1‘Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook
or tie down its tongue with a rope?
2Can you put a cord through its nose
or pierce its jaw with a hook?
3Will it keep begging you for mercy?
Will it speak to you with gentle words?
4Will it make an agreement with you
for you to take it as your slave for life?
5Can you make a pet of it like a bird
or put it on a leash for the young women in your house?
6Will traders barter for it?
Will they divide it up among the merchants?
7Can you fill its hide with harpoons
or its head with fishing spears?
8If you lay a hand on it,
you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
9Any hope of subduing it is false;
the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10No-one is fierce enough to rouse it.
Who then is able to stand against me?
11Who has a claim against me that I must pay?
Everything under heaven belongs to me.
12‘I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,
its strength and its graceful form.
13Who can strip off its outer coat?
Who can penetrate its double coat of armour?
14Who dares open the doors of its mouth,
ringed about with its fearsome teeth?
15Its back has rows of shields
tightly sealed together;
16each is so close to the next
that no air can pass between.
17They are joined fast to one another;
they cling together and cannot be parted.
18Its snorting throws out flashes of light;
its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19Flames stream from its mouth;
sparks of fire shoot out.
20Smoke pours from its nostrils
as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21Its breath sets coals ablaze,
and flames dart from its mouth.
22Strength resides in its neck;
dismay goes before it.
23The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;
they are firm and immovable.
24Its chest is hard as rock,
hard as a lower millstone.
25When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;
they retreat before its thrashing.
26The sword that reaches it has no effect,
nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27Iron it treats like straw
and bronze like rotten wood.
28Arrows do not make it flee;
slingstones are like chaff to it.
29A club seems to it but a piece of straw;
it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30Its undersides are jagged potsherds,
leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing-sledge.
31It makes the depths churn like a boiling cauldron
and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32It leaves a glistening wake behind it;
one would think the deep had white hair.
33Nothing on earth is its equal –
a creature without fear.
34It looks down on all that are haughty;
it is king over all that are proud.’