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God describes Leviathan in Job 41.

Job 41:31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron

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.

Does Leviathan have white hair?

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31It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron
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.

Here are the words of imagery: churning, boiling, stirring, and glistening.

Here is the parallelism:

glistening wake
white hair

The white hair refers to the glistening wake left behind by the movement of the Leviathan in the water. It is the path of white foam stirred up by the mighty Leviathan.

Keil and Delitzsch interpret it this way:

In Job 41:32 the bright white trail that the crocodile leaves behind it on the surface of the water is intended; in Job 41:32 the figure is expressed which underlies the descriptions of the foaming sea with πολιός, canus, in the classic poets. שׂיבה, hoary hair, was to the ancients the most beautiful, most awe-inspiring whiteness. משׁלו,

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The description of "white hair" applies to the water, not leviathan. This is due to the white froth/foam caused by surface turbulence or "glistening wake". The Hebrew poetry uses several metaphors to describe this:

  • waters "seethe [= boil] like a cauldron"
  • "sea like a jar of ointment." [= well mixed and churned up]
  • surface water is foamed with surf, "a glistening wake behind him"
  • the water is like "white hair"

Such mixing a disturbing of water is to illustrate what comes next - a conclusion that Leviathan is a creature of immense strength and power capable of creating such effects in the water as it swims. Note V33, 34

Nothing on earth is his equal— a creature devoid of fear!

He looks down on all the haughty; he is king over all the proud.”

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