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What Is the Behemoth?

By October 18, 2012

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The BehemothThough Halloween isn't a Jewish holiday, with all the spooky fun going on in October now seems the perfect time to learn about Jewish mythical beasts and superstitions. First up: the Behemoth.

The Behemoth is a legendary creature that's mentioned in Job 40:15-24. Here the text tells us that the Behemoth is an ox-like creature that feeds on grass, yet is so large that his tail is the size of a ceder tree. The passage also names the Behemoth "first among the works of God," a statement that has led some to believe that the Behemoth was the first creature that God created.

According to the 2nd century B.C.E. Book of Enoch, the Behemoth still lives in the desert "east of the garden where the elect and the righteous dwell" (1 Enoch 60:7-8). There he awaits the end of days, when he will engage the Leviathan in a battle to the death.

Learn more about the Behemoth in: The Behemoth in Jewish Mythology

Image credit: "Behemoth and Leviathan" by William Blake, from his Illustrations of the Book of Job.

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