Behemoth

Behemoth : in the Bible a name used for the Devil, referring to an impure animal and unclean spirit. Behemoth is derived from the Hebrew word behemet, meaning “beast” or “large animal.”

Job 40:15–24 describes Behemoth as “the first of the works of God,” the primal monster of the land:

Behold, Behemoth, 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 beasts play.

Under the lotus plant he lies, in the covert of the reeds and in the marsh. For his shade the lotus trees cover him; the willows of the brooks surround him. Behold, if the river is turbulent he is not frightened; he is confident though Jordan rushes against his mouth. Can one take him with hooks, or pierce his nose with a snare?

The verse 1 Enoch 60:7–8 a refers to Behemoth and Leviathan as two monsters who will be parted at the final judgment:

On that day two monsters will 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, wherein the elect and the righteous ones dwell. Behemoth represents unconquerable strength.

The Encyclopedia of Demons and Demonology – Written by Rosemary Ellen Guiley – Copyright © 2009 by Visionary Living, Inc.

behemoth-2
Behemoth as depicted in Collin de Plancy‘s Dictionnaire Infernal, 1863 edition.

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