Do you believe that a creature such as Leviathan ever existed?


#1

According to the Book of Job, chapter 41:

1“Can you draw out Leviathan** with a fishhook,
or press down its tongue with a cord?
—under the whole heaven, who?*
12 “I will not keep silence concerning its limbs,
or its mighty strength, or its splendid frame.
13 Who can strip off its outer garment?
Who can penetrate its double coat of mail?
[j]
14 Who can open the doors of its face?
There is terror all around its teeth.
15 Its back[k] is made of shields in rows,
shut up closely as with a seal.

16 One is so near to another
that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another;
they clasp each other and cannot be separated.

18 Its sneezes flash forth light,
and its eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 From its mouth go flaming torches;
sparks of fire leap out.
20 Out of its nostrils comes smoke,
as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 Its breath kindles coals,
and a flame comes out of its mouth.
*
22 In its neck abides strength,
and terror dances before it.
23 The folds of its flesh cling together;
it is firmly cast and immovable.
24** Its heart is as hard as stone,
as hard as the lower millstone.**
25 When it raises itself up the gods are afraid;
at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches it, it does not avail,
nor does the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 It counts iron as straw,
and bronze as rotten wood.

28 The arrow cannot make it flee;
slingstones, for it, are turned to chaff.
29 Clubs are counted as chaff;
it laughs at the rattle of javelins.

It kind of sounds like a dragon. Do you think that Leviathan was a real creature or do you think that this description in the Book of Job is of a mythological creature?


#2

IMHO, it’s a perfect description of the devil, Lucifer. :shrug:


#3

Isn’t the leviathan a whale or a whale shark?


#4

Except that whales don’t breath fire…


#5

I believe yes it existed but it was probably a dinosaur like a surviving species of some kind but I believe in the loch ness monster sooo you can take that with a grain of salt its been suggested that Leviathan was a giant crocodile as well


#6

I think it’s the basis for world-wide dragon stories/myths. I don’t believe it’s anything we have today, whale/croc, because, hellooo, fire breather.


#7

Bible scholars take Leviathan and Behemoth to be two of the deadliest and most feared creatures of the ancient world .Leviathan= Crocodile . Behemoth = Hippopotamus
They are written about in poetic language and metaphors but they are thought to be , by most
Scholars to have been the lethal, relentless croc and the very dangerous hippopotamus, who might look cute to us but actually take the lives of more Africans than most other animals. They love to turn boats over when the boats nosy into their territory or near their babies. And Crocs , they like to eat…


#8

According to the RSVCE, “Job 41:1 Or the crocodile”.

Seems to refer to a crocodile. OP, the verses you pasted also have a note for “Leviathan” as ; what does it say?


#9

Well, the book of Job is not considered a true account, but it is (I think?) allegorical, and so one might assume that the creature is based on what people thought the appearance of evil in earthly creature form might be: ‘19 From its mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap out. 20 Out of its nostrils comes smoke,…’

As another poster says, this evil fury does sound as if it is an attempt at a portrayal of the furious character of “lucifer”.


#10

D-R Bible, Haydock Commentary calls it a crocodile.


#11

I didn’t know crocodiles ever breathed fire and had smoke come out their nostrils. :smiley: I’d like to see Haydock’s photo library. Maybe he has seen one!


#12

Thanks, friar. I think it helps to try and picture the classic appearance of Lucifer in your mind. In other places in the Bible, we see him described as a dragon, or some other kind of serpent that crawls on his belly. It’s possible that there is some analogy to an earthly creature, but this description goes far beyond that of any natural animal.

This is the beginning of the dialogue about the Leviathan in the previous chapter:Job 40: "[20] Canst thou draw out the leviathan with a hook, or canst thou tie his tongue with a cord?

[21] Canst thou put a ring in his nose, or bore through his jaw with a buckle? [22] Will he make many supplications to thee, or speak soft words to thee? [23] Will he make a covenant with thee, and wilt thou take him to be a servant for ever? [24] Shalt thou play with him as with a bird, or tie him up for thy handmaids? [25] Shall friends cut him in pieces, shall merchants divide him?

[26] Wilt thou fill nets with his skin, and the cabins of fishes with his head? [27] Lay thy hand upon him: remember the battle, and speak no more. [28] Behold his hope shall fail him, and in the sight of all he shall be cast down."
I think that last line is extremely significant in seeing exactly who/what God is describing to Job. Then, the next chapter continues. I like the DR translation, because I think it makes it even more apparent.
Job 41: [1] "I will not stir him up, like one that is cruel: for who can resist my countenance? [2] Who hath given me before that I should repay him? All things that are under heaven are mine. [3] I will not spare him, nor his mighty words, and framed to make supplication. [4] Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can go into the midst of his mouth? [5] Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.

[6] His body is like molten shields, shut close up with scales pressing upon one another. [7] One is joined to another, and not so much as any air can come between them: [8] They stick one to another and they hold one another fast, and shall not be separated. [9] His sneezing is like the shining of fire, and his eyes like the eyelids of the morning. [10] Out of his mouth go forth lamps, like torches of lighted fire.

[11] Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, like that of a pot heated and boiling. [12] His breath kindleth coals, and a flame cometh forth out of his mouth. [13] In his neck strength shall dwell, and want goeth before his face. [14] The members of his flesh cleave one to another: he shall send lightnings against him, and they shall not be carried to another place. [15] His heart shall be as hard as a stone, and as firm as a smith’ s anvil.

[16] When he shall raise him up, the angels shall fear, and being affrighted shall purify themselves. [17] When a sword shall lay at him, it shall not be able to hold, nor a spear, nor a breastplate. [18] For he shall esteem iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. [19] The archer shall not put him to flight, the stones of the sling are to him like stubble. [20] As stubble will he esteem the hammer, and he will laugh him to scorn who shaketh the spear.

[21] The beams of the sun shall be under him, and he shall strew gold under him like mire. [22] He shall make the deep sea to boil like a pot, and shall make it as when ointments boil. [23] A path shall shine after him, he shall esteem the deep as growing old. [24] There is no power upon earth that can be compared with him who was made to fear no one. [25] He beholdeth every high thing, he is king over all the children of pride. "
If that’s not a description of Lucifer, then I don’t know where anyone could find a better one.


#13

It 's not a literal description.crocs are certainly frightful.in ancient times I’m sure, that they believed that the hippopotamus and croc were nigh unto unstoppable. Even our smallish alligators are hard to dispatch without a loaded gun. So can you imagine these things coming at you and you have spear or fishing hooks?
The Adversary (Satan) acts as God’s agent in Job. The story is written very much like a court
Room drama. Witnesses , Defense and prosecution. Job has been called “God on trial” .Job’s friends act as God’s witnesses , Job counters their arguments and we go back and forth as in atrial or debate.


#14

It is a beautiful story. Thank you for replying to my post. Crocs were probably hard to defeat under attack without guns - good point!

In Job, I read the story as those others all attempting to be our Creator’s witnesses and judging Job, wrongly, by his unfortunate circumstances. In the end, Our Creator looks favourably on Job, not on them.

…because, it shows that our Creator just wanted all Job’s heart, He wanteed to hear it from Job; it was all about love, not about judgement. When Job finally relented, he got everything back and more, once his priorites (his Creator having first place in his heart) were in the right order.

It also answers a few niggling questions some people have over understanding the redemptive power which comes through suffering.


#15

Sorry…‘friard’…not friar, the name is a quip. Nice to speak again!

I think it helps to try and picture the classic appearance of Lucifer in your mind. In other places in the Bible, we see him described as a dragon, or some other kind of serpent that crawls on his belly. It’s possible that there is some analogy to an earthly creature, but this description goes far beyond that of any natural animal.

:thumbsup:

This is the beginning of the dialogue about the Leviathan in the previous chapter:Job 40: "[20] Canst thou draw out the leviathan with a hook, or canst thou tie his tongue with a cord?

[21] Canst thou put a ring in his nose, or bore through his jaw with a buckle? [22] Will he make many supplications to thee, or speak soft words to thee? [23] Will he make a covenant with thee, and wilt thou take him to be a servant for ever? [24] Shalt thou play with him as with a bird, or tie him up for thy handmaids? [25] Shall friends cut him in pieces, shall merchants divide him?

[26] Wilt thou fill nets with his skin, and the cabins of fishes with his head? [27] Lay thy hand upon him: remember the battle, and speak no more. [28] Behold his hope shall fail him, and in the sight of all he shall be cast down."

Almost sounds prophetic, IMO.

I think that last line is extremely significant in seeing exactly who/what God is describing to Job. Then, the next chapter continues. I like the DR translation, because I think it makes it even more apparent.

Job 41: [1] "I will not stir him up, like one that is cruel: for who can resist my countenance? [2] Who hath given me before that I should repay him? All things that are under heaven are mine. [3] I will not spare him, nor his mighty words, and framed to make supplication. [4] Who can discover the face of his garment? or who can go into the midst of his mouth? [5] Who can open the doors of his face? his teeth are terrible round about.

[6] His body is like molten shields, shut close up with scales pressing upon one another. [7] One is joined to another, and not so much as any air can come between them: [8] They stick one to another and they hold one another fast, and shall not be separated. [9] His sneezing is like the shining of fire, and his eyes like the eyelids of the morning. [10] Out of his mouth go forth lamps, like torches of lighted fire.

[11] Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, like that of a pot heated and boiling. [12] His breath kindleth coals, and a flame cometh forth out of his mouth. [13] In his neck strength shall dwell, and want goeth before his face. [14] The members of his flesh cleave one to another: he shall send lightnings against him, and they shall not be carried to another place. [15] His heart shall be as hard as a stone, and as firm as a smith’ s anvil.

[16] When he shall raise him up, the angels shall fear, and being affrighted shall purify themselves. [17] When a sword shall lay at him, it shall not be able to hold, nor a spear, nor a breastplate. [18] For he shall esteem iron as straw, and brass as rotten wood. [19] The archer shall not put him to flight, the stones of the sling are to him like stubble. [20] As stubble will he esteem the hammer, and he will laugh him to scorn who shaketh the spear.

[21] The beams of the sun shall be under him, and he shall strew gold under him like mire. [22] He shall make the deep sea to boil like a pot, and shall make it as when ointments boil. [23] A path shall shine after him, he shall esteem the deep as growing old. [24] There is no power upon earth that can be compared with him who was made to fear no one. [25] He beholdeth every high thing, he is king over all the children of pride. "

If that’s not a description of Lucifer, then I don’t know where anyone could find a better one.

:thumbsup:

Nice post!

:slight_smile:


#16

Yeah, sorry for the oopsie. I love your forum ID name. It reminds me of an old joke my Hubby used to tell about two monks who were serving up supper on Fridays. One of them was referred to as the ‘fish friar’, and the other was the ‘chip monk’. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl:

It makes perfect sense to me. :shrug:

Doesn’t it?

Thank you!

It’s always good to chat with you, too. :smiley:


#17

:smiley:

It makes perfect sense to me. :shrug:

Doesn’t it?

Thank you!

It’s always good to chat with you, too. :smiley:

:blessyou:


#18

The Bible description of the creature is not a literal description!!


#19

A commentary I have on Job does suggest that Leviathan is based on the crocodile although it must be a kind of mythological super crocodile :smiley:

My translation of Job (40:23) by the Jewish scholar Robert Alter also says of Behemoth, “Look, he swallows a river at his ease, untroubled while Jordan pours into his mouth.”

So Behemoth is a kind of super Hippopotamus that can swallow a whole river.


#20

I think EVERYTHING was bigger in those ancient times: animals, people, miracles, and purple prose.


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