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Job 40:15 [study!]

American Standard Version (ASV 1901) [2]
— Behold now, behemoth, which I made as well as thee; He eateth grass as an ox.
King James Version (KJV 1769)
— Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
New American Standard Bible (NASB ©1995)
— “Behold now, Behemoth, which I made as well as you; He eats grass like an ox.
Webster's Revision of the KJB (WEB 1833)
— Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.
Darby's Translation (DBY 1890)
— See now the behemoth, which I made with thee: he eateth grass as an ox.
Rotherham's Emphasized Bible (EBR 1902)
— Behold, I pray thee, the Hippopotamus, which I made with thee, Grass—like the ox, he eateth;
Young's Literal Translation (YLT 1898)
— Lo, I pray thee, Behemoth, that I made with thee: Grass as an ox he eateth.
Douay-Rheims Challoner Revision (DR 1750)
— Behold behemoth whom I made with thee, he eateth grass like an ox.
Original King James Bible (AV 1611) [2]
— Beholde now Behemoth which I made with thee, hee eateth grasse as an oxe.
Brenton Greek Septuagint (LXX, Restored Names)
— But now look at the wild beasts with thee; they eat grass like oxen.
Full Hebrew Names / Holy Name KJV (2008) [2] [3]
— Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.

Strong's Numbers & Hebrew NamesHebrew Old TestamentColor-Code/Key Word Studies
Behold x2009
(2009) Complement
Prolonged for H2005; lo!.
now x4994
(4994) Complement
A primitive particle of incitement and entreaty, which may usually be rendered I pray, now or then; added mostly to verbs (in the imperative or future), or to interjections, occasionally to an adverb or conjugation.
behemoth, 930
{0930} Prime
In form a plural of H0929, but really a singular of Egyptian derivation: a water ox, that is, the hippopotamus or Nile horse.
which x834
(0834) Complement
A primitive relative pronoun (of every gender and number); who, which, what, that; also (as adverb and conjunction) when, where, how, because, in order that, etc.
I made 6213
{6213} Prime
A primitive root; to do or make, in the broadest sense and widest application.
<8804> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Perfect (See H8816)
Count - 12562
with x5973
(5973) Complement
From H6004; adverb or preposition, with (that is, in conjunction with), in varied applications; specifically equally with; often with prepositional prefix (and then usually unrepresented in English).
thee; he eateth 398
{0398} Prime
A primitive root; to eat (literally or figuratively).
<8799> Grammar
Stem - Qal (See H8851)
Mood - Imperfect (See H8811)
Count - 19885
grass 2682
{2682} Prime
Perhaps originally the same as H2681, from the greenness of a courtyard; grass; also a leek (collectively).
as an ox. 1241
{1241} Prime
From H1239; a beeve or animal of the ox kind of either gender (as used for ploughing); collectively a herd.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary

Job 40:15-24

_ _ God shows that if Job cannot bring under control the lower animals (of which he selects the two most striking, behemoth on land, leviathan in the water), much less is he capable of governing the world.

_ _ behemoth — The description in part agrees with the hippopotamus, in part with the elephant, but exactly in all details with neither. It is rather a poetical personification of the great Pachydermata, or Herbivora (so “he eateth grass”), the idea of the hippopotamus being predominant. In Job 40:17, “the tail like a cedar,” hardly applies to the latter (so also Job 40:20, Job 40:23, “Jordan,” a river which elephants alone could reach, but see on Job 40:23). On the other hand, Job 40:21, Job 40:22 are characteristic of the amphibious river horse. So leviathan (the twisting animal), Job 41:1, is a generalized term for cetacea, pythons, saurians of the neighboring seas and rivers, including the crocodile, which is the most prominent, and is often associated with the river horse by old writers. “Behemoth” seems to be the Egyptian Pehemout, “water-ox,” Hebraized, so-called as being like an ox, whence the Italian bombarino.

_ _ with thee — as I made thyself. Yet how great the difference! The manifold wisdom and power of God!

_ _ he eateth grass — marvelous in an animal living so much in the water; also strange, that such a monster should not be carnivorous.

Matthew Henry's Commentary

Job 40:15-24

_ _ God, for the further proving of his own power and disproving of Job's pretensions, concludes his discourse with the description of two vast and mighty animals, far exceeding man in bulk and strength, one he calls behemoth, the other leviathan. In these verses we have the former described. “Behold now behemoth, and consider whether thou art able to contend with him who made that beast and gave him all the power he has, and whether it is not thy wisdom rather to submit to him and make thy peace with him.” Behemoth signifies beasts in general, but must here be meant of some one particular species. Some understand it of the bull; others of an amphibious animal, well known (they say) in Egypt, called the river-horse (hippopotamus), living among the fish in the river Nile, but coming out to feed upon the earth. But I confess I see no reason to depart from the ancient and most generally received opinion, that it is the elephant that is here described, which is a very strong stately creature, of very large stature above any other, of wonderful sagacity, and of so great a reputation in the animal kingdom that among so many four-footed beasts as we have had the natural history of (ch. 38 and 39) we can scarcely suppose this should be omitted. Observe,

_ _ I. The description here given of the behemoth.

_ _ 1. His body is very strong and well built. His strength is in his loins, Job 40:16. His bones, compared with those of other creatures, are like bars of iron, Job 40:18. His back-bone is so strong that, though his tail be not large, yet he moves it like a cedar, with a commanding force, Job 40:17. Some understand it of the trunk of the elephant, for the word signifies any extreme part, and in that there is indeed a wonderful strength. So strong is the elephant in his back and loins, and the sinews of his thighs, that he will carry a large wooden tower, and a great number of fighting men in it. No animal whatsoever comes near the elephant for strength of body, which is the main thing insisted on in this description.

_ _ 2. He feeds on the productions of the earth and does not prey upon other animals: He eats grass as an ox (Job 40:15), the mountains bring him forth food (Job 40:20), and the beasts of the field do not tremble before him nor flee from him, as from a lion, but they play about him, knowing they are in no danger from him. This may give us occasion, (1.) To acknowledge the goodness of God in ordering it so that a creature of such bulk, which requires so much food, should not feed upon flesh (for then multitudes must die to keep him alive), but should be content with the grass of the field, to prevent such destruction of lives as otherwise must have ensued. (2.) To commend living upon herbs and fruits without flesh, according to the original appointment of man's food, Genesis 1:29. Even the strength of an elephant, as of a horse and an ox, may be supported without flesh; and why not that of a man? Though therefore we use the liberty God has allowed us, yet be not among riotous eaters of flesh, Proverbs 23:20. (3.) To commend a quiet and peaceable life. Who would not rather, like the elephant, have his neighbours easy and pleasant about him, than, like the lion, have them all afraid of him?

_ _ 3. He lodges under the shady trees (Job 40:21), which cover him with their shadow (Job 40:22), where he has a free and open air to breathe in, while lions, which live by prey, when they would repose themselves, are obliged to retire into a close and dark den, to live therein, and to abide in the covert of that, Job 38:40. Those who are a terror to others cannot but be sometimes a terror to themselves too; but those will be easy who will let others be easy about them; and the reed and fens, and the willows of the brook, though a very weak and slender fortification, yet are sufficient for the defence and security of those who therefore dread no harm, because they design none.

_ _ 4. That he is a very great and greedy drinker, not of wine or strong drink (to be greedy of that is peculiar to man, who by his drunkenness makes a beast of himself), but of fair water. (1.) His size is prodigious, and therefore he must have supply accordingly, Job 40:23. He drinks so much that one would think he could drink up a river, if you would give him time, and not hasten him. Or, when he drinks, he hasteth not, as those do that drink in fear; he is confident of his own strength and safety, and therefore makes no haste when he drinks, no more haste than good speed. (2.) His eye anticipates more than he can take; for, when he is very thirsty, having been long kept without water, he trusts that he can drink up Jordan in his mouth, and even takes it with his eyes, Job 40:24. As a covetous man causes his eyes to fly upon the wealth of this world, which he is greedy of, so this great beast is said to snatch, or draw up, even a river with his eyes. (3.) His nose has in it strength enough for both; for, when he goes greedily to drink with it, he pierces through snares or nets, which perhaps are laid in the waters to catch fish. He makes nothing of the difficulties that lie in his way, so great is his strength and so eager his appetite.

_ _ II. The use that is to be made of this description. We have taken a view of this mountain of a beast, this over-grown animal, which is here set before us, not merely as a show (as sometimes it is in our country) to satisfy our curiosity and to amuse us, but as an argument with us to humble ourselves before the great God; for, 1. He made this vast animal, which is so fearfully and wonderfully made; it is the work of his hands, the contrivance of his wisdom, the production of his power; it is behemoth which I made, Job 40:15. Whatever strength this, or any other creature, has, it is derived from God, who therefore must be acknowledged to have all power originally and infinitely in himself, and such an arm as it is not for us to contest with. This beast is here called the chief, in its kind, of the ways of God (Job 40:19), an eminent instance of the Creator's power and wisdom. Those that will peruse the accounts given by historians of the elephant will find that his capacities approach nearer to those of reason than the capacities of any other brute-creature whatsoever, and therefore he is fitly called the chief of the ways of God, in the inferior part of the creation, no creature below man being preferable to him. 2. He made him with man, as he made other four-footed beasts, on the same day with man (Genesis 1:25, Genesis 1:26), whereas the fish and fowl were made the day before; he made him to live and move on the same earth, in the same element, and therefore man and beast are said to be jointly preserved by divine Providence as fellow-commoners, Psalms 36:6. “It is behemoth, which I made with thee; I made that beast as well as thee, and he does not quarrel with me; why then dost thou? Why shouldst thou demand peculiar favours because I made thee (Job 10:9), when I made the behemoth likewise with thee? I made thee as well as that beast, and therefore can as easily manage thee at pleasure as that beast, and will do it whether thou refuse or whether thou choose. I made him with thee, that thou mayest look upon him and receive instruction.” We need not go far for proofs and instances of God's almighty power and sovereign dominion; they are near us, they are with us, they are under our eye wherever we are. 3. He that made him can make his sword to approach to him (Job 40:19), that is, the same hand that made him, notwithstanding his great bulk and strength, can unmake him again at pleasure and kill an elephant as easily as a worm or a fly, without any difficulty, and without the imputation either of waste or wrong. God that gave to all the creatures their being may take away the being he gave; for may he not do what he will with his own? And he can do it; he that has power to create with a word no doubt has power to destroy with a word, and can as easily speak the creature into nothing as at first he spoke it out of nothing. The behemoth perhaps is here intended (as well as the leviathan afterwards) to represent those proud tyrants and oppressors whom God had just now challenged Job to abase and bring down. They think themselves as well fortified against the judgments of God as the elephant with his bones of brass and iron; but he that made the soul of man knows all the avenues to it, and can make the sword of justice, his wrath, to approach to it, and touch it in the most tender and sensible part. He that framed the engine, and put the parts of it together, knows how to take it in pieces. Woe to him therefore that strives with his Maker, for he that made him has therefore power to make him miserable, and will not make him happy unless he will be ruled by him.

John Wesley's Explanatory Notes

Job 40:15

Behemoth — Very learned men take the leviathan to be the crocodile, and the behemoth to be the river — horse, which may fitly be joined with the crocodile, both being well known to Joband his friends, as being frequent in the adjacent parts, both amphibious, living and preying both in the water and upon the land. And both creatures of great bulk and strength. Made — As I made thee. Grass — The river — horse comes out of the river upon the land to feed upon corn, and hay, or grass, as an ox doth, to whom also he is not unlike in the form of his head and feet, and in the bigness of his body, whence the Italians call him, the sea — ox.

Geneva Bible Translation Notes

Job 40:15

Behold now (e) behemoth, which I made (f) with thee; he eateth (g) grass as an ox.

(e) This beast is thought to be the elephant, or some other, which is unknown.

(f) Whom I made as well as you.

(g) This commends the providence of God toward man: for if he were given to devour as a lion, nothing would be able to resist him, or content him.

Cross-Reference Topical ResearchStrong's Concordance
בהמות [Strong's H0930], Perhaps an extinct dinosaur, maybe a Diplodocus or Brachiosaurus, the exact meaning is unknown. Some translate as elephant or hippopotamus but from the description in
Job 40:15-24 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. ... He taketh it with his eyes: [his] nose pierceth through snares.
, this is patently absurd.


Genesis 1:24-26 And God said, Let the earth bring forth the living creature after his kind, cattle, and creeping thing, and beast of the earth after his kind: and it was so. ... And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.


Job 40:20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.
Job 39:8 The range of the mountains [is] his pasture, and he searcheth after every green thing.
Psalms 104:14 He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;
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Gn 1:24. Jb 39:8; 40:15, 20. Ps 104:14.

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