Lessons From The Whirlwind (Eight)

(More Bible Studies Available At www.marktabata.com)

It is written:

Job 38:1-Then the LORD answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said:

In Job 40-41, God wants Job to know that He is preparing to go to war.

But against whom is God preparing to fight?

The Bible tells us that God is going to war against Behemoth (Job 40:15-21) and Leviathan (Job 41:1-34).

If you look in several modern translations of the Bible, you will see the belief espoused that the behemoth is a hippopotamus (or maybe elephant), and leviathan is a crocodile.

However, there are serious problems with both of these interpretations.

Let’s start with behemoth.

Job 40:15-24- “Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; He eats grass like an ox. 16  See now, his strength is in his hips, And his power is in his stomach muscles. 17  He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18  His bones are like beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. 19  He is the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. 20  Surely the mountains yield food for him, And all the beasts of the field play there. 21  He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. 22  The lotus trees cover him with their shade; The willows by the brook surround him. 23  Indeed the river may rage, Yet he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, 24  Though he takes it in his eyes, Or one pierces his nose with a snare.

Notice some of the ways that the physical description of this creature does not add up to a hippopotamus or elephant.

“The phrase “chief of the ways of God” means this was the largest animal God had made. So what kind of animal was “behemoth”? In the notes of many Bible commentaries, “behemoth” is said to be an elephant or a hippopotamus. 60 Besides the fact that these were NOT the largest land animals God made (as far as we know, some of the dinosaurs were the largest land animals that ever existed), this description doesn’t make sense, since behemoth is said to have had a tail like a cedar (verse 17). Now if there’s one thing an elephant’s tiny tail (or a hippo’s tiny tail, which looks like a flap of skin!) is unlike, it is a cedar tree! The elephant and the hippo are thus quickly eliminated as possibilities for this beast. There are Hebrew words for elephant or hippopotamus, but the Bible did not use these terms. Because the translators did not know what this beast was, they transliterated the Hebrew, and thus came the word “behemoth.”” (Ken Ham, The Great Dinosaur Mystery Solved, 732-740 (Kindle Edition); Green Forest, AR; Master Books)

Some argue that perhaps the “tail”of behemoth has another connotation:

“Some scholars argue that this passage is not about the tail, but about the creature’s phallus, a common ancient sign of masculine power. Robert Alter translates the verse this way: Look, pray: the power in his loins, the virile strength in his belly’s muscles. He makes his tail stand like a cedar, his balls’ [testicles’] sinews twine together.[ 2] The first sentence refers explicitly to the loins, the region of the creature’s reproductive organs. Then in the second sentence, he parallels and goes further by describing those loins with euphemisms. The word for “thighs” is used elsewhere in the Bible as a euphemism for the male reproductive organ (Gen. 24: 2; Ex. 1: 5; Judg. 8: 30).[ 3] Thus, the tail, also becoming stiff, is a euphemism for an erection, another ancient symbol of virility and power.” (Brian Godawa, Leviathan and Behemoth: Giant Chaos Monsters in the Bible, 12 (Kindle Edition); Warrior Poet Publishing)

Even if Godawa’s interpretation of the “tail” of behemoth is correct, the other features described in the text do not match with either a hippopotamus or an elephant.

We run into the same problem with leviathan. Notice specifically the “dragon-like” description of leviathan:

Job 41:18-21-His sneezings flash forth light, And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. 19  Out of his mouth go burning lights; Sparks of fire shoot out. 20  Smoke goes out of his nostrils, As from a boiling pot and burning rushes. 21  His breath kindles coals, And a flame goes out of his mouth.

This is a dragon, not a crocodile!

Isn’t it interesting that there are legends of dragons from around the globe?

“The evidence that dragons or dinosaurs—whichever term you wish to apply—and man coexisted has become difficult for naysayers to easily dismiss. But there seems to be a proviso, clause, or condition to all this dragon talk—and that is the widespread theme through multiple continents and cultures that some of these creatures somehow had the ability to scorch, burn, and destroy by simply aiming and firing. The fiery nature of these reptiles is widely reported and consistent in the legends as are batlike wings, a fondness for water, rigid scales, carnivorous diets, and tremendous aggression and size. Indeed, the legends are rich and plentiful that report these dragons could seemingly exhale flames at will. In Spain, Coca is a monstrous, fire-exuding dragon. It is so renowned that it is still carried in effigy at some Spanish festivals.[ 1] In the British Isles, the Fire-Drakes seemed to be a species of dragon that were flying fire-breathers that inhabited northern Europe.[ 2] The fire-breathing trait leapt the oceans and is found in the stories of American Indians. One enormous dragon named Gaasyendietha, found in the legends of the Seneca Indians in the northeastern United States, had quite the hot temper.[ 3] Jurik was a flying dragon in the legends of the people of Sunda in Indonesia. Its fiery profile could be seen as it flew in the night sky.[ 4] Kiyo was a Japanese dragon that could fly and blast fire from its mouth.[ 5] The Lung refers to a class of fire-breathing dragons in China, who “… is shown with a scaly serpentine body with four legs, a long, sinuous tail, and a head resembling that of a gigantic lizard…. The nostrils breath smoke or fire….”[ 6] Eastern Europe also makes a play with Kaukas, who is a flying, fiery dragon from Lithuania.[ 7] Albania offers Kucedre, a flying dragon that spits fiery sparks as it travels through the air. Not to be outdone, the Middle East presents Thu’ban. This is the Persian (Iranian) fire-breathing dragon.[ 8] For those who take the claims of the Bible seriously, this notion of fire-breathing must be taken with a sober mind and cannot be easily ignored: Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth. (Job 41: 19-21, ESV) The Book of Job is recounting the Leviathan. The imagery is unmistakable, the meaning is rather blunt—the Bible speaks of the fire coming from the mouth—and in this, it shares a congruency with oral history and legend from around the world.” (Darek Issacs, Dragons or Dinosaurs: Creation or Evolution, 1605-1628 (Kindle Edition); Alachua, FL; Bridge Logos Foundation)

The fact is, behemoth and leviathan sound amazingly like creatures that we call “dinosaurs.”

However, we have been indoctrinated in our culture to believe that dinosaurs died off some 64 million years before humanity “evolved.” The Bible, on the other hand, argues that all creatures were made by God during the initial six week Creation.

Exodus 20:9-11-Six days you shall labor and do all your work, 10  but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. 11  For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.

While an in-depth study of dinosaurs is not the purpose of this present study, I will point out that the fossil evidence supports the Bible contention that dinosaurs and humans have coexisted.

For example:

“According to evolutionists, dinosaur bones are at least 60 million years old. More and more evidence is coming to light from the fossil record, however, which casts serious suspicion on evolutionists’ geologic timetable. In 2005, “paleontologists were stunned to find that the soft tissue of a… dinosaur was preserved within a fossil from a Tyrannosaurus rex” (Boyle, 2007, emp. added). Dr. Mary Schweitzer and her colleagues reported the find in Science magazine, describing the demineralized T. rex femur and tibia fragments as “highly fibrous,” “flexible,” and so “resilient” that “when stretched, returns to its original shape” (Schweitzer, et al., 2005, 307: 1952,1953; Schweitzer, et al., 2007, 316: 277). Amazingly, the researchers were even able to squeeze round, dark-red-to-deep-brown microscopic structures from the presumed T. rex blood vessels (Perkins, 2005, 167[ 13]: 195). Scientists were shocked! “Such a thing had never been seen before” (Boyle, 2007). How could an alleged “70-mil-lion-year-old” Tyrannosaurus rex bone still contain soft tissue? Tyrannosaurus rex bone tissue described as “soft,” “fibrous,” “flexible,” and “resilient.” Associated Press For those who may chalk this up as just some anomaly that should cast no doubt upon the multi-million-year evolutionary timetable, consider what MSNBC science editor Alan Boyle reported two years later: “Today, paleontologists are still stunned—not only to find material that looks like dinosaur cartilage, blood vessels, blood cells and bone cells, but to see the stuff in so many different specimens” (emp. added). Paleontologist Kristi Rogers of Macalester College said: “It’s not just a fluke occurrence…. It’s something that’s more pervasive in the fossil record” (as quoted in Boyle). Scientists have excavated a Tyrannosaurus and a hadrosaur from Montana, a Titanosaurus from Madagascar, and more samples that the famous dinosaur fossil hunter Jack Horner has uncovered in Montana, as well as Mongolia. Regarding the hadrosaur specimen found in Montana, Dr. Mary Schweitzer stated: “It’s the ‘freshest,’ if you will, dinosaur bone that has ever had this analysis conducted on it” (as quoted in Boyle). Associated Press Although evolutionists continue to describe such dinosaur bones as being “70 million years old,” “miraculously preserved soft tissue” (Gebel, 2007) in a “growing number of tissue samples” (Boyle, 2007) around the world demands a reasonable explanation. Suggesting that these bones sat around for at least 70 million years (or 25.55 billion days) in “porous sandstone” (Morris, n.d.) without completely fossilizing or decomposing, literally is unbelievable. A much better, more logical explanation is that dinosaurs once lived on Earth in the not-too-distant past—only a few hundred or thousand years ago, not 60 + million years ago. If soft, flexible, resilient, highly fibrous dinosaur tissue in many different specimens will not convince the evolutionists to rethink their theories about dinosaurs and humans, what in the world would?” (Eric Lyons, Kyle Butt, The Dinosaur Delusion: Dismantling Evolution’s Most Cherished Icon, 1701-1732 (Kindle Edition); Montgomery, AL; Apologetics Press)

God points Job to leviathan and behemoth as the enemies that He is going to fight.

Yet how does this make sense?

How does God fighting dinosaurs have any bearing on the question of God’s goodness in the midst of an evil world?

The answer to that question may be the most shocking of all.

The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Spirit, be with you all. Amen.

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