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Discovery Magazine 7/1/2001


Leviathan: Dragon of the Deep?

You can’t catch him with a hook. You can’t kill him with a spear. In fact, he laughs at the threat of javelins. When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid. When he swims, the water boils with commotion. His underside is like sharp pieces of broken pottery that tear up the ground underneath him. Flashes of light and smoke spew from his nostrils like steam coming out of a boiling pot. Sparks of fire shoot out of his mouth, and his eyes glow like the morning Sun. He is too powerful and ferocious to be captured by man.

What is this amazing creature that God described in Job 41? He is called "leviathan." But just what is a leviathan? Some suggest that the leviathan is a crocodile. Others believe that it is a whale. However, the description of leviathan does not fit either of these two animals. In fact, the description of this creature does not fit that of any known animal present in the world today. Thus, it must be some type of extinct creature. But what kind? God’s description of leviathan is similar in almost every way to the descriptions we have of dinosaur-like, water-living reptiles that roamed the Earth, not millions of years ago as some believe, but only a few thousand years ago.

The fact is, most people don’t think that leviathan was a dinosaur-like, water living reptile because they believe that dinosaurs and humans never lived together on the Earth at the same time. Yet the Bible says: "For in six days the Lord made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them (Exodus 20:11). Thus, if ever there was a creature like leviathan upon the Earth (and clearly God teaches there was), then it must have been created either on the fifth or sixth day of Creation (see Genesis 1:20-31).

When you realize that God has created beetles that produce explosive chemical reactions, bugs that can produce "light," and eels that produce electricity, it is not difficult to accept that there once lived a creature that shot sparks of fire out of its mouth and expelled smoke from its nostrils.



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