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ATS Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Nave's Topical Bible
• Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
Animals; traps for: & Clean, Dog, Sheep
• Torrey's Topical Textbook
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Hebrew - leviathan, Leviathan

Psalms 74:14 104:26, an aquatic monster described in the book of Job, Job 41:1-34. Probably the animal denoted is the crocodile, the terror of the Nile; as BEHEMOTH, in Job 40:1-24, is the hippopotamus of the same river.

The crocodile is a native of the Nile, and other Asiatis and African rivers; in some instances even thirty feet in length; of enormous voracity and strength, as well as fleetness in swimming; attacks mankind and the largest animals, with most daring impetuosity; when taken by means of a powerful net, will often overturn the boats that surround it; has proportionally the largest mouth of all monsters whatever; moves both its jaws alike, the upper of which has not less than thirty-six, and the lower thirty sharp, but strong and massy teeth; and is furnished with a coat of mail so scaly and callous as to resist the force of a musket-ball in every part, except under the belly. The general character of the LEVIATHAN in fact seems so well to apply to this animal, in modern as well as in ancient times the terror of all the coasts and countries about the Nile, that it is unnecessary to seek further. In several passages in the Bible, the king of Egypt appears to be addressed as leviathan, Isaiah 27:1 Ezekiel 29:3.

The following extract of a letter from an American gentleman in Manila gives a graphic view of the strength and size of the crocodile: "My last operation in the sporting line, was no less than killing a crocodile, which for a year or two before had infested a village on the borders of the lake, taking off horses and cows, and sometimes a man. Having understood that he had killed a horse a day or two before, and had taken him into a small river, I proceeded to the spot, accompanied by my host, closed the mouth of the river with strong nets, and attacked the huge brute with guns and spears. After something of a desperate battle, we succeeded in driving him against the nets, where, being considerably exhausted by the wounds he had received from balls and lances, he got entangled, was dragged on shore, and the coup de grace given to him. He measured twenty feet in length, and from eleven to thirteen feet in circumference, the smallest part being eleven and the largest thirteen. The head alone weighed two hundred and seventy-five pounds. He had nearly the whole of the horse in him, and the legs, with the hoofs, were taken out entire."

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from American Tract Society Bible Dictionary published in 1859. Public Domain, copy freely.

Bibliography Information
Rand, W. W. "Entry for 'LEVIATHAN'". "American Tract Society Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1859.


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