Kids Feedback: Why Was Behemoth First Among the Works of God?

on October 28, 2011

Hi, I am a fourteen year old Christian with a question. In Job, God says that the Behemoth ranks first among the works of God. Is that saying that we are below the behemoth in the works of God, or are we in somewhat of a different category as people not animals or plants?

Rodney, PA

Thanks, Rodney, for sending in your question. You are correct in thinking that dinosaurs and people are viewed in an entirely different way by God. In Genesis 1:26 God said, “Let Us make man in Our image, according to Our likeness; let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, over the birds of the air, and over the cattle, over all the earth and over every creeping thing that creeps on the earth.”

Man was made in God’s image, while animals were not. Man was also given stewardship over the creatures that God created. Plants were provided as food for people and animals (Genesis 1:29-30). So, we can see that God created people in His image. None of the plant or animals have that special distinction. This places people on a different level, compared to the rest of the physical creation.

Rodney, let’s look at the verse you mentioned in Job:

Look now at the behemoth, which I made along with you; he eats grass like an ox. See now, his strength is in his hips, and his power is in his stomach muscles. He moves his tail like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are like beams of bronze, his ribs like bars of iron. He is the first of the ways of God; only He who made him can bring near His sword. Job 40:15-19

In Job 40:19, God remarks that behemoth is “the first of the ways of God.” This verse does not mean that people are below behemoth in the works of God. God was challenging Job in this entire chapter. The beginning of chapter 40 reads, “Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind, and said: ‘Now prepare yourself like a man; I will question you, and you shall answer Me: Would you indeed annul My judgment? Would you condemn Me that you may be justified? Have you an arm like God? Or can you thunder with a voice like His?’” God went on to describe some of the awe-inspiring creatures that He made. Behemoth was one of these, as well as leviathan. Some theologians believe that perhaps God was implying that behemoth was the masterpiece among all beasts, or that he was the largest of the land animals.

The word “first” in verse 19 could be used in a similar sense as Numbers 24:20, where “Amalek was the first of the nations.” “First”, in this sense, may have meant most powerful or mighty. It could be that God was implying that Behemoth was first in size and strength in Job 40:19.

Sauropod Size Comparison

Sauropod Size Comparison

Rodney, I’m so happy to hear you are a Christian! I have a question for those reading this article, who have not yet made a decision to follow Christ. Do you realize how special you are—that God made you in His image? People have a unique capability to understand special things about God (Rom 5:20, I Cor 2:7-12, Heb 11:1-3). An animal could never understand this. For instance, you can understand that we are all sinners. Everyone has sinned, which separates us from God (Romans 3:23). Because of this separation, we are in need of a Savior—someone to pay the price for our sin (Isaiah 53:6, Romans 5:8, Romans 6:23). This person is Jesus Christ. To find out how to have a relationship with Jesus Christ, please read the Good News.

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