[The hippopotamus] is the first [in magnitude and power] of the works of God [in animal life]; [only] He Who made him provides him with his [swordlike tusks, or only God Who made him can bring near His sword to master him].
“Look at the land beast, Behemoth. I created him as well as you. Grazing on grass, docile as a cow— Just look at the strength of his back, the powerful muscles of his belly. His tail sways like a cedar in the wind; his huge legs are like beech trees. His skeleton is made of steel, every bone in his body hard as steel. Most magnificent of all my creatures, but I still lead him around like a lamb! The grass-covered hills serve him meals, while field mice frolic in his shadow. He takes afternoon naps under shade trees, cools himself in the reedy swamps, Lazily cool in the leafy shadows as the breeze moves through the willows. And when the river rages he doesn’t budge, stolid and unperturbed even when the Jordan goes wild. But you’d never want him for a pet— you’d never be able to housebreak him!”
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