Scripture supporting Dinosaurs with man
Though the truth of dinosaurs or any other animal is not a salavational issue, it is important to know about our Lord's magnificent creation besideas ourselves. And while not the only animal of importance in scripture or to any one human personally, they are amazing animals, possibly the most amazing. It is our duty as Christians to know all that we can fit inside our brains in order to give answers to those who do not follow God or His Word. This subsection will address the origin of dinosaurs/dragons (and other creatures lumped in with dinosaurs) for the purpose of getting/giving answers.
32For their vine is of the vine of Sodom, and of the fields of Gomorrah: their grapes are grapes of gall, their clusters are bitter:
33Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps.
34Is not this laid up in store with me, and sealed up among my treasures?
Deuteronomy 32: 32-34
In Deuteronomy 32 God is talking about the rebellious attitudes of the people of Isreal and what will happen to them if they continue to rebel. In verses 32-34 God is describing their attitudes and actions still and compares the fruits of their labors witht he poisons of dangerous reptilian animals. God says their "wine is the poison fo dragons, and the cruel venom of asps". This is a very descriptive phrasing, especially to anyone with a knowledge of reptiles and the seriousness of snake venom.
Having created the animals, God would indeed have foremost knowledge of their attributes and could therefore make such an accurate and poetic comparison. We all know that the venom of dangerously venomous snakes is severely dangerous and could certainly be called "cruel" by anyone bitten. But the interesting thign is that God says that dragons have poison. To date, there is no physical proof that any Dinosaurs had venom, although one will recall the venom spitting ability of Dilophosaurus in Jurassic Park. There are numerous reptiles and even amphibians alive today that we know utilize poison either for defense or for killing prey. Dinosaur being reptiles, it is only logical that some of them did the same.
It is worth mentioning that at least one Dinosaur, Sinornithosaurus, has been found to have grooved teeth that lead to what may have been a chanmber for the venom gland. While it probably didn't inject or spit venom like a snake, it likely bit and "chewed in" the posion like a Gila Monster lizard or a Komodo Dragon, to wekaen prey eventually killing it from poisoning. Here we have evidence of God Almighty having detailed knowledge of animals that we still lack as well as God Himself openly discussing Dinosaurs just a few thousand years ago alongside humans. Yet again God and His word show a completely different story than Evolution, as well as a much mroe authenticated and trustworthy one.
2Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt:
3Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself.
4But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.
Isaiah 29: 2-4
In Isaiah 29 we find God talkign to His prophet Ezekiel. God tells Ezekiel to tell Pharoah of Egypts impending fall from power in the world. God likens the Pharoah, and Egypt as well, to a dragon living in the Nile river. God says that Pharoah/Egypt will be hooked by the jaws and pulled out of the river. God says the fish will stick to his scales, this is likely a reference to Egypt's allies falling with it.
The text doesn't explicitly say what the river dragon looks like, and in reality it may not have even been a Dinosaur. Most Dragons referneced in scripture are much harder to kill than merely pulling it out with fish hooks (see the article about Leviathan). It is quite possible that the dragon in this case was a Nile crocodile. Nile crcodiles are much easier to kill than something like a Plesiosaur and are killed all the time today. Nile crocs are numerous in the rivers of Africa and can be found virtually anywhere where there is water on the continent.
One thing to remember is that throughout most of history the words "dragon" and "serpent" did not specically mean one type of reptile, but were synonomous with most reptiles, especialy large ones. This means that aside from Dinosaurs, the term dragon cna be apllied to any large and fierce reptile such as Crocodilians, Monitor lizards, Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs, Plesiosaurs and occassionally animals that are nto even reptiles given the proper context. It is worth noting that crocodiles and alligators are commonly refered to today as Dinosaurs and soemtimes even Dragons.
Here we have an example of why we as Christians must do our best not to jump to conclusions in our quest to preach truth. We must be more careful than anyone since the whole of the world seeks to undermine our beliefs and prove them wrong, and any mistake is pointed to as "See! You have no idea what you're talking about!". If we jump to conclusions prematurely withotu enough support for it, we end up making the smae mistake as secular researchers, that of blind faith and overzealous attempts to trumph our opponents. If we were to do this int his case for example, we could falsely label the Egyptian river dragon as something it was not, and with little evidence to support the notion.
Then shall the lame man leap as an hart, and the tongue of the dumb sing: for in the wilderness shall waters break out, and streams in the desert.
7And the parched ground shall become a pool, and the thirsty land springs of water: in the habitation of dragons, where each lay, shall be grass with reeds and rushes.
8And an highway shall be there, and a way, and it shall be called The way of holiness; the unclean shall not pass over it; but it shall be for those: the wayfaring men, though fools, shall not err therein.
Isaiah 35: 6-8
In Isaiah 35: 6-8 God talks about restoration of the land of Isreal. He says that the land is dried up but the waters wil return and the land will flourish again. He says that once the waters return to nourish the land that dragons will live there. The verses also state that the highway of holiness shall be a place of safety for travellers.
It is said that where the dragons lay will be grass and reeds and rushes, meaning a swampy area. This makes sense if Dragons were Dinosaurs since Dinosaurs are reptiles. Reptiles are often found near water and love swampy places. The verse does not indicate what type of dragon (water, land or flying) they are, but it may be any Kind of Dinosaur, ie. Dinosaurs, Pterosaurs or Plesiosaurs. This seems to be another reliable documentation of what we now call Dinosaurs living with humans in historical times. This is something that fits perfectly well within Biblical models of history, but not Evolutionary models in the least since evolution can give no account for dragon legends or accounts of dinosaur type animals in historical accounts.
"Rejoice not thou, whole Palestina, because the rod of him that smote thee is broken: for out of the serpent's root shall come forth a cockatrice, and his fruit shall be a fiery flying serpent".
In Isaiah 14:29 we read Isaiah speaking about the Devil being cast out of Heaven. He makes an odd statement about some reptilian animals. The first he calls a Cockatrice, saying it has come out of the serpents root, meaning it comes from the family of reptiles as far as modern language is concerned. Second, he states that the Cockatrice shall give birth to the Fiery Flying Serpent. What does this mean? Isaiah seems to be saying that the animal known as Cockatrice is a reptile, portrayed throughout history as being able to fly. While many people say that the Cockatrice was a mythical animal half rooster, half dragon, it can be interestingly attributed to a Pterosaur, meaning it was indeed a real animal. He goes on to talk about the offspring of the Cocktrice, calling it the Firey Flying Serpent. This animal's identity can be derived easily from the name. This creature is said to be a flying reptile that is "fiery" as if it were actually on fire. While a flying reptile would obviously be a Pterosaur, the fiery attribute could likely refer to a light given off by the animal, making it a Pterosaur capable of Bioluminescence, something that has been reported throughout much of history and continues to be reported even in modern times. For more on Bioluminescent Pterosaurs please visit our section on Cryptozoology.
The link between the Cockatrice and the Fiery Flying Serpents may be a hint towards an ancient understanding of how animal kinds are related, meaning Isaiah was stating that they are both flying reptiles, which are closely related to one another. It is also possible he was commenting on what we call Microevolution, whereby a species genetically branches into a new subspecies with slightly unique characteristics. Whatever the case may be, if not simply one or both of those mentioned, it is clear that Isaiah was very aware of flying reptilian animals that modern humans call Pterosaurs, something that contradicts an Evolutionary timeline of history yet has been thoroughly documented throghout history in many forms, in countless places. It is no surprise that the Bible, being the word of God, would include mentions of such creatures ling before modern man discovered fossils.
"The burden of the beasts of the south: into the land of trouble and anguish, from whence come the young and old lion, the viper and fiery flying serpent, they will carry their riches upon the shoulders of young asses, and their treasures upon the bunches of camels, to a people that shall not profit them".
Again in the Book of Isaiah we find mention of Flying Fiery Serpents. God Himself is angry at His rebellious children and is tellign them of woes to come for their disobedience. He mentions a wasteland where lions and vipers live, meaning it is a very unhopsitable place. He also mentions Fiery Flying serpents living in the wilderness.
This alludes to the fact that these animals were considered quite unpleasant to be around, and even deadly. These Fiery Flying Serepents can be attributed to what we now call Pterosaurs. Many people know them as Flying Dinosaurs but they are not classified as Dinosaurs, since Dinosaurs are land dwelling animals. However the fact remains that in this instance we have God Himself speaking of Pterosaurs living with Human beings, a fact that is irreconcilable with Evolutionary teachings.
The Bible being the Word of God is one of the most trustworthy sources of information to ever exist, there is no reason not to believe it over the fallible teachings of man that is constantly proven incorrect. People need not fear being "anti science fundamentalists" by believing in the Bible while "science" says the Bibles' accounts are not true. Many things have shown that the Bible is indeed true while the theory of Evolution cannot be made to accord with scientific findings.
In chapter 41 of the book of Job, we read about God having an in depth conversation with Job and referencing many features of creation to him. While doing so, He describes things in intimate detail. God goes over many animals and their habits and habitats such as the ostrich, the eagle, the donkey, the horse, the lion and more.
However, the two creatures God describes with more detail than any other (and incidentally the most detailed descriptions of any animals in the Bible) are the Behemoth and the Leviathan. The Leviathan is said to be the most fearsome animal in all of God's creation. But just what is this monster?
Many people over the ages have struggled with the identity of the Leviathan. Many have stated that the animal must be a whale or fish, though the majority have long claimed the animal to be a crocodile. A crocodile is somewhat fitting as it is a feared and ferocious animal living in the water, also, people have been living in mortal fear of them for thousands of years. Yet there are some discrepancies between the description of Leviathan and a crocodile such as the fact that a crocodile can be killed by humans with moderate effort.
The Leviathan is described as a giant, highly aquatic animal that is unable to be tamed or even slain easily by human beings. The verses state that one cannot pull a Leviathan out by fishing with hooks, nor can you make a pet out of one. It is simply far too powerful and dangerous to tame or slay by normal means. It is also said that you can't eat them, possibly alluding to it being unclean as well as it being nearly invincible against the weapons of that time. I highly doubt that leviathan meat was ever seen at local markets.
Leviathan, along with Behemoth, are described in more detail than any other animal in the Bible, giving us plenty of clues to arrive at at least a few candidates based on the texts. The passage makes it clear that the creature is the fiercest animal God has made and it is also very large, though not as large as a Behemoth since Behemoth is credited as the largest animal God made. God himself clearly states that even though Leviathan is the most fearsome animal on Earth, it belongs to Him just as every other thing does since He is the One who made it and sustains it all. God next says that his mouth is large and full of round teeth and that Leviathan is covered in close fitting scales, so close that air cannot pass between them. This alone rules out a whale since they don't have scales.
The next part of God's description of Leviathan is what cause many people to give pause as to if Leviathan is a real animal. Fire breathing. To many this signifies the fact that creature is merely myth instead of real natural history. But the fact remains God said to Job that leviathan breathed fire, and as followers of God, we should believe that God says what He means and that He knows better than we do. After all, shouldn't the God that made all things, including Leviathan, know the most about this creature?
This feature in reality is not as far fetched as many think given the defense mechanisms exhibited by other animals. There are a multitude of bizarre animal defenses that have been observed such as the electricity generated by electric eels, the Bombardier beetle uses rocket fuel to spray out a jet of searing hot liquid, horned toad lizards shoot blood from their eye sockets, many animals including reptiles utilize venom which is modified saliva, and spitting cobras can even shoot venom over 12 feet and through a 1/4 inch sized hole using modified fangs that even include rifling. It seems as if fire would naturally fit in the long list of defenses an animal could use. All that is really needed is the right chemicals to combine to produce the fire, and maybe a catalyst of some kid unless the chemicals ignited when they react with oxygen. Even though we don't know the chemical and biological means that Leviathan used to achieve expelling fire, we do know that it is possible from science, and that it did happen thanks to scripture.
The next several verses again describe the ferocity of the animal by saying he has a strong neck, thick, hard scales that act as armor and a heart as hard as stone, likely meaning he is afraid of nothing. The next few texts describe how the Leviathan is unharmed by such weapons as swords, spears, darts, harpoons, arrows and sling stones, and treats iron and brass like fragile plant matter such as straw and rotten wood.
The last few verses tell us how Leviathan(s) not only live in the water but are so terrible that he/they make the water itself tremble with fear. This of course is poetic licensing and not meant to be taken literal, many people doubt passages of scripture because they do not read things in CONTEXT, the way the passage was meant to be read. The Leviathan is said to make the water boil, possibly from it's fire breathing, though this wouldn't occur underwater since fire cannot work underwater.
The last verses tell us that there is no one and no creature on Earth that do not fear and respect Leviathan. Leviathan is said to be the most fearsome creature in Creation and anyone cocky enough to not respect him will be put in his place, so to speak.
Based on these descriptions, what exactly is Leviathan? Clearly it is a real animal because God references it as one in the long list of creatures He tells Job about. Leviathan is quite clearly a giant animal with scales that spends much of it's time in the water, though it couldn't be a fish since they could not breathe fire and are easily killed by humans, even sharks today are slaughtered every year. This means it is most likely a reptile of some sort, and one of the biggest ones God ever made. It fears nothing, but everything fears it. It can even breathe fire, that is, expel flames from it's mouth and nostrils. This means it cannot be a crocodile since they obviously do not posses this ability. Leviathan cannot be killed with conventional weapons like swords, spears, arrows or harpoons, due to it's size and armor like scales. What is Leviathan?
A whale or fish being a candidate seems to stem mostly from desperately trying to identify the animal more than its description since many things do not match up between these proposed animals and the description God gives.
This likely, is largely due to the fact that when the King James version of the bible was translated many species had become extinct before this point in history. And these species were not rediscovered until hundreds of years later. So obviously the translators at the time would not consider an animal they never knew existed.
Many who believe the Bible have come to the realization that it is some kind of giant reptile. The bible does not give us an exact identity for Leviathan, but there are several popular options. Many Christian researchers and readers in general have come to believe it may have been what is known as a Mosasaur or Pliosaur, such as Mosasaurus or Kronosaurus. These giant aquatic reptiles (60 feet for Mosasaurus hoffmannii and 30-50+ feet depending on the species of Pliosaur) were indeed fearsome predators that spent their lives in the water. But can one of them be Leviathan? They were in fact enormous, fully aquatic reptiles with scales and large, crocodilian-style jaws full of large teeth that were at the top of their local food chain when fully mature. And they certainly would have been considered sea monsters and dragons by anyone who saw one.
The main question here is "why would an animal that lives in and underwater breathe fire?". The answer seems to be that they wouldn't, since why would an animal that rarely is above water need a feature that specifically excludes being under the water? If not a giant Pliosaur or Mosasaur, then what?
There is yet another valid option in Sarcosuchus, an enormous species of crocodilian that is now considered extinct. Sarcosuchus (and consequently Deinosuchus) are currently the largest known crocodilian species to ever live, growing to 40 feet long and up to 10 tons in weight. A growing number of people have suggested Sarcosuchus as the true identity of the biblical Leviathan given that it fits well with the description given to Job. Sarcosuchus, being a crocodilian, would have spent most of it's time in the water, would likely have been a ferocious animal when cornered or were it's territory invaded. Sarcosuchus did curiously possess a large Bulla at the end of it's snout. This is interesting since it has been suggested that it may have been the physical mechanism that Leviathan expelled flames from. This mystery also deepens considering that no one knows what this large cavity was actually used for. It is however a point that Sarcosuchus is not the largest post-fall carnivore we know of from biology and paleontology.
It is this authors personal belief that Leviathan (at least the kind described in Job 41) was none of the aforementioned animal species, but another, lesser proposed candidate known as Spinosaurus Aegyptiacus. S. Aegyptiacus is currently the largest known land dwelling carnivore in history and fits exceptionally well with the description of Leviathan.
Spinosaurus was an enormous (60 feet long and 4 tons in weight) carnivorous species of Theropod dinosaur that was possibly the most aquatic theropod species. It is known from fossil analysis to have spent much of it's time int he water and it is widely believed to have included a lot of fish in it's diet. Spinosaurus is the largest member of it's family, Spinosauridae, yet known. These unique dinosaurs were somewhat lighter in build than most other large theropods such as Tyrannosaurus Rex, or Carcharodontosaurus Saharicus, was equipped with more robust arms than most of the other giant meat eating dinosaurs, and possessed long jaws filled with conical teeth making it's head and mouth more akin to a crocodilian as opposed to most large theropods species whom had more bulky head and jaws with flatter, knife-like teeth. These adaptations are believed to have helped Spinosaurus catch fish, as well as other seafood, though it is believed by many that Spinosaurus preyed on virtually anything it pleased given it's large size and potentially deadly jaws and claws.
Spinosaurus is perhaps most unique and indeed well known for it's mysterious large dorsal spines that ran along it's back. These large spines are thought to have supported a sail (though some contend it supported a large hump) whose function is still debated. It is now believed that Spinosaurus may have even had at least partially webbed feet to help it swim through the water and some believe it used it's tail to propel it forward similar to crocodiles and alligators. Given that Spinosaurus was highly aquatic, it should be pointed out that it could and did leave the water ad likely spent a fair amount of time at the water's surface.
This is a critical point in identifying Leviathan since the description given in Scripture seems to indicate that it can leave the water, as well as describing Leviathan stirring up the waters as if they were a pot of boiling water. It should also be noted that an animal that is said to breath flames out would logically spend a fair amount of time above water or at least at it's surface. An animal that rarely comes to the surface such as a fish or even a Mosasaur or Pliosaur (they could in all likelihood hold their breath for long periods of time) would be unlikely to possess an adaptation that precludes being above water and in open air. Other animals such as crocodiles could not be Leviathan given that we know that these animals cannot expel flames and they are not unable to be killed with harpoons, arrows and other primitive weapons since native people around the world have been killing them for much of recorded history.
We can conclude from both scripture and modern zoology that not only was Leviathan a real world, flesh and blood animal, but that it was considered a pinnacle of creation by the Lord himself to go into such detail about such an awe inspiring creature and it's role in creation as "king over all the children of pride." And while we cannot be 100% certain of what animal Leviathan was it seems a rather safe bet that Spinosaurus is currently the best candidate we have having compared several top candidates. It is not a stretch to envision a large Spinosaurus , rise from and thrash in the water of some swampy river, being confronted by a group of humans in the post-flood world armed with spears, swords and arrowsonly to be thoroughly outmatched by such a large and powerful dragon spewing flames, easily dispatching them and sinking back into the water.
By standing on the authority of scripture on thereby, that of God almighty and by using the reasoning skills He instilled in us from the beginning to learn about creation, we can come to properly understand what God was describing to Job as well as have a deeper understanding of the weight of God's words when He tells Job of Leviathan and how powerless we are in the face of God's creation and indeed the Creator himself.
We should praise God for making such a fascinating animal and for using it in reference to true power so that we can better understand Him and his creation. By better understanding God and his creation, we can grow closer to our Savior while simultaneously increasing our knowledge, knowledge we can use to bring others closer to Christ. After all, who wouldn't want to know more about something as marvelous as the Leviathan and certainly we should all want to know more about the wonderful God that created it.
15 Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox.16 Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly.17 He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together.18 His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron.19 He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him.20 Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play.21 He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens.22 The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about.23 Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not: he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth.24 He taketh it with his eyes: his nose pierceth through snares.
Another issue at the time is that since dinosaurs/dragons were rare, most people had not seen one during this "in between" period of dinosaur knowledge. So logically they would not consider an animal they had never seen and knew nothing about, as the identity of Behemoth.
Ectothermic animals cannot regulate their own temperatures well enough to sustain a constant internal body temperature, so they must regulate it via their environment. For example, any timemy pet python gets too cool it moves under the basking light to warm up,and when it gets too hot,it moves to the cool end of the terrarium to lower it's temperature. Job 40:22 may be alluding to this fact. Though this is not concretely evidenced.
Many people portray Behemoth as a Brachiosaurus, though it is unclear why this started,it is unlikely that Behemoth was a Brachiosaur since they are actually known for having rather short tails for sauropods. So it seems doubtful that God would point out the tail on a Brachiosaur.
Some have pointed out that the description of Behemoth given in Job doesn't seem to mention a long neck, a famous characteristic of sauropods. It is unknown why this is, though it does not mean that Behemoth were not sauropods. Godmay simply justnot have pointed to this feature for one reason or another.We simply don't know, and we can never fully understand God with our limits.
The fact remains that the animal best fitting the description of Behemoth in Job 40 is a giant sauropod dinosaur. There likely was not an animal bigger than the largest sauropod known unless it was another sauropod. Remember, Behemoth was "chiefof the ways of God".
The account of Behemoth is a prime reminder of the true history of life on our planet, with all kinds of organisms coexisting through most of history with each other and with humans. Just as would be expected if God made humans and all the land based animals,including dinosaurs, on day 6 of creation week alongside Adam, some of which survived the flood via the ark.
Behemoth is a shining example of how dinosaurs are phenomenal examples of God's wondrous craftsmanship and power. Such a creature can only be adequately explained by the biblical account of literal 6 day creation by an almighty, suprememly knowledgeable and loving God. Perhaps one day we will be able to see these amazing creatures on the new Earth and better understand just how Job felt when he beheld Behemoth.