Saturday, November 3, 2018


Behemoth, The Real Giant Mythological Creature? - Behemoth (read: Bhimim), is a creature in the Bible that is precisely mentioned in the Book of Job, 40: 15-24. The word Behemoth is most likely the plural בהמה (bəhēmāh), which means a large animal.

Behemoth when viewed from other languages ​​has the following pronunciation: Hebrew בהמות, behemot; bahīmūth بهيموث arab, or Bahamut بهموت.

Behemoth can also be classified as the largest island and the most powerful animal that has ever been exist. This name may also be used for something very large or a strong entity.


The text of the book of Job 40 (Judaica Press Bible) is as follows:

  • 15 Look at the behemoth that I have made with you; he eats grass like a cow.
  • 16 Behold now his strength is on his waist and his power in the navel of his stomach.
  • The tail is hardened like cedar; the tendon muscles are knitting together.
  • 18 His limbs are strong like copper, his bones are an iron load.
  • 19 He is the first of the ways of God; [only] his Maker can draw his sword [against it].
  • 20 For the mountains eat bears for him, and all the animals on the playing field there.
  • 21 Does he lie in the shadow, on the cover of reeds and swamps?
  • 22 Does the shadow cover him as a shadow? Do the willow from the river surrounding it?
  • 23 Behold, he river plunders, and [he] does not harden, he believes that he will draw the Jordan into his mouth.
  • 24 With His eyes He will take Him; with a snare He will pierce his nostrils.

This section describes Behemoth in this way: it was created together with humans (40:15 a), it is herbivores (40:15 b), it has strong muscles and bones, and lives in swamps (40:21).

In Jewish beliefs, Behemoth is a primal monster undermined land, as Leviathan is a primal monster from sea water and Ziz is an ancient monster of the sky. There is a legend that Leviathan and Behemoth must hold battles at the end of the world. The two will eventually kill each other, and the survivors will feast on their meat. According to the tradition of midrash recording, it is impossible for anyone to kill a giant except for the person who created it, in this case the God of the Hebrew nation. A haggadic of Jewish tradition further states that at the banquet at the end of the world, the giants will be presented with Leviathan and Ziz.

Behemoth also appears in the Apokriptik of the Book of Enoch, giving the following description of the origin of this monster there is mentioned as a male, as opposed to a Leviathan woman:

"And that day will be two monsters separated, one monster, a woman named Leviathan in order to live in the sea gorge above the fountain, and (another), a man named Behemoth, who holds his chest in a desert look whose name Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden. "- 1 Enoch 60: 7-8

There is another Jewish hymn read out at the Shavuot festival (celebrating the giving of the Torah), known as Akdamut, where it says: "... The sport with Leviathan and oxen (Behemoth) ... When they will cling to one another and engage in battle, with the Behemoth's horn will be thick with strength, the fish [Leviathan] will jump to meet him with fins, with power. Their creator will approach them with a big sword [and kill them both]. Thus, "from the beautiful skin of Leviathan, God will build a canopy to protect the righteous, who will eat the flesh of Behemoth [ox] and Leviathan amid joy and joy, at the great banquet that will be given to them. Some commentators say this rabbinic account is allegorical (Artscroll siddur, p. 719), or symbolic of the end of the conflict.

Meaning of Leviathan, Behemoth and Ziz

Many have interpreted Behemoth as a mythical animal. However, some have tried to identify the animal in a real way. In the book of Job, both Behemoth and Leviathan are registered with a number of ordinary animals, such as goats, eagles, and eagles, so many Christian scholars suspect that Behemoth and Leviathan might also be worldly creatures.

Behemoth as depicted in Dictionnaire Infernal.

Proposed animals include buffaloes, rhinos, crocodiles and elephants, but the most common proposal is hippos. Some readers also identify the hippopotamus in Isaiah bahamot Negeb or "the beast in the south" (30: 6).

Others disagree with this identification, pointing to the fact that the animal's tail "moves like a cedar" (40:17), an impossible description for this animal. Scholars maintain identification with elephants saying that the "tail" can describe the elephant's trunk. In addition, some suggest that the "tail" is a euphemism for male genitals. Support for this is based on another meaning of the Hebrew word which means "extend" and in the second part of verse 17 which describes the muscle around "stone" (the Vulgate uses the word "testiculorum").

Young Earth Creationist

Some Young Earth Creationists proposed that Behemoth is a dinosaur. This kind of Sauropoda is usually proposed because it has a large sauropod tail "like cedar". Adherents from the point of view of the giant sauropods argue that further descriptions are given in Job (that is, the strength of the bronze and iron equivalent bones; the plural use of Hebrew to describe a single specimen), together with the attributive "head of the way of God," and the description "like cedar" (זְנָבוֹ כְמוֹ - אָרֶז (z'navo kamo Arez)) to describe the tail itself shows the proportion of large animals; then a sauropod or equivalent. However some argue that the reference to a cedar-like refers to tail feathers that resemble cedar's needles-like foliage that is on an elephant's tail and hippopotamus.

Critics argue that according to the fossil record, and tooth-shaped spoons or pencils from sauropods themselves, the sauropods were lived 225 million years ago, and went extinct some 65 million years ago. Furthermore, they mention that the date of early grass fossils to the end of the Cretaceous, at that time sauropods had declined.

Critics also note that, according to the Biblical text, the Behemoth is said to eat grass like a cow, which means it will chew; This needs molar teeth, which is lacking in sauropod. A sauropod tooth is like spoon or pencil, it allows them to pull the vegetation into their mouth, then swallow it. It may also be noted that hippos do not chew, because they are not artiodactyl ruminants. Critics also argue that the picture of a navel (Job 40:16) in the King James Version also contradicts a sauropod hypothesis, because sauropods are oviparous.

In response to this objection, creationists argue that the Hebrew term used in the book of Job for cattle (baqar) can indicate any classification (perhaps benign) herding common animals at the time of writing. According to Strong, the Hebrew word ׁשר (Shor) means crooked string, specifically the umbilical cord. Shor also has figurative meaning as a center of strength. Newer translations such as the New American Standard Bible state "Look now, his strength at his waist and power in the abdominal muscles" (Job 40:16).

Other cultures

The Hebrew giant is sometimes equated with Hadhayosh Persia, as Leviathan is with Kar and Ziz with Simurgh. The Arabic giant is known as Bahamut, a large fish that supports the earth. Bahamut is sometimes described as having a head resembling a hippo or an elephant. In Russian and Ukrainian, behemoth (бегемот) means hippopotamus.

Literary Reference

Classical philosopher Thomas Hobbes named Long DPR as Behemoth in his book Behemoth: the history of the causes of civil war in England, and advice and artifices with which they were brought from 1640 to 1660. It accompanied his interesting political theory book on the lessons of civil war, which was somewhat more famous Leviathan. Also the name of a character in the novel Mikhail Bulgakov, The Master and Margarita.


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