Job 41:1-34 describes a creature that God referred to as Leviathan. Let’s see how God describes this creature:
1 “Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord?
2 Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?
3 Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words?
4 Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever?
5 Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls?
6 Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?
7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?
8 Lay your hands on him; remember the battle—you will not do it again!
9 Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him.
10 No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me?
11 Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine.
12 “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame.
13 Who can strip off his outer garment? Who would come near him with a bridle?
14 Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror.
15 His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal.
16 One is so near to another that no air can come between them.
17 They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated.
18 His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn.
19 Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth.
20 Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes.
21 His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.
22 In his neck abides strength, and terror dances before him.
23 The folds of his flesh stick together, firmly cast on him and immovable.
24 His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the lower millstone.
25 When he raises himself up the mighty are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves.
26 Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail, nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin.
27 He counts iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood.
28 The arrow cannot make him flee; for him sling stones are turned to stubble.
29 Clubs are counted as stubble; he laughs at the rattle of javelins.
30 His underparts are like sharp potsherds; he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire.
31 He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 Behind him he leaves a shining wake; one would think the deep to be white-haired.
33 On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear.
34 He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”
God described Leviathan as having tremendous strength, scales on his back like shields, and his teeth bring terror to anything near them. He lives in the sea, has no fear of anyone or anything and man’s weapons cannot penetrate his skin.
Many people try to say that Leviathan was not a real animal so again, let’s turn to Scripture to see if it was real or not.
In Job 39, God asks Job about mountain goats, wild donkeys, wild ox, ostrich, horse and hawk. They are all very real animals and ones that Job knew because he understood what God was describing. Then in Job 40, God asks Job about Behemoth and describes it as a real animal that Job knew just he did the animals mentioned in Job 39. After God talks to Job about Behemoth, He then asks him about another real animal in Job 41, the Leviathan. Therefore, Leviathan had to be a real animal.
But what kind of animal was the Leviathan?
The Bible doesn’t tell us what kind of animal Leviathan was. Some Bibles have notes in them that describe Leviathan as a crocodile, but you have to remember that those notes were written by men and not inspired by God.
Does the description of Leviathan sound like a crocodile to you?
God asks if Job could catch Leviathan with a hook in a way that indicates it to be a very difficult task if not impossible. Yet there are people today that catch crocodiles with a large baited hook tied to a rope. Then God asks if spears could penetrate the skin of Leviathan again indicating it to be very difficult, but there are people today that spear crocodiles all the time.
Next, God asks Job who can strip off Leviathan’s outer garment (skin). Crocodile and alligator skin is used all the time for fancy leather products including shoes, belts, wallets and purses.
There is one part of the description that definitely does not describe a crocodile and that is that it sneezes out flashes of light and smoke comes out of its nostrils. There is no animal alive today that matches that description. However there are a number of descriptions from all over the world of dragons that breathed fire. Isn’t it possible that Leviathan could have been one of those dragons?
God also describes Leviathan’s neck as having great strength yet you really don’t notice the neck of a crocodile. How many times have you seen an animal handler or trainer sit on the back of a crocodile and hold its jaws closed? Have you ever seen the crocodile use the strength in its neck to shake off the person on its back? They just don’t have that much strength in their neck.
None of the descriptions of Leviathan fit a crocodile as some Bible notes suggest, so if it isn’t a crocodile, what is it?
Some creationists believe that Leviathan could have been a large aquatic reptile such as a Mosasaurus or Kronosaurus that we only know from the fossil records. Both of these animals grew to 40 feet or more in length. Their skeletons indicate they had great strength and probably ruled the seas. Fossil evidence also indicates that they had thick hardened plates on their backs which could have made it difficult for a spear or harpoon to penetrate.
Another possible candidate for Leviathan may have been a dinosaur we call Parasaurolophus. This dinosaur had a series of hollow tubes in the top of its skull that formed what looked like a single horn that curved backward. Some scientists suggest that these tubes could have been used to make sounds and others have suggested the possibility that they may have served as chambers that contained different chemicals. When these chemicals were released into the air, they could have combusted, much like the hot spray of the bombardier beetle.
One more possibility is that Leviathan may have been a huge creature known as Sarcosuchus or Super Croc. Its skeleton looks quite similar to a crocodile, only this this crocodile was nearly as long as a school bus. This would have been a most formidable creature and may have had much thicker plates on its skin than do the crocodiles of today making it harder for spears to penetrate.
Can you imagine trying to hunt a 40 foot long super crocodile? It would have been a fearful task indeed.
All of these animals are only possible candidates for the real creature that God referred to as Leviathan, as there is no way to know for sure which one or if any of them are the Leviathan from the Book Job. The one thing I can say is that Leviathan was real. It was big and strong and terrifying and I’m looking forward to finding out exactly what it was when I get to heaven and meet the One who created it, Jesus Christ, our Lord, Savior and Creator.
Ocean Monsters Past and Present
From the predator Mosasaurus, called the ocean equivalent of T. rex, to the gigantic Archelon, the beasts who glided through the planet’s oceans no doubt were the inspiration for ancient sightings by mariners who described fantastic encounters on the open ocean. Wieland’s riveting text and easy descriptions are complemented by the beautiful full-color illustrations by acclaimed artist Darrell Wiskur. Readers will be amazed at these complex, huge beasts, some of which still live today.
The author also provides a thoroughly biblical analysis of these “dragons of the sea” within the framework of the literal history outlined in Genesis. Dragons of the Deep is totally evolution-free, explaining the facts about fossils and much more, from a biblical perspective. The exciting evidence about sea monsters repeatedly confirms how most fossils were rapidly buried, caused by the upheavals that occurred during the Genesis flood.
The facts presented in this book will help build biblically based scientific foundations in a young person, providing training to refute the atheistic, evolutionary world view that is encountered throughout life.