In Job 40:15-19 we read, Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword.

Most knowledgeable biblical creationists believe that this is a description of a long-necked sauropod kind of dinosaur. Bible commentators often say that these verses are a description of an elephant or a hippopatamus. We cannot be 100% sure that the description is that of a dinosaur, but it is clear that it is not the description of an elephant or hippo. This is because none of the unique identifying features or characteristics that would normally be used to describe these two animals is listed in the description of Behemoth in the book of Job.

For the elephant these descriptors would be: Huge ears, large tusks, unique versatile trunk.

For the hippopatamus: Huge gaping mouth, pink sweat, deadly tusks, thick skin.

Notice in the photo above that the elephant’s tail certainly could not be described as anything like a cedar tree! And we have the same problem with the flap of skin that makes up the tail of the hippo seen below.

Long-necked dinosaurs with genus names like Brachiosaurus, Camarasaurus, Apatosaurus, and Diplodocus certainly did have tails that could be described as being like cedar trees.

Long-Necked Boxy-Headed Kind of Dinosaur

Long-Necked Slender-Headed Kind of Dinosaur

In Job 40 God was describing a creature with which Job was familiar. We know that Job lived after the time of Noah’s Flood so that means that at least some dinosaurs survived the Flood. As a land animal Behemoth came off the ark and was able to live long enough to grow to be the mighty creature that is described in Job 40. Dinosaur fossils from the rock record formed by the Flood are today commonly reconstructed to generally match God’s description of Behemoth. In the rock record we have found many creatures larger than elephants and hippos, so elephants and hippos cannot reasonably be described as “ranking first among the works of God.”

Yes, I believe Behemoth was a dinosaur! The Bible does not use that term (dinosaur) because it was not invented until 1841, long after the translation of the Bible into English. In the King James Version of the Bible, the word “dragon” was generally used to describe those animals we now call dinosaurs.

J.D. Mitchell

Click here to buy my book Guidebook to North American Dinosaurs According to Created Kinds.

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