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Maximillian Schneider

Can Leviathan really exist?

30 posts in this topic

Even the Bible itself speaks of a powerful Leviathan, an animal so powerful that God killed the female so they wouldn't breed. An animal like that has got to leave some sort of mark on the world, but nothing at all has appeared. So then what was this powerful animal that even God himself felt some fear as to destroy the female of the species?

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Even the Bible itself speaks of a powerful Leviathan, an animal so powerful that God killed the female so they wouldn't breed. An animal like that has got to leave some sort of mark on the world, but nothing at all has appeared. So then what was this powerful animal that even God himself felt some fear as to destroy the female of the species?

Uh... "even the bible"??? You do know that the majority of the bible is pretty much fiction right?

What on earth makes you think something written in it has any basis in reality?

Either way, the leviathan does still exist - "leviathan" is Hebrew for "whale".

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i think we have a winner :D

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Wow that post took all of one post to answer. Not surprising really. Just amusing.

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I thought leviathan was best translated "sea creature." In another passage it is translated as reptile of the sea. Since whales are not reptiles, that kind of shoots that one down. But, I've never heard of God killing the female of the species. I'd need chapter and verse on that one.

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Posted (edited)

Haha, if God was so afraid of the things breeding, why create a female or even a male in the first place? And i've never seen anywhere in the bible where he killed the female.

Edited by kurethmu

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I thought leviathan was best translated "sea creature." In another passage it is translated as reptile of the sea. Since whales are not reptiles, that kind of shoots that one down. But, I've never heard of God killing the female of the species. I'd need chapter and verse on that one.

That was my first thought as well - I don't recall ever hearing that God had to kill the female version of the Leviathan to stop it procreating. As best I knew, "leviathan" was simply the Hebrew way of saying "big fish" - very possibly a whale, but not necessarily so. I doubt we'll ever know. I don't really think it's that important, either.

~ PA

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Posted (edited)

Even the Bible itself speaks of a powerful Leviathan, an animal so powerful that God killed the female so they wouldn't breed. An animal like that has got to leave some sort of mark on the world, but nothing at all has appeared. So then what was this powerful animal that even God himself felt some fear as to destroy the female of the species?

Hi, and welcome to UM Max, :tu:

Sorry to say this, but the Bible does not support the idea that God killed a great and fearsome ocean female beast, as you describe here. The following may help to show what the Bible tells us about "Leviathan".

The word “leviathan” comes up six times in the Bible.

* When referring to a real animal, it refers to either a whale or a crocodile.

* In Job 3:8 the reference is to one of the star constellations -- the Draco/Dragon constellation.

* Isaiah Chapter 27 is the climax to chapters 24, 25 and 26.

Isa 27:1 reads as follows:

In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

In the above verse “leviathanis used as an allegory, representing nations persecuting God’s people.

Chapter 27 is a prophecy as to God punishing these “leviathan” nations in the future, and delivering His people from their power.

Put simply; the persecuting nations of Israel -- “leviathan” -- are punished; Israel is delivered and prospers, as the last verse (verse 13) in Isaiah 27 sums it up:

And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”

Hope this helps,

Karlis

Edited by Karlis

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Posted (edited)

Even the Bible itself speaks of a powerful Leviathan, an animal so powerful that God killed the female so they wouldn't breed. An animal like that has got to leave some sort of mark on the world, but nothing at all has appeared. So then what was this powerful animal that even God himself felt some fear as to destroy the female of the species?

The biblical Leviathan was probably different things each time the word was used.

In Psalms 104:

25: There is the sea, vast and spacious, teeming with creatures beyond number-- living things both large and small.

26: There the ships go to and fro, and the leviathan, which you formed to frolic there.

27: These all look to you to give them their food at the proper time.

Here the leviathan is probably a cetacean. Not necessarily a whale, it may be a reference to dolphins or porpoises.

Psalms 74:

12: But you, O God, are my king from of old; you bring salvation upon the earth.

13: It was you who split open the sea by your power; you broke the heads of the monster in the waters.

14: It was you who crushed the heads of Leviathan and gave him as food to the creatures of the desert.

15: It was you who opened up springs and streams; you dried up the ever flowing rivers.

Although leviathan is used here in what appears to be a maritime context, I believe the word is not used to describe a great beast in the sense of an animal. This passage is referring to God as the salvation of the people, and the reference to "breaking the waters" a clear reference (imo) to the Exodus and the parting of the sea to allow the Israelites to pass.

So here, leviathan (with multiple heads) is probably the pursuing Egyptian army and is a poetic use of the word.

Job 3:

7: May that night be barren; may no shout of joy be heard in it.

8: May those who curse days [fn] curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan.

9: May its morning stars become dark; may it wait for daylight in vain and not see the first rays of dawn,

In this passage, Leviathan is an apocalyptic terror. I would suggest the word is not used here to describe a real beast but, in the context of the passage, is a reference by Job to "people who curse days" (i.e. unbelievers) and the belief that they, according to the Hebrew belief (?), will 'rouse the Great Beast' to usher in the End of Days.

Job 41:

1: "Can you pull in the leviathan with a fishhook or tie down his tongue with a rope?

2: Can you put a cord through his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook?

3: Will he keep begging you for mercy? Will he speak to you with gentle words?

4: Will he make an agreement with you for you to take him as your slave for life?

5: Can you make a pet of him like a bird or put him on a leash for your girls?

6: Will traders barter for him? Will they divide him up among the merchants?

7: Can you fill his hide with harpoons or his head with fishing spears?

8: If you lay a hand on him, you will remember the struggle and never do it again!

9: Any hope of subduing him is false; the mere sight of him is overpowering.

10: No one is fierce enough to rouse him. Who then is able to stand against me?

11: Who has a claim against me that I must pay? Everything under heaven belongs to me.

12: "I will not fail to speak of his limbs, his strength and his graceful form.

13: Who can strip off his outer coat? Who would approach him with a bridle?

14: Who dares open the doors of his mouth, ringed about with his fearsome teeth?

15: His back has [fn] rows of shields tightly sealed together;

16: each is so close to the next that no air can pass between.

17: They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted.

18: His snorting throws out flashes of light; his eyes are like the rays of dawn.

19: Firebrands stream from his mouth; sparks of fire shoot out.

20: Smoke pours from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds.

21: His breath sets coals ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth.

22: Strength resides in his neck; dismay goes before him.

23: The folds of his flesh are tightly joined; they are firm and immovable.

24: His chest is hard as rock, hard as a lower millstone.

25: When he rises up, the mighty are terrified; they retreat before his thrashing.

26: The sword that reaches him has no effect, nor does the spear or the dart or the javelin.

27: Iron he treats like straw and bronze like rotten wood.

28: Arrows do not make him flee; slingstones are like chaff to him.

29: A club seems to him but a piece of straw; he laughs at the rattling of the lance.

30: His undersides are jagged potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.

31: He makes the depths churn like a boiling caldron and stirs up the sea like a pot of ointment.

32: Behind him he leaves a glistening wake; one would think the deep had white hair.

33: Nothing on earth is his equal-- a creature without fear.

34: He looks down on all that are haughty; he is king over all that are proud."

In this passage, leviathan is probably a crocodile, but described as such by someone who has only second (or third, etc) hand knowledge of the animal.

Isaiah 27:

1: In that day, the Lord will punish with his sword, his fierce, great and powerful sword, Leviathan the gliding serpent, Leviathan the coiling serpent; he will slay the monster of the sea.

This hymnal (including the preceding chapters) refers to the day when God shall deliver the faithful (the Israelites) for a second time (after the deliverance from Egypt according to the Exodus.) It may be that this reference is to a sea-beast (real or imagined), but it may also be a poetic reference to the many enemies (or a few of those enemies) the Israelites had.

So, Leviathan is many things in the bible - not all of them animals.

Edited by Leonardo

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I'd like to re-post Job 41.

41 "Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook,

Or snare his tongue with a line which you lower?

2 Can you put a reed through his nose,

Or pierce his jaw with a hook?

3 Will he make many supplications to you?

Will he speak softly to you?

4 Will he make a covenant with you?

Will you take him as a servant forever?

5 Will you play with him as with a bird,

Or will you leash him for your maidens?

6 Will your companions make a banquet of him?

Will they apportion him among the merchants?

7 Can you fill his skin with harpoons,

Or his head with fishing spears?

8 Lay your hand on him;

Remember the battle-

Never do it again!

9 Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false;

Shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him?

10 No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up.

Who then is able to stand against Me?

11 Who has preceded Me, that I should pay him?

Everything under heaven is Mine.

12 "I will not conceal his limbs,

His mighty power, or his graceful proportions.

13 Who can remove his outer coat?

Who can approach him with a double bridle?

14 Who can open the doors of his face,

With his terrible teeth all around?

15 His rows of scales are his pride,

Shut up tightly as with a seal;

16 One is so near another

That no air can come between them;

17 They are joined one to another,

They stick together and cannot be parted.

18 His sneezings flash forth light,

And his eyes are like the eyelids of the morning.

19 Out of his mouth go burning lights;

Sparks of fire shoot out.

20 Smoke goes out of his nostrils,

As from a boiling pot and burning rushes.

21 His breath kindles coals,

And a flame goes out of his mouth.

22 Strength dwells in his neck,

And sorrow dances before him.

23 The folds of his flesh are joined together;

They are firm on him and cannot be moved.

24 His heart is as hard as stone,

Even as hard as the lower millstone.

25 When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid;

Because of his crashings they are beside themselves.

26 Though the sword reaches him, it cannot avail;

Nor does spear, dart, or javelin.

27 He regards iron as straw,

And bronze as rotten wood.

28 The arrow cannot make him flee;

Slingstones become like stubble to him.

29 Darts are regarded as straw;

He laughs at the threat of javelins.

30 His undersides are like sharp potsherds;

He spreads pointed marks in the mire.

31 He makes the deep boil like a pot;

He makes the sea like a pot of ointment.

32 He leaves a shining wake behind him;

One would think the deep had white hair.

33 On earth there is nothing like him,

Which is made without fear.

34 He beholds every high thing;

He is king over all the children of pride."

Notice especially verses 15 - 17 in bold. This creature has scales. There are several reasons why the creature being described here is not a whale, porpoise, orca or crocodile. First, the creature described here has some type of armor that is impenetrable to hooks, spears, or javelins. That eliminates cetecea. Next, both whales and crocodiles can be hunted and killed by men. Men are not afraid to hunt them. This creature is not able to be killed by humans. I think the animal being described here is something unknown to science. Whether or not it remains to this day; I don't know.

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Uh... "even the bible"??? You do know that the majority of the bible is pretty much fiction right?

What on earth makes you think something written in it has any basis in reality?

Either way, the leviathan does still exist - "leviathan" is Hebrew for "whale".

Hmmm, if this were true, then the Bible's substance, of manipulation, would be false....then again, the Bible, is real, fake, but real, real in power, to manipulate, and cause for the largest, if not most destructive source of man's power. Devotion.

So the Leviathan, no idea, we'll have to see, what the Inner Sanctum of Christianity's true power lords come up with.

EA

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I'd like to re-post Job 41.

15 His rows of scales are his pride,

Shut up tightly as with a seal;

16 One is so near another

That no air can come between them;

17 They are joined one to another,

They stick together and cannot be parted.

Notice especially verses 15 - 17 in bold. This creature has scales. There are several reasons why the creature being described here is not a whale, porpoise, orca or crocodile. First, the creature described here has some type of armor that is impenetrable to hooks, spears, or javelins. That eliminates cetecea. Next, both whales and crocodiles can be hunted and killed by men. Men are not afraid to hunt them. This creature is not able to be killed by humans. I think the animal being described here is something unknown to science. Whether or not it remains to this day; I don't know.

Not being familiar with Crocs, I found this about scales on crocodiles here:

The epidermal exoskeleton of the alligator consists of oblong horney scales, arranged in transverse rows; the long axes of the scales are parallel to that of the body. On the tail, except along the mid-dorsal line, and on the ventral side of the trunk and head these scales are very regular in outline and arrangement; on the sides of the head and trunk and on the legs they are much smaller and less regularly arranged, while along the mid-dorsal line of the tail, especially in its posterior half, they are elevated into tall keels that give the tail a large surface area for swimming.

wiki link

Here is a link to photos of croc scales. I have no idea how impenetrable and protective they are to the croc's safety.

Link to photos

Here is a photo of crocodile - scales seem impressive.

link

Close up of side of crocodile showing scaly skin, Australia.

link

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Not being familiar with Crocs, I found this about scales on crocodiles here:

The epidermal exoskeleton of the alligator consists of oblong horney scales, arranged in transverse rows; the long axes of the scales are parallel to that of the body. On the tail, except along the mid-dorsal line, and on the ventral side of the trunk and head these scales are very regular in outline and arrangement; on the sides of the head and trunk and on the legs they are much smaller and less regularly arranged, while along the mid-dorsal line of the tail, especially in its posterior half, they are elevated into tall keels that give the tail a large surface area for swimming.

wiki link

Here is a link to photos of croc scales. I have no idea how impenetrable and protective they are to the croc's safety.

Link to photos

Here is a photo of crocodile - scales seem impressive.

link

Close up of side of crocodile showing scaly skin, Australia.

link

Right. That's all good. They are gnarly, ambush predators. They're ancient and they've been around for along time. But, man is not afraid to hunt and kill them. I mean, some guys wrestle these creatures with their bare hands. Leviathan is not like that. This creature is not able to be killed by men. So, I stick to the position that whatever leviathan is...it's not a crocodile or whale.

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Right. That's all good. They are gnarly, ambush predators. They're ancient and they've been around for along time. But, man is not afraid to hunt and kill them. I mean, some guys wrestle these creatures with their bare hands. Leviathan is not like that. This creature is not able to be killed by men. So, I stick to the position that whatever leviathan is...it's not a crocodile or whale.

That depends, Guyver, on whether you consider this account in the bible as being the inerrant Word of God, or something written by men based on stories of an animal they'd heard about, but never actually seen.

In my opinion, it is the latter and an exaggerated account.

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Posted (edited)

That depends, Guyver, on whether you consider this account in the bible as being the inerrant Word of God, or something written by men based on stories of an animal they'd heard about, but never actually seen.

In my opinion, it is the latter and an exaggerated account.

Would a description that detailed be one of a creature no one had ever seen? I guess almost anything's possible. It's also possible that they were describing a creature that's not around now.

When Thomas Jefferson sent Louis and Clark west, he fully expected them to run into mastodons. Judging from some of the pleistocene megafauna discovered from the La Brea Tar Pits, it's very possible that the Native Americans interacted with these creatures.

Judging from the recovered remains of preserved wooly mammoths, some of which have been fed to sled dogs with no adverse effects, I'd say there's alot of mysteries still out there.

PS. Where's the OP, or is it just me. Skeptics scared em away?

Edited by Guyver

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Right. That's all good. They are gnarly, ambush predators. They're ancient and they've been around for along time. But, man is not afraid to hunt and kill them. I mean, some guys wrestle these creatures with their bare hands. Leviathan is not like that. This creature is not able to be killed by men. So, I stick to the position that whatever leviathan is...it's not a crocodile or whale.

Hi again Guyver -- the following is from my post #8. Do you think it fits with your understanding as per the bolded section?

* Isaiah Chapter 27 is the climax to chapters 24, 25 and 26.

Isa 27:1 reads as follows:

In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

In the above verse “leviathanis used as an allegory, representing nations persecuting God’s people.

Chapter 27 is a prophecy as to God punishing these “leviathan” nations in the future, and delivering His people from their power.

Put simply; the persecuting nations of Israel -- “leviathan” -- are punished; Israel is delivered and prospers, as the last verse (verse 13) in Isaiah 27 sums it up:

And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”

Just seeing if our minds meet along the way, :)

Karlis

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Hi again Guyver -- the following is from my post #8. Do you think it fits with your understanding as per the bolded section?

* Isaiah Chapter 27 is the climax to chapters 24, 25 and 26.

Isa 27:1 reads as follows:

In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.”

In the above verse “leviathanis used as an allegory, representing nations persecuting God’s people.

Chapter 27 is a prophecy as to God punishing these “leviathan” nations in the future, and delivering His people from their power.

Put simply; the persecuting nations of Israel -- “leviathan” -- are punished; Israel is delivered and prospers, as the last verse (verse 13) in Isaiah 27 sums it up:

And in that day a great trumpet will be blown, and those who were lost in the land of Assyria and those who were driven out to the land of Egypt will come and worship the LORD on the holy mountain at Jerusalem.”

Just seeing if our minds meet along the way, :)

Karlis

Yes, I do. It's also repeated similarly in the book of Revelation, only with a different term/creature. But, I also think that allegories often contain elements of truth. The fact that leviathan is also described as a natural creature; leads me to believe that it was a "natural" creature so terrifying and physically powerful, that it struck terror in the hearts of people and led to the allegories that followed. Remember that Job was written first.

Additionally, when one reads of ancient tales of "sea serpents" like those of the sailors in the middle ages, they seem to correspond nicely to the description above, and that of Job. Leviathan is a reptile, a large-powerful, sea serpent. IMO anyway.

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Yes, I do. It's also repeated similarly in the book of Revelation, only with a different term/creature. But, I also think that allegories often contain elements of truth. The fact that leviathan is also described as a natural creature; leads me to believe that it was a "natural" creature so terrifying and physically powerful, that it struck terror in the hearts of people and led to the allegories that followed. Remember that Job was written first.

Additionally, when one reads of ancient tales of "sea serpents" like those of the sailors in the middle ages, they seem to correspond nicely to the description above, and that of Job. Leviathan is a reptile, a large-powerful, sea serpent. IMO anyway.

Could well be that some such creatures that existed then, are now extinct? ... Although now and again some very strange reports of "unbelievable" sea creatures are reported by sailors, especially those on smaller ocean-going sailing boats, where sailors are more in 'contact' with the ocean, being on deck virtually most of their waking hours.

Karlis

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Fond as I am of crocodiles, I do not think that is what was being described in the Bible. Fore one thing, crocodiles do not breathe fire. Leviathan is described as a dragon, as are some other creatures within the Bible. Weather this makes you believe there ware such is a different matter...

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Posted (edited)

From the Legend of the Jews, by Lois Ginzberg:

The ruler over the sea-animals is leviathan.[116] With all the other fishes he was made on the fifth day.[117] Originally he was created male and female like all the other animals. But when it appeared that a pair of these monsters might annihilate the whole earth with their united strength, God killed the female.[119] So enormous is leviathan that to quench his thirst he needs all the water that flows from the Jordan into the sea.[119] His food consists of the fish which go between his jaws of their own accord.[120] When he is hungry, a hot breath blows from his nostrils, and it makes the waters of the great sea seething hot. Formidable though behemot, the other monster, is, he feels insecure until he is certain that leviathan has satisfied his thirst.[121] The only thing that can keep him in check is the stickleback, a little fish which was created for the purpose, and of which he stands in great awe.[122] But leviathan is more than merely large and strong; he is wonderfully made besides. His fins radiate brilliant light, the very sun is obscured by it,[123] and also his eyes shed such splendor that frequently the sea is illuminated suddenly by it.[121] No wonder that this marvellous beast is the plaything of God, in whom He takes His pastime.[124]

There is but one thing that makes leviathan repulsive, his foul smell: which is so strong that if it penetrated thither, it would render Paradise itself an impossible abode.[125]

The real purpose of leviathan is to be served up as a dainty to the pious in the world to come. The female was put into brine as soon as she was killed, to be preserved against the time when her flesh will be needed.[126] The male is destined to offer a delectable sight to all beholders before he is consumed. When his last hour arrives, God will summon the angels to enter into combat with the monster. But no sooner will leviathan cast his glance at them than they will flee in fear and dismay from the field of battle. They will return to the charge with swords, but in vain, for his scales can turn back steel like straw. They will be equally unsuccessful when they attempt to kill him by throwing darts and slinging stones; such missiles will rebound without leaving the least impression on his body. Disheartened, the angels will give up the combat, and God will command leviathan and behemot to enter into a duel with each other. The issue will be that both will drop dead, behemot slaughtered by a blow of leviathan's fins, and leviathan killed by a lash of behemot's tail. From the skin of leviathan God will construct tents to shelter companies of the pious while they enjoy the dishes made of his flesh. The amount assigned to each of the pious will be in proportion to his deserts, and none will envy or begrudge the other his better share. What is left of leviathan's skin will be stretched out over Jerusalem as a canopy, and the light streaming from it will illumine the whole world, and what is left of his flesh after the pious have appeased their appetite, will be distributed among the rest of men, to carry on traffic therewith.[127]

Edited by Tiggs

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The Levithian is probably an Apatosaurus

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Uh... "even the bible"??? You do know that the majority of the bible is pretty much fiction right?

What on earth makes you think something written in it has any basis in reality?

Either way, the leviathan does still exist - "leviathan" is Hebrew for "whale".

You do realize the bible is THE most proven historically accurate text in the entire world right?

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Posted (edited)

You do realize the bible is THE most proven historically accurate text in the entire world right?

It is? :huh:

Edited by mklsgl

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It is? :huh:

I'd add, since when?:blink:

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You do realize the bible is THE most proven historically accurate text in the entire world right?

Of all books, the Bible has the most number of surviving texts found in antiquity. Thus, we can ascertain that the text has passed down to us more or less intact. Some people woule refer to this as being historically accurate.

Historically accurate, however, means something completely different. It means that the events within it are portrayed accurately.

If the Bible was the most proven historically accurate text in the entire world, then Historians would use it as a primary source. As it's not used as a primary source by Historians, that should tell you everything you need to know in regards to it's proven accuracy.

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