The Behemoth is a monster described in the Christian Bible, and is one of three primordial beasts said to symbolize the physical world; Behemoth represents the solid earth and is often depicted as a gigantic creature of unknown origin (though it has been identified with many large animals, such as hippos, elephants, bulls or crocodiles).

History

Originally considered a chaos beast, the Behemoth was either confronted by God at the beginning of time or (somewhat confusingly) near the end of time; in both confrontations, the Behemoth is considered a hulking brute of unimaginable strength that is defeated by God's omnipotent nature and either banished or reduced to a divine "pet".

Behemoth is the beast of the earth, Leviathan is the beast of the sea, and Ziz is the beast of the air; together, they can be compared, in many ways, to elder gods in the sense of being (in an abstract sense) an ancient "trinity" that are ultimately defeated by God, who forms the new (and according to most Christian faiths) eternal "Trinity."

Behemoth can also be compared to the apocalyptic Beast, though they are not necessarily the same creature (though they are both destroyer deities).

It should be noted that this version of the Behemoth does not appear in the original scriptural text, but has been added by other manuscripts and cults. The Behemoth is mentioned in the book of Job, but only as a description of a normal living animal; as stated above possibly a hippo or an elephant, but some theories speculate on a remnant of living dinosaurs like Mokele Mbembe.

Behemoth is also seen as a demon in some demonology texts, most notably the Dictionnaire Infernal, where he is depicted as a large bipedal elephant-human hybrid.

Symbolism

Behemoth is the term in the Hebrew language for 'a great beast,' supposedly representing loyalty, integrity, majesty and dignity, making altogether a single beast of gigantic proportions mentioned in the Scriptures and the representation of mind power and be parallel to the Leviathan sea monster. Metaphorically, both names have come to be used to represent the power of an extremely large and powerful entities and its dualism in their acting forces, but both rooted in the power of the flesh.

In the Book of Job, chapter 40, God spoke to Job in this way: "Shall a faultfinder contend with the Almighty?". The representation of Job as a righteous being is being replaced by the word 'faultfinder,' and, since the Hebrew word 'Behemoth' represent 'majesty and dignity' in the flesh then Job's faultiness acquired from the original sin is equalized with 'Behemoth' as a 'faultfinder.'.

Then God says to the spirit of faultiness in Job,"Are you trying to prove that I an unjust -to put Me in the wrong and yourself in the right? Are you as strong as I am? Can your voice thunder as loud as mine? If so, stand up in your honor and pride; clothe yourself with majesty and glory. God is making a symbolic meaning of the power invested in humankind when He made them. God clothed man with majesty and glory but not rooted in the flesh instead it was rooted in His divine Spirit. When the human mind became corrupted by the original sin it was transformed in the symbolic way of Behemoth a powerful faultfinder beast representing the majesty and glory of man in the flesh.

God then tells Job to redirect his overflowing anger rooted in the flesh to bring down all the greedy and the wicked that corrupt the way of the righteous, meaning to restore in his mind the spiritual loyalty and integrity that comes from God, instead of arguing or questioning God's ways, "Look at those who are proud; pour out your anger and humble them. Yes, look at them and bring them down; crush the wicked where they stand. Bury them all in the ground; bind them in the world of the dead. Then I will be the first to praise you and admit that you won the victory yourself.".

Then God gave to Job the description of Behemoth's garments, "Look at the monster Be'Hemoth, which I created as I created you. He eats grass like an ox, but his strength is in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stand up and be stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together making them strong. His bones are tubes of bronze, his limbs like bars of iron. He is the first of the works of God; let Him who made Be'Hemoth bring near His Sword!".

Only God can defeat the monster because He was his creator. He came together with the divine spirit that God put in man and was clothed with divine loyalty, integrity, majesty and glory.

Then Death rob that divine nature and transformed it in sin, guilt, greed, and wickedness.

Demonology

In medieval demonology, the Behemoth ("several animals") is the nocturnal demon of indulgence (or gluttony) and holds the ranks of caretaker of wine cellars, grand cupbearer of the royal household, and watchman. He oversees the feasts of Jinnestan (mythic land of the Djinn themselves) and is responsible for serving The Devil his food and wine. He also entertains with music.

Described as a monstrous elephant with bear-like feet. And he can also appear like a crocodile, hippopotamus, and/or whale. He is fairly stupid and his only concern is eating.

Legend tells that he was originally created by God to help stabilize the world, resting it on his back he floated in the water, surrounded by cosmic darkness. Within his chest is an invisible desert called Dundayin.

Related to the Leviathan, when the Behemoth is dealing with humans, he creates chaos in their lives. He can shape-change into a cat, a dog, a fox, and a wolf.

According to Jewish tradition, only the creator of a Behemoth can destroy it; in this case, only Jehovah can destroy Behemoth. On the Day of Judgment, he will be slain by a whale and his body will provide the feast for the Celebration of Final Days and the Lord God will distribute the meat to his followers.

This entity is often called upon during exorcism and cases of collective possession; he was one of the eighteen demons who possessed Sister Jeanne des Anges in Loudun, France, in the year 1634 A.D.

Gallery

The Behemoth and the Leviathan.jpg

Trivia

  • The word is most likely a plural form of bəhēmāh, referring for Hebrews to a beast of use to humans or a dumb animal. It is being used here, however, as a single entity. It may be an example of pluralis excellentiae, a Hebrew method of expressing greatness by pluralizing a noun; it thus indicates that Behemoth is the largest and most powerful animal. Metaphorically, the name has come to be used for any extremely large or powerful entity.
  • Most people believed that Behemoth is a present-day animal such as an elephant, hippo or bull. Some creationists believed that it is a sauropod, most like a Brachiosaurus, due to the description of the scriptures depicted to have feet as strong as iron and a long tail as hard as cedar wood. Though some believe that these are euphemisms for male genitalia, which would make it more of a mammal then a dinosaur.
  • Behemoth was created along with man (40:15a), it is herbivorous (40:15b), it has strong muscles and bones, and it lives in the swamp (40:21). In Hebrew belief, Behemoth is the primal unconquerable monster of the land, as Leviathan is the primal monster of the waters of the sea and Ziz the primordial monster of the sky. It is either describes as an huge hippopotamus or a dragon-like creature.
  • Sir John Milton writes about the birth of the Behemoth in his epic poem Paradise Lost as not one creature but a living species, both good and evil.

Navigation

           Legends.png

Notable Legends
Bigfoot | Chupacabra | Cyclops | Dragons | Fairies | Gremlins | Grim Reaper | Ghosts | Giants | Headless Horseman | Kraken | Loch Ness Monster | Medusa | Minotaur | Monsters | Mothman | Ogres | Siren | Skeletons | Spiders | Vampires | Wendigo | Yeti | Zombies | Stingy Jack

Demonology Legends
The Devil | Demons | Fallen Angels
Abaddon | Abere | Abyzou | Angra Mainyu | Aka Manto | Apep | Asmodeus | Asuras | Antichrist | Baal | Banshee | Baphomet | Beelzebub | Beast | Behemoth | Behemoth the Elephant | Belphegor | Black Cats | Black Monk of Pontefract | Black Shuck | Black Volga | Bogeyman | Buer | Cerberus | Coco | Crom Cruach | Demiurge | Eight Feet Tall | El Charro Negro | Enma Daio | Erlik | Hellhounds | Iblis | Kali | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kitsune | Kroni | Krampus | Lamia | Legion | Locusts of Abaddon | Mahishasura | Malsumis | Mammon | Mara | Mares | Mephistopheles | Moloch | Nure-Onna | Rakshasa | Ravana | Raven Mocker | Sack Man | Samael | Six Demons | Stolas | Succubi | Termagant | Unholy Trinity | The Watchers | Wa Nyudo | Whore of Babylon | Gargoyles
Disambiguation Pages
Baphomet | Demon | Satan | Succubus

Gods & Spirits
Gods & Goddesses: Ares | Atë | Atlas | Camazotz | Damballa | Geb | Fomorians (Balor, Bres) | Hades | Hera | Jötunn (Ymir, Loki, Hela, Skoll and Hati, Fenrir, Jormungandr, Surtr, Hræsvelgr) | Kali | Kronos | Limos | Nun | Poseidon | Set | Titans | Xolotl | Zeus
Spirits: Dybbuk | El Silbón | Fetch | Hinnagami | La Llorona | La Sayona | La Viuda | Mackenzie Poltergeist | Myling | Poltergeists | Stingy Jack

Humans & Humanoids
Abhartach | Ajax the Lesser | Ame-onna | Bandits | Baron Samedi | Black Rock Witch | Blair Witch | Cain | Cassiopeia | Christie Cleek | Creon | Delilah | Draug | Doppelgangers | Goliath | Gomorrahites | Green Witch | Hags | Haman the Agagite | Hanako-San | Herod Antipas | Herod the Great | Herodias | Horsemen of the Apocalypse | Ixion | Jezebel | Judas Iscariot | King Ahab | King Arthur | Kuchisake-onna | Lilith | Lord William de Soulis | Louhi | Lucius Tiberius | Lycaon | Meg of Meldon | Morgan le Fay | Nanny Rutt | Pandarus | Paris | Phaedra | The Pharisees | Polyphemus | Rich Man | Romans | Santa Compaña | Saul | Sawney Bean | Shechem | Sodomites | Stingy Jack | Tamamo no Mae | Tantalus | Trauco | Tydeus | Umibōzu | Yallery Brown | Ysbaddaden | Dr. Victor Frankenstein | Frankenstein's Monster | Count Dracula | La Tunda | Davy Jones | Captain Nemo

Monsters, Animals & Anthropomorphic Beings
A-mi’-kuk | Akkorokamui | Averesboro Gallinipper | Aye-aye | Basilisk | Boneless | Cirein-cròin | Cockatrice | Devil Monkeys | Erymanthian Boar | Escornau | Fossa | Fouke Monster | Foxes | Giants of Voronezh | Golden Cicada | Groundhogs | Harpies | Hydra | Jackalopes | J'ba Fofi | Kappa | La Cegua | Lambton Worm | Leviathan | Madman Marz | Michigan Dogman | Mikari Baba | Mordred | Morgan le Fay | Onamazu | Otesánek | Paparrasolla | Pesanta | Redcaps (Robin Redcap) | River Mumma | Scylla | Stymphalian Birds | Tailypo | Tarasque | Trolls | Tsuchinoko | Veles | Wolves | Frankenstein's Monster | Count Dracula

Common Legends
Amanda the Doll | Black Goo | Bunnyman | Bye Bye Man | Candyman | China Doll | Clown Doll | Cropsy | Crying Boy | Cursed Dolls | Hairy-Armed Woman | Hatman | Homey the Clown | Hook Killer | John and Susan Buckley | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | Licking Maniac | Melon Heads | Men in Black | Mystery Killer | Nain Rouge | Nameless Thing of Berkeley Square | Old Man Try-By-Night | Peeping Tom | Rain Man | Robert the Doll | Paimon | Patasola | Skinned Tom | Teke Teke | The Killer In the Backseat | The Man Upstairs | La Tunda

Cryptids
Beast of Beckley | Beast of Gévaudan | Black Eyed Children | Black Stick Men | Bloop | Cherufe | Devil Monkeys | Emela-Ntouka | Dog-headed Men | Fallen Angels | Fear Liath | Flatwoods Monster | Goatman | Grafton Monster | Greys | Hoop Snake | Indrid Cold | Jackalopes | Jersey Devil | Kelpie of Loch Ness | Kongamato | Malawi Terror Beast | Mamlambo | Manananggal | Maricoxi | Mngwa | Momonjii | Nobusuma | Pope Lick Monster | Popobawa | Pukwudgies | Reptoids | Roc | Ropen | Salawa | Sea-Serpents | Shadow People | Sheepsquatch | Slide-Rock Bolter | Snallygaster | Spring Heeled Jack | Tanuki | Thunderbird | Two-Toed Tom | Water Horses | White-Eyed Children | Yowie | Ghosts

Modern Legends
Charlie | Bloody Mary | Bloody Mary (Halloween Horror Nights) | Ghost (Johnny, I Want My Liver Back) | Ghost Bus of Highway 93 | Ghost Cars | Ghost Trains | Momo | Orie Chef | Aliens (AC) | Martinez Dog Demon | The Spirit of Dark and Lonely Water | Crisis

Possessed Objects
Coffin on Wheels | Ghost Trains | Black Volga | Robert the Doll | Joliet the Haunted and Cursed Doll | China Doll | Amanda the Doll | Clown Doll | Gargoyles

See Also
Cthulhu Mythos Villains | Trevor Henderson Villains | Creepypasta Villains | SCP Foundation Villains

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.