to a carefully designed and interconnected creation. The imagery prompts us to recognize not only the majesty of individual elements but also the harmonious unity woven into the fabric of existence.

As we reflect on Leviathan's strong scales, let us marvel at the divine artistry that extends beyond the verses of Job into the vast tapestry of the created world over many eons. In the grand narrative of creation, each element, whether visible or hidden, contributes to the symphony of God's wisdom. The airtight connection of Leviathan's scales becomes a metaphor for the seamless and purposeful design inherent in the intricate dance of life and creation.

Job 41:15-17. Strong scales are his pride, shut up together with a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined to one another. They stick together, so that they can’t be pulled apart.


Chat    Topics     Index     WorldWideWitness