He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.
"He is the first of the ways of God; Let his maker bring near his sword.
It is a prime example of God’s amazing handiwork. Only its Creator can threaten it.
Most magnificent of all my creatures, but I still lead him around like a lamb!
He is the chief of the ways of God, made by him for his pleasure.
"It is the first of the great acts of God—only its Maker can approach it with the sword.
He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword.
|NET © [draft] ITL|
|NET © Notes||
1 tn Heb “the ways of God.”
sn This may be a reference to Gen 1:24, where the first of the animal creation was the cattle – bÿhemah (בְּהֵמָה).
2 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).