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Chapter 39
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Job and Science, by Walter Lang ©1992

Job's First Repentance (Job 40:1-5)


(v.1) Then the Lord answered Job and said:

(v.2) Shall He who disciplines contend with the Almighty? Anyone who corrects God will have to answer for it!

(v.3)And Job answered the Lord and said:

(v.4) Behold! I am vile, what shall I answer you? I lay my hand on my mouth.

(v.5) Once have I spoken, not will I answer. And the second time, but not again!


    This is nearly identical with Job 38:1 except there is added "out of the whirlwind." Here the whirlwind is taken for granted. As in 38:1 we find Jehovah, rare in Job except there is added "out of the whirlwind." Here the whirlwind is taken for granted. As in 38:1, we find Jehvah rare in Job except in the Prologue and Epilogue. It reveals use of the Gospel, for the word Jehovah refers to the covenant God. The speech continues, the first phase being ended. This is a short speech. Job repents but it is not enough; thus, there is another speech by him in 40:15-41:34. That leads Job to total repentance. He had a difficult problem and God needed to speak to him directly three times (38:1, 40:1, 40:6) before complete repentance took place.

    The word for "contends" harob is infinite absolute from riyb as in Judges 11:25. Here it is used somewhat as a future or imperfect form. A future is used also in II Ki.4:43. The word for "disciplines" is yisor and here seems to be the subject. Will Job persist in contending with God after all these questions have been hurled at him? The verb construction here is powerful and shows Job how ridiculous his position is.

    Here God refers to all questions from 38:2 and following. If Job will contend with God, he must answer the 42 scientific questions of chapter 38 and all statements regarding animals made thus far. Job could not do this, nor can we. And this applies even to scientists who claim to "know" everything about origins. God is infinite while man is finite.

    Job had boasted (23:3-7) that he would legally contend with God. Now that he was challenged to do so, he could not. Elihu with kindly correction and God, with questions and with description of His infinity, had humbled Job. All he could do now was to repent. No matter how important or brilliant a person may be, his attitude toward God is the beginning of righteousness. No one can stand against God.

    Job recognized the implications in Elihu's four speeches, in the 39 scientific questions of chapter 38, and in the picture of wild animals in 38:39-39:30. Delitzsch devotes a long section to explaining how Job recognized God's power in nature and, still, he needed these questions. Delitzsch quotes from 9:4-10 where Job acknowledges God as a wise and mighty Lord and an irresistible Ruler over all. In 12:7-10 Job refers to creatures of the sky and of the depths as proof of God's creative power. In 12:11-25 Job sketches a grand picture of God's power and work in nature and among men. In 26:5-14 Job praises God as Creator and Lord of all. In 28:23ff he ascribes to God absolute wisdom as Creator and Ruler of the world. If Job knew all this, why did God again describe it all, asks Delitzsch. The real reason Job acknowledged he was vile and unable to answer was that he realized that not only is God infinite, but only the power of the Gospel could change him. A radical change was needed to humble him.

    In 21:5 Job had told his friends to lay their hands over their mouths, following Zophar's rather rude speech (ch.20). In 29:9 where Job describes his condition in glory, even princes covered their mouths as he approached. This was a sign to keep silent. Now he must stand humbly before God and be silent. Likewise today, people need to learn not to question God or regard Scripture as myth.

    What Job means by once and twice is that he will not again demand a legal confrontation with God. In 5:19 Eliphaz says that God delivers in six troubles and in seven no evil shall touch Job. This is recognition that arguments used were futile. God needed to speak again.

    Job had done considerable speaking, being more loquacious than his friends. But he had not done so as Elihu spoke.

Such an attitude of humility would benefit educators and scientists today. They have heaped words upon words, written books upon books, thinking this very activity will gain points. However, the whirlwind talk denies them all this. They ought to meet God as Job met God.

Change from Evolution to Creation

Some say all that is needed to convert an evolutionist to creationism is to list scientific evidences for the creation position. Experience over the past 30 years indicates few are converted through this method. In our opinion, Job was a first-rate scientist and a truly great man. He possessed practical knowledge, but knowledge of nature and all arguments relating to reason did not sway him. Only when Elihu led him deeper into the Gospel and when God implied moral value in nature's accomplishments did proud Job put his hand over his mouth, admitting he had spoken too often. Introducing moral values through implication, as God here did, we are more apt to effect a change.

Job's problem was chiefly a moral one, departing from God, as he had been concerned that his children might depart from God at their birthday feasts. The creation/evolution controversy is mainly a moral issue. Evolution is a pagan religion which seeks to worship the creature as god rather than worshiping the true Creator-God.

Elihu showed respect to Job, as to a king, and he was loving in his censuring. Through the whirlwind talk God made His point through implication rather than through direct confrontation. As wild animals cannot be domesticated, so Job's proud nature could not be changed through normal procedures. The miraculous power of the Gospel was needed to effect a change. Thus, we can use the framework of scientific evidence to demonstrate that scientifically, evolution is a myth. But also, especially through implication, we can introduce morality and religion. Basically it is man's natural enmity toward God (Rom.8:7) which moves him to accept evolution in order to dispose of God (Rom.8:7). We need to introduce morality without giving undue offense.

Second Whirlwind Talk/Answer

(Job 40:6-42:6) Job Censured (40:6-14)


(v.6) God answered Job from a whirlwind and said:

(v.7) Gird now your loins as a man, I will ask and you will make known to me.

(v.8) Will you altogether annul my judgment? Will you make evil in order that you may be righteous ?

(v.9) As if you had an arm as God! And can you thunder with a voice like Him?

(v.10) Then adorn yourself with majesty and dignity, And clothe yourself in splendor and glory.

(v.11) Let loose your outbursts of anger, And behold all pride and bring it low.

(v.12) Look at all pride and abase it, And tread down the wicked in their place.

(v.13) Being hidden in the dust together, Bind their faces in secret.

(v.14) Then also I will praise you, That your own right hand can save you.


    Here we find a reason for God speaking again to Job. He had been humbled, putting his hand on his mouth and saying he was vain, but he had not yet fully repented. While boasting of Christ's righteousness, Job boasted as though it had been his. He had yet to learn his personal sinfulness.

Delitzsch notes the gracious manner in which God presented this serious charge. God does not demand blind subjection but, rather, free submission. He does not extort acknowledgement but He persuades. God is more compassionate than man. Rather than falling into the hands of man, it is better to fall into the hands of the living God, for He is truth and love. Like a good teacher, God waits until the time of action arrives.

The whirlwind is mentioned again (as in 38:1) but was not mentioned in 40:1. As in 38:1 and 40:1, Yehvah "Lord" is mentioned. In 38:1 the article ha is used with "whirlwind" se'arah, but not here. A footnote in the Massoretic text indicates that perhaps at one time the article was included. According to Ramban, this whirlwind was not as fierce as the first, but we think it ought to have been more fierce because God was more incisive with Job. Rawlinson suggests the expressions here indicate the storm continued or, following a lull, resumed.

    The phrase is a repetition of 38:3, indicating the second speech, beginning in 40:1, is an intrusion. The real speech continues here. As in the first, God has indicated might and variety in the 39 scientific questions dealing with inanimate objects and the nine wild animals described. First, He shows Job the folly of pitting his righteousness against God and, then, in the two wild creatures-behemoth and leviathan. The word for "gird" 'etsar is used also in 30:18 where Job says the force of his disease changed his garment, binding him as a collar, or girding him. The word for "man" kegeber depicts a man in strength. It is used in 3:3 with reference to birth of a male child, also in 4:17 where Eliphaz asks whether mortal man is more just than God, in 10:5 when Job asks God whether He is as a man, and in 14:10.14 where Job asks "if a man die ..." Here reference is to a man of strength. To gird the loins means to be ready, in legal form, as Job had demanded (23:4).

    This is the same as in 38:3. God repeats the phrase. Though Job had admitted he was vile (40:4), he needed repentance. He had demanded a legal confrontation; now God furnishes him the opportunity. Even more than in the 42 scientific questions, God demonstrates what it means to confront Him as He speaks of His justice, majesty and glory.

    The verb "disannul" is derived from parar and here it is tapheer and is in the Hiphiel. It is derived from a background of breaking in pieces. In 15:4 the word could mean "disannulling the fear of God" as Eliphaz speaks. In 5:12 Eliphaz uses it again to show how God disannuls devices of the crafty that their hands cannot perform their enterprises.

The question is whether Job would dare to disannul God's judgment. Job's challenge is serious. Emphasis is on "surely" ha'aph; surely Job would not dare challenge God. Job had maintained God's judgment was not fair, but no one can question it, though Job had done so (9:15) and Eliphaz had censured him for it (22:13). Here God shows Job the vanity of attacking His judgment.

    Job thought his innocence and God's righteousness were incompatible. Here titzedaq is used for God's righteousness, which we believe is a technical expression for substituted righteousness. Job thought the two were incompatible, but he should have known that God permits afflictions out of love. It was not punishment, but chastisement. God cannot be evil and Job must recognize the position he has created for himself.

Today's scientists are much like Job here though, generally speaking, they lack faith in God's substituted righteousness. Rather than accepting the Triune God, they make a god of nature. They prefer to believe all things are due to chance, time and environment rather than to Father, Son and Spirit.

    Literally this reads "and as if an arm as God to you." The we'im is actually a question, as in 8:3, 21:4 and 34:17. Here it is not a wish, as in 34:16 where Elihu wishes that Job would listen.

The "arm" tsero'a is a picture of strength. Eliphaz had claimed that Job had broken the arms of fatherless (22:9). In 38:15 (whirlwind talk) God shows that arms of the wicked are broken when daylight enters. Job asks that his arm be broken and removed if it can be proved that he had not shown pity to poor and fatherless (31:21).

    The words "with a voice like Him" belong together. It is also why there is a Rebia mugrash for accent in ubeqol. In 37:22 Elihu describes God's power in thunder revealing His majesty. Thunder, as the voice of God, is mentioned also in 37:4.5, Ps.18:13 and 77:18. God is confronting Job with a majesty beyond him. Perhaps today we can create more noise than people in Job's time but, compared with God, science is very limited.

    The word for "majesty" is ga'on. In 37:4 where Elihu describes God in thunder, it is "voice of His majesty." There is a connection between thunder (40:9) and majesty mentioned here. In 35:12 it is "pride of evil men" and in 38:12 it is used for "proud" waves. Majesty may degenerate into pride as Job's had done. This is not true of God, however.

The word for "dignity" is wagobah and its first meaning is "height." Here it is used for "majesty, glory, dignity." In 11:8 and 22:12 it is used for heights of the heavens. God is beyond limits of space. The word may also refer to pride (Jer.48:29), e.g., pride of Moab's heart. When Uzziah was strong, he became proud (II Chr.26:16). In Prov.16:18 we read "a haughty spirit" goes before a fall. When Job would not accept the judgment of a sinless God, Job's majesty had become pride. He understood this but most commentators do not.

In Ps.93:1 "majesty and strength" are connected with the truth that the world cannot be moved. According to science, earth is in constant motion, both rotating and revolving around the sun. Both the theory of heliocentricity and geocentricity support the majesty of God.

    A similar statement is used in Ps.104:1 except for "he clothes himself" it is "you clothe yourself." We believe David quoted Job. Here light is not mentioned directly but it is mentioned in Ps. 104:2. In movies, majesty and glory are generally connected with bright, flashing light. Here we also think of intense light. In Rev.21:11 we read that God's glory is connected with light more brilliant than a precious stone and clear as a diamond. And in Rev.21:23 we read that God's glory in the heavenly Jerusalem will outshine the sun and moon; there will be no need for them. We think of light, but emphasis is on honor and glory in wehod and wehadar. The similar sound is a poetic device to emphasize God's glory.

The idea of "clothing" in the verb tilebash is developed in Ps. 104:2 where we read God is clothed with light as with a garment. In the description of wheels in Ez.1 and 10 and Rev.4, we read that light surrounds God. In this whirlwind talk, light is not mentioned, but implied.

    The verb for "let loose" is haphetz which is Hiphiel of phutz and means to "let loose, scatter." In 37: 11 it is used for scattering clouds in a clear summer sky. It is used also in 18:1 1 where Bildad says the wicked shall be scattered or driven to their feet by terrors. Here the meaning is "to let overflow, to scatter abroad" and refers to Job venting his anger. What is Job's anger compared with God's anger? The word is used also in Prov. 5:1 6 where we read of fountains being "dispersed" abroad, referring to chastity. 'Eberot means "overstepping, overflowing." Judgment on everything high and exalted is made also in ls.2:10 where we read of people hiding in rocks in fear of God's glory and majesty. Job has stated the wicked are reserved for the day of wrath and destruction (21 :30).

Job has questioned God's judging and now God asks Job what can he do. Again, Job must recognize the seriousness of his challenges to God. In 38:13 we read God sends morning daylight to shake the wicked from their places. God disperses His anger; can Job equal this?

    The word for "bring low" is wehashepiyleehu and is Hiphiel of shaphal. Its first meaning is "to be low" and in Hiphiel is "to make low, to abase." It is used by Eliphaz in 22:29 to show the humble can be uplifted. In Prov.25:7 it indicates that it is better to humble one's self and be exalted than to exalt one's self and be humbled. It is similar to the parable in Luke 14:10.

If Job is dissatisfied with God's handling of matters, why does he not attempt to do better? How would he debase pride? God is eliminating Job's pride through affliction, through friends and Elihu, and the whirlwind talks. Job had claimed the wicked prosper (24:2-23). Now God challenges him to do better but, of course, he cannot.

Some scientists claim they could do better than God. In a 1964 publication, Lynn White suggested that the stewardship commission given to Adam and Eve in the Garden of Eden (Gen.1:28) is the basis of all problems in ecology. His idea was to look at earth but not to fully use its resources. He was worshiping nature rather than God.

    The word for "bring him low" is hakeniy'eehu and derived from kanah and means "to bend the knee." In the Hiphiel, as here, it means "to bow down, to bring low, to humble." This seems to be the only instance in Job where it is used, though it is commonly used otherwise. Its use here is to strengthen the thought in 40:11b. Job had accused God of not properly dealing with the wicked; now God attacks Job's misuse of the law of equalization. Would Job dare to be in charge as God is? No. Job needed basic humility. Also, he is challenged to note all the pride in the world. He was influenced more by implication than by direct censure. The advance in thought is for Job to recognize pride, also his own.

    The word for "tread down" wahadok is used only here in Scripture. It has an apparent Arab background and means "to tear down a house." It may also be of Ugaritic background. This is God's speech and He agrees with Elihu, lending emphasis over the previous two phrases. This is high poetry and drama. Job had complained the wicked were not being punished. He is challenged to put the wicked in their place.

Modern day Marxists resist God more than Job did. In their attempts to show God how to run the world, they have failed miserably, even doing away with capitalism. Righteousness begins with God and with submitting to His will.

    Beck translates this "bury them all together in the ground" while KJV reads "hide them in the dust together." Essentially it is what Delitzsch and Zoeckler have, as does Luther. The idea is that Job should bury all the wicked together in the grave. He had made an issue, particularly in chapter 3, that the wicked die the same death as the righteous and, in chapter 24, that they even have superior burials. If God's providence is wrong and if he were in charge, what would he do? It is easy to complain but not so easy to do better.

The verb "hide" is thameneem and is derived from thaman, meaning "to hide." It is used in 31 :33 where Job says if he concealed his sin as Adam and "hid" in his bosom, he would be guilty. He had described his righteousness and complained that sins of the wicked were buried with them, being equalized in death. Now God asks what he would do if he were in charge. It is a common complaint of unbelievers that God is unfair.

There is an advance in thought. First God challenges Job to equal His glory and majesty in nature and then to improve on His dealings with man. Job fails on both counts. Thought of the wicked hiding in rocks at the Lord's coming is expressed also in ls.2:10. Implication is that Job cannot judge in a manner causing the wicked to hide in rocks or bury themselves for concealment.

    The word "in secret" bathameun is the same as the one at the beginning of verse 13. It is a poetic arrangement to have the same word at the beginning and end of the verse. Emphasis is on secrecy and equalization of the grave. Here the word is nearly the equivalent of the one for "grave" she'ol. Job had made an issue of everything being equalized by the grave and the dead know nothing, as stated also in Eccl. 9:5. If Job were punishing, he would not know whether he was right, for he cannot read hearts as God does.

Here the word for "bind" is chabash and in 5:18 is used for binding a wound. In 28:11 it is used to indicate that miners bind mountain streams while digging for minerals. In 34:17 it is used to describe people bound to a ruler. Those who hate right, shall they "bind" or govern? Here it means to bind in the grave in secret. Job had made an issue of the grave as an equalizer; now God focuses on the grave and its secrets. What can Job do there? Nothing.

    The word for "praise" is 'odeka from yadah and is a conclusion as "then also" wegam. God had praised Job (1 :7, 2:3) before Satan, describing him as perfect, upright, eschewing evil, holding fast to integrity. Following chapter 3, Job was no longer perfect, having departed from the Lord. He still possessed gifts and salvation but no longer could God praise him. In his four speeches Elihu had treated Job like a king. Here God still treats him like a king but He cannot praise him. Before Job can once more deserve praise, he must humble himself before his Maker. In Matt.10:32 we read Christ's statement that if we confess Him before men, He will confess us before the Father in heaven. Confession before the Father is more important than praise before men. Perhaps God is even speaking as the second Person of the Trinity, as Christ. Job cannot have praise so long as he confronts and accuses God.

    Job does not have an arm like God (40:9); therefore, his arm cannot save him. Cave people debased Job, pushing him on his right hand (30:12). According to 23:9, the right side is south, while he faces east. It was not the Israelites' hand which saved them (Ps.44:4), but the arm of the Lord and His right hand. God's arm brings salvation (ls.59:16). The word "to save" toshe'a refers to the salvation to which Job had referred in 13:16, a salvation apart from himself. Not only is the Gospel implied in the whirlwind talk, in the need for radical changes in wild animals, but it is stated here through use of the word for salvation. This ends the direct censure in the whirlwind talk. Now God introduces the two wild animals, the behemoth and leviathan. The greater power of God is in salvation rather than in law or force. Job's friends understood God's power only in terms of punishment (18:5-21, 20:12-29, 22:5, 25:2.3).

Science Apart from God

God makes the point that Job's situation is serious. Job had a deep and personal faith in God, something which many scientists today reject. But there are similarities. Job was a great man, as today's scientists are highly regarded. If Job needed humbling, today's scientists who by definition rule out God, need it more. Censuring must be done wisely, but it must be done. Unless God is included, science becomes a pagan religion.

The Behemoth (40:15-24)


(v.15) Behold, now! the behemoth, which I made with you, He eats grass as an ox.

(v.16) Behold, now! his strength is in his loins, And his manly vigor is in the firm parts of his belly.

(v.17) He bends his tail like a cedar, And the sinews of his thighs are wrapped together.

(v.18) His bones are as tubes of brass,  (Even) his bones are forged iron.

(v.19) He is the chief of the ways of God, His Maker presents to him his sword.

(v.20) Surely, the produce of the hills is brought to him, And all the beasts of the field play there.

(v.21) Under the shade tree he lies down, In the covert of the reeds and marsh.

(v.22) The shade trees cover him with shade, The willows of the brooks surround him. ;

(v.23) Behold, the violent stream does not startle him, He is confident when the Jordan breaks forth upon his mouth.

(v.24) Shall one take him when he is looking? With snares can one pierce his nose?


    Here and in the next verse we read "Behold, now!" hineeh-ha, indicating here is a creature even more important than the leviathan of chapter 41, though the leviathan is the climax and is more fierce than the behemoth. A third "behold" heen is used in 40:23. Only one "behold" is used for the leviathan. That is in 41:9 but in Hebrew it is 41:1. Though the leviathan is the climax, this indicates the behemoth is more important. Also, the behemoth is larger. Land dinosaurs seem to have been larger than those living in the oceans, but the leviathan was more fierce. In 40:19 the behemoth is described as "chief of the ways of God," indicating that, though not as fierce as the leviathan, he was more important. Both were significant creatures.

The question is whether the behemoth was a Nile River hippopotamus or whether it may have been a dinosaur such as a brontosaurus or brachiosaurus or even larger (140 feet long and weighing 80 tons). Nearly all commentators regard it is a river horse or hippopotamus. The hippo is a huge creature, sometimes weighing 2000 pounds, and it is strong. Dr. John Look, formerly a dentist and missionary in the former French Congo (now Marxist), heard of this creature as he was doing dental and mission work in the rain forest of the Congo. He heard reports from the natives that this creature could lift a canoe (with men in it) with its trunk. Roy Mackal, in his book A Living Dinosaur, describes a number of interviews on two expeditions that give evidence of the existence of both a brontosaurus and a stegosaurus in this Congo rain forest. It can lift a canoe (with men in it) with its trunk and smash it back into the water. It likes water and the ferns and vegetation described in 40:21.22. Dr. Look also notes there could be a number of true dinosaurs, at least 40 feet in length, in the Congo. The natives worship them as gods and use every device known to them to keep visitors from seeing them.

Because the behemoth is "chief of the ways of God" (40:19), it cannot be the hippopotamus. Zoeckler notes that Thomas Aquinas, Oekolomp, Zuerich, Drusius, Pfeifer, Cleric, Coccj, Schultens and J.D. Michael all think this is an elephant rather than an hippopotamus. Influenced by evolution theory, they refuse to accept that dinosaurs may have lived at the time of Job and, certainly, they refuse to believe that dinosaurs may still exist. In fact, writing in the Pulpit Commentary, Rawlinson does not accept that the behemoth might be a mammoth.

It is true that the hippopotamus comes close to fitting the description of a behemoth given here. Delitzsch compares the Egyptian "p-eh-mau" with this creature and finds "behemoth" in that expression. He thinks of the river horse of the Nile, calling it a water ox, but it is the same as an hippopotamus. It has gigantic strength in its plump loins and in the sinews of what he calls its clumsy belly. To explain the description of having a tail like a cedar (40:17), he says it was a cedar branch, not a cedar trunk. The description of bones as forged iron might apply to an hippopotamus which, of course, is a grass eater. We believe the description best fits that of a dinosaur because it is described as chief of the ways of God and because, twice, we read "behold now," giving this creature more importance than even the leviathan described in the next chapter. And, a tail bending like a cedar does not fit an hippopotamus. We believe it was a plant-eating dinosaur.

In a paper titled "Behemoth," John Allen Watson, geologist of Austin, Texas, describes in detail why the behemoth cannot be either an hippopotamus or an elephant, or even an ornithischian dinosaur. He says the description fits only a sauropod type of dinosaur. His main argument is that the behemoth is described as living in deep water, resisting water pressure. He then demonstrates that an hippopotamus or an elephant is not constructed as the behemoth is described in 40:15-24. Also, the hippopotamus is not as large as a sauropod and, therefore, does not need bones strong as brass and iron (v.18), such as a large brachiosaurus has.

We read that God made this creature with Job. There are two possibilities. Either God made Job and the creature at the same time in Job's day or, more likely, God is here referring to His creation. This would indicate Job was acquainted with God's six-day creation, possibly preserved in written form on a tablet (Gen.1 :1 1-2:4) and that Job was familiar with this tablet, written by God Himself to record events of creation week. Also, perhaps Job was acquainted with Adam's tablet (Gen. 2:4b-5:1 a) recording creation of Adam and Eve and recording that Adam named all the animals in Eden on that day. It is possible that God is telling Job something new but, more likely, He referred to something which Job already knew.

We read that God made the behemoth with Job, meaning that with creation of the first life forms, God also included coding for offspring to follow. In Heb.7:10 we read that Levi was in the loins of Abraham at the time he met Melchizedec, 150 years before Levi was born. So, also Job existed in coding since the creation when the animals too existed in coding. Thus, there is significance in the statement that God made the behemoth when He made Job.

This shows also that the word "made" has the same meaning as "create." Here the word is "make" 'asiytiy rather than "create" bara', the word generally used for "create." Here, obviously, "make" carries the same meaning as "create," for God is referring to creating, not merely to "appointing." Some people claim that because we read in Ex. 20:11 that the heavens and earth were "made" in six days, it means "appoint" rather than "create." Here "made" is used as a synonym for "create."

Zoeckler notes that the word "with you" 'imak has a comparative meaning. God made not only Job, but also this huge creature and Job was now to compare himself with it and learn of God's power, His providence and love, and be humbled. In 9:25 Job says his days are more swift than a ship in the ocean or a flying eagle, using 'im to make the comparison. In describing the summer season in Palestine, Elihu says the sky becomes "as" a molten looking glass and rain seems never to come, and the heat is unbearable. Delitzsch also stresses this comparative use of "with you" but neither he nor Zoeckler emphasizes creation at the same time.

    This designates the creature as a grass-eater, not a meat-eater. It appears from Rom. 5:12 that there was no meat-eating until following the fall into sin. Animal death and human death resulted from Adam's fall into sin. This means that in the beginning, creatures like the leviathan (ch.41) were grass-eaters. In the description in 41:14, his sharp teeth indicate he was a meat-eater. This may be why the behemoth, though not as fierce as the leviathan, is described as chief of the ways of God.

Thus, the behemoth was herbivorous or gramnivorous rather than carnivorous. Job was a peace-loving man. From chapter 31 we learn that he could have been a world power, but he would not exercise the violence needed for such a position. The grass-eater would appeal to him more than the meat-eating leviathan. The description of "chief of the ways of God" is not applied to the leviathan nor any of the other nine animals mentioned in 38:39-39:30. The moral significance served to lead Job to repentance as indicated in 42:6.

Watson mentions that a study of stomachs of elephants reveals they ate mainly grasses (9,148 pounds worth) rather than material from trees, shrubs or herbs, which accounted for only 1,147 pounds worth. They also ate material from reeds and sedges in swamps. In this respect the behemoth would be like an elephant or hippopotamus. The picture definitely fits a brachiosaurus or a sauropod.

    Though this creature is a grass-eater, he is strong and large and chief of the ways of God, an example that to be strong one need not be violent. As in the previous verse, there is another emphatic "behold, now!" creating a dramatic and powerful picture. The word for "loins" is bematenayw. This Hebrew word may refer to loins which sustain burdens, as in Ps. 66:11 or loins sustaining strength, as here. When loins are shattered, a person is damaged (Dt.33:11), but here they denote strength. The "strength" kocho here seems to denote strength through reproduction. Thus, we read strength of the firstborn of Jacob (Gen. 49:3, Dt.21:17). This is stressed more through use of the word "force" we'ono in the next phrase but is implied already in this word. It is in the loins, site of genetic reproduction coding, and this is associated with strength.

Watson refers to Ed Colbert who says each of the dinosaur's main joints in the vertebrae of large sauropods is greatly expanded to allow as much area of contact as possible. They are also on ball and socket joints and are flexible and the area between joints is expanded. There are supplementary joints between the vertebrae, not found in other animals. Spines projecting from the vertebrae are very long, especially between front and hind limbs, and up from the hips. This gives attachment for extremely long muscles running along the top of the back and overlap like cables. This makes for very strong "loins" in sauropods. This is stronger than anything an elephant or hippopotamus has.

Watson makes a distinction between natural strength as he defines kocho and power in 'ono. He says the first word refers to power to do something. The picture is of power to do something. While Watson does not comment on genetic strength, he indicates there is a difference between strength and manly vigor. All this suggests unusual strength of the behemoth.

    The word we'ono is similar to the word for "strength" kocho in the first phrase. It is stronger and refers to manly vigor associated with genetic strength, as in Gen.49:3, where Jacob speaks of Reuben, his firstborn, as being the strength of his life. Bildad uses the word in speaking of strength of the wicked hungerbitten (18:7.12). Emphasis here is on strength of the behemoth. Job had shown strength in dealing with his friends, but God controls this creature and He controls Job.

The word for "firm parts" besheriyriy is used only this once in Scripture. It seems to be another poetic form for shor and applies to firm parts of the belly. Because it is in plural form, it cannot refer to the "navel" as the KJV translates. Shor is used for "muscle," "navel." Because it is plural, we read "muscles, sinews." Some translate it as "bones," but this does not fit. The idea conveyed is that its manly vigor and force of muscles is in this huge creature's belly. Dr. Carl Baugh in Tracks Step on Evolution notes that a large bone at the bottom of a large dinosaur's belly provides much strength and allows it to move its long tail like a cedar, This makes possible a large intake of food.

Watson takes it for granted that this refers to the navel and he proceeds to show that saurischian animals have the pubis bone of the pelvis extending to the area of the navel. This is not the case in ornithischian types of dinosaurs. It makes for better attachment of muscles for breathing. Thus, saurischians breathe more easily under heavy water pressure whereas humans can breathe without pain only under about three feet of water. This is not found in an hippopotamus or elephant. Elephants do breathe in deep water, but they use lung muscles, not pelvic muscles. If the word is translated as "sinews, muscles, firm parts" rather than "navel," Watson's conclusion would still hold.

Watson also suggests that because the strength of the behemoth is in the "navel" of his belly (as he translates) or in the "firm parts" (as we translate), its young develop in the belly rather than in eggs. He says eggs would need to be too large and the shell too difficult to break, and there would be a problem with necessary oxygen. This thought may be considered. According to Watson, the Bible offers us a scientific challenge to study dinosaurs to determine whether they were reptiles or mammals. We tend to believe they were primarily reptiles.

    The Septuagint, Vulgate, and Peshito all translate yachepotz as "he stretches out" his tail. But the verb chaphatz seems to mean "to curve, to bend" and not "to stretch out." Delitzsch has a problem here because the tail of an hippopotamus, or river horse, is small and not good looking. It does not resemble a cedar tree which is long and stiff. Thus, Delitzsch says it refers only to branches, not the cedar tree itself. Obviously, this is not the tail of the hippo. A fit with a hippo here is awkward. According to Gesenius, background of the word refers to bending of wood.

Bending of the tail like a cedar tree indicates why this creature is chief of the ways of God (40:19) and explains why "behold now" is used twice here. This is a very large creature, indicating God's power and providence while also implying the need for a radical change for Job.

Watson describes the cedar tree as having one long trunk, tapering with stiff twigs and leaves. This fits a brachiosaurus which sometimes has a tail 19 feet in length and 4 1/2 feet across at the base. This demands a slow movement, not the twitching of a hippo or elephant tail. Such a tail would provide a brachiosaurus with defense and balance.

    This means the muscles of his thighs are so strong they appear intertwined like a rope. Strength and size seem to be the chief points of comparison. "Sinews" gideey means "tied together." In 10:11 Job says as an embryo in his mother's womb, he was poured out as milk, curdled like cheese, then clothed with skin and flesh. Then are added bones and sinews. They give strength to the body.

The word for "thighs" pachadaw should be pechadaw with a long second "a." According to Delitzsch, this is an Aramazing form. We would say Ugaritic rather than Aramazing, but it might also make this a regular dual. Some translate "testicles" to show it is different from an elephant or hippopotamus. Their testicles are not wrapped with muscle but are in loose folds. We prefer the translation of "thighs" for pachadaw though Gesenius notes that the Chaldeans, Vulgate and KJV all translate "testicles." Already in 40:16b we have the thought of muscles woven together and here is somewhat the same word in verb form yesoragu. It is in the Piel form, strengthening the idea of muscles woven together. This depicts especially strength. Main point of comparison is strength.

    'Atzamayw is the word commonly used for bones. In 30:30 Job speaks of his bones and flesh suffering and in 4:14, in his vision, all of Eliphaz's bones shook.

The word for "tubes" is 'aphiyqeey. It is used also for a channel or bed of a brook (Is. 8:7 and Job 6:15). In Job 41 :15 it refers to "tubes of scales" of the leviathan, and scales in general. Bones contain marrow (21:24). Watson notes that if bones were tubes they were straight, enabling them more easily to transfer weight to the ground. "Brass" means they were very strong; they needed to support 80 tons of weight.

The word for "brass" nechushah is unusual and should be nechusheh. Some translate "bronze" though he does indicate it was a hard metal which the ancients used in weapons. Emphasis is still on strength of the behemoth. In 20:24 Zophar says the Lord breaks the bow of "brass" which the KJV translates as "steel." In 41:27 we read the leviathan regards brass as rotten wood.

    There is no connective, no we 1, no "and." Here is another and stronger word for "bones" geramayw. Also, it is more poetic. In Prov.17: 22 we read that a broken spirit dries up the bones, and in Prov.25:15 that a soft tongue breaks a bone. Rawlin son leaves open the possibility that it can mean "ribs". Gesenius does not support this view.

Here the bone is as forged or drawn-out iron kimethiyl, sounding like our word for "metal." The verb means to draw out as hot iron from a forge. This adds strength to the iron, and strength is the point of comparison. It is an indictment against Job who regarded himself as strong. Here it would seem the behemoth is stronger than an hippopotamus or elephant.

    This cannot be said of the hippopotamus nor of the leviathan, though he is more fierce and is used at the climax. The behemoth is larger and more like Job who wished to be strong but peaceful.

The "ways" of God are mentioned also in Prov.8:22 where Christ, as personified Wisdom, says the Lord possessed Christ in the beginning of "His way," before His works of old, God's way representing His entire being and manner of operating. All the wonders in space are but the whisper of God's power, what then compares with His thunder!

Rawlinson fails to justify the position of the hippopotamus as chief of the ways of God. Others say it is an elephant, larger than a hippo. Neither fits the description which requires a plant-eating dinosaur of huge size, perhaps 140 feet in length and weighing 180 tons.

Scientists have confirmed this statement regarding size and weight of plant-eating dinosaurs. The problem is they date these creatures as having lived millions of years ago. Watson emphasizes the context demands "greatest" or "first" ree'shiyt in the sense of physical first, not spiritual. Only a large brachiosaurus fits.

    God is maker of dinosaurs and all other large beasts; they did not evolve. "Make" ha'oso is equivalent of "create" bara'. The word ha'oso is without the pronominal antecedent and is actually a demonstrative accusative. It is a creature with sickle-like teeth described as "his sword." The Egyptian sickle, used as a sword, looks like these teeth. This is a description of plant-eating dinosaurs such as the duckbills found in fossil form in Alberta, Canada, along the Red Deer River. They may have as many as 13 sets of teeth and a young Hadrosaurus may have 2000 teeth in his mouth at a given time. Because they eat large amounts of material containing sand, their teeth wear out fast. God provides and "draws near, presents" yageesh these unusual teeth. A brontosaurus could eat 1000 pounds of food daily.

Watson says "swords approaching" or "sword presented" refers to destruction of dinosaurs at about the time of Job. This does not seem possible to us, but it may be. It is more natural that God is referring to the unusual teeth of dinosaurs.

    The word "surely" kiy emphasizes that produce of the hills is brought to the creature. "Produce" bul is derived from a background of "rain." The hills play their part in providing produce in the valleys and plains, also of benefit to the behemoth. Glaciers in the hills serve as God's reservoirs providing summer moisture. It may be suggested here that these large creatures need more food than the valleys can supply, so they go to the hills. Because this is remarkable, we have a "surely" kiy.

    Though huge in size and fierce looking, other beasts do not fear him because he is a plant-eater. Here is evidence of God's providence in nature. Emphasis is on "all the beasts." None need fear this huge but harmless creature.

This describes Job. He was an important man and God Himself says Job was perfect (1:8, 2:3), yet he was not a dictator nor oppressor. This chief behemoth was harmless, but that is not what Job wanted to be. Job needed a miraculous change.

    The Vulgate, Syriac, Eben Ezra and KJV all translate "shade tree." Beck, Zoeckler, Delitzsch and Gesenius translate as "lotus tree." We prefer "shade tree" to emphasize it is shade which the dinosaur needs, more so than an hippopotamus would. There is a play on words. "Shade tree" here is tze'aliym plural, but in 40:22a the word for "shade" is tzilalo, an odd word in that the two Is are together. This play on words is nearly impossible to reproduce in translation. It emphasizes the need for shade for cold blooded reptiles. This is where the creature dwells. The hippopotamus lives here too, but not as much as the dinosaur. It is characteristic of reptiles.

    This creature likes to hide in the shade of reeds and marshes in the water. He is a cold-blooded creature. Reeds and marshes are characteristic of swamps. Israel is described as shaken and smitten as a reed is shaken in water (I Ki.14: 15). The poetic word for "marsh" bitzah is used also by Bildad in 8:11 where he says the rush cannot grow without mire. This is an ideal home for a reptile, especially for this dinosaur. It also provides the enormous amounts of herbage he needs.

    There are two kinds of "willows" 'arebeey: the weeping willows of Ps.137:2 and the Babylonian Salix. Here the latter seem to be meant. There is no reference to weeping or mourning.

    Here is another "behold" heen, the third in this section on the behemoth. But this does not have the "now" na'. Again, there is emphasis. The word for "violent" ya'ashoq is derived from a background of oppression and violence. It is a verb used as a noun, implying a violent and continuing action of water.

Nothing in this world is as powerful as water, but it does not startle this creature. He is chief of the ways of God. Nor was Job startled by violent arguments of his friends. Job is like this behemoth who could not be changed. Only God's miraculous power could do that.

The KJV translation, that he drinks up a river, does not apply here. The word refers to violence and oppression, and then to violent water.

Watson uses the King James translation that the behemoth drinks up a river. He calculates that a supersaurus, 98 feet long, could drink 0.31 cubic feet of water per second. At 0.25 feet per second, he could drink the entire flow of a river six feet wide and two feet long. This is interesting but perhaps unnecessary here. Although an hippopotamus is often so huge he need not fear a raging torrent of river, a plant-eating dinosaur better fits the description given.

    The King James translation that he can drink up the Jordan River may be possible for this huge creature, but that is not stated in the verb yagiyach. This word means "break forth." The thought is the Jordan River is raging and breaking forth on his mouth, but he is secure. He is so huge. At one time Job had felt secure too (ch.29), but he does not feel that way now. This picture illustrates that God is in control.

    As described in chapter 41, the leviathan cannot be captured. Here it is implied that perhaps the behemoth might in some way be snared when he is not looking. Though a grass-eater, he is so large he cannot be captured when on the lookout.

    The word "with snares" bemoqeshiym might be translated as "with cords" (37:12, Ez.19:4), but here "snares" is a better translation. As the behemoth is never caught in a trap, so Job is not caught by artifices of friends. Watson suggests that the behemoth can trigger a trap with his nose, rendering it harmless.


We shall now state reasons for believing the behemoth described here was a plant-eating dinosaur such as a brachiosaurus or brontosaurus and not a river horse or hippopotamus. Some of the descriptions do fit an hippopotamus, such as large size, eating grass, lying in the water. But an hippopotamus does not fit the picture of the chief of the ways of God. A large dinosaur would spend much time in the water to hide from heat, and he would eat grass. A reptile might even seem less harmful to other creatures than an hippopotamus. A dinosaur could withstand raging water of the river and would be difficult to snare. Description of the tail as a cedar does not apply to an hippopotamus, but fits the dinosaur. Also, muscles woven together describe a sauropod more so than a mammal or ornithischian. We believe the creature was a dinosaur. The reason most commentators do not accept this is because they think Job lived after the era of dinosaurs.

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