I’m the Leviathan, the great biblical sea monster and do you know what really pisses me off? All the attention that Behemoth gets. No one ever thinks about me. No one ever uses my name as an adjective. Whenever you want to describe something huge and monstrous, you call it “behemoth”—no one ever uses “leviathan” in the same way. Honestly, it hurts.
Let’s get one thing straight. I’m freaking huge. I am a giant multi-headed sea creature quite literally of biblical proportions. I will mess you up. As God said when he described me to Job, “When he raiseth up himself, the mighty are afraid.” When he described Behemoth, he said, “He eateth grass as an ox… He lieth under the shady trees.” That’s hardly a biblical monster. You’ll see scarier beasts at the petting zoo.
Behemoth is basically a glorified hippopotamus. Kinda big but pretty docile. Hardly a monster. Instead of using “behemoth” to describe large and monstrous things, you should use it to describe things that are a little bigger than normal, but pretty boring. Like a suburban restaurant. “This Red Robin is the biggest restaurant in this shopping plaza and the menu is really approachable. What a behemoth!”
Throughout all of history Behemoth and all always had equal billing. In ancient Babylon, the Old Testament, everywhere, it was always Behemoth and Leviathan: two bad mofos who will mess you up. We were big, we were mean, and we were feared. Then something happened. I don’t know when it happened exactly, but sometime in the modern era, people stopped thinking of us in the same way. Suddenly, Behemoth became synonymous with everything giant and monstrous. It became a word to describe massive corporations, powerful governments, and loaded nachos. Leviathan? They just name boats after me.
In the early-modern era, people knew I was the real deal. Behemoth was just part of my posse. In 1651, Thomas Hobbes wrote Leviathan, his masterwork of political philosophy. He used me as a metaphor for political society, a massive, powerful beast. Leviathan was so good, people demanded a sequel. And you know what, I said, “Hobbes, buddy, do me a solid and name the sequel for my pal Behemoth. He’s been so mopey about it.”
So Hobbes wrote Behemoth as the crappy sequel. If Leviathan is 2001: A Space Odyssey, then Behemoth is 2010: The Year We Make Contact; the Billy Baldwin to my Alec Baldwin; the Bonus Jack to my Big Mac. And do you know how long Behemoth is? One hundred pages, give or take. Pfft, that’s a novella—hardly “behemoth.” But Leviathan? It’s freakin’ beast! It’s over 700 pages of hardcore social contract theory. Now that’s what I call “leviathan” in size!
What hurt most, was that Behemoth didn’t say anything. When people said, “Facebook has become a real behemoth,” he didn’t stop them and say, “You know, you might say it’s quite the leviathan too.” He liked having the spotlight to himself. That jerk.
The hardest part is that I’m lonely. Behemoth, if you’re reading this, know that I miss you. I forgive you. Let’s terrorize humans as a team, one more time, for Old Testament time’s sake. I love you man.
What—are you crying, Behemoth? Hey everyone, look at Behemoth, he’s not synonymous with everything enormous and powerful! He’s a big emotional dork! What a “leviathan” win for me!