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Element/sin : demon of lust and gluttony
Shape : elephant or hippopotamus, a cat
Rank : a headwaiter, or the caretaker of wine cellars of Hell
Origin : Egyptian deity Taueret.
Myths : One of the first monster created by God to guard the Earth
Magic : "his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly"
Association : Leviathan
Source : Book of Job, Enoch, Apocalypse, Jean Wier’s Pseudomonarchia Daemonum, Boulgakov, Blake
"Behold now behemoth, which I made with thee; he eateth grass as an ox. Lo now, his strength is in his loins, and his force is in the navel of his belly. He moveth his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his stones are wrapped together. His bones are as strong pieces of brass; his bones are like bars of iron. He is the chief of the ways of God: he that made him can make his sword to approach unto him. Surely the mountains bring him forth food, where all the beasts of the field play. He lieth under the shady trees, in the covert of the reed, and fens. The shady trees cover him with their shadow; the willows of the brook compass him about. Behold, he drinketh up a river, and hasteth not; he trusteth that he can draw up Jordan into his mouth. He taketh it with his eyes; his nose pierceth through snares." Job 40:15-24
“And that day will two monsters be parted, one monster, a female named Leviathan in order to dwell in the abyss of the ocean over the fountains of water; and (the other), a male called Behemoth, which holds his chest in an invisible desert whose name is Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden.” 1 Enoch 60:7-8
which I made as I made you;
he eats grass like an ox.
Behold, his strength is 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!
For the mountains yield food for him
where all the wild beast play.
Under the lotus plant he lies,
in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh.
For his shade the lotus tree covers him
the willows of the brook surround him.
Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened;
he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mough.
Can one take him with hooks,
or pierce his nose with a snare?” Job 40:15-24
“The Earth obey'd and straight
Op'ning her fertile womb teem'd at birth
Innumerous living creatures, perfect forms,
Limb'd and full-grown
The grassy clods now calv'd; now half appeared
The tawny lion, pawing to get free
His hinder parts, then spring as broke from bonds,
And rampant shakes his brindled mane; the ounce,
The libbard and the tiger, as the mole
Rising, the crumbl'd earth above them threw
In hillocks; the swift stag from under ground
Bore up his branching head; scarce from his mould
Behemoth biggest born of earth upheav'd
His vastness; flecc't the flocks and bleating rose
As plants; ambiguous between sea and land
The river-horse and scaly crocodile.” Milton
extended version by XenonZerrow
As mentioned above, the Behemoth is a mythical creature mentioned in the Bible.
Job 40:15-24 describes both Leviathan and Behemoth, showing Job how pointless is questioning the motives of God. The two creatures were usually depicted as immensely powerful beings, yet were reduced to the pets of God, having rings in their noses and Behemoth leashed.
In later Jewish apocrypha and pseudepigrapha Behemoth is the primal creature of earth, Leviathan is that of water, while Ziz is the primal creature of the sky. A rabbinic legend states that a great battle will take place between Behemoth and Leviathan, where the Creator will slay both creatures, and create canopies for the righteous under which they will feast on the meat of the beasts.
Some Young Earth creationists, who believe every animal (including dinosaurs) were made on day 6, thus Behemoth could have been a sauropod, a kind of dinosaur with long neck, tail and huge body, because of the statement about its tail, that it moves like a cedar can only mean that kind of creature.
Other identifications were pointed to still existing creatures, such as the hippopotamus or the elephant, but some even considered a crocodile or water buffalo, although the statement about the cedar tree is a great problem for these theories. A biologist Michael Bright suggested that the reference tries to point out the brush-like leaves of the tree, which resembles the tail of modern elephants or hippopotamuses.
A disturbing option still stands, in which the Hebrew word 'move' may mean 'extend' in this case, so it may refer to Behemoth's penis.
Despite all of the above, the Behemoth is most likely an imaginary creature, created by the author of Job in order to show the power of God.
Behemoth has several times been reused in popular culture as a large mammal or reptile, armed with huge teeth and claws.
The beast's name has a metaphorycal mean as well, referring to its size and power.
NOTE: The last editor RygoreMortalis states, that Behemoth is a demon, though I have not found anything stating that. I do not say it's not true, but it might be a misunderstanding.
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, Aug 14 2012, 5:40 AM EDT
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