BEHEMOTH AND LEVIATHAN
The Crux Of The Story
The story in the Bible centers around a patriarch named Job (In the Book of Job) who was allowed by God to be tortured by Satan so that his staunch allegiance to his Creator could be tested. During the course of his heart wrenching conversation with God, statements are made that has the suffering soul think about the consequences of dealing with two enormous beasts that existed during his lifespan. Beasts that were created by God for purposes understood by no one, but placed on planet earth all the same.
One was called Behemoth and the other Leviathan. As the dialogue goes forward, the descriptions are such: “Behold now Behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox…..Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly….. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together….. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.” (Job 40:15-18).
The second beast is given more air time but identified with the same degree of importance as the first: “Canst thou draw out Leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? Canst thou put an hook into his nose? Or bore his jaw through with a thorn?… I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion…..His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal.”
“One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered…..Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth.” (Job 41:1-2, 15-17, 19-20).
The Convoluted Discussion
The consensus from many corners of the scientific universe is that Behemoth is an elephant or hippopotamus and Leviathan is a crocodile. But elephants nor hippos don’t have a massive cedar like tail and crocodiles don’t breath fire and smoke. As befitting the edicts of so called scholars that come up with theoretical mandates on a whim, most do not offer conclusions that make sense. Since I don’t put much stock in said ever changing theories that attempt to mold consensus thinking by coming up with their authoritative dictates, I will draw my own conclusions based on research that I have done.
Behemoth was a very large creature with loins that reflected the muscles and sinews in its body. The tail of the animal was likened to that of a cedar which means that it was a thick and powerful protrusion from its body. The overall description is that of a massive animal that can drink up a whole river, has bones like iron and strong as brass.
“The word ‘Behemoth’ (Job 40:15) is literally a plural form of a common Old Testament (OT) word meaning ‘beast’. However, practically all commentators and translators have agreed that here we have an intensive or majestic plural, so that the meaning is something like ‘colossal beast’.” (Could Behemoth Have Been a Dinosaur?_ answers in genesis.com).
Leviathan was a creature of the sea. It was likened to a bird and had a tongue along with breasts to suckle its young. Along with very tough scales on its body, a consideration for disposing of it was with fish spears. Fire comes out of its mouth and smoke from its nostrils. It makes the sea boil like a pot when it goes into the water and can stand on its hind legs to cause fear among all that approach its very presence. The animal is considered king over all. As such, “If Leviathan, in Job 41, is a mythical creature, then what is the point of this lengthy description of him? These things could not be said of a non-existent animal. Leviathan is presented as a real and terrifying creature that Job has observational knowledge of.” (Drawing Out the Biblical Leviathan_ answers in genesis.com).
The Diagnosis Of The Behemoth Beast
The most natural interpretation of the key clause Job 40:17a is that the tail of Behemoth is compared to a cedar for its great size, and there is nothing in the context which contradicts this possibility, even though the exact sense of the verb is extremely difficult to determine.
Consequently, the most reasonable interpretation (which also takes the whole passage into account) is that Behemoth was a large animal, now extinct, which had a very large muscular tail. Thus some type of extinct dinosaur should still be considered a perfectly reasonable possibility according to our present state of knowledge. (Could Behemoth Have Been a Dinosaur?_ answers in genesis.com).
Since the animal is described as being “the Chief of the ways of God”, it is large enough to command respect from all other animals. The only type of beast that I can conjure up that fits the description is a massively sized dinosaur. So doing research, I wanted one that lived in or near the location of Job’s compound.
A Beast Among Beasts
What I found is that a new species of dinosaur had been uncovered in the Egyptian desert, a rare discovery in a part of the world not known for dino fossils. The huge animal, which was roughly the size of a school bus, was an incredible discovery. Though well-known for human fossils, dinosaur bones in Africa aren’t commonplace and fossils of that caliber are exceedingly rare on all of continental Africa, not just in Egypt.
The name of said animal is a Mansourasaurus. Since it was found in Egypt, the discovery proves that extremely large dinosaurs were found in the outlying region near the territory where Job resided. But to be given the title of “King”, it seems that the beast described in Job Ch.40 would have to be the largest one of all.
My research told me the candidate for that role is the Patagotitan Mayorum which was believed to be the world’s largest terrestrial mammal, according to size estimates from what archeologists have collected. The compilation includes its thighbone that measures 2.4 meters (7.9ft). Because of its projected large size, it was known as the Titanosaur between its unearthing in 2014 and official naming in 2017. The Patagotitan Mayorum is likely to have weighed about 70 tons and was 37.2 meters (122ft) long. Even though the fossil remains were found in Argentina, the size of the animal with its massive tail would serve as the most viable candidate for my records. (Partial excerpts for this passage are from historymates.com_ 5 Biggest Dinosaur Fossils Ever Found).
A Surprising Analysis Of The Leviathan Creature
The lengthy description of this animal bears no resemblance to anything else on planet earth. In order to fully understand what type of animal God is referring to, all the details given must be accounted for. With that being said, I will delve into the unknown.
The Bible narrative is set forth as such and is somewhat complete: “I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion..…His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal…..By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning…..Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron.”
“His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth…..The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved..…When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves…..The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon.”
“He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment. He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary. Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear.
He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride.”
Since God is speaking to Job in the guise of a whirlwind, He has gone to great lengths to describe a beast that can be compared to no other creature on earth. The only animal that fits this elaborate description is the mighty mythical Dragon of so called lore. But is it a myth?
Do Bible Passages Lie?
“In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.” (ISAIAH 27:1) “Am I the sea, or the monster (aka dragon) of the deep, that you put me under guard?”(JOB 7:12) “Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.” (EZEKIEL 29:3) “For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter: Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.” (DEUTERONOMY 32:32-33) “Who led thee through that great and terrible wilderness, wherein were fiery serpents, and scorpions, and drought, where there was no water; who brought thee forth water out of the rock of flint.” (DEUTERONOMY 8:15) “The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them.” (ISAIAH 30:6)
“Some have argued that Behemoth and Leviathan were myth, but why does God speak of real creatures (lion, raven, donkey, wild ox, ostriches, horse, locust, hawk, and eagle) in the same context as the Behemoth and Leviathan.” (Job 38–41_answersingenesis.org)
Debunking The Myths, The Bible And The Facts Say That Dragons We’re Real
“The description of Leviathan breathing fire causes scholars who accept the crocodile interpretation to argue that these verses are hyperbolic. But this is an unnecessary conclusion. Just because there is no creature alive today that can breathe fire does not mean that there never was a creature (that is now extinct) who could do this. For example, the Anglo-Saxon Chronicle reports that in the year 793 AD, when Vikings raided Lindisfarne island (Northern England) and robbed the monastery, fiery dragons were seen flying in the sky.” (Drawing Out the Biblical Leviathan_ answers in genesis.com).
With that in mind. I call to question all the cave drawings throughout the world that depict a dragon-like creature in the art work. It makes me wonder how so many diverse cultures that were never in contact with one another could come to similar conclusions if dragons were only a myth? Maybe even historical records from these far flung entities are cast aside by scientists and scholars who simply refuse to believe such an animal could possibly exist.
I suppose even God himself could waste 34 verses in the Bible narrative that heartily describe such a fearsome creature. Maybe He was just trying to scare his charge into submission by fabricating a lie. Doesn’t make sense when you are trying to make a point to a man who is in the midst of suffering unspeakable torment.
What About The Sixty Million Year Disparity Or So
To Wit: “The RATE (Radioisotopes and the Age of The Earth) group of scientists are convinced that the popular idea attributed to geologist Charles Lyell from nearly two centuries ago, “The present is the key to the past,” is simply not valid for an earth history of millions or billions of years. An alternative interpretation of the carbon-14 data is that the earth experienced a global flood catastrophe which laid down most of the rock strata and fossils…..Whatever the source of the carbon-14, its presence in nearly every sample tested worldwide is a strong challenge to an ancient age. Carbon-14 data is now firmly on the side of the young-earth view of history.” (D. DeYoung, Thousands …Not Billions, Master Books, Green Forest, Arkansas, 2005, 61.)
So, without getting into an elaborate scientific discussion of the accuracy of carbon dating methods used by evolutionists, suffice it to say that current breakthroughs in intelligent thinking platforms state that there is much evidence to support a young earth mandate. This means that a 6000 year old planet is a highly viable option for scholars to dwell on.
As for humans existing at the time of dinosaurs, I wonder how long it will take archaeological digs to find skeletal remains of our ancestors cozying up to some extinct fossils being excavated for the first time. It seems to me that the more they search for realistic clues, the more they prove the facts laid out by Biblical accounts. What a travesty that would be for scientific theories and their atheistic suppositions.
And speaking of theories, I wonder how many leading scientists got together at a noteworthy conference and agreed in unison to the concept of all dinosaurs being slammed into extinction by a cosmic event. As if those magnificent beasts had some type of genetic makeup to cause all of them to expire at once.
This would mean that both reptilian creatures as well as those linked to all mammalian species had similar flaws that predestined them to being exterminated while all other creatures continued to survive. It’s like using the word assume irresponsibly to the point where such an exercise makes an ‘Ass’ out of ‘U’ and ‘Me’.
I suppose if any one scientist does actually believe in creation (like everyone did before Darwin came along), he or she would be branded as a heretic by their colleagues if said fact were revealed. The nice thing about being a true Christian who not only believes in God, but also in the saving power of Jesus Christ, is that the truth of the matter reveals they will wind up in heaven. If a lie, the Christian simply ceases to exist like all other mortal souls.
On the other hand, the non believer has a 50/50 chance of getting it right. If the lie remains the fact of the matter, they simply disappear into eternity. But if the Bible is the truth, then they get a one way ticket to a fiery hell. At that point, they can only wish that someone had beat the real truth into their heads before they kicked the bucket.
I am not a scientist by any stretch of the imagination nor a biblical scholar that goes toe to toe with other aficionados of God’s Word. But I have gone through great pains to think for myself and sought the truth from what I believe to be authoritative resources. If Behemoth was a dinosaur and Leviathan was actually a dragon, than those suppositions are more plausible than the weak ASSUMPTIONS that keep popping up with no real basis of fact to support them. I rest my case.