“On that day,
With his hard sword,
With his great sword,
With his strong sword,
The fleeing serpent.
The twisting serpent.
Yahweh will kill
That is in the sea.”
Leviathan was a mythical personified sea serpent that was also mentioned predominately in the Book of Job, chapters 40-41, so that this oracle may be from the same milieu. Isaiah says that Yahweh will take his hard, great, and strong sword to punish the fleeing serpent Leviathan. Yahweh was going to kill this twisting serpent dragon of the sea. Later in medieval Christianity, the Leviathan was considered to be the devil in popular works. For the philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), Leviathan was a symbol of big government that came from a social contract.
“Wisdom cries aloud in the street.
In the squares,
She raises her voice.
At the busiest corner,
She cries out.
At the entrance of the city gates
‘O simple ones!
Will you love being simple?
Will scoffers delight in their scoffing?
Will fools hate knowledge?
Give heed to my reproof!
I will pour out my thoughts to you.
I will make my words known to you.’”
Wisdom is personified as a female here. She cries out in the streets and raises her voice in the city squares like a prophetess. She cries out and speaks at the busy corners and at the gate to the entrance to a city or town. She calls out people for being simple. She wanted to know why they were deriding her. How long would these fools hate knowledge? There is a lot of mention of scoffers in these proverbs. A scoffer is someone who mocks others, a kind of a cynic. Why would they not accept a criticism? Nevertheless wisdom was going to pour out her thoughts and make her words known to them.
“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook?
Can you press down its tongue with a cord?
Can you put a rope in its nose?
Can you pierce its jaw with a hook?”
In the Bible of Jerusalem this is the end of chapter 40 and not the beginning of chapter 41. However, the text is exactly the same so I am using the Oxford Bible numbering until the end of chapter 41, where the 2 works once again coincide. The Leviathan was the sea monster personified. If anything it might have been a large crocodile or a water dragon of some kind. Later in medieval Christianity, the Leviathan was considered to be the devil in popular works. For philosopher Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679) the Leviathan was a big government that came from a social contract. You obviously could not catch this monster with a fish hook, a cord, or a rope. This biblical author spends a long time explaining the Leviathan in this part of Yahweh’s speech.