Unknown #4 – Dinosaurs in Biblical times? Yes!
Yes, Dinosaurs did exist (the scientists got this one right).
God speaks in Job 40:15-18 (NIV) about a “Behemoth” as follows:
15 “Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
16 What strength it has in its loins, what power in the muscles of its belly!
17 Its tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of its thighs are close-knit.
18 Its bones are tubes of bronze,its limbs like rods of iron.
Later in Job 41:1, 8-34 (NIV) a “Leviathan” is also described:
1“Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope? . . .
8 If you lay a hand on it, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!
9 Any hope of subduing it is false; the mere sight of it is overpowering.
10 No one is fierce enough to rouse it.Who then is able to stand against me?
11 Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.
12 “I will not fail to speak of Leviathan’s limbs,its strength and its graceful form.
13 Who can strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate its double coat of armor?
14 Who dares open the doors of its mouth,ringed about with fearsome teeth?
15 Its back has rows of shields tightly sealed together;
16 each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.
17 They are joined fast to one another;they cling together and cannot be parted.
18 Its snorting throws out flashes of light; its eyes are like the rays of dawn.
19 Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.
20 Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds.
21 Its breath sets coals ablaze,and flames dart from its mouth.
22 Strength resides in its neck;dismay goes before it.
23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined;they are firm and immovable.
24 Its chest is hard as rock,hard as a lower millstone.
25 When it rises up, the mighty are terrified;they retreat before its thrashing.
26 The sword that reaches it has no effect,nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.
27 Iron it treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.
28 Arrows do not make it flee; sling stones are like chaff to it.
29 A club seems to it but a piece of straw;it laughs at the rattling of the lance.
30 Its undersides are jagged potsherds,leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
31 It makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.
32 It leaves a glistening wake behind it;one would think the deep had white hair.
33 Nothing on earth is its equal—a creature without fear.
34 It looks down on all that are haughty; it is king over all that are proud.”
Some people have argued that these verses describe an alligator, hippopotamus, elephant, or even a whale. This is a pretty good comparison of Job and living creatures of today. But if you recall from Job 40:17, the first animal God is describing has a tail that sways like a cedar. One could presume that a cedar tree was quite small during Biblical times, except when one recounts the following passages:
Psalm 92:12 – The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon
Isaiah 2:13 – for all the cedars of Lebanon, tall and lofty, and all the oaks of Bashan,
Amos 2:9a – … I destroyed the Amorites before them, though they were tall as the cedars and strong as the oaks.
Because cedars (even then) were described as extremely tall, I don’t agree that any current day animals compare to the animal described in Job 40 as the Behemoth. The Leviathan described in Job 41:18-21 has flames coming from its mouth. I don’t know of any current day animal that fits this description either, except for dragons which don’t exist today (did they in Biblical times? It sounds like it).
So, why is this important. Well, if God used these creatures as a comparison to Job, it would stand to reason that God believed Job had knowledge of them. Whether they were called dinosaurs, dragons, behemoths, or leviathans, man apparently knew of their existence and stature. Does this mean scientists were wrong about man and dinosaurs co-existing? It’s possible.
Moral: Don’t believe everything science tells you. (After all, there used to be 9 planets, now there are only 8).