LEVIATHAN in the Bible
Fire Breathing Dragon, Dinosaur or Myth?
Now let's take a look at Job 41 and LEVIATHAN...http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?se
Job 41 describes LEVIATHAN as a very powerful dragon or dragon-like marine creature, and having the ability to spew fire out of its mouth. That's right friends, I said FIRE. Many evolutionists and critics of our Bible have used this passage to try and cast doubt on God's Word. No doubt many debates have been peppered with those attempting to ridicule the Bible by making remarks about the "mythical fire breathing dragons of Job 41." But regardless of what others may say, the Bible does indeed indicate that Leviathan was very real, and a fire-spitter at that:
"Out of his mouth go burning lamps, and sparks of fire leap out. Out of his nostrils goeth smoke, as out of a seething pot or caldron. His breath kindleth coals, AND A FLAME GOETH OUT OF HIS MOUTH." Job 41:19-20
So like it or not, it is evident from scripture that God created some type of creature that had a fiery breath!Animals that make fire?
Some have suggested that this means some dinosaurs could breathe fire. Could methane or some other gas have been used by the dragons of old? There have been some good articles written by Creationists about this, with references to the Bombardier Beetle, which sprays a high-temperature jet of gas for protection (fueled by hydroquinones and hydrogen peroxide with oxidative enzymes), but to my knowledge this is not fire. We know of the Spitting Cobra, a serpent that can easily project venom several feet with enough accuracy to hit a man directly in the eyes, but this is not fire. We know that some of God's creatures produce a glowing bioluminescence, and the Electric Eel can produce 600 volts of electricity on demand, but again--this is not fire. Some have drawn attention to the fact that natural arsene gas (AsH 3 ) and phosphorous forms diphosphane gas (P 2 H 4 ), and when these gases come into contact with oxygen they will spontaneously ignite. This is all very interesting, you can read more about that here:http://www.creationworldview.org/articles_view.asp?id=50Ocean dweller of old...
But let me say up front, I'm not sure Leviathan really was a dinosaur or any other "natural" animal. This would be opposed to BEHEMOTH, (Job 40) which appears to be simply a large, herbivorous sauropod dinosaur with a tail like a cedar tree. Unlike Behemoth, Leviathan appears to be an ocean dwelling creature that God made to "play in the sea." (Psalm 104:24-26, Job 41:31). Isaiah 27:1 calls Leviathan "the dragon that is in the sea." The Bible states, "He maketh a path to shine after him," (Job 41:32) and I can tell you from experience this may be a reference to the bioluminescent path given off by microscopic marine life at night when animals or people move through the water. I have seen this many times in warm tropical waters, it is a sight to behold.
Leviathan is used five times in our King James Bible; once in Job, twice in Psalms and twice in Isaiah. From what I can read in the Bible, Leviathan was very unique, possibly a one-of-a-kind fire breathing, monster of a beast that was impervious to the weapons of that day like spears or arrows (Job 41:28-29). The Bible suggests Leviathan was covered with scales (Job 41:15). Artist's rendering of a Mosasaur
Some Creationists and dinosaur experts have suggested that a Mosasaur or Kronosaur would fit this description. Still others have suggested a whale, which perhaps appeared to people of Bible times to blow "hot steam" out of its blowhole. But whales have no scales, and I think any of those above (including the marine dinosaurs) could have been killed by men with harpoons and ships. According to recent findings, Kronosaurus and Mosasaurs were only 30-60 feet long, while modern whales top out at about 100 feet, and men have taken those for centuries with harpoons and small wooden vessels.A few more thoughts...
I do not see a long line of Leviathans, like we see with dinosaurs, but only one, and the Bible states clearly: "Upon earth THERE IS NOT HIS LIKE, who is made without fear." (Job 41:33) I suppose it is possible there were more of them before this passage was written, but it appears there was only one at the time of Job. The Bible portrays Leviathan as a frightening creature, but there is no mention of it killing anyone or attacking people in this passage. Although it appears to be difficult for men to kill Leviathan, the creature is not immortal; God Himself kills Leviathan and gives the meat to people in the wilderness. "Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness." (Psalm 74:14) The term "heads" (plural) here is very interesting. Did the Leviathan have more than one head? Was this the same fire-breathing creature mentioned in Job 41 or a reference to something else perhaps in Revelation... I don't know, but it's called Leviathan and it appears to have a physical body that was used for meat.Legends abound...
There have been various legends handed down about a creature called "Leviathan" in different cultures. For example, according to the ancient Jewish midrash, the Leviathan was created on the fifth day (Yalkut, Gen. 12). Originally God produced a male and a female leviathan, but to keep them from multiplying and destroying the world, He slew the female, reserving her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous on the advent of the Messiah. In a legend recorded in a Midrash called Pirke de-Rabbi Eliezer it is stated that the whale which swallowed Jonah narrowly avoided being eaten by the Leviathan, which generally eats one whale each day. Of course, we can't give any of these legends the same authority as scripture.Other interpretations...
To be fair; there are other views and interpretations on this. I won't give much credit to those who consider Leviathan to be a simple crocodile (which can be easily taken by men with spears or darts), but some very good authors consider at least some of the references to Leviathan to be Satan or a demonic monster associated with Satan, and that is certainly possible (Isaiah 27:1-3). As we know, Satan is called a dragon many times throughout chapters 12 and 13 in Revelation. Brother Ruckman makes some very good points on this dragon in his commentaries. Also, some writers suggest that Psalm 74 describes God’s record of salvation for his people, and verses 13 and 14 refer symbolically to his deliverance of Israel from Egypt. They point out that here the term "tannin" [Heb., than‧ni‧nim′, plural of tan‧nin′] is used as a parallel expression to “Leviathan,” and the crushing of the heads of Leviathan may well refer to the crushing defeat administered to Pharaoh and his army at the time of the Exodus.
Still, in my opinion, it seems that Job 41 is carefully describing some type of specific, unusual PHYSICAL creature in this passage, not just a spiritual one. Of course, all of this will be subject to debate and friendly discussion. Frightening dinosaur or fire-breathing monster, Leviathan is very interesting, and it must have been an awesome sight!