Behemoth - a word that can mean a giant. The book of Job mentions just such a creature. We will now look at the facts and explore the answer to the question of Is Job's Behemoth a Dinosaur?
15 " Look now at the behemoth, which I made [along] with you; He eats grass like an ox. 16 See now, his strength [is] in his hips, And his power [is] in his stomach muscles. 17 He moves his tail like a cedar; The sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. 18 His bones [are like] beams of bronze, His ribs like bars of iron. 19 He [is] the first of the ways of God; Only He who made him can bring near His sword. 20 Surely the mountains yield food for him, And all the beasts of the field play there. 21 He lies under the lotus trees, In a covert of reeds and marsh. 22 The lotus trees cover him [with] their shade; The willows by the brook surround him. 23 Indeed the river may rage, [Yet] he is not disturbed; He is confident, though the Jordan gushes into his mouth, 24 [Though] he takes it in his eyes, [Or] one pierces [his] nose with a snare. Job 40:15-24
Is the above scripture a reference to a dinosaur? Many commentaries refer to the "behemoth" in this passage as possibly being an elephant or a hippo. The problem is that neither of these animals "moves his tail like a cedar". More than likely this "behemoth" is a brontosaurus type of creature. If this is so, then does it prove dinosaurs existed alongside man? Hardly..although it is possible that at least some type of giant creatures existed with man in man's early days. Many creation scientists believe dinosaurs did live at the same time man did.
What are the characteristics of the this being called a behemoth as described by Job? This creature is a plant eater as it "eats grass like an ox". Verses 21 through 23 indicates this animal lives near water. Verse 23 indicates raging river waters do not bother it which would indicate an enormous animal. Verse 24 seems to indicate it cannot be captured. The NIV translation of this verse reads, "Can anyone capture it by the eyes, or trap it and pierce its nose?"
The key passage to this scripture is in Verse 19 "He is the first of the ways of God." Some interpret this to mean that he rules over the animals in stature and majesty. My personal opinion is that it more likely refers to the fact that God created dinosaurs first, were destroyed, and man came along later when God took the "formless void covered with water" Gen. 1 Verse 2 and formed Earth into the planet it was before Noah's flood.
No one knows for sure exactly when the dinosaurs became extinct and it is very possible that some could still have existed in Job's day. The story of Job took place sometime between Genesis 11 and Chapter 12. This means that the story of Job happened sometime between the tower of Babel and the call of Abraham.
The name "Behemoth" means kingly or giantly beast which could answer the question of Is Job's behemoth a dinosaur
The behemoth in Job could be a dinosaur. Many believe the behemoth could be one of the sauropod dinosaurs as this type of dinosaur had the same traits as the behemoth described in the book of Job. The sauropods were plant eatera and had tails like cedars and were ten times heavier than our modern day elephants.
As mentioned earlier some believe that dinosaurs existed until Noah's flood wiped them out. That brings up the question, why would God spare the other animals but not dinosaurs? It is not logical. After the flood, Noah is commanded by his family to go forth, be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the earth. Replenish is just another way of saying "refill" or "repopulate". We know we are descendants of both Noah and Adam. We also know that flood destroyed all life (except for sea life) that was not on Noah's Ark.
Did you know Adam and Eve received the same command from God to go forth, multiply, and replenish the earth? Why would God command Adam and Eve to refill or repopulate an earth unless some kind of life existed before Adam and Eve were made?
I do believe the word "behemoth" in the book of Job is most likely a dinosaur. Whether it lived at the same time Job did cannot be proved or disproved. Personally, I believe this earth was perfect at one time in ancient history and something happened (probably Lucifer's fall) to make it less than perfect. God is an eternal being and we know from scripture that the earth as we know it is going to undergo a major renovation a 1,000 plus years in the future. Who's to say it hasn't already undergone several major renovations to suit God's purpose?
In Jimmy Swaggart's Expositors Study Bible, he comments on this verse And the Earth was without form, and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. The comment reads, God did not originally create the Earth without form and void; It became this way after a cataclysmic happening; this happening was the revolt of Lucifer against God, which took place sometime in the dateless past.
A study of the Bible does bring up many questions that we can only speculate as to the answers but we will know those answers one day. Meanwhile we can go on puzzling over the question, Is Job's behemoth really a dinosaur?