by Henry M. Morris III, D.Min.
“Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? . . . None is so fierce that dare stir him up: who then is able to stand before me?” (Job 41:1, 10)
After telling Job about the behemoth, indicating it was such a great land animal that God considered it the “chief” of His ways, God turned to the other creature He drew special attention to—the leviathan. Whatever this animal was, it is no longer with us, but Job was familiar with it.
Apparently, it was a semi-aquatic animal with a fierce character and strong body with “comely proportion” and precision scales that could withstand spears, darts, or javelins (Job 41:9-17, 26). ICR scientists have suggested fossil evidence might identify this animal as a Spinosaurus, with a bony sail on its back up to seven feet high. Dr. Tim Clarey verifies it had long, narrow jaws with round, reptile-like teeth in the lower jaw and larger, more dinosaur-like teeth in the upper jaw.
But when God speaks of “neesings” (sneezes) that cause “sparks of fire [to] leap out,” with smoke coming out of its nose like “a seething pot or caldron,” we get the impression that this creature was something very unusual! “Out of his mouth go burning lamps . . . . His breath kindleth coals, and a flame goeth out of his mouth” (Job 41:18-21). Some suggest this animal was a crocodile, but that hardly seems sufficient considering the language that God Himself used.
ICR scientist Brian Thomas notes that while crocodiles match some of leviathan’s attributes, they fall short of disrupting shipping lanes, breathing fire, generating luminescent wakes, being utterly unapproachable, and having impenetrable hides. Either God is an awful exaggerator, or man is trying his best to ignore the message of Scripture. HMM III
Adapted from The Book of Beginnings by Dr. Henry M. Morris III.