The changing of Behemoth and Leviathan....

Discussion in '2004 Archive' started by JeffM, May 21, 2004.

  1. JeffM

    JeffM
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    Does anyone else have a problem with some of the translations turning awesome creatures (Dinosaurs?) such as the Behemoth and the Leviathan into hippos and crocodiles?

    This very thing has changed me immensly. I used to doubt creation until I started reading a KJV Bible and studied what a behemoth and leviathan really were. Then it was like a light went on and when I realized what awesome creatures they must have been, even possibly being dinosaurs, I literally fell to my knees and asked the Lords forgiveness for doubting his word, and his creation. It was life changing for me to say the least. I was greatly humbled.

    I could almost imagine what Job was going through as he listened to God explain just how mighty he really is and showing Job the awesome creatures that he created.

    Now, when I read some of my older Bibles and see how man degrades and doubts God by replacing these awesome creatures with puny Crocs and hippos, easily subduded by man, it both saddens and angers me at the same time.

    How do you feel?
     
  2. Dr. Bob

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    Concur, Jeff. Man sought OBJECTIVE answers to the poetic (and often hyperbole) SUBJECTIVE descriptions by finding beasts that seemed to fit the name.

    No one is sure what a "liv-yaw-than" was/is. I prefer to use the Hebrew word transliterated (put in English letters) instead of "guessing" it was a croc or abalone or crocabalone!
     
  3. Bartholomew

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    Very good point, JeffM. Very good point. When was the last time you saw a fire-breathing crocodile???
     
  4. Debby in Philly

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    Love that one! Can I use it?
     
  5. Scott J

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    Jeff, Can you list the versions that have changed these words in the text itself?

    KJVO's persistently say that marginal readings provided by the KJV translators have no bearing. I went to Biblegateway.com and looked the references up in a few different versions. Several of them give a margin note that says these are unknown animals. Others suggest a possible identity. All put behemoth and leviathan in the text.
     
  6. Johnv

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    Nothing's been changed. That's what they were.

    The word "behemoth" was translated from the Hebrew word behmowth (a term borrowed from the egyiptians), which means "water ox". "Water Ox" is what the Hebrews called the animla we today know as the hippopotamus.

    The word "leviathan" livyathan is similar. It was used to refer to a dragon or sea serpent. The animal we call the crocodile was called such by the Hebrews.

    Understanding these words to mean such does not in any way support or compromise YEC beliefs, not does it support or compromise non YEC beliefs.
     
  7. JeffM

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    Scott,

    I have a 1980's copy "THE BOOK" and it uses Hippo and crocodile.

    My NASB (NELSON) of 1977 says Leviathan and behemoth but makes sure in the footnotes that it is "more likely" a hippopontamus and a crocodile.

    My Grandmother's "Living Bible" also says Leviathan and Behemoth, but it too implies in study notes at the bottom that it means hippo and croc.

    My "New Open Bible" NASB also says Leviathan and Behemoth but dedicates a whole page to the controversy of what a behemoth and leviathan actually were. It does end up supporting the fact the the Behemoth and the leviathan could not be hippos and crocodiles, but some enormous, wonderous creature, or God would not use them as examples of his power.
     
  8. JeffM

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    Johnv,

    I don't know where you live, but I have never seen a hippo with the tail like a cedar tree, small stick maybe, but not a tree and I have never seen a crocodile breath fire.
     
  9. Scott J

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    Thanks Jeff.

    I think this has been discussed with John before. It still mystifies me how he can hold the assertion that these are hippos and crocs considering the surrounding texts. The words may have been borrowed but the definitions must have changed since they don't fit the descriptions given in the Bible.
     
  10. Johnv

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    You've clearly never seen a cedar tree. A cedar tree is long and skinny, with scraggly branches. Just like a hippo's tail.

    Now, if you think it's a dinosaur, then there's a problem. Dinosaurs had internal sexual organs, like modern reptiles. The behemoth had testicles, as described in Job.
    There's never been any animal that breathes fire.... unless you believe in fire breathing dragons. The latter part of this chapter becomes analogous. Job gives the leviathan properties of evil, and then goes on to say that God defeats the leviathan.


    Snce Job was written long after the time of Noah, you can't make the claim that fire breathing dragons died in the flood.

    It's also important to know that Job lived in the land of Uz, which was in or near the land of Edom. This area extended both southwest and southeast of the Dead Sea, in an area that is now mostly a desert. Job would have definitely encountered hippos and crocodiles. It is not at all unbiblical to attibute these animals to Job. Notice in the story that after the Lord spoke these things to Job, he repented in dust and ashes. God was not telling Job about a sea monster or a whale or crocodile, He was speaking of the sin of pride. Pride is the monster that gets in the way of doing God's will, now as much as it was then.

    [ May 21, 2004, 07:14 PM: Message edited by: Johnv ]
     
  11. LadyEagle

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    Job was written before the flood. Job is the oldest book in the Bible.

    Where the book of Job is located in the Bible has no relevence to when it was written.

    Job did not have pride. Pride is a sin. The first verse of the Book of Job says:

    Job.1
    [1] There was a man in the land of Uz, whose name was Job; and that man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil.


    He would not be perfect and upright if he were prideful.
     
  12. robycop3

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    This reminds me of the "re'em = unicorn" discussions.
     
  13. JeffM

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    John,

    Yes, I've seen cedar trees.....and you are really stretching it my friend.

    Check out this cedar tree in Vancouver:

    [​IMG]

    How do you know this with absolute certainy?

    Now I may be a staunch creationist, but even I know we have no idea what dinosaurs were really like considering all we have are some bones.

    I happen to think that Brontosaurus and Triceratops resemble mammals more than reptiles, though there is no way to prove it. If they eat vegetation as scientist would have us believe, then it makes even more sense that they are fellow mammals related to hippos and rhinoceros, or related to the only veggie eating reptiles, the iguanas and tortises.

    Now a brontosaurus would definitely fit the description of Job. Water bound, chief of his ways, swinging his tail like a cedar, bones as strong as brass, and as strong as iron and a perfect testimony to the wonder and power of God.

    But God wouldn't need to show off. I can just look outside my window as I type this and wonder and give thanks to his wonderful creation.
     
  14. Dr. Bob

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    Wrong. We have NOTHING from before the Flood. Nothing.
     
  15. Mercury

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    If the behemoth is a large dinosaur, how can he lie under lotus plants and be concealed by reeds (Job 40:21-22)?

    PS: I'm not Baptist, and previously thought I couldn't post here. However, according to the "Simple Rules for Posting on the Versions Forum", non-Baptists are only prohibited from starting threads in this forum, which I have no intention of doing. If my understanding of this is in error, please let me know.
     
  16. robycop3

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    The oceans are pretty large compared with the continents, and we hafta take THREE dimensions into account when looking for water critters.

    Such dinosaurs as tylosaur and mosasaur could qualify as leviathan or behemoth and still be living, as God didn't destroy all AQUATIC life in the Flood.

    Some modern translators tried to equate these animals with those known worldwide. They possibly made the same booboo as did the AV translators who rendered re'em as "unicorn" or sa'ir as goat in some places, the adjective hairy in another, and satyr in yet another.

    Thing is, NO DOCTRINE is affected by the exact or inexact definitions of the animals. A Jewish friend has told me that the positive identification of several species of animals named in OT Hebrew is a daunting task at best.

    Just as re'em is used to denote a large, powerful animal, leviathan and behemoth are similarly used, with leviathan being a water-dwelling air-breather. This is the message and the theme of those Scriptures, that large, powerful animals not taken by ordinary hunting methods of the day were involved. We cannot know if the ancients were referring to animals familiar to us or not.
     
  17. LadyEagle

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    Wrong. We have NOTHING from before the Flood. Nothing. </font>[/QUOTE]Let me rephrase that: What I meant to say was:

    Job lived before the flood. Job is the oldest book in the Bible.

    That's what I get for posting in a hurry, LOL.
     
  18. rsr

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    I can't see how that is either.

    Isn't Eliphaz an Edomite, a descendant of Esau? Please correct me if I am mistaken.
     
  19. skanwmatos

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    Job was a contemporary of the Patriarchs, most likely Jacob. Jacob lived roughly 1800 years before Christ. The flood was roughly a thousand years before Job.

    However, if Job is the author of the book which bears his name, and I have no reason to believe he was not, then it does predate Moses by about 350 years making it the oldest book in the bible provided you discount the possibility that Moses worked from written records passed down from Adam, Noah, Shem, Terah, Ishmael, Isaac, Esau, and Jacob.
     
  20. Dr. Bob

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    Job lived about 2000 BCE, then Flood was in about 3000 BCE. Dates are inexact (as is almost all history prior to 2000 BCE) but close.

    Can't change history to suit ourselves.
     

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