Job and Dinosaurs

Horses arn’t real?

Your definition of “very detailed” leaves much to be desired. You suppose that Job was closely familiar with sauropod dinosaurs, and all we get is a few ambiguous allusions to some sturdy animal that likes to hang in the river.

Job 40:15-24
New International Version

“Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.
What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!
Its tail sways like a cedar;
the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
Its bones are tubes of bronze,
its limbs like rods of iron.
It ranks first among the works of God,
yet its Maker can approach it with his sword.
The hills bring it their produce,
and all the wild animals play nearby.
Under the lotus plants it lies,
hidden among the reeds in the marsh.
The lotuses conceal it in their shadow;
the poplars by the stream surround it.
A raging river does not alarm it;
it is secure, though the Jordan should surge against its mouth.
Can anyone capture it by the eyes,
or trap it and pierce its nose?

Can i just clarify something above… Job 40:19 does not say a man can kill it…it says that only its maker (God) is able to come near it with a sword!
see below
1931 [e] 19

6213 [e]
only He who made him
Art V‑Qal‑Prtcpl‑msc 3ms

5066 [e]
can bring near

. 2719 [e]
His sword
N‑fsc 3ms

Anyway, moving on from the above issue…

from a literary perspective, are these writings from Job really ambiguous statements? I am not English expert, I have tended to better understand the mechanics of mathematics. Even though I hold a university degree in Education, I am a bit of an English tragic (so I have to edit stuff all the time)

Despite my lack of English excellence, when i read the statements from Job above, I don’t read them as being ambiguous at all. They are pretty straightforward and i can easily develop a good picture in my mind about what these creatures [leviathan and behemoth] would have looked like and how they may have behaved based on Jobs’s descriptions. BTW the book of Job is not the only book of the bible that talks about these creatures (read Isaiah 27, Psalms 74 & 104)

To be honest, i think Darwinian extrapolations of what fossils looked like do a similar thing…the significant difference is, modern researchers, don’t have written accounts of the fossils from which to extrapolate anything. They have to hypothesize based on best guess. Guessing is never going to be as accurate as multiple written sources who have actually seen something (and no this isn’t the same as the lock ness monster…because there is no physical evidence of the animal…no bones etc. That is very very different from the biblical statements about leviathan or behemoth)

I really don’t see your argument as standing up on this to be honest…you are putting a claim out there that goes against your own side and doesn’t actually hurt YEC at all. Its not really productive to the validity of a claim to argue something is a fairytale when written evidence clearly disputes and even comprehensively refutes that part of said claim.

My point is, i can show a written history going back well in excess of 2500 years (with few gaps) that comprehensively supports the biblical view of history. This evidence has a large number of written statements that are found outside of the bible…they are from other sources, from different regions, many of whom did not even believe in God. Please note, i am not making the claim of a deity here (yes i am obviously a believe in God as a deity), my point above is focusing on the point that the written tradition is validated externally to that which is written in the bible account.

I would contend that the YEC identification of behemoth as a dinosaur rises to cult level eisegesis of scripture. Articles go on and on about the tail swaying like a cedar - note it does not say looks like a cedar. But there is more to these verses than the tail. The picture is of an animal which is secure even with water flowing against it mouth, beneath and concealed by lotus plants, hidden around reeds.

No large sauropod is going to be hidden in reeds.

These fit:


Well one of the most prominent features of sauropod dinosaurs was their long necks. Which is the one thing about which Job 40 says absolutely nothing.

Isaiah 27 talks about Leviathan as a coiling, twisting sea serpent. Apart from that, it says nothing whatsoever about what it looks like.

Psalm 74 contains a possible allusion to Leviathan as having multiple heads, like the Hydra from classical mythology. Apart from that, it says nothing whatsoever about its appearance.

Psalm 104 merely says that Leviathan frolics in the seas. Of its appearance, it says nothing. Nichts. Nada. Bupkis. Diddly squat.

When I read the descriptions of Behemoth and Leviathan in Job 40-41, all I see are generic large land animals and generic large sea creatures respectively. They seem to contain a mishmash of traits that can’t be pinned down to a single species, either living or extinct, and their descriptions are vague, leave a lot of things wide open to interpretation, and can’t be pinned down to any particular species, either extant or prehistoric. Anyone who thinks that they refer to sauropod dinosaurs or plesiosaurs being seen alive within human history is reading things into the Bible that simply are not there.


ah no those images do not fit. You have just used an illustration that the tail of the Behemoth is like a cedar tree…umm, do you not see a bit of a fundamental problem with your images?
Last time i checked my eyesight, and looked at similar pictures to yours, and in looking at your images, i could swear that tail is anything but one that looks like a cedar tree!

Also. Hippos legs really don’t fit the literary statement…nor is the neck of a hippo going to match up either.

It is not consistent with the biblical text to transpose a hippo into the story of Behemoth!

And where, pray tell, does the Bible say anything about Behemoth’s neck? Hezekiah 3:16? Mark chapter seventeen? Psalm 151? Revelation chapter twenty-three?

It is not consistent with the biblical text to transpose a sauropod dinosaur into the story of Behemoth either. The single most distinctive feature of a sauropod is conspicuous by its absence.

I’ve already made this point to you Adam just a few posts ago. Did you even read it?


What on earth are you talking about?

Please read my post carefully. As pointed out, verse 17 does not say the tail looks like a cedar, and there the succeeding verses clearly contradict the idea of a sauropod dinosaur, which could neither hide in reads nor shade under lotus like water plants.

Here are a couple more pictures that fit.

“Look at Behemoth,
which I made along with you
and which feeds on grass like an ox.


What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!

I’m not saying that behemoth is definitely a hippopotamus here, but it could be. For sure it is not a dinosaur.

I would tend to agree with this. Especially since Job is a book that is difficult to categorize – it has a poetic form and is considered wisdom literature but could be historical and maybe also prophetic. Surely the Hebrews had specific words for specific animals that could have been used here? Trying to force this poetic description to be a scientific profile of a specific animal seems like an exercise in missing the point.

It doesn’t matter how excellent our English may be. What matters is how well we can apply the Literal method of Bible translation, of which a very important part is authorial intent. We determine authorial intent by using the grammatical historical approach, which requires a deep dive into ancient Hebrew and an understanding of ancient near eastern culture. Those early people simply did not think like we do or use language they way we do.

When we look at the descriptions of leviathan and behemoth the way that the ancient Hebrew’s would have understood them, we get something entirely different. Ben Stanhope and Michael Heiser have discussed this as have others.

To the ANE people, leviathan was a representation of chaos. They thought that beneath the flat disk of the earth was water, and in the beginning that water was chaos and represented by leviathan. To the ancient Hebrews, creation was making order from chaos, and only God could defeat leviathan.

Behemoth was also a mystical creature. Stanhope thinks it was representative of a giant bull, and the tail and sinews were referring to other parts.

The point of God inspiring Biblical authors to write about leviathan and behemoth was to show that God–Yahweh–was superior to all else, even the giant mystical creators the ANE people understood to be representations of great power. This was in contrast to the other creation accounts of the area, of which the Hebrews would have been familiar.


God was speaking to Job about creatures he was familiar with. From their descriptions, they are likely extinct and now found only in the fossil record, and not mythical creatures.

You are appealing to the distant past which is inaccessible to the average reader, referencing ANE beliefs, just like John Walton does in his books. But God was moving his people, Job included, out of paganism and back to true worship of God through His inspired Word, not accommodating pagan understanding. For example, the ANE pagans also used sacrifices (including their children.) But their sacrifices were a distortion of the original biblical sacrifices of Abel and Noah.

Biblical theism is not the result of religious evolution from pagan religion to monotheism, but always the true religion from the time of Adam and Eve. And yes, God was instructing Job of his great power as seen in His creation, the creation that Job had seen.

Exactly, and leviathan and behemoth were mystical creatures that were VERY familiar to the ancient Hebrews. There are no real creatures that we know of that fit the descriptions of leviathan and behemoth closely. In Psalms 74:14, leviathan is described as having more than one head.

It would be like people 3000 years studying current culture, and not having all the details. What would they think of Santa Claus or the Easter Bunny?

Trying to fit current or extinct animals to leviathan and behemoth misses the entire point of what God was saying.

1 Like

God as a character in the Job allegory. I wonder who the near-Exile genius who wrote it actually was?

Of course, it is a logical fallacy to claim that because two things share some characteristics, then they are the same thing. That is, regardless of whether the description of a behemoth shares a few characteristics of a sauropod dinosaur (and I am not saying all), it is certainly not a proof that it is a sauropod dinosaur.

The other thing is that in Job 40 it is God speaking about the behemoth, and God knows about the creatures He created whether in the Cretaceous, Jurassic, Cambrian or the present. Forum readers my be interested in a photo of the type of fossil the ancient Hebrew writers may have seen (from Steve Brusatte’s book “The Rise and Reign of the Mammals” figure - Fossil whale skeletons in the Egyptian desert at Wadi al-Hitan):

1 Like

Ah yes it does…do you not look at the literary imagery of the text and visualise a cedar tree swayimg when you read verse 17?

One would have to be illiterate not to see the imagery in this? A hippo tail simply is not anything like a cedar tree. Id be interested in an expert on animals showing me how a hippo tail can be like a cedar in size, and/or sway like a cedar tree! When i read that passage an animal with a massive tail comes to mind.

The greek interlinear says “his tail moves like a cedar”. It sways like a large tree…that is the way its meant to read.

You are simply trying to put a modern animal spin on the imagery where one doesnt exist. im rather suprised at this tactic as it relies on wives tails rather than genuine reading and comprehension of the text and using science to adequitely fit the description given.

Here is a picture of a cedar tree:


Here is a picture of what a sauropod dinosuar’s tail is believed to have looked like:


The two look nothing like each other whatsoever, Adam. A cedar tree is broad and spread out with branches, twice as wide as it is high. A sauropod tail may be wider than an elephant’s but it is still a dozen times as long as it is wide or more. You are simply trying to put a science fiction/Dinotopia/The Flintstones spin on the imagery where one doesn’t exist. If @rsewell’s tactic “relies on wives tails (sic) rather than genuine reading and comprehension of the text and using science to adequitely (sic) fit the description given”, yours does too even more so, because while @rsewell’s “spin” is grounded in reality and evidence-based science, yours is grounded on nothing but science fiction.


Ironic, considering you are completely ignoring most of the text, which depicts behemoth as hidden in marsh reeds and shallow aquatic plants.

Thank you for your helpful mention of Ben Stanhope. His discussion of the multi-headed Leviathan as depicted in Psalm 74 is especially devastating to the AiG presentation as an aquatic reptile.

First Chapter of Shanhope’s book, “(Mis)interpreting Genesis: How the Creation Museum Misunderstands the Ancient Near Eastern Context of the Bible.”: What was Leviathan?

YouTube presentation:


You need to go back and rethink how you are reading this…no said it’s a Cedar tree with branches sticking out over a wide area.
Go to your interlinear and read the various ways in which Bible translations have printed that text.
It is very clear that the aim of the writer is to portray a very large strong tail.
I’m sorry but hippo is wrong period. You cannot interpret it that way…hippos legs don’t even match up…a hippo has tiny little short stumpy legs really…I’d argue those don’t work to fulfill the imagery either.

Btw how far back in the evolutionary timeline do hippos date…as far as horses, mules and donkeys?(hmm how come Bible writers use those animal names?) I think if it were a hippo, like a horse the writer would say so…otherwise the hippo are less than 3000 years old.

Btw your Cedar tree image is an intentional misrepresentation of large cedar trees…here are some more to set the record straight.


The last image destroys your attempt at misleading us entirely! Be honest in your science please. My professiomal qualifications put it simple terms, were woodwork and metalwork teaching…now called design and technology. Please don’t attempt to con someone who studied the wood industry at university. I absolutely know why the Bible writer used cedar in his illustration and the last image illustrates that reasoning very well.

Oh yes, this cedar tree looks exactly like a sauropod tail:

1 Like

Nice try Adam. They still don’t look anything remotely like a sauropod tail.

Look, the most that you can say about Behemoth’s tail from Job 40 is that it was big. I can agree that that doesn’t describe an elephant or a hippopotamus very well, but as has already been pointed out to you, there are other aspects of the description of Behemoth that are at least as out of kilter with a sauropod dinosaur. Such as, for example, the deafening silence about its neck, or the fact that it hides in the reeds and ferns. Besides, there are other living creatures today that most certainly do have big fat tails. Such as the crocodile for example.

The fact of the matter is that the description of Behemoth is simply too vague and general to provide any evidence whatsoever that humans and dinosaurs coexisted, and certainly not when you consider that the overwhelming evidence that we see in God’s creation around us tells us in no uncertain terms that they didn’t. The most reasonable and logical conclusion that anyone can draw from the description in Job chapter 40 is that “behemoth” is nothing more nor less than a generic term for large land animals in general. The list of traits is a mishmash that does not fully fit any one animal, either extant or extinct, and to claim otherwise is not exegesis; it is eisegesis.


I thought this bizarre statement must have been a typo, until this post…

…and realized that you really do hold to this unteathered chronology.

Hippo’s have been noted ifrom near the very beginning of hieroglyph writing before dynastic Egypt over 4500 years ago. Before that, there is pottery depicting hunting of the hippopotamus 5500 years ago..

One of Egypt’s principle gods, Taweret, was a chimera with the body of a hippo. Interesting to this discussion is that she came equipped with a crocodile tail, which may have influenced the imagery associated with hippo’s.


Hippo figurines were very common in ancient Egypt, and these were generally decorated with the associated reeds and lotus plants as referenced in Job, which I remind you, you still have not acknowledged.

Those stumpy legs can speed up 20 - 30 km per hour of charging belly. Hundreds of people are killed every year by hippo’s, making it Africa’s most dangerous large animal, despite being vegetarian. Again - Job 40:16

What strength it has in its loins,
what power in the muscles of its belly!

Most hippo species are extinct, but a few million years for the large modern one. Most equine species are also extinct. You can figure out mules on your own. Here is a video for hippo evolution: