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Origin[]

Behemoth3

“Behemoth and Leviathan”, watercolour by William Blake from his “Illustrations of the Book of Job” (1827).

Behemoth is a beast mentioned in Job 40:15-24. Suggested identities range from dinosaur to crocodile to a mythological creature. Metaphorically, the name has come to be used for any extremely large or powerful entity. Job 40:15-24 describes Behemoth, and then the sea-monster Leviathan, to demonstrate to Job the futility of questioning God, who alone has created these beings and who alone can capture them. Both beasts are chaos monsters destroyed by the deity at the time of creation, although such a conflict is not found in the creation account.

Description in Job 40:15-24[]

Behold now the behemoth that I have made with you; he eats grass like cattle. Behold now his strength is in his loins and his power is in the navel of his belly. His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. His limbs are as strong as copper, his bones as a load of iron. His is the first of God's ways; only his Maker can draw His sword. For the mountains bear food for him, and all the beasts of the field play there. Does he lie under the shadows, in the cover of the reeds and the swamp? Do the shadows cover him as his shadow? Do the willows of the brook surround him? Behold, he plunders the river, and does not harden; he trusts that he will draw the Jordan into his mouth. With His eyes He will take him; with snares He will puncture his nostrils.

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