Behemoth – not hippo nor elephant?

Blake_BehemothThose involved in studying biblical texts sometimes disagree about the exact nature of Behemoth, as described in the Bible, in Job 40:15-24. Could it have been, as some have suggested, a description of an elephant, or a(n) hippopotamus? Dr. Dave Miller Ph.D., M.A.R., M.Div., M.A., B.A., writing in the journal Reason & Revelation, Dec. 2011, Vol. 31, No. 12, thinks not, and offers an alternative interpretation :

“In His description of behemoth, God states emphatically that the creature ‘moves his tail like a cedar’ (Job 40:17). Yet many commentators have insisted that behemoth is to be identified as either the elephant, or more likely, the hippopotamus (cf. the NIV footnote at Job 40:15: “Possibly the hippopotamus or the elephant”). Since both of these animals have farcically tiny tails, the comparison of behemoth’s tail with a cedar must be explained in some way.”

The Dr.’s explanation is that Behemoth might have, instead, been a dinosaur – a(n) herbivorous one to comply with Job 40:15. He suggests, Apatosaurus or Argentinosaurus or even Diplodocus. For those who might be unclear about the timing – in the sense that Job would need to have been living at the same time as Behemoth (the dinosaur), Dr. Miller goes on to add :

“The imposing intimidation of modern pseudo-science, that dominates the intellectual landscape of the world, has succeeded in pressuring many to compromise the biblical text in hopes of retaining what they conceive to be academic legitimacy and sophistication. Nevertheless, abundant bona fide evidence exists to demonstrate that dinosaurs were created by God on the same day of Creation as humans (Genesis 1:24-31), that dinosaurs and humans once cohabitated (cf. Lyons and Butt, 2008), and that the incredible creature of Job 40 was, in fact, some kind of dinosaur.”

Further reading:

(as cited in the article) ‘The Dinosaur Delusion’ (Lyons and Butt, 2008)

(not cited in the article) ‘The God Delusion’ (Dawkins, 2008)