Behemoth  

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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel
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Kunstformen der Natur (1904) by Ernst Haeckel

Behemoth (behemoth (modern: behemot)) is a beast mentioned in Job 40:15–24. Suggested identities range from dinosaur to crocodile to a mythological creature. Metaphorically, the name has come to be used for any extremely large or powerful entity.

Description

Job 40:15–24 describes Behemoth, and then the sea-monster Leviathan, to demonstrate to Job the futility of questioning God, who alone has created these beings and who alone can capture them. Both beasts are chaos monsters destroyed by the deity at the time of creation, although such a conflict is not found in the creation account.

Leviathan is identified figuratively with both the primeval sea and in apocalyptic literature – describing the end-time – as that adversary, the Devil, from before creation who will finally be defeated. In the divine speeches in Job, Behemoth and Leviathan may both be seen as composite and mythical creatures with enormous strength, which humans like Job could not hope to control. But both are reduced to the status of divine pets, with rings through their noses and Leviathan on a leash.

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Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Behemoth" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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