Q: #3. Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
By: Steve Shirley
A: The book of Job was written in app. 2000 B.C., and therefore should fit chronologically somewhere within the book of Genesis (most scholars believe shortly after the flood). It mentions giant creatures named "behemoth = Heb: bhemowth" (Job 40:15-24), and "leviathan = Heb: livyathan" (Job 41), which certainly appear to be dinosaurs. Some of the characteristics describing behemoth are:
(Job 40:15) Eating grass like as ox.
(40:17) He moves his tail like a cedar.
(40:18) His bones are as strong as pieces of brass and like bars of iron.
(40:23) A raging river does not disturb or alarm him.
Obviously, this is a giant animal. Many will say this is an elephant or hippopotamus, but clearly verse 17 shows this not to be true when it describes the tail as "like a cedar." Both elephants and hippos have small, squiggly tails. Can you think of a giant animal today that has a tail like a cedar, bones like bars of iron, and could not be disturbed (moved) by a raging river? I can't.
Some of the characteristics of leviathan are:
(Job 41:1) A cord cannot tie down his tongue.
(41:7) His skin cannot be filled with harpoons or his head with spears.
(41:10) No one is fierce enough to disturb him.
(41:12) He has powerful limbs.
(41:13) His skin has a double layer of armor.
(41:14) He has terrible teeth.
(41:15) He has tightly sealed scales.
(41:22) There is great strength in his neck.
(41:25) When he rises up, the mighty are afraid.
(41:26) A sword, spear, dart, or a javelin has no effect on him.
(41:28-29) Arrows cannot make him flee. Slingstones, darts, and spears are nothing to him.
(41:30) His undersides are like sharp, broken pottery.
What animal does this describe today?? Many people will say this is a crocodile or an alligator. Consider though:
(verse 1) Don't we see men (like that Crocodile Hunter guy on t.v.) tie down crocodiles mouths
with a rope?
(verse 10) Don't men sometimes wrestle and subdue crocodiles?
(verse 12) Do crocodiles have powerful limbs (legs and arms)?
(verse 25) Do crocodiles rise up?
(verse 26) Can't a sword or spear harm and even kill a crocodile?
(verse 30) Aren't a crocodiles undersides smooth?
I know of no animal today that fits these characteristics as described in (Job 41) as leviathan.
The Bible tells us in (Rom 5:12)(Gen 2:17)(Gen 3:19)(1 Cor 15:21-22) that there was no death of any living creature until sin came into the world. Adam and Eve brought sin into the world when they disobeyed God in the Garden of Eden (Gen 3). Therefore, until that time, no living creature had died, so we cannot say dinosaurs lived and died millions of years before man.
Aside from the verses given in Job that show that dinosaurs and man lived together, we also have other proofs such as:
There are ancient writings and legends from other cultures such as China, Africa, India, England, and the Middle East. These spoke of "dragons" (the word dinosaur was not invented until 1841), which have the characteristics of a dinosaur.
We can see ancient cave paintings depicting men and dinosaurs together.
We have geological findings which show impressions of dinosaurs and men side by side.
Finally, it seems very likely that dinosaurs would have been taken aboard the Ark with Noah since God commanded him to take a male and female of EVERY living creature (Gen 6:19-20). If the book of Job was indeed written after the flood, this would also prove they were on the Ark. Most likely, these would have been baby dinosaurs. However, it appears that they died out shortly after the flood. Why? Three reasons are generally proposed: #1. a lack of available food after the flood, #2. drastic changes to the climate due to the flood, #3. they may have been hunted to extinction by man for food.