“Can you catch Leviathan*
with a fishhook?
Can you tie his tongue with a rope?
2 Can you put a rope through his nose
or a hook through his jaw?
3 Will he beg you to let him go free?
Will he speak to you with gentle words?
4 Will he make an agreement with you
and promise to serve you forever?
5 Will you play with Leviathan as you would play with a bird?
Will you put a rope on him so that your girls can play with him?
6 Will fishermen try to buy him from you?
Will they cut him into pieces and sell him to the merchants?
7 Can you throw spears into his skin or head?
8 “If you ever lay a hand on Leviathan, you will never do it again!
Just think about the battle that would be!
9 Do you think you can defeat him?
Well, forget it! There is no hope.
Just looking at him will scare you!
10 No one is brave enough to wake him up
and make him angry.
“Well, no one can challenge me either!†
11 I owe nothing to anyone.
Everything under heaven belongs to me.‡
12 “I will tell you about Leviathan’s legs,
his strength, and his graceful shape.
13 No one can pierce his skin.
14 No one can force him to open his jaws.
The teeth in his mouth scare people.
15 His back has rows of shields
tightly sealed together.
16 They are so close to each other
that no air can pass between them.
17 The shields are joined to each other.
They hold together so tightly that they cannot be pulled apart.
18 When Leviathan sneezes, it is like lightning flashing out.
His eyes shine like the light of dawn.
19 Burning torches come from his mouth.
Sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from his nose
like burning weeds under a boiling pot.
21 His breath sets coals on fire,
and flames shoot from his mouth.
22 His neck is very powerful.
People are afraid and run away from him.
23 There is no soft spot in his skin.
It is as hard as iron.
24 His heart is like a rock; he has no fear.
It is as hard as a millstone.
When he gets up, even the strongest people*
They run away when he swings his tail.
26 Swords, spears, and darts only bounce off when they hit him.
These weapons don’t hurt him at all!
27 He breaks iron as easily as straw.
He breaks bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows don’t make him run away.
Rocks thrown at him seem as light as chaff.
29 When a wood club hits him, it feels to him like a piece of straw.
He laughs when anyone throws a spear at him.
30 The skin on his belly is like sharp pieces of broken pottery.
He leaves tracks in the mud like a threshing board.
31 He stirs up the water like a boiling pot.
He makes it bubble like a pot of boiling oil.
32 When he swims, he leaves a sparkling path behind him.
He stirs up the water and makes it white with foam.
33 No animal on earth is like him.
He is an animal made without fear.
34 He looks down on the proudest of creatures.
He is king over all the wild animals.”