Towards the end of Job are two passages which describe beasts that resemble dragons:

Job 40:15-20: “Behold, Behemoth, which I made as I made you; he eats grass like an ox. Behold, his strength in his loins, and his power in the muscles of his belly. He makes his tail stiff like a cedar; the sinews of his thighs are knit together. 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 him bring near his sword! ...

And then also here:

Job 41:21: His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth.

Are these passages describing a fire-breathing dragon?

2 Answers 2


There is no suggestion that the ancient Hebrews believed in the fire-breathing dragons of medieval lore, but they did believe in supernatural monsters loosely described as 'chaos monsters'. These were mythological creatures that inhabit creation stories and had to be defeated in order to bring order to the world.

Behemoth literally means 'great beast' and God defeated Behemoth, who now eats grass. Leo G. Perdue (Wisdom in Revolt: Metaphorical Theology in the Book of Job, page 226) says that Behemoth is a creature that God made and that, in the theopoeic realm of myth and ritual, symbolises the power of chaos. If God can defeat such an awesome creature, how much more easily can he deal with the feeble challenge of a mortal Job.

Leviathan is the fire-breathing monster of Job chapter 41. Unlike the medieval dragons, he was a sea monster and had many heads that God broke (Psalm 74:-14). Leviathan is well known in Canaanite mythology, associated with names such as the seven-headed Litan.

Robert Sutherland (Putting God on Trial: The Biblical Book of Job) says the Behemoth is a Hebrew chaos monster similar to Rahab (Psalm 89:10, Isaiah 51:9), Yam and Leviathan. In fact, he believes that Behemoth is Leviathan, although he agrees that some scholars see otherwise.


In the book of job The Most High (God) describes two different animals one is the Behemoth a dinosaurs like creature and the other is the Leviathan which has the attributes of a dragon it even breath fire job 41:/19/20/21 Firebands stream from his mouth;sparked of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from from his nostrils as from a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. His breath set coal ablaze, and flames dart from his mouth. Whether or not it flew is open to interpretation. Job 41:5 Can you make pet out of him like a bird. Job 41:25 When he rises up,the mighty are terrified.

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