Serpent, Dragon, or Whale?

Discussion in 'Creation vs. Evolution' started by Administrator2, Jan 11, 2002.

  1. Administrator2

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    CHET
    Gen 1:21
    And God created great whales, {8577}and every living creature that moveth, which the waters brought forth abundantly, after their kind, and every winged fowl after his kind: and God saw that it was good.
    KJV Gen 1:21

    God created the great sea monsters{8577} and every living creature that moves,
    with which the waters swarmed after their kind, and every winged bird after its kind; and God saw that it was good.

    NASU

    OT:8577 tanniyn (tan-neen'); or tanniym (Ezek 29:3) (tan-neem'); intensive from the same as OT:8565; a marine or land monster, i.e. sea-serpent or jackal:
    In the KJV this animal is translated dragon, sea-monster, serpent, whale.

    Ex 7:9
    When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say
    unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent
    {8577}.
    KJV

    Here in Exodus it is a land creature, certainly the rod did not become a whale. Or did it even become a great sea monster?
    Job 7:12
    Am I a sea, or a whale, {8577} that thou settest a watch over me?
    KJV

    In translating Job here, other versions use the phrase sea serpent. Nearly ever other occurrence of tanniyn or tanniym is translated dragon. I just wonder if this is some sort of dinosaur type creature that would have cleared up much confusion if the KJV would have translated this animal as such, especially in Genesis one. If it is even a dinosaur. {?}
    THEN WE HAVE:
    Gen 3:1
    Now the serpent {5172} was more subtil than any beast of the field which the
    LORD God had made. And he said unto the woman, Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat
    of every tree of the garden?

    KJV

    OT:5175 nachash (naw-khawsh'); from OT:5172; a snake (from its hiss):
    This nachash seems to always be translated serpent, and it does appear from context that it is what it says, a snake. J.V. McGee taught that it was NOT a snake:

    We are introduced to the serpent. Immediately the question can reasonably be asked, Where in the world did he come from? How did he get into the Garden of Eden? As far as I can tell from the Word of God, the serpent was not there as a slithering creature. Actually, we are not told how he came there; we are just told he was there. The word of God leaves a great deal out. The serpent was a creature that could be used of Satan, and Satan used him. Isn’t that exactly the method that Satan uses today? Paul wrote to the Corinthians: and no marvel; for Satan himself is transformed into an angel of light (2Cor 11:14). The book of Revelation says more about Satan than anywhere else in Scripture. And the great dragon was cast out, that the old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out unto the earth and his angels were cast out with him. (Rev 12:9). This creature was not a slithering snake as we think of it today. That is not the picture that the Word of God gives of him at all. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, And Satan, and bound him a thousand years (Rev 20:2) This is a creature with tremendous ability. There is no record of his origin here in Genesis at all. I believe that Isaiah 14 and Ezekiel 28 give us the origin of this creature and also how he became the creature he was.

    Then it seems that these two different Hebrew words are interchanging a bit. Are they two different creatures? Or just two different Hebrew Words describing the same exact animal. Example:
    Ex 7:9
    When Pharaoh shall speak unto you, saying, Shew a miracle for you: then thou shalt say unto Aaron, Take thy rod, and cast it before Pharaoh, and it shall become a serpent.{8577}
    KJV

    Ex 7:10
    And Moses and Aaron went in unto Pharaoh, and they did so as the LORD had commanded: and Aaron cast down his rod before Pharaoh, and before his servants, and it became a serpent.{8577}
    KJV

    Ex 7:15
    Get thee unto Pharaoh in the morning; lo, he goeth out unto the water; and thou shalt stand by the river's brink against he come; and the rod which was turned to a serpent {5175} shalt thou take in thine hand.
    KJV

    What are these critters. Should Genesis chapter one have been translated great dinosaurs or dragons? Should Satan not be considered a snake as we think of him in the Garden of Eden? Was Satan really some sort of dragon, or dinosaur?
    Any thoughts?


    THE BARBARIAN
    The serpent, in the ancient Middle East was a symbol of immortality (it was a serpent who stole immortality from Gilgamesh), and wisdom, and health.
    So, the serpent would be the perfect representation of the temptation to become like God.
    The irony is that the serpent was partially telling the truth. Humans did become like God, to know good and evil.
    And (as the prophets pointed out) all serve God's purposes in the long run. By becoming like God, we became potentially capable of fellowship with Him, to share in the joy and wonder of His creation and to be with Him in Heaven.
    Not being truly good, however, we could not do that. That is why Jesus became man, to teach us, to live among us, and to save us by His death and Resurrection.
    A dinosaur doesn't quite work.
    However, unlikely as it might be, one can never absolutely reject the notion that somewhere, a relict population of large reptiles might still be around.
    The marine crocodiles of australia, with the big ones about 20 feet long, would qualify. We also know that at one time the large monitors, like the Komodo dragon, were much larger and more widespread than today.
    So there's plenty of candidates for "big serpent". Whales, at least superficially, could be classified as "serpents", I suppose.


    HELEN
    Hi Chet,
    Well, Barbarian answered you with mythologies and stuff that is not from the Lord. I'd like to try to correct that if I can. I have just spent the most delightful several hours tracking down a lot of stuff in your post to find out more. And one thing led to another.... and another.... and another....
    Here is what I have so far. See what you or anyone else thinks. (I know Barbarian will disagree with stuff, but hey, that's a given!)
    In the Bible, animals are mostly classified by the way they move. Thus bats are in there with birds, whales with the fish, etc.
    First of all, though, about the Hebrew word "nahas" or "nachash" -- it has two different meanings, depending on where the accent is. We do the same with a few English words, like 'reFUSE' and 'REfuse.' One meaning for 'nahas' is 'divination, sorcery, interpret omens', etc. The second meaning is 'snake, serpent'. That, to begin with, is interesting all by itself!
    What fascinated me when I read your post was not the 'serpent' but the 'subtle' or 'subtil' reference. How easily we pass over that. In the NIV it is translated 'crafty.' The word is 'arum', used eleven times in the Old Testament. The Strong's Concordance also lists the word as 'cunning' and says it is usually used in the negative sense.
    Well, eleven times is not too often to look something up in the way it is used in verses, so I did. Here they are. The translation of the word is in bold each time. This is very interesting (quotes taken from the NIV with my encouragement to check other translations as well)...

    1. Proverbs 12:16A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult.

    2. Proverbs 12:23A prudent man keeps his knowledge to himself, but the heart of fools blurts out folly.

    3. Proverbs 13:16 Every prudent man acts out of knowledge, but a fool exposes his folly.

    4. Proverbs 14:8The wisdom of the prudent is to give thought to their ways, but the folly of fools is deception.

    5. Proverbs 14:15A simple man believes anything, but a prudent man gives thought to his steps.

    6. Proverbs 14:18The simple inherit folly, but the prudent are crowned with knowledge.

    7. Proverbs 22:3 A prudent man sees danger and takes refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

    8. Proverbs 27:12The prudent see danger and take refuge, but the simple keep going and suffer for it.

    9. Genesis 3:1Now the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the Lord God had made. He said to the woman, "Did God really say, 'you must not eat from any tree in the garden'?

    10. Job 5:12 -- [Eliphaz is speaking here] He thwarts the plans of the crafty so that their hands achieve no success.

    11. Job 15:5 -- [Eliphaz is again speaking] Your sin prompts your mouth; you adopt the tongue of the crafty.

    So the word is used ONLY in the two oldest books and Proverbs. That's interesting. In Genesis and Job it is used in a negative sense and in Proverbs, a positive sense. Now, when Jesus told us to be as wise as serpents (Matthew 10:16), the Greek word translates as 'wise' or 'shrewd'.

    I look at Eliphaz' words again and realize he was one of the first three false friends of Job. Was Job crafty, shrewd, cunning, or prudent? He was certainly prudent in refusing to curse God.

    Going back to the serpent in the garden. I look at the way they move (we raised a gopher snake from a hatchling to a four foot beast one time), and it is quietly, carefully, patiently when necessary. Their movements are certainly the picture of prudence! And, again, it is the way of locomotion that the Old Testament generally uses to classify animals. And the serpent is truly different from other animals in its movement. Is that what is being referred to in Genesis, first of all? And, as so much else in the physical world, is this then a picture of being very careful -- call it prudent, crafty, shrewd, or what have you?
    When Satan took the snake's body in order to communicate with Eve, there is no doubt that he was very careful with his phrasing of words and the way he tempted her. And, as Paul later said, the woman was, indeed, deceived.

    This helps clarify things, at least for me, about the serpent in the Garden of Eden.
    I look at God's words to the serpent when Adam and Eve and Satan are all being confronted. God does not say the serpent will lose his legs, as has often been inferred, but that he will crawl on his belly all the days of his life -- and that this will be a reminder of the curse. It would not have reminded anyone of anything before sin, but certainly would have after!
    Going on to 'tannin' or 'tanniyn', it is used fifteen times in the Old Testament. Here they are, again from the NIV with encouragement to check other translations:

    1. Job 7:12 -- (Job is speaking) Am I the sea, or the monster of the deep, that you put me under guard?

    2. Psalm 74:13-14 (because these are parallel verses) – It was you who split open the sea by your power; you who broke the heads of the monster in the waters.
    It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.


    3. Isaiah 27:1In that day,
    the Lord will punish with his sword,
    his fierce, great and powerful sword,
    Leviathan the gliding serpent [nahas],
    Leviathan the coiling serpent [nahas];
    he will slay the monster of the sea.


    4. Isaiah 51:9 Awake, awake! Clothe yourself with strength,
    O arm of the Lord;
    awake, as in days gone by,
    as in generations of old.
    Was it not you who cut Rahab to pieces,
    who pierced that monster through?


    5. Ezekiel 29:3Speak to him and say: 'This is what the Sovereign Lord says:
    "I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt,
    you great monster lying among your streams.
    You say, 'The Nile is mine;
    I made it for myself.'"


    6. Ezekiel 32:2Son of man, take up a lament concerning Pharaoh king of Egypt and say to him:
    'You are like a lion among the nations;
    you are like a monster in the seas
    thrashing about in our streams,
    churning the water with your feet
    and muddying the streams.'


    7-9. Exodus 7:8-12Then the Lord said to Moses and Aaron, "When Pharaoh says to you, 'Perform a miracle,' then say to Aaron, 'Take your staff and throw it down before Pharaoh, and it will become a snake.'
    So Moses and Aaron went to Pharaoh and did just as the Lord commanded. Aaron threw his staff down in front of Pharaoh and his officials, and it became a snake. Pharaoh then summoned wise men and sorcerers, and the Egyptian magicians also did the same things by their secret arts: Each one threw down his staff and it became a snake. But Aaron's staff swallowed up their staffs.


    10. Psalm 91:13 -- (I am starting with verse 9 because the meaning here will be significant)
    If you make the Most High your dwelling --
    even the Lord, who is my refuge --
    Then no harm will befall you,
    no disaster will come near your tent.
    for he will command his angels concerning you
    to guard you in all your ways;
    they will life you up in their hands
    so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
    You will tread upon the lion and the cobra;
    you will trample the great lion and the serpent.


    11. Jeremiah 51:34Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon has devoured us,
    he has thrown us into confusion,
    he has made us an empty jar.
    Like a serpent he has swallowed us
    and filled his stomach with our delicacies,
    and then has spewed us out.


    12. Genesis 3:21 So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good.

    13. Psalm 148:7 – Praise the Lord from the earth,
    you great sea creatures and all ocean depths.


    14. Nehemiah 2:13By night I went out through the Valley Gate toward the Jackal Well and the Dung Gate, examining the walls of Jerusalem, which had been broken down, and its gates, which had been destroyed by fire.

    15. Deuteronomy 32:32-33 -- (From the Song of Moses, speaking of the enemies of Israel) Their vine comes from the vine of Sodom
    and from the fields of Gomorrah.
    Their grapes are filled with poison,
    and their clusters with bitterness.
    Their wine is the venom of serpents,
    the deadly poison of cobras.


    OK, I'm going to give you a few of my thoughts which ran through my head while checking these verses and typing them down.
    As in the Parables of Jesus, God seems to have created everything to show us something. This does NOT take away from the physical reality of the thing, but it does add an extra dimension of reality to it. For instance, the Ark is considered a type of Christ (get in or get dead), and Egypt a type for sin. So now we have tannin. Something a well was named after outside of Jerusalem even though the word has come down to us as "Jackal." In checking the King James, the word is translated "Dragon." That is interesting.

    Putting some of the stuff together, I think a few points can be made and I am going to let my mind chew on a lot of this before I try to say more than that!

    1. In checking Leviathan in Job, I saw that there were no legs mentioned, but that "his undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge. He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment." The above verses from Isaiah mention him as 'coiling' and 'gliding.' So I think it is safe to say that one of the points made about Leviathan is that it was snake-like in having no legs. Thus, it was not a dragon or dinosaur as we would think of them, as they were land creatures. But there is another class of extinct 'biggies' which dwelt in the sea, and were referred to as 'sea monsters' up to the time of Columbus, if not later. So it seems a Leviathan was, in the physical sense, a serpent-like sea monster of rather enormous size, which terrified men. However Genesis 1 says that when God created all the great creatures of the sea, He saw that it was good.

    2. THEREFORE, Leviathan BECAME a symbol of evil, perhaps because Satan used the serpent to communicate with Eve?

    3. In Ezekiel 28 and Isaiah 14 we have reference to Satan before he fell. His sin, like that of Sodom and Gomorrah, was pride. Pride is always associated with making oneself 'large' in one's own eyes. Just a thought as to the connection…

    4. It would seem to me that the miracle of Aaron's staff was not just physical, but that there was something about those snaky things that was clearly identified with Leviathan and/or evil, because of the word 'tannin' that is used there.

    5. The reference to the serpent in the garden being crafty, or subtle, since it also translates as prudent, may be referring to his way of moving and not his intelligence or how he uses it. Crafty, subtle, and prudent are anthropomorphisms when applied to an animal, as they require human reasoning (or non-human in the sense of angelic). But we can also refer to movements as subtle, certainly, or to the instinct which causes a cat to sneak up on a mouse as 'crafty.' Even the opossum, playing dead, can be said to be both 'crafty' and 'prudent' - but it is all instinct. Nevertheless, Satan chose this animal to speak through, and that is interesting, too. Something, on a side note here, which has occurred to me before is that Eve was not surprised at communicating with Satan - or Lucifer as she probably knew him. He had, according to Ezekiel, been appointed guardian cherub of Eden. So Eve would have been familiar with him. This also makes his betrayal of Adam and Eve all the more d a m n i n g. (I have to print the word that way in order to use it correctly or the program will wipe it out!)

    Those are just some thoughts. I have a ton more boiling around in the mudpots of my mind, but they are still covered with mud and I want to clean them up a bit and look at them before sharing any more ideas!


    CHET
    Helen,
    Thank you so very much! This is great. I am going to print it out and analize it. Believe me your work was not wasted. I will respond to it this week. I was really hoping that you would respond. God Bless


    THE BARBARIAN
    Most likely, Matthew 10:16 has more than one level of meaning. Certainly being prudent, though innocent, would be good advice for those who were about to become a persecuted minority among Romans and Jews alike.
    But there's more. The balance between the prudent serpent (which also symbolized immortality and health in that part of the world) and the innocent dove, becomes clearer when one sees that these symbols mean immortality/cleanliness and the Holy Spirit respectively.

    Jesus seems to be advising His people to be open to the Paraclete. Further down, in Matthew 10:19-20:
    "But when they deliver you up, take no thought how or what ye shall speak; for it shall be given you in that same hour what ye shall speak."
    And later..
    Matthew 10:28-42, He addresses the promise of eternal life and reward in Him for the faithful.
    These symbols may be strange to us, but His followers would have understood completely.

    [ January 11, 2002: Message edited by: Administrator ]
     
  2. Administrator2

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    CHET
    Helen
    Certainly is an interesting study isn’t it? Well you sure opened it up even more for me. God’s word is so wonderful, and to study his creation is such a blessing.

    Well, Barbarian answered you with mythologies and stuff that is not from the Lord.

    This is nothing new. I am interested only in the Biblical answers, so anything else is a complete waste of time. Thanks for your Biblical response.


    In the Bible, animals are mostly classified by the way they move.

    This statement is really key in understanding what you will be talking about with the word subtle. Your studies really caused me to think of this in a different way. So, would you say that the word kind would classify the way animals move? God uses kind, evolutionist use species. What exactly is a species(?). What exactly would be considered kind(?) I leaned toward the common sense aspect of the word kind. Anyway, On the word subtle I admittedly was a bit dismayed by your findings. I don’t disagree with anything you wrote, but I was slightly taken by the fact that the same Hebrew word used to describe Satan in Genesis, was used in a positive note in the Wisdom of Solomon, Proverbs. And as you pointed out, the two oldest books, Job and Genesis it is negative. Your thoughts are that this describes the creature Satan presents himself as. And Helen this makes incredible sense to me. Do you think that it is then correct to say that the word crafty was not describing Satan himself, but the beast that Satan was? This would sure help in the understanding of the positives of Proverbs. But to be honest the verse in Job throws me off. Let me ask you yet another on this topic. Why did God curse this creature for what Satan did?


    God seems to have created everything to show us something. This does NOT take away from the physical reality of the thing, but it does add an extra dimension of reality to it.

    I really like this statement, and it sets up the rest of what you have taught concerning Leviathan, Kent Hovind (whom I know you warned against and I have heeded your warning, but sadly) taught that this was a big dinosaur of some type, and that he breathed out real literal fire. He used the fire beetle as an example as this insect has three different chemicals, and when two of them are mixed it produces a 220 degree substance. He thinks Leviathan could do this same thing. I always pictured in my mind as a creature with legs, but now I am thinking different as your description makes good sense. Let me ask, do you think that Leviathan was actually the one who spoke to eve in the garden?

    While we are on these critters, what are your thoughts on Behemoth. {930} This word actually appears in the book of Job one time in the plural form, BUT in singular form {929} it is all over the OT. It is translated beast and cattle (kjv). Naturally our mind thinks of a cow, but is this what is being communicated, and could cattle be a generalization. Second, it is also taught by some that behemoth is a dinosaur, as the description is used in Job is quite unique.


    Those are just some thoughts. I have a ton more boiling around in the mudpots of my mind, but they are still covered with mud and I want to clean them up a bit and look at them before sharing any more ideas!

    Well you better get out the garden hose and start cleaning I want to know all of those thoughts! Thanks for the great study. You know Helen, I have shared some of this with some others and your the first person to have really cared. Thanks. I will look so much forward to more you have to write.


    JOHNV
    Important:
    Dinosaurs are not reptiles, and vice versa. We sometimes mis-use the word dinosaur to describe extinct animals.
    For example, the TRex, Brachiosaur, and Spinosaur were all dinusaurs.
    The Pteradactyl was flying reptile, not a dinosaur.
    The Wolly Mammoth was not even around during the jurassic era. It was a modern mammal, having died out 10,000 (i think) years ago. They were even hunted by humans for food and hides.
    The Alligator is a cretaceous animal, dating back about 70 million years. But they're still around. And it's not a dinosaur, it's a crocodillian.
    Oh, I almost forgot. In a bible class in college we talked about the behemoth. The professor said that this was most likely a hippopotomus, which would have been common and formidable animals of the time.


    GARPIER
    If T rex was not a reptile, what was it, a bird, a mammal, an amphibian???
    And if your Bible professor thought that behemoth was a hippo, where did he ever see a hippo with a tail like a cedar?


    THE BARBARIAN
    Job 40:15-17
    Behold now the behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
    Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.
    He moveth his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.

    "Tail", in this case fellahs, is almost certainly a euphemism.


    GARPIER
    As long as were going to quote from Job let's finish the passage:

    18: His bones are as strong as pieces of brass; his bones are llike bars of iron.19: He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to uppropach 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 thee reed and fenns.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 in his mouth. 24: He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares

    Sounds to me like a dinosaur, how about you?
    God spoke to Job of a creature he was familiar with and although I'm certain you don't believe the Biblical account, that doesn't change the truth of it one bit.


    HELEN
    Helen: In the Bible, animals are mostly classified by the way they move.
    Chet: This statement is really key in understanding what you will be talking about with the word subtle.


    We tend to be awful 'ethno-centric' - meaning we tend to see everything through the eyes of our culture and our time, as though we had the only 'right' answers. Our biological taxonomic system, started by Linneaus, was originally based on simply body type. It has been expanded since then to reflect genetics and some other things. Is this the 'right' way to do it? For our purposes, sure. But other peoples at other times have used their own ways of referring to groups of animals, and one of the biblical ways (there are several in the Bible, by the way) is by means of locomotion. What anyone needs to do when reading material from another time and place is try to understand any seeming 'weird' differences. Some are not so weird!


    Chet: Your studies really caused me to think of this in a different way. So, would you say that the word kind would classify the way animals move?

    No, I don't think so. The Hebrews classified animals by the ways in which they moved, but in Genesis 1, we seem to see a classification more in terms of reproduction. They are created according to kind and are to reproduce that way. That is why one of the simpler checks for the possibility of two different sorts of animals belonging to the same kind is to see if they will mate successfully or if artificial insemination will produce a living offspring.


    God uses kind, evolutionist use species. What exactly is a species(?). What exactly would be considered kind(?) I leaned toward the common sense aspect of the word kind.

    Common sense ain't so common. Go for it! As for definitions, the definition of species is still debated among the professionals, but it generally tends to center on the idea of an interbreeding, isolated population, and sometimes the stipulation is made that they must then refuse to breed with a sister or parent population.

    Kind is different (although the actual definition of species - a couple of hundred years ago - was the biblical kind). Kind refers to all the descendents of an original population. So, actually, it's about as vague as species in its own way! We try to check for species by checking breeding preferences. We have a few more checks for 'kind,' including the hybridization. But there is current work in both fields.


    Anyway, On the word subtle I admittedly was a bit dismayed by your findings. I don't disagree with anything you wrote, but I was slightly taken by the fact that the same Hebrew word used to describe Satan in Genesis, was used in a positive note in the Wisdom of Solomon, Proverbs. And as you pointed out, the two oldest books, Job and Genesis it is negative.

    There have been a lot of times when a real study in the Word of God has jerked me off my complacent "I think I understand this" stool and I have found myself picking myself up off the proverbial floor in amazement. We always think of Satan as evil from the beginning. But evil does not always appear evil, does it? In fact, if temptation came with a sign saying "this is temptation", who would be tempted? Well, if it was chocolate…. -- never mind! But you know what I mean. I am wondering if Satan did not approach Eve in a quiet, gentle, SUBTLE manner which did not alarm her at all. Life was new. All manner of things were new. So maybe this was something new, too. New things had not hurt so far… for all I know, she may have been delighted with the encounter at first! I seriously doubt there was a warning bit of music playing in the background.


    Your thoughts are that this describes the creature Satan presents himself as. And Helen this makes incredible sense to me. Do you think that it is then correct to say that the word crafty was not describing Satan himself, but the beast that Satan was?

    Perhaps Satan chose to speak through that animal because of the sort of animal it was? Perhaps (now, remember, these thoughts are not all nicely hosed off yet&#8230 ;), the Leviathan became a symbol of Satan BECAUSE Satan had chosen a land animal that looked something like it? Maybe the moderator or Barnabas can correct me here, but it seems to me that there is a use of the word 'sea' in Isaiah particularly that is specifically referred to as meaning the masses of people. Playing around - and just playing, please - with thoughts from this point, perhaps using that largest of sea animals as a representative of Satan was then a warning picture that evil is right here among us? I don't know. Please understand I don't know. That's what I mean when I say thoughts are boiling around in the mudpots of my mind, though!


    This would sure help in the understanding of the positives of Proverbs. But to be honest the verse in Job throws me off. Let me ask you yet another on this topic. Why did God curse this creature for what Satan did?

    All of creation was cursed. The ground itself was cursed. We were to take dominion of His creation, remember? When the leader falls, there goes the nation! We took creation with us, snake and all. It is just that the snake is mentioned as a permanent symbol of what happened.


    Helen: God seems to have created everything to show us something. This does NOT take away from the physical reality of the thing, but it does add an extra dimension of reality to it.

    Chet: I really like this statement, and it sets up the rest of what you have taught concerning Leviathan, Kent Hovind (whom I know you warned against and I have heeded your warning, but sadly [I'm sorry. Pray for him. He reaches a LOT of people and it would be so great if he watched some of what he said more closely!]) taught that this was a big dinosaur of some type, and that he breathed out real literal fire. He used the fire beetle as an example as this insect has three different chemicals, and when two of them are mixed it produces a 220 degree substance. He thinks Leviathan could do this same thing. I always pictured in my mind as a creature with legs, but now I am thinking different as your description makes good sense. Let me ask, do you think that Leviathan was actually the one who spoke to eve in the garden?


    OK. No, I don't think leviathan was in the garden of Eden. I think it became a symbol a bit later, perhaps. They seem to have been entirely water-dwelling, to judge from what the book of Job says. So it wasn't a 'dinosaur', as they were land animals, or at least swampy land animals, perhaps, for some of the very large ones. Did it expel fire? The Bible says it did. The Lord in the Book of Job makes very explicit mention of that. The bug you are referring to is the Bombadier (sp?) beetle. I had the opportunity to see my first live ones in a university lab this last August. They were the Mexican variety and much smaller than I expected. Their little pops of explosion when we touched them were sure stinky! What I did learn, from Mark Armitage, who is the man working with them in his microscopy lab, is that perhaps both evolutionists and creationists have been wrong about them and the mechanism. But I don't want to spill the beans. That's his research and his future article. But yes, there are some very surprising things built into some critters, and I personally don't have any trouble accepting the idea that there was a very large sea creature who could expel fire or firey material from somewhere in his face or snout. Some time ago, who would have scorned electric eels, or iridescent and fluorescent sea-dwelling creatures? There is just so much we don't know!


    While we are on these critters, what are your thoughts on Behemoth. {930} This word actually appears in the book of Job one time in the plural form, BUT in singular form {929} it is all over the OT. It is translated beast and cattle (kjv). Naturally our mind thinks of a cow, but is this what is being communicated, and could cattle be a generalization. Second, it is also taught by some that behemoth is a dinosaur, as the description is used in Job is quite unique.

    I'll sure give you unique. I'll also veto hippo, which is being discussed on another thread here. The word used in Job 40:15 (b'hemot, or b'hemowth) is not actually a plural (the Strongs' says "in form a plural, but really a singular…"), but another form of the word 'b'hemah'. It is used ONLY that once in the Bible, while the form used multiple times is never translated as anything other than a field animal or wild beast! So I think it was different.
    We may very easily be dealing with a dinosaur of some kind here. It may have its name because it 'feeds on grass like an ox.' Job 40:19 says he 'ranks first among the works of God,' so I think hippo is definitely out! He was not omnivorous, as 'all the wild animals play nearby.' That would make me think he was pretty slow and predictable, actually! Verse 21 says he "lies under the lotus plants, hidden among the reeds in the marsh", although "When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth."

    So he was in the Jordan River, among other places. Verse 20 says the hills BRING him their produce. I'm not sure what that means, but produce is what he ate! And he was awfully big. He rested in the marshes. His bones and thighs are compared to bronze and iron and the last part of the description is the rhetorical question, "Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?" -- meaning that was impossible.

    I think I can go with a dinosaur or something awfully like a dinosaur here. It will be interesting to find out someday, won't it?


    PAUL OF EUGENE
    As long as we conjecture about behemoth, I find it strange that some people insist it was an animal Job was familiar with. The Bible nowhere says that. It could easily have been shown to Job in a dream or vision for his education and that would be perfectly consistent with the Biblical story. And if that happened, we don't even have any proof that the animal is native to this planet. Job might have been shown an extra-terrestrial beast!

    That would be perfectly legitament in terms of showing the greatness of what God can make. Bottom line - we don't know for sure what Job was shown that day.
     

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