Dinosaurs (Part 4)

The Bible has references to strange creatures that match the description of dinosaurs. On day five, in Genesis 1:21 it says, “So God created the great creatures of the sea and every living and moving thing with which the water teems, according to their kinds.” The Hebrew word for “great creatures” is tannin; it means a great land or sea monster. God may be describing the marine dinosaurs He created. There are many other verses that use the word tannin: Psalm 74:13; 91:13; 148:7; Isaiah 27:1; 51:9; and Jeremiah 51:34. But the most interesting biblical references are found in the book of Job.

In order to show Job His greatness, God asks him to consider two great creatures. The first, behemoth, means “a large beast” and is found in Job 40:15-24:

“Look at the behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox. What strength he has in his loins, what power in the muscles of his belly! His tail sways like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are close-knit. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like rods of iron. He ranks first among the works of God, yet his Maker can approach him with his sword. The hills bring him their produce, and all the wild animals play nearby. Under the lotus plants he lies, hidden among the reeds in the marsh. The lotuses conceal him in their shadow; the poplars by the stream surround him. When the river rages, he is not alarmed; he is secure, though the Jordan should surge against his mouth. Can anyone capture him by the eyes, or trap him and pierce his nose?”

Hebrew scholars were not sure what the creature was, so they transliterated the Hebrew word behemothinto English. Reading the footnote will say “possibly the hippopotamus or elephant,” but those animals don’t fit the description exactly. Neither has a tail like a cedar tree, nor are they the largest land animals in existence. The very idea of capturing behemoth seems impossible, yet people can snare elephants and hippos. A better explanation of what this creature is would be a dinosaur—probably a brachiosaur.

Job 41:1-34 describes leviathan, which means “a great water animal.” In Job 41:1-2, it says, “Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope? Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?” Later, in Job 41:31-34, it says, “He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair. Nothing on earth is his equal–a creature without fear. He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud.”

As with behemoth, God was using leviathan to display His glory to Job. And once again, Hebrew scholars transliterated the word, so the footnote reads, “possibly the crocodile.” Yet the crocodile doesn’t fit the description well enough. People can hook them or tie them up. When crocodiles swim in the water, they don’t churn up the water like a boiling pot. And you would never say there is no equal to the crocodile on earth—unless this was a huge crocodile-like creature such as the 40 foot “Super Croc” Sarcosuchus imperator, or a large marine dinosaur like a plesiosaur. With both behemoth and leviathan, God showcases the awesome grandeur of His creative power. While elephants, hippos, and crocodiles are good, dinosaurs are even more impressive!

Therefore, we shouldn’t be confused by these creatures, nor feel that they belong only to an evolutionary worldview. There isn’t a 65 million year gap between dinosaurs and humans as the Secular Humanist worldview claims. On the contrary, dinosaurs fit perfectly into God’s creation along with humans on the sixth day. This is testified to not only in the pages of Scripture, but also in the fossil record, the historical record, and in sightings today. The biblical worldview map makes sense of the reality around us.

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February 27, 2018

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