Leviathan and Behemoth — What were they? (Dinosaurs)
I always assumed fire-breathing “dragons” were myths, but — after reading some interesting material today — maybe not!
In Job 41 God boasts of “leviathan” and clearly describes the creature as being able to blow-out streams of firebrands. I’ve never come across an acceptable interpretation of this passage. My Quest Study Bible (which I love) says the account of the monster is not real and that the Leviathan is symbolic of evil political empires, etc. and yet the LORD’s description of the creature reads literal rather than figurative.
Finis Dake, writer of the Dake Annotated Reference Bible, interpreted the leviathan as Satan, which also doesn’t make sense since the devil’s the ultimate loser and in Job 41 God almost seems to be boasting of leviathan as one of his mighty creations, which he wouldn’t do with a thoroughly malevolent entity like the ultimate loser. The description as a whole simply doesn’t fit Satan.
A Fire-Breathing Dragon (Dinosaur)?
No matter how you slice it, Job 41 comes across as God describing (and boasting of) a literal fire-breathing dragon — i.e. dinosaur — which he calls “leviathan.” If you asked 100 people who knew nothing about the Bible & Christianity to read the chapter all 100 would say it’s a literal description of a fire-breathing dragon, aka dinosaur. For those who say this smacks of myth and fantasy, consider this fascinating explanation:
God originally made animals and mankind to be vegetarians.
“Then God said, ‘Behold, I have given you every plant yielding seed that is on the surface of all the earth, and every tree which has fruit yielding seed; it shall be food for you; and to every beast of the earth which has life, I have given every green plant for food ‘; and it was so.”
Genesis 1:29-30 NAS
What happens when you put a lot of vegetable material in a confined space with no oxygen? The decomposition of the material produces methane gas. Cows produce a lot of methane gas. As a matter of fact, environmental terrorists are quick to point this out and to try to use this information to get people to stop consuming milk, cheese and meat. Environmental terrorists consider methane gas to be an air pollutant and a partial cause of dreaded global warming. [The idea of global warming is a myth. We have a serious problem with a thing dubbed “global warming,” but that is covered in a separate article.]
In essence, cows burp methane gas. Any child raised on a farm with cows knows about this. If you light a match and stick it in front of a cow when it burps, you will get a mini-flame thrower. I wouldn’t recommend it because it will scare the poor cow half to death and you might get trampled along the way.
Dinosaurs had a lot of vegetable materials in their stomachs and it would have produced a lot of methane gas. Sea dwelling reptiles could have easily had it too, especially if they ate kelp and similar aquatic plants. So, here we would have a source of fuel for a fire breathing dragon.
How could an animal intentionally ignite methane gas that it breathed out of its mouth or nostrils to produce a usable flame?
Of course, there might have been a mechanical mechanism , such as snapping or clicking the teeth together quickly to produce a spark similar to a flintlock rifle. Or, perhaps there was an electrical mechanism . A series of electrical organs lining the throat similar to those of electric eels or electric fish could have been used to ignite the gas. Electric eels produce voltages up to 600 volts on demand. More likely, however, there was a chemical mechanism involved. After all, it is the chemical mechanism of bioluminescence that makes fireflies light up the night sky.
Most animals (and people for that matter) have some arsenic and phosphorous in their body systems. Under the same conditions that produce methane gas from vegetable materials in the stomach of a cow, arsenic forms arsene gas (AsH 3 ) and phosphorous forms diphosphane gas (P 2 H 4 ). When arsene gas or diphosphane gas comes into contact with oxygen they will spontaneously ignite. This combustive action is what causes marsh gas (which is really just methane gas formed from the decay of vegetable materials in a swampy environment) to ignite.
Aquatic reptiles and land dwelling dinosaurs could have produced a flame from their mouths or nostrils using such a chemical ignition system. The purpose of such a system would most likely have been defensive in nature; although we cannot rule out other uses, such as mating or communication. With a little practice, proper muscle control and either electrical or chemical secreting organs lining the inside of its bony crest a Parasaurolophus might have been able to exercise just such a flame thrower on demand.
This is not that much different from the designed chemical process used by bombardier beetles that produce hydrogen peroxide and hydroquinone inside their bodies and combine them together on demand to produce a boiling hot toxic gas. The gas is directed out of twin gun ports with great accuracy. Bursts up to 500 times per second have been witnessed. This process produces a highly effective deterrent to attacks by predators.
~ Creation Worldview Ministries
(To read the whole article go here).
The writer says that leviathan is likely a species of plesiosaur(idae) or pliosaur(idae), which were large aquatic reptiles. These creatures grew to lengths of 43 to 56 feet long and had particularly long necks. However, it could also be referring to the tyrannosaurus rex, which is what Kent Hovind theorizes. This is in line with the general description of the colossal beast and, as verses 33-34 point out: “Nothing on earth is its equal—a creature without fear… it is king over all that are proud.” The fact that the leviathan “leaves a glistening wake behind it,” as verse 32 points out, doesn’t mean that it has to be an animal that solely dwells in the water, like the plesiosaur. After all, the t-rex could go anywhere it wanted any time it wanted, including any body of water.
In any case, the writer of the article concludes:
Were fire breathing dinosaurs created by God during the creation week? Did man and this kind of dinosaur exist at the same time? Could the stories of men fighting fire breathing dragons to rescue fair maidens be true?
Yes, on all counts.
Click here for another (shorter) article on the topic.
As for the “behemoth” from Job 40:15-24, scholars (who are often so smart they’re stupid) have tried to identify it as either an elephant or, more often, a hippopotamus. Yet elephants and hippopotamuses have very thin tails and nothing akin to a cedar tree, as detailed in the passage (Job 40:17). Dinosaurs like the brachiosaurus and the diplodocus, however, had huge tails which could be compared to a cedar tree, as you can see in the above pic.
Did Humans and Dinosaurs Coexist?
The LORD was speaking to Job in these two chapters (Job 40-41) and it was understood that Job knew about these huge creatures, which — as explained above — are obviously dinosaurs and not references to mere crocodiles and hippopotamuses. This is biblical evidence that humans and dinosaurs existed together. The occasional references to literal “sea monsters” and “dragons” in other passages of the Bible (not the figurative references) is further evidence.
So it’s likely that dinosaurs and humans existed at the same time, whether know-it-all ‘scholars’ and National Geographic care to admit it or not. How else do you explain the dinosaurs depicted in ancient art from different cultures around the globe, often along with other conventional animals? Here are several examples, including one fossil:
Notice in the top two pics that an obvious stegosaurus appears alongside other conventional animals, like a deer, a rat and a monkey.
My conclusion is that the idea that humans and dinosaurs didn’t coexist is a myth perpetuated by non-scientific “science.”
Many current and ancient cultures around the globe have myths about dragons. Are these purely fictional myths or stories based on past reality, just exaggerated, like many myths?
In response to this data someone wrote me:
There is no reason to think that some of them might not have been based in part on descriptions or observation of fossils, or on the other hand that they were purely a product of imagination.
It’s a legitimate possibility, but (1.) the creatures are depicted with flesh and (2.) they’re often depicted right alongside conventional animals. The sixth image above shows a stegosaurus alongside a monkey, a deer and a rat; and the seventh pic is a close-up of the (obvious) stegosaurus. You’ll find numerous other examples if you research it.
In light of the evidence there seems to me to be a high possibility that conventional dinosaurs lived a lot longer than is presupposed. On land maybe up to medieval times or even just hundreds of years ago. In fact, there are still reports of dinosaur-like animals in remote areas of the globe, like mokele mbembe (moh-kay-lay um-bem-bay), which supposedly is vegetarian and lives in the Congo River basin. You can read more here. Of course, there may still be dinosaurs in the oceans, like plesiosaurs.
How were the last vestiges of these beasts killed off on land? By humans as populations increased, just as big, threatening animals (lions, tigers, bears, pachyderms, etc.) have been wiped out of populated areas today. Let’s not underestimate the capabilities of our more primitive ancestors. Where did the “slay the dragon” myth come from? Likely real-life accounts where warriors literally went out and slayed the colossal dinosaur, in some cases fire-breathing ones.
I obviously didn’t live in the distant past so I’m just honestly speculating based on biblical and extra-biblical data. It’s an alternative perspective to the typical one where people automatically assume that people and dinosaurs never existed together just because some college professor or National Geographic told them. Don’t get me wrong because I appreciate higher learning and National Geographic and even subscribe to that mag, but that doesn’t mean I foolishly buy everything they put forth as absolute fact.
For important details on young Earth creationism vs. old Earth creationism see this outstanding article by David Reagan: The Beginning and the Ending (David explains light from distant stars reaching us, offers details about carbon dating, etc. )
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