(Job 7:12) Sea monsters?

CLAIM: Job says, “Am I the sea, or the sea monster, that You set a guard over me?” (Job 7:12)

RESPONSE: Remember, the book of Job uses poetry to communicate divine truth. This could be a poetic affront against the Canaanite deities. Remember in Genesis 1, many conservative scholars contend that Moses was intentionally writing an apologetic against the Canaanite deities (see “”). In this passage, the Hebrew word of “guard” (mismar) can also be rendered “muzzle.” The Canaanite deities claimed to muzzle the god of the sea. But here Job is assuming that Yahweh is the true one to muzzle the sea.[1] This could be further reinforcing the point of the psalmist: “You set a boundary that they may not pass over, so that they will not return to cover the earth” (Ps. 104:9; cf. Jer. 5:22). In other words, God is the one who is ultimately sovereign—not Pagan deities.


[1] See Smick, E. B. (1988). Job. In F. E. Gaebelein (Ed.), The Expositor’s Bible Commentary: 1 & 2 Kings, 1 & 2 Chronicles, Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Job (Vol. 4, p. 904). Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Publishing House.