Behemoth has been a source of controversy and speculation for years. Some people just read a footnote in their Bible and believe that Behemoth is an hippopotamus or an elephant (commentators include Family Bible Notes, Geneva Bible Notes, John Welsey’s Notes and Matthew Henry). They give themselves to this conclusion without exploring the evidence. So, what is the evidence?
First, we must review the account Job has given us of what God told him about this beast (believe you me, if anyone is to know everything about Behemoth it is God)!
Job 40:15 ¶ Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.
18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.
19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.
20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.
22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.
23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.
24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
So, why can’t people just except that it is an elephant or a hippopotamus? Well, look at the description of its’ tail. Imagine if an elephant or an hippopotamus had a tail like “a cedar”!
We can see that those animals just don’t meet the requirements.
The above description could easily describe multiple dinosaurs, including Brachiosaurus, Diplodocus and Apatosaurus. These dinosaurs all had tails like cedars and were at least herbivores.
The name for Diplodocus actually means “double beam lizard” and is believed to have great strength in the stomach area. Also, Diplodocus was described as having beam-like bones, much like God’s description of “his bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron”.
Another worthy note is that Behemoth is described as being an herbivore. He also is very strong in his stomach area and his legs.
Now, the passage about the Jordan river and Behemoth could mean two things. One that Behemoth can drink a lot of a lot. Two, that he can be submerged up to his mouth in water and not worry.
The interesting thing about the second meaning is that a lot of sauropods (the family of Brachiosaur, Camarasaurus, etc.) had nostrils located in the top of their head! If Brachiosaur, Camarasaurus or Apatosaurus got caught got in a flood that reached to his mouth he could still breathe because of nostrils on the top of his head. This is amazing evidence for Behemoth being a dinosaur, and a sauropod at that!
So, as the evidence suggests, Behemoth was most likely a sauropod dinosaur, more specifically Brachiosaur, Apatosaurus or Diplodocus!