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A Fire-Breathing Reptile?

From Issue: Discovery 2/1/2010

No doubt you have heard reports from world history of fire-breathing “dragons.” Although many of these stories may have been exaggerated (similar to how a person today exaggerates the size of a fish he has caught or a bear he has killed), the idea of a fire-breathing animal should not be too hard to accept. Surely atheists, who mistakenly believe everything evolved from nothing and life popped out of non-life, would not think it would be impossible for a mere fire-breathing animal to evolve. What’s more, creationists have no reason to think that an all-powerful, all-knowing Creator could not make such a creature. After all, God did create insects that light up, eels that can shock others but not themselves, and bombardier beetles that can expel powerful chemicals from their bodies at 212 degrees Fahrenheit (the boiling point of water).

Another, even greater, reason exists for believing in the one-time existence of a fire-breathing animal—God said that one existed in the days of Job. In the book of Job, chapter 41, God described to the patriarch a real, terrifying, fire-breathing animal, saying:

His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning lights; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke goes out of his nostrils, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame goes out of his mouth.

What is this amazing creature that God described in His conversation with Job? It is called “leviathan” in verse one of the chapter. But just what is a leviathan? The description of this creature does not fit 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 many ways to the descriptions we have of dinosaur-like, water-living reptiles that once lived on Earth—not millions of years ago as some believe, but only a few thousand years ago when Job was alive.


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