What does the Bible say about dinosaurs?

Robert R. Surgenor Jr., Unregistered
Some people claim that “behemoth,” in Job chapter 40 is describing a dinosaur living in Job’s time. The claim is that the description of the animal’s tail “like a cedar tree,” can only be describing a Sauropod dinosaur with a huge long tail. But there is a problem with this theory.

Job 40:17 reads, “He moveth his tail like a cedar.” The word “moveth” is from the original Hebrew word “chaphets,” which means, “to bend.” The word is a VERB, not an adjective! This verse is NOT describing what the tail LOOKS LIKE, it is describing how the tail MOVES. Also, the tree described here is the small Lebanese Cedar tree common in the Middle East, NOT the large American Cedar. An elephant’s tail not only resembles the Lebanese Cedar, it also sways back and forth when it walks, exactly like the very flexible Lebanese Cedar tree when it sways in the wind.

Verses 21 and 22 state, “He lieth under the shady trees,” and “The shady trees cover him with their shadow.” The “shady trees” in the original Hebrew is “Tse’el.” This word means the “Lotus Tree.” The average lotus tree is about 30 feet tall. The average height of a Sauropod is 60 to 70 feet tall (according to the fossils uncovered of this animal). It is doubtful that a Sauropod could stand under a lotus tree and be covered by the tree’s shadow. Yet you can find elephants, averaging about 12 feet tall, standing under lotus trees all the time. It is a common habit of elephants to shade themselves from the hot sun.

The King James translation of verse 23 reads, “Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.” The original Hebrew text for “draw up” is “giyach.” It means “to labor to bring forth.” The original Hebrew is referring to an action the animal is taking with the water. The text implies that it is not the river that is moving “up,” but the animal picking the river “up.” That is why the King James version describes the animal drawing up the water into it’s mouth. The original Hebrew text hints that the animal does that with the use of A TOOL, not just drinking the water into it’s mouth. An elephant does that with his trunk. Again, we have a description that better fits an elephant than a Sauropod.

Verse 24 states, “his nose pierceth through snares.” The Hebrew word for “nose,” is “apf,” meaning nostrils. The Hebrew word for “pierceth,” is “naqab,” meaning to pierce, perforate, to puncture, or to bore. If you compare the nose of a Sauropod with the nose of an elephant, I think you’ll agree which one fits this description best.

It is doubtful that Job chapter 40 is describing a Sauropod dinosaur. The description given in God’s Word fits the many features of the largest land animal alive today, the elephant.