Job 41:1, 6, 30
“Canst thou draw out leviathan with an hook? or his tongue with a cord [which] thou lettest down? Shall the companions make a banquet of him? shall they part him among the merchants? Sharp stones [are] under him: he spreadeth sharp pointed things upon the mire.”
The entire forty-first chapter of the book of Job describes a creature called “leviathan.” As in his earlier description of “behemoth,” the Lord is impressing Job with the wisdom and might of His creating power.
And “leviathan” is an impressive creature indeed! We are told that he cannot be made to serve humans. Nor would any person make the mistake of fighting “leviathan” a second time. Leviathan is mighty and graceful, yet he regards iron as straw, for iron cannot pierce his armored scales. Even his undersides have sharp, armored scales. What could this fearsome creature be?
Some translations suggest that “leviathan” is a river crocodile. But it has been pointed out that this description doesn’t even come close to fitting the most fearsome crocodile. For one thing, crocodiles don’t have sharp scales on their undersides. Rather, their undersides are soft and easily pierced, even with a knife. And even in Old Testament times, some people made their living killing river crocodiles and making leather of their hides. In many places, river crocodiles nearly became extinct because of hunting.
No, say many creationists, this is not a river crocodile, nor does it seem to be any other familiar creature. But it is possible that it could be a water dwelling dinosaur – perhaps like a tylosaurus. We can’t be sure, of course. But the creature described in Job 41 does fit what we know about these giant reptiles.
Lord, there are many surprises for us as we discover new examples of Your power and creativity. Keep my mind open to learning these new things so that I may have yet more reason to praise and glorify You. Amen.
Photo: Restoration of Tylosaurus proriger with a tail fluke.