The Apple Of God's Eye

February 22, 2011

Behemoth: Largest And Strongest Land Animal In Man’s World!

What is the mysterious animal called “behemoth” in Job 40:15-24? Could this terrible beast be the hippopotamus we know today, as some commentators assume? Or some other creature?

You’ll be shocked when you see the scientific confirmation of what has been in God’s Word for over 3500 years!

In 1911 a British scientist was astounded when he found a few HUGE bones from what appeared to be an enormous type of rhinoceros. The bones were of such GIANT size they even dwarfed an elephant’s bones! He named the animal “Baluchitherium” (ba loo” chithee’ ri um).

Eleven years later, another scientist this time an American, was elated when he found three partial skeletons of “Baluchitherium”. The skeletal remains were hurried to New York where they were assembled. The results were nothing short of amazing!

The huge creature was confirmed to be an extinct, gigantic, apparently hornless rhinoceros! — a creature which fits the picture given of the Biblical “behemoth” mentioned in Job! Let us notice the startling comparison between the now-extinct “Baluchitherium” and the enigmatic creature of Job 40:15-24 which has perplexed Biblical scholars for ages.

Begin with Job 40:15: “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee: he eateth grass like an ox.” What does this tell us?

First, God made a distinct creation of plants, including grass, and animals for the benefit and pleasure of man. The warm-blooded animals and the grasses and herbs were FIRST made when man was made — about 6000 years ago (Gen. 1:24-25). Evolutionists have always been puzzled at the fact that this kind of vegetation appeared so late in geological history.

Now notice again Job 40:15: “Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee ….” Here is an animal God made when man was made. Behemoth did not exist in the pre-Adamic world which was filled with giant dinosaurs and other types of strange creatures. Behemoth was an unique animal created with man — and for a purpose, as we shall see later!

Continuing in Job 40:15: “… he {behemoth} eateth grass as an ox.” Grass, remember, did NOT exist on the earth before the beginning of man’s world (Genesis 1:11-12).

The Bible therefore makes it clear from the very beginning of its description of behemoth that behemoth could be only an animal God created with man — an animal which ate grass! This rules out the possibility that behemoth could have been from the pre-Adamic world.

Now notice a most important part of the description of this exciting animal: “He is the chief of the ways of God: He {alone} that made him can make his sword to approach unto him” (Job 40:19).

This plain statement from the Bible rules out the guesses of men that behemoth is the hippopotamus, the elephant, or other creatures men have taken into captivity or killed. God Himself plainly tells us that only He Himself could conquer this animal!

Because behemoth was the “chief of the ways of God,” it is obvious that it was the largest and strongest land animal God made for man’s world. The scientific discovery of fossil “Baluchitherium” fits all these characteristics, as well as the other characteristics of this unique animal as described in Job 40:15-24.

Notice the amazing confirmation that the giant rhinoceros “Baluchitherium” was “the chief of the ways of God.” It’s described in a modern book on fossil animals: “In an age when a hippopotamus is big and the elephant a giant, “Baluchitherium” seems almost unreal. His head was about 5 feet long, yet it was absurdly small upon his gigantic body, which stood 18 feet high at the shoulder and was very deep” (“The Fossil Book”, Fenton, page 406).

Another author reveals the fact that “Baluchitherium” was “at least 25 feet long” (“Historical Geology”, Dunbar page 413).

“It was the largest of all land animals” (“Time, Life, and Man”, Stirton, page 325).

Not only was it the largest of all known land mammals, but “very probably, like the huge sauropod dinosaurs among the reptiles, it represents about the maximum size to which a land living mammal can develop” (“The Illustrated Library of the Natural Sciences”, article “Giants of the Past,” by Colbert, Vol. II, page 1192).

His great legs, longer than those of elephants and living rhinoceroses, also gave him the record for speed among both of these groups, living or extinct” (“The Wonder Books”, Janssen & Cole, page 324).

But, there is yet more proof!

Notice again the inspired Biblical account of “behemoth.” Job 40:18 informs us: “His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.” These facts are upheld by the findings of “Baluchitherium”: “‘Baluchitherium’, as it was called, had huge postlike limbs …” (“Time, Life, and Man”, Stirton, page 325).

His truly large tail is aptly described “like a cedar” (Job 40:17). The Biblical description of a large tail would also disprove the erroneous ideas of some Bible scholars that behemoth is an elephant or a hippopotamus (as some modern Bible versions translate the original Hebrew word for “behemoth” in Job 40:15). The hippopotamus has only a short tail — about a foot long. The elephant has a weak, slender hog-like tail. Neither has a tail to fit the description of behemoth as given in the book of Job. “Baluchitherium”, with a thicker tail about eight feet long, is the only known giant animal that approaches the description.

Even the habitat of the rhinoceros family — determined by observing the modern rhinoceros — fits the description of behemoth’s surroundings. Compare the following description from “The Encyclopaedia Britannica” with the Bible’s account in Job 40:15-24.

“{Rhinoceroses} feed on herbage, shrubs and leaves of trees, and like so many large animals which inhabit hot countries, sleep the greater part of the day, and are most active in the cool of the evening or even during the night. Some are found in more or less open plains, while others inhabit swampy districts” (article “Rhinoceros,” Vol. 23, p. 243, 11th edition).

Check any encyclopaedia for more information about the habits and habitats of modern-day rhinoceroses and you will see how the now-extinct giant kind of rhinoceros known as “Baluchitherium” aptly fits all the characteristics mentioned in Job 40:15-24!

Why did God make this unique animal? Why did God use it as a specific lesson to learn! In his self-righteousness Job had to be brought low (Job 32:1). He had to be shown he was not so great after all!

God used this largest of all land mammals to hammer home the fact that Job really wasn’t so supreme after all! How do you think weak Job felt when he contemplated this animal? How would YOU feel if suddenly this 18-foot-high monster began to charge at you? Wouldn’t you feel might small? Of course you would!

God had created this monster to humble those like Job who let personal achievements swell their vanity. No wonder Job was forced to admit: “Wherefore I abhor myself, and repent in dust and ashes” (Job 42:6).

God put this account in the Bible for a reason! God wants you to realize your insignificance! That’s the real lesson for us today!

Source: The Plain Truth, March 1964



  1. Nice post, very relevant and biblically proven. Hard to argue your facts.

    Comment by DiuriMikeskic — March 8, 2011 @ 2:23 pm | Reply

  2. This was a terrific article. My son is reading this scripture out loud, and this allowed us to put a pic on the words. Thanks!

    Comment by Coei — May 3, 2011 @ 9:47 pm | Reply

  3. Great article! I was reading the scripture now and got so curious of what a behemoth looks like. Now it’s clear! Thank you so much! 🙂

    Comment by Aldrin — July 25, 2011 @ 12:07 pm | Reply

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