The NLT translation notes say this:

40:15 The identification of Behemoth is disputed, ranging from an earthly creature to a mythical sea monster in ancient literature.

Why a sea monster (ala Leviathan)? Isn't it clearly a land animal?

[Job 40:15 NLT] (15) "Take a look at Behemoth, which I made, just as I made you. It eats grass like an ox.


Some thought Behemoth is amphibious.

Benson Commentary

But some later and very learned men take the leviathan to be the crocodile, and the behemoth to be a creature called the hippopotamus, or river-horse, which may seem to be fitly joined with the crocodile, both being very well known to Job and his friends, as being frequent in the adjacent places, both amphibious, living and preying both in the water and upon the land, and both being creatures of great bulk and strength.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown agrees:

behemoth—The description in part agrees with the hippopotamus, in part with the elephant, but exactly in all details with neither. It is rather a poetical personification of the great Pachydermata, or Herbivora (so "he eateth grass"), the idea of the hippopotamus being predominant. In Job 40:17, "the tail like a cedar," hardly applies to the latter (so also Job 40:20, 23, "Jordan," a river which elephants alone could reach, but see on [560]Job 40:23). On the other hand, Job 40:21, 22 are characteristic of the amphibious river horse. So leviathan (the twisting animal), Job 41:1, is a generalized term for cetacea, pythons, saurians of the neighboring seas and rivers, including the crocodile, which is the most prominent, and is often associated with the river horse by old writers. "Behemoth" seems to be the Egyptian Pehemout, "water-ox," Hebraized, so-called as being like an ox, whence the Italian bombarino.

Barnes also agrees:

It is an amphibious animal, or an animal whose usual resort is the river, though he is occasionally on land. This is evident, because he is mentioned as lying under the covert of the reed and the fens; as abiding in marshy places, or among the willows of the brook, Job 40:21-22, while at other times he is on the mountains, or among other animals, and feeds on grass like the ox, Job 40:15, Job 40:20. This account would not agree well with the elephant, whose residence is not among marshes and fens, but on solid ground.

After the description of Behemoth in Job 40, it is immediately followed by the description of Leviathan in Job 41.

Job 40:15 "Look at Behemoth, which I made along with you and which feeds on grass like an ox.
Job 41 1“Can you pull in Leviathan with a fishhook or tie down its tongue with a rope?

Crocodile and hippopotamus are often paired together by ancient writers. Then perhaps Leviathan is a crocodile and Behemoth is hippopotamus.

As they are here grouped together in the argument, it is probable that they belong to the same class; and if by the leviathan is meant the "crocodile," then the presumption is that the river-horse, or the hippopotamus, is here intended. These two animals, as being Egyptian wonders, are everywhere mentioned together by ancient writers; see Herodotus, ii.-69-71; Diod. Sic. i. 35; and Pliny, "Hist. Nat." xxviii. 8.


Behemoth בְּ֜הֵמ֗וֹת is a land animal (like-Cattle כַּבָּקָ֥ר ka-Baqar in Job 40:15). It lives in the "forest" יָ֑עַר Ya'ar [with oxen אֲלָפִ֣ים Alafim] on a thousand אלף Elef mountains. - Psalm 50:10.

Psalms / Tehillim 50:10 [MT]

"For Mine is every animal of the forest, [the] Behemoth on a thousand mountains." ( כִּי־לִ֥י כָל־חַיְתוֹ־יָ֑עַר בְּ֜הֵמ֗וֹת בְּהַרְרֵי־אָֽלֶף )

Behemoth בְּ֜הֵמ֗וֹת is NOT a mythical sea monster - as noted in the NLT. The Tanakh clearly defines בְּ֜הֵמ֗וֹת Behemoth as a land animal of the forest mountains similar to the ox.

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