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Was Behemoth a Dinosaur?
There is no problem with job having described a dinosaur (or other extinct animal). The thing is, though, that doesn't mean that anybody saw a living dinosaur at that time, they might have been imagined or exaggerated stuff. Especially when you look at Job 41 when Leviathan is described as having breath of fire and coil, credit the ancient scribes of antiquity with imagination There are known sites in the ancient world where dinosaur fossils were easily obtained at the surface. It doesn't take much to put two and two together when you find a 6-foot thigh bone and realize that something huge once walked the earth. For example: http://www.geocities.com/stegob/mayorarticle.html
Fossils have been available in China for prior to 300 BC. Basically, all fossils, dinosaur or not, were considered the remains of dragons with several ancient countries
What kind of dinosaur?
Job 40:17 says:
"He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together."
But is often interpreted to mean:
"His tail is like a cedar: the sinews (or tendons) of his stones are wrapped together."
This is quote-mining and quoting out of context. It only mentions the motion pattern of Behemoth's tail, not it's size. It could be assumed that the author meant his tail moved like the branches of a cedar. This is like saying "he moves like a mountain", does a mountain even move?, if you consider plate tetonics then you could get a mountain "moving", however it's more likely that it's a metaphor for it's clear from the text that it tries to inspire awe for the reader, consider Job 40:1 "he ranks first among the works of god" I thought man as the first among the works of god?. Those who makes the leap of "Tail which moves like a cedar" to "Tail like a cedar tree." conveniently read in their mind something like "...with no branches" at the end of that.
While most of the passage could be attributed to a sauropod, verse 23, in which he “drinketh up a river”, does not sound like a sauropod. It continues and states “hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth". Given the smallness of the sauropod’s mouth, this is unlikely. The Jordan River Length is 251 km, making this verse very ludicrous
The keen expectation on the part of the Jews of eating Behemoth on Judgement Day suggests that Behemoth is kosher; a dinosaur does not fulfil the criteria. Finally, there is simply no evidence of dinosaurs living at the time of the composition of the Book of Job.
Another problem is verse 18. The NASB says, “His bones are tubes of bronze, His limbs are like bars of iron.” No dinosaur has ever had metal bones.
If Behemoth is a dinosaur, then both Job 40:21 and 22 are wrong. For they say "Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him. ". Because Behemoth can't be a big dinosaur with a large tail yet lies under lotus plants
Yet if Behemoth is an average/small sized dinosaur then that would contradict Job 40:19 "He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword" and 23 "When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth.". It is clear that they are describing a beast of frightening and "Kingly" scale: not a Procompsognathus.
The Brachiosaur was the largest land animal of all time and is the only one that could be called "chief in the ways of God" (Job 40:19). However, this still invalidates verse 15. While Brachiosaur was indeed a herbivore, it did not eat grass as an ox. It ate leaves off of the trees. Not the same thing.
You're left with a very simple problem. If Behemoth is a Brachiosaur, then Job 40:15 is wrong. If Behemoth is NOT a Brachiosaur, then Job 40:19 is wrong.
No matter how you look at it, Behemoth is not a dinosaur
The "tail like a cedar," which creationists think indicates a large dinosaur, is not even a real tail. "Tail" was used as a euphemism in the King James version. A more likely translation for the phrase is, "His penis stiffens like a cedar" (Mitchell 1987). The English version was translated from Latin (since the Latin texts pre-dated known Hebrew text). The passage in question speaks of testicles wrapped in sinews and an enlarging penis. i.e., it's about Behemoth sexual power. While this may sound silly, it is not. Zealous religious fundamentalists (i.e. those who commissioned the translation in question) had a documented history of violence in the name of preserving their notion of "morality."
The passage is typical of patriarchal societies, especially those exercising extreme misogyny. Women were nothing more than chattel. Men were defined by the "penis," and those considered well-endowed were believed to be blessed by the deity. Behemoth was a monster with a very large penis which only the deity could tame. The passage pertains to the awe inspiring power of the deity; it is not based in reality.
By stating it is perverted creationists are making my point now. Because of their current notion of "morality," any and all sexuality is shunned and attacked by fundamentalist religions.
Biblical description of animals
Behemoth is a dinosaur Ever since bats were birds (Leviticus 11: 13-19), and rabbits chewed their cud (Leviticus 11:6). It is a detail that the author got wrong because he didn't know any better.
If you'll go to biblegateway and search by keyword these words they'll appear much more than the times "dragon" or any quasi-definiton of dinosaur young earth creationists would love to say humans lived along with and even interacted with in their day to day life
There are many mythological creatures in the Bible: Monsters in the Bible
If one of them caught a vague notion of a dinosaur then this shouldn't be surprising. Mythological creatures appear a lot of times in many stories at many different places and times, why assume the Old Testament in any different?
Although the text describes Behemoth as dangerous, there are lots of animals can't be killed by primitive man. There's a large crocodile named Gustave on the loose in Africa right now that's killed something like +100 natives. Such large crocs were much more common way back in the day when the Bible was written. Surely such an animal could've spawned some kind of supernatural monster in the Bible.
Gustave has attained a near-mythical status and is greatly feared by people in the region. He is known for the scars that cover his body caused by bullets. His huge size has allowed him to kill and eat an adult hippopotamus. Since he is too big and heavy to catch smaller prey like small mammals and fish, he catches larger, heavier animals like wildebeest and zebra.
Having dinosaurs on the ark is preposterous
Dinosaurs are way too big, too difficult to handle and too many to be feasible steerage-passengers on Maru Ark. The logistical problems in feeding and mucking out the brutes would be horrendous. Not only dinosaurs, but also the 'prehistoric' reptiles, amphibians, mammals, flying and aquatic (oh yes) creatures would need to be included. These would need to be in large enough numbers to be viable breeding colonies once released into the wild.
There would also need to be, in addition for grub for these hordes of creatures, nosh to feed them after going ashore again since, after the flood, there would need to be a couple of years before the flora regrew and the herds of prey increased to where they could be hunted without becoming extinct in short order.
Finally, the art and writings of the time refer to or depict animals of the non-prehistoric type, but none of the prehistoric kind. In addition to this, if they were about in that sort of timescale, we would not be surprised to find a number of organic remains. All of them are fossils, apart from some Pliestocene bones found in tarpits and frozen tundra.
Putting dinosaurs on the ark makes an impossible situation absolutely ludicrous.
Epic of Gilgamesh
Behemoth is a giant land animal, There seems to be a similar animal in a Ugaritic text BH called ëgl il ëtk meaning "the ferocious bullock of El" (Pope 1965, 321; KTU 1.3 III 44). Another text describes an animal as having horns like bulls, humps like buffalo, and the face of Baal (Ibid; KTU 1.12 I 30-33). This beast may be the same as the Sumerian and Akkadian "bull of heaven" who was slain by Gilgamesh and Enkidu in the Gilgamesh Epic (Ibid., 322; ANET, 83-85; Heidel 1946, 53-55, An Outline with Bibliography and Links, see below).
The description in Job 40:21-23 seems to allude to the area around Lake Huleh which was filled with buffalo. His tail is like a cedar branch that can easily bend or sway (Pope think this refers to sexual arousal). This does not mean his tail was as long as or as big as a huge cedar tree for verses 21-23 say, "Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotus conceal him in their shadow" (NIV). Reeds and lotus can not hide a huge dinosaur.
The Epic of Gilgamesh describes the battle with the Bull of Heaven. Enkidu seized the Bull by the horns. "The Bull of Heaven foamed in his face, it brushed him with the thick of its tail. Gilgamesh followed the bull, he seized the thick of his tail, he thrust the sword between the nape and the horns and slew the bull" (Sandars 1972, 88; ANET, 85, 505). The "thick of his tail" does not mean a dinosaur’s big tail, but the tassel at the end of its tail. The Akkadian is ku-bur zib-ba-ti-su, meaning "thickness of his tail" (ANET, 505). "It refers to the tassele at the end of the tail in contrast to the thin middle part" (Ibid., note 29). The horns of the bull are plated with lapis two inches thick, weighing thirty pounds, and holding 105 gallons each (Heidel, 55). This was a huge mythical bull which is associated with the constellation Taurus, the bull (Black and Green, 49).
Gilgamesh also battles another monster called "Huwawa" (Babylonian) or "Humbaba" (Assyrian) who lives in the Cedar Forest. Huwawa is described by "his roaring is the flood-storm, his mouth is fire, his breath is death" (ANET, 79; Jacobsen, 200). This does not mean it breaths fire. This is poetical language describing its snort that looks like smoke on a cool morning.
Behemoth is a mythological creature
the fact of the matter is, a behemoth is a well-established, well-defined creature of ancient Hebrew mythology. It doesn't refer to a real creature in the real world, any more than unicorns http://www.deliriumsrealm.com/delirium/articleview.asp?Post=110
Both Behemoth and Leviathan are really in fact monsters of Jewish folklore. Behemoth or Behemot is a mammalian monster in form of a bull ox. Leviathan is a fish monster in form of a coiling serpentine fish with eyes and scales that glow and illuminate from many miles around. Both Behemoth and Leviathan are also 2 parts of the Triune Beasts of Jewish Folklore. The Bull monster Behemoth lives in a mountain range made up of the Yabul Stream flowing from Eden or Paradise and a thousand hills that provided him with plenty of grass to feed on as reference to the midrash supplement to Psalm 50:10. Leviathan makes his home in the Mediterranean, where when he gets hungry, he churns up the waters with his hot, fiery breath to make them boil. And the bird monster Ziz makes his home in the sky where the spreading of his wingspan is known to block the sun. Ziz resembles the mythical griffin, while Leviathan resembles the serpentine fish, and Behemoth resembles a raging bull ox. According to midrash recording traditions supplement to Genesis 1:21 and 1:24, God created 2 Leviathans, male and female and one Ziz on the 5th day of Creation Week. The next day, God created 2 Behemoths, both male and female. But realizing these 2 monsters, Behemoth and Leviathan, could produce offspring that would destroy the whole world, God killed off the females and place the males into 2 different locations each, where they will remain until the End Times come and both Behemoth and Leviathan would rise up from their places and battle one another to the death, with Behemoth interlocking Leviathan with his horns while Leviathan flails back with his fins until God intervenes and kill both monsters along with Ziz and use their remains and their meat to provide His people in the New Heaven and New Earth with luxurious meals, jewelry, tent skins and wall coverings to decorate Jerusalem’s protective wall.
Behemoth is known as the King of all mammals and the Chief of God’s Ways while Leviathan is the King of all fish and Ziz is the King of all birds in the air. Unlike all of today’s animals, all three of these supernatural animals are the only animals man cannot control. They can only be controlled and killed off by the One who created them in the first place — God.
These 3 supernatural beasts can never be dinosaurs left over from Noah’s Flood. For none of them resemble dinosaurs in every way, nor can they be controlled and killed off by man. And neither can they explain why are there no dinosaur remains found alongside human remains anywhere on earth even if they are what creationists falsely claim they were.
Behemoth also appears in the apocryphal book 2 Esdras:
"Then thou [God] didst keep in existence two living creatures; the name of one thou didst call Behemoth and the name of the other Leviathan. And thou didst separate one from the other, for the seventh part where the water had been gathered together could not hold them both. And thou didst give Behemoth one of the parts which had been dried up on the third day, to live in it, where there are a thousand mountains; but to Leviathan thou didst give the seventh part, the watery part; and thou hast kept them to be eaten by whom thou wilt, and when thou wilt." (2 Esdras 6:49-52)
Sauropods are once thought to be amphibious dinosaurs who spends nearly all of their lives in the water as depicted in that one famous painting of Apatosaurus standing and feeding in the swamp created by Charles R. Knight a little over a century ago. People, many decades ago, didn't think that sauropods were capable of walking on land because of their massive weight. So, they envisioned the sauropods as huge swamp-bound giants that spend nearly all of their lives in the water to lighten up their weight, eat water plants because of their weak teeth, and be safe from meat-eating dinosaurs that cannot swim. In the 1970s, however, scientists began to learn that sauropods were not at all what people think they were.
Careful studies made in 1970s tells us that sauropods were able to live quite comfortably on land after all, eating dry plants due to the teeth being worn from raking in plants with their peg and/or spoon shaped teeth depending on species of sauropod. They were able to carry their weight just fine with the help of their strong, yet hollow bones that reduces their weight and made it easy for the sauropods to walk on dry land. Unlike the hippo's feet, the toes on the feet of sauropods are not splayed. Instead, the feet are all compact together like elephants and are supported by soft, squishy pads that gave the feet lots of support while walking on land. It would be useless to have them stand in a damp, muddy, swampy area for their elephant-like feet, not suitable for walking on soft muddy terrain, along with their massive weight, would sink the sauropods into the mire and get them helplessly bogged down and stuck there. While the hippo body is round and barrel-like, sauropod bodies were narrow and compact like elephants, also useless for swamp-like living, not to mentioned the fact that if a sauropod stands in deep water, the weight of the water would have crushed their lungs to the point where sauropods can easily suffocate and drown in their own tissue. And finally, in St George, Utah, there is a special site that features well preserved foot tracks belonging to a meat-eating dinosaur that can swim even in deep water. Thus, debunking the old fashoned myth about aquaphobic carnosaurs unable to get at their dinner because their dinner is way out of reach in deep water.
Another part of the passage mentions Behemoth to "eat grass like an ox." Sauropod dinosaurs, such as Brachiosaurus were totally incapable of eating grass like an ox. They feed on vegetation by ripping it off with their teeth and swallowing it, which was then "chewed" by having gastroliths (stones swallowed to aid in digestion) grind up the vegetation through peristalic movement. This was a method totally unlike the rumination of oxen. Also, grass plants appeared during the late Cretaceous, long after most of the sauropods had died out. Titanosaurs, the only extant group of Late Cretaceous sauropods, are now known to eat grass thanks to a recent find of what are presumed to be titanosaur coprolites that contained silicates diagnostic of grass. Nevertheless, it should not be used as a justification of the YE myth about the passage referring to a sauropod because all sauropods, even Titanosaurs, completely lack chewing teeth in their jaws. Proponents of the view that Behemooth was a dinosaur do not, of course, apply the same reasoning to the phrase "he eateth grass like an ox" that they give to "he moveth his tail like a cedar, because this wouldn't give them the answer they want.
There's more than just Dinosaurs
There are about 325 million years worth of organisms which preceded the dinosaurs during the Palaeozoic Era.Not to mention that life on this planet, in the most basic forms, is about 3.7 billion years old. Modern Dinosaurs only arrived about 245 million years ago. Mathematically speaking, the period of time that represents dinosaurs to today is only the last .06% of the time line of life on this planet.
If humans are God's ultimate achievement and the end times are coming soon, then there is no way that a dinosaur could qualify as behemoth. Regarding Behemoth, Job 40:19 states, "He came at the beginning of God's ways, and was made the taskmaster of his fellows;"
If only the last .06% of life on this planet has come since dinosaurs, and the END TIMES are coming soon, then only a fool would say that "the beginning" happened 99.04% of the way into something.
- Mitchell, 1987. The Book of Job. San Francisco: North Point Press. Cited in R. T. Pennock, 1999, Tower of Babel, Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, p. 217.
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