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  1. When I was a boy, I heard my father give the Society's hour talk on the book of Job about 10 times. The talk spent a good portion of the time showing that Behemoth was a hippopotamus, and Leviathan was a crocodile. Of course, very little time was spent on the fact that the book of Job also says the following about the Behemoth, which is not at all true of a hippo: (Job 40:15-20) 15 Here, now, is Be·heʹmoth, which I made as I made you. . . . 17 It stiffens [or, sways] its tail like a cedar; The sinews of its thighs are woven together. 18 Its bones are tubes of copper; Its limbs are like wrought-iron rods. 19 It ranks first [or, "it is the beginning" -- NWT footnote] among the works of God; Only its Maker can approach it with his sword. 20 For the mountains produce food for it, Where all the wild animals play. The little tail of the hippopotamus does not move or sway like a cedar. It was hardly the beginning of God's creative works. The mountains do not produce food for it. Creatures much more terrifying than hippos have been caught and hunted by man for centuries. When we know what Behemoth is we can then understand why it is tied to the creation of man (cf. "which I made as I made you"), and why it is said to be "first" among God's creative works. Another curious thing about "Behemoth" is that it is a plural word. If it is a type of "plural of majesty" (as in Elohim, or "God of Gods"), then it could mean something like, "Beast of Beasts." The Leviathan is even less like a crocodile than Behemoth is like a hippo. Note: (Job 41:1-34) . . .“Can you catch Le·viʹa·than with a fishhook Or hold down its tongue with a rope? . . . 7 Will you fill its hide with harpoons Or its head with fishing spears? 8 Lay your hand on it; You will remember the battle and never do it again! 9 Any hope of subduing it is futile. The mere sight of it would overwhelm you. 10 No one dares to stir it up. . . . 12 I will not be silent about its limbs, About its mightiness and its well-formed body. 13 Who has removed its outer covering? Who will enter its open jaws? 14 Who can pry open the doors of its mouth? Its teeth all around are fearsome. 15 Its back has rows of scales Tightly sealed together. 16 Each one fits so closely to the other That no air can come between them. 17 They are stuck to one another; They cling together and cannot be separated. 18 Its snorting flashes out light, And its eyes are like the rays of dawn. 19 Flashes of lightning go out of its mouth; Fiery sparks escape. 20 Smoke pours out of its nostrils, Like a furnace fueled with rushes. 21 Its breath sets coals ablaze, And a flame shoots from its mouth. 22 There is great strength in its neck, And dismay runs before it. 23 The folds of its flesh are tightly joined together; They are firm, as though cast upon it and immovable. 24 Its heart is hard as stone, Yes, hard as a lower millstone. 25 When it rises up, even the mighty are frightened; Its thrashing causes bewilderment. 26 No sword that reaches it will prevail; Nor will spear, dart, or arrowhead. 27 It regards iron as straw, Copper as rotten wood. 28 An arrow does not make it flee; Slingstones turn into stubble against it. 29 It regards a club as stubble, And it laughs at the rattling of a javelin. 30 Underneath, it is like sharp fragments of pottery; It spreads itself in the mud like a threshing sledge. 31 It makes the deep boil just like a pot; It stirs up the sea like an ointment pot. 32 It leaves a glistening wake in its path. One would think that the deep had white hair. 33 There is nothing like it on the earth, A creature made to have no fear. 34 It glares at everything that is haughty. It is king over all the majestic wild beasts.” Do crocodiles snort out fire and sparks from their nostrils? Do their eyes shine brightly? Does lightning go out of its mouth? is it like a furnace inside, so that its very breath sends a flame that can set coals ablaze? Does it really stir up the deep seas like a cauldron? Looking again at the New World Translation it's hard for me to believe, now, that I ever thought this was a crocodile. Of course, part of the problem is that Witnesses, like many fundamentalist religions, too, do not want to see "fabulous" creatures in the Bible. It opens up the Bible to ridicule if it refers to "real" dragons and unicorns and beasts that seem never to have existed. Yet the idea appears even more "fabulous" if we read from some other translations, or more especially, the "Septuagint" LXX era translations, which would have been based on Hebrew manuscripts from as early as 400 BCE, rather than the NWT which is based on Hebrew manuscripts from as late as 1100 CE. Here are some of the quotes from Job in the LXX: http://ccat.sas.upenn.edu/nets/edition/28-iob-nets.pdf Job 40:15-23 But look now you are familiar with "monsters" [Behemoth]; they eat grass like cows. Look now its strength is in its loins, and its power in its belly's navel. It stood up its tail like a cypress, and its sinews have been interwoven. Its flanks are flanks of copper, and its spine is cast iron. . . . This is the chief of what the Lord created, made to be mocked at by his angels. But when it went up on a steep mountain, it brought its gladness to the quadrupeds in Tartarus. . . . If there is a flood, it will never take notice. {*It trusts that the Jordan will tumble into its mouth.} Job 40:25-41:26 [Masoretic 41:1-34] And will you catch a dragon [Leviathan] with a fish hook? . . . And do nations feed on it, and do the Phoenician races divvy it up? And a whole fleet, gathered, cannot carry the mere skin of its tail. {and its head in fisherman's boats}. But you will lay a hand on it, though you remember the battle that is waging in its body, and let it happen no more! . . . Who will uncover the front of what it is wearing? And who could enter the plate of its cuirass? Who will open the gates of its face? Fear is all around its teeth. Its inwards are bronze shields. . . . Light shines forth at its sneezing and its eyes have the look of the morning star. From its mouth proceed flaming torches, and fiery braziers are being cast forth. From its nostrils smoke of a furnace burning with the fire of coals. Its soul is coals, and a flame proceeds from its mouth. . . . Its heart is solid like stone, and it stands like an unyielding anvil. . . . It makes the deep boil like a caldron and regards the sea as a pot of ointment and Tartarus of the deep as a captive. . . . There is nothing else on earth like it, made to be mocked at by my angels. Everything high it sees, and it is king over all that are in the waters. The basic idea remains in modern translations, but there is some evidence that the Masoretic text (which the NWT is based upon) has often cleaned up what was thought to be embarrassing to medieval rabbis in the intervening centuries. The references to "Tartarus" [see Greek mythology] are curious, especially due to 2 Peter 2:4. But the additional references to Leviathan in the Hebrew Scriptures are just as striking.
  2. This was addressed to @JW Insider ..... probably from a separate thread elsewhere.
  3. "In faith all these . . . publicly declared that they were strangers and temporary residents in the land."—Heb. 11:13 From earliest times, faithful servants of Jehovah stood out as different from those in the ungodly world in which they lived. Before the Flood, Enoch and Noah “walked with the true God.” (Gen. 5:22-24; 6:9) Both of them were courageous preachers of Jehovah’s judgments against Satan’s wicked world. (2 Pet. 2:5; Jude 14, 15) Because they walked with God in an ungodly world, Enoch “pleased God well” and Noah “proved himself faultless among his contemporaries.” (Heb. 11:5; Gen. 6:9) At God’s invitation, Abraham and Sarah gave up the comforts of city life in Ur of the Chaldeans and accepted the challenge of living as nomads in a foreign land. (Gen. 11:27, 28; 12:1) The apostle Paul wrote: “By faith [Abraham] resided as an alien in the land of the promise as in a foreign land, and dwelt in tents.”—Heb. 11:8, 9. NWT jw.org

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