Behemoth and the <i>Beagle</i>

William P. Brown

in The Seven Pillars of Creation

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199730797
Published online May 2010 | e-ISBN: 9780199777075 | DOI:
Behemoth and the Beagle

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God’s answer to Job is the focus of this chapter. God presents a panoramic sweep of creation that comprises the cosmic, the meteorological, and the biological. Its primary focus, however, is on the diversity and vitality of animal life in the wilderness. What was considered marginal from Job’s perspective now takes center stage in God’s answer, which reflects God’s biophilia. While de-centered, Job is shown to be integrally related to the wild. He was made by God “with” Behemoth, suggesting Job is linked with all creatures, including monstrous Leviathan. Biology, too, discerns a link that connects all life on Earth, a genetic link (DNA). God’s answer, moreover, takes Job on a grand tour of taxonomy, not unlike Charles Darwin’s around-the-world voyage on the H.M.S. Beagle early in his career. Read in the light of evolution, Job presents a powerful testimony to biodiversity and affirms the intrinsic value of all life.

Keywords: biodiversity; biophilia; Darwin; Job; Behemoth; Leviathan; wilderness; wild; evolution; DNA

Chapter.  10554 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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