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What was a Leviathan?


Thank you so much for your Biblical enquiry about the Leviathan.

You are of course asking about the magnificent sea creature mentioned in Job 41:1-34.

The Leviathan is found in one of the oldest books of the Bible: Job. God is speaking directly to Job, to show him that as he knows so very little of the seen universe in which he lives, how then can he know of the unseen universe and all its inhabitants? In the discourse, God, having previously referred to the largest land creature, Behemoth in Job 40:15-24, now takes great delight in calling to Job's attention to his lack of knowledge by describing the largest sea creature ever known to man: Leviathan!

The description of Leviathan in Job 41 is presented to us in such a fashion that it cannot be anything but a literal description of a creature to which today there appears to be no matching! Indeed, any attempt to replace the name ‘Leviathan’ with names as Crocodile or Whale, is like trying to use the name Hamster to describe a Bengal Tiger.

I personally have no problem in suggesting that Leviathan, this huge and frightening fixation of fiery power may have come from amongst the now long extinct creatures whose bones we discover beneath our feet and at the bottom of the sea.

In summary though, I would say this: all things were created for God’s pleasure, including Leviathan, and it is obvious from Job 41 that this great creature delighted God in that it was what it was created to be, and that it did what it was created to do. I wish I could say the same for me. How about you?

Here are some more Bible Verses for your further consideration:

  • Psalm 74:12-14
  • Psalm 104:24-28

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*All Scripture references are taken From The New King James Version of the Holy Bible unless stated otherwise

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