Job lived in the land of Uz, which was in or near the land of Edom. This area extended both southwest and southeast of the Dead Sea, in an area that is now mostly a desert. ("The Remarkable Record of Job" by Henry Morris, pg 14). It is for this reason that neither the Behemoth (http://www.angelfire.com/mi/dinosaurs/behemoth.html) or the leviathan can be found there today.
The first mention by name is scripture of Leviathan is in the book of Job chapter 3 verse 8.
The leviathan is an aquatic reptile (similar to dinosaurs).
No living animal fits the physical description of the Levaithan. For ideas of what this creature looked like we must turn to Job chapter 41
God's Power Shown in Creatures
1 Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord which thou lettest down? "
The Leviathan was a creature that was still alive at the time of Job about ____ years ago. It is clear from this passage that man is unable to capture this creature with a fish hook.
(2) Canst thou put an hook into his nose? or bore his jaw through with a thorn?"
(3) Will he make many supplications unto thee? will he speak soft words unto thee?"
(4) Will he make a covenant with thee? wilt thou take him for a servant for ever?"
(5) Wilt thou play with him as with a bird? or wilt thou bind him for thy maidens?"
(6) Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants?"
7 Canst thou fill his skin with barbed irons? or his head with fish spears?"
8 Lay thine hand upon him, remember the battle, do no more."
Many people successfully kill crocodiles. If you fight the Leviathan however you will lose.
9 Behold, the hope of him is in vain: shall not one be cast down even at the sight of him?"
Man would run at the mere sight of Leviathan.
10 None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?"
Though Leviathan is strong, God is stronger.
11 "Who hath prevented me, that I should repay him? whatsoever is under the whole heaven is mine."
12 "I will not conceal his parts, nor his power, nor his comely proportion."
13 "Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can come to him with his double bridle?"
14 "Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about."
15 "His scales are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal."
Some have suggested that the Leviathan might be a whale. But whales do not have scales, or rows of shields like reptiles do.
16 "One is so near to another, that no air can come between them."
17 "They are joined one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundered."
18 "By his neesings a light doth shine, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning."
The word that many bibles translate as "snorting" or "neezings" is the Hebrew word: "atish". This means to blow through the nose.
19 "Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out."
The Leviathan was a large sea creature that had the amazing ability to breathe fire. This does not sound like any sea creature we have living today. Because the book of Job refers to the Leviathan as a literal living breathing creature, it must be one that is now extinct or very rare.
What kind of animal was the leviathan?
Some people have suggested it may be a crocodile.
But we know this is not right. - Have you ever seen a crocodile shoot fire out of his mouth?
20 "Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron."
Whales do not have nostrils! They have blowholes. This is not a whale.
21 "His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth."
22 "In his neck remaineth strength, and sorrow is turned into joy before him."
23 "The flakes of his flesh are joined together: they are firm in themselves; they cannot be moved."
24 "His heart is as firm as a stone; yea, as hard as a piece of the nether millstone."
25 "When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid: by reason of breakings they purify themselves."
26 "The sword of him that layeth at him cannot hold: the spear, the dart, nor the habergeon."
27 "He esteemeth iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood."
28 "The arrow cannot make him flee: slingstones are turned with him into stubble."
Whales are harpooned easily. You can not harpoon the Leviathan.
29 "Darts are counted as stubble: he laugheth at the shaking of a spear."
30 "Sharp stones are under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire."
31 "He maketh the deep to boil like a pot: he maketh the sea like a pot of ointment."
32 "He maketh a path to shine after him; one would think the deep to be hoary."
33 "Upon earth there is not his like, who is made without fear."
34 "He beholdeth all high things: he is a king over all the children of pride."
"What purpose would "fire breathing" have served such a grand creature as the leviathan? Was it mere show or could it have been beneficial (other than for protection or for killing, which would only have been needed after the introduction of sin)?"
Cory D, 11/05/01
I don't think that Leviathan had the ability to emit fire from the beginning. I think that this occured as part of the Curse that God placed on the earth, and it is one of many harmful deteriorations (such as the teeth in carnivores) which occured along with degeneration and loss of genetic information.
Psalm 74 KJV
14 "Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness."
Psalm 74:14 speaks of the animals that perished in the flood of Genesis 6-9.
The word that the King James version translates as "people" is the ___ word ___. It is more properly translated as animals. The NASB translates "people" as "creatures". Whatever the Leviathan was, it was still alive at the time of the flood and feasted on the remains of the animals that drowned in it.
That these waters would later recede (see Psalm 74:15) leaving fossils of such animals in the middle of continents like the United States, verify that these great land masses were indeed covered by water at one time.
Their heads broken and bodies buried by the rushing sediments of the flood.
The sea dwelling Leviathan even lived after the flood. In a time when marine travel was increasing. The next scripture speaks of Leviathan in the days of sailing.
Psalm 104 KJV 26
"There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there."
Again, not only is leviathan used within the context of reality, but he exists with man. Not alleged ignorant cavemen, but men capable of building ships and other sea worthy vessels.
We are told that Leviathan was "formed", it was Created by God instantly. It did not arise through millions of years of evolution. We are even told His purpose in Creating him. "to play" in the seas. This sharp contrast with how Gods original intent and lifestyle of this creature was effected by the entrance of sin and death into the world.
Psalm 104 NASB 26
"There the (1) ships move along, And  (2) Leviathan, which You have formed to sport in it."
Footnotes Or a sea monster
Isaiah 27 KJV 1
"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."
NASB translates crooked as "twisted"
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