This chapter of Job is one of the most interesting, and with God doing most of the talking, that is quite understandable. God challenges Job again, but Job has already realized that he has been wrong in his assumptions about God’s part in his suffering, as well as in questioning God in the first place. The Lord’s questions continue, and one of the points that he makes in all of this is that one of Job’s mistakes was in his suggestion that God had any share in any wrong-doing (verse 8). The Lord continues throughout the chapter, pointing out more of His majestic works. Why, Job must have thought, would he have ever thought that God would have devoted so much time to chastising one of such “small account” (verse 8).
We cannot, of course, leave this chapter without covering the subject of the creature “behemoth” that God describes from verse 15 through the end of the chapter. We find the suggestions of the past that the animal was a hippopotamus or an elephant completely without merit. Depending on the version, verse 17 states that “he moves his tail like a cedar.” This alone speaks volumes, and certainly does not fit with any beast alive today.
The details that lead many to the conclusion that the creature described is some sort of dinosaur is very compelling, all things considered. But the subject is covered much better than we could do in this article at Apologetics Press. Very interesting reading. We agree that the elephant and hippo theories are likely the result of intellectual timidity on the part of believers amid the traditional evolutionist viewpoint. The very context of the chapter demands the conclusion that God was speaking to Job of a beast that was quite majestic – not a “river horse” or circus animal.
some images © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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