He is the chief of the ways of God, made by him for his pleasure.
Most magnificent of all my creatures, but I still lead him around like a lamb!
He [is] the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
He [is] the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach [him].
Behemoth is the first of God's conquests. Its maker approaches it with his sword.
It ranks first among the works of God,* the One who made it has furnished it with a sword.*
40:19 It ranks first among the works of God,2349
tnHeb “the ways of God.”
sn This may be a reference to Gen 1:24, where the first of the animal creation was the cattle – b˙hemah (בְּהֵמָה).
the One who made it
has furnished it with a sword.2350
tc The literal reading of the MT is “let the one who made him draw near [with] his sword.” The sword is apparently a reference to the teeth or tusks of the animal, which cut vegetation like a sword. But the idea of a weapon is easier to see, and so the people who favor the mythological background see here a reference to God’s slaying the Beast. There are again many suggestions on how to read the line. The RV probably has the safest: “He that made him has furnished him with his sword” (the sword being a reference to the sharp tusks with which he can attack).