Thursday, March 14, 2013

Bohemoths & Beasties

There is a description in Job of a fearsome creature - a creature that lurks in the deep... deep down in the deep. When it rises to the surface, it says that smoke pours from its nostrils and flames stream from its mouth. It speaks of strength, and graceful form, and let's not forget the fearsome teeth bit. I am talking of course of the leviathan.

 A while ago, someone asked me to take that description found in Job and draw a picture of what I imagined this beastie to look like. (He asked me to do the behemoth too, but he's relatively related and I'm not being paid, so please, let's not be hasty.)  So naturally I had to do the research. "Job... Job... where is Job? Job... Ezra... Nehemiah... Why isn't it pronounced job anyway?... Esther... Ah-ha! Job. Job 41. Here it is!" And then I proceeded to list all I could gather about the description. It was really quiet poetic... and very lengthy. Plus, there were a ton of interesting tidbits.

 "If you lay a hand on it you will remember the struggle and never do it again!"(If you live to tell the tale.)

 "Any hope of subduing it is false; the mere sight of it is overpowering." (So this thing is huge. Gigantical even, I'd say... if I used words like gigantical in everyday language. Which I do.) 

"Who can strip off its outer coat? Who can penetrate it's double coat of armor? Who dares open the doors of it's mouth, ringed about with fearsome teeth?" (There's that fearsome teeth bit again!)

 "It's back has rows of shields tightly sealed together; each is so close to the next that no air can pass between. They are joined fast to one another; they cling together and cannot be parted." (Sweet!)

 "It's snorting throws out flashes of light; it's eyes are like the rays of the dawn. Flames stream from its mouth; sparks of fire shoot out. Smoke pours from its nostrils as from a boiling pot over burning reeds. Its breath sets coals ablaze and flames dart from its mouth." (And some historians think it was a crocodile or a huge sperm whale. Use your imagination here, folks!)

 On top of that it listed all the weapons that didn't work against this beastie and how it treated iron like straw and bronze like rotten wood. Oh yes, the fantasy writer in me was smiling big time. I got to research all the fun stuff... like how to make scales look on it's underbelly look like broken potsherd.  (Yes, I said fun.  Have you ever looked at scales close up?)  It was also a great excuse to look at how all the other artists portrayed their leviathans. This was one of my favorite portrayals .. even though it doesn't exactly mesh with the biblical description. Wish I knew who the artist is.

  So what do you think? What do you imagine this levi-beastie thing to look like? I'd love to hear your thoughts on it!