Dragons in The Bible

Here at Dragon Zoo we have decided to look to the bible for our next source of Dragon News, and you might be surprised by what we have found...

Many dragon fans may not realise that dragons feature in the Bible. Astonishingly there are 34 matches of the word dragon across 10 different books in the King James Version of the Bible. These animals that people doubt actually existed appear with a high level of detail and are described as large dragon creatures in two of the Bible’s books.

One notable dragon reference is from the Book of Revelation where a dragon is referenced in chapters 12,13,16 and 20. Although it is considered widely as a piece of literature from the Bible, it should not be ignored for those interested in the origins of dragon legend.

The book largely details the plight of the main protagonist, Lamb, fighting for the force of good, against the antagonist, Satan, known throughout the book as the dragon. The great red dragon comes to earth and makes war on the saints with his evil angels, and two assistants, the beast from the sea and the beast from the land. The beast from the sea is described as having seven heads and ten horns, ‘each with a crown and all marked with the name of blasphemy’. Revelation 20:2 describes the dragon, “He seized the dragon, that ancient serpent, who is the devil, or Satan, and bound him for a thousand years.”

Dragons Featured in the Bible - image courtesy of http://endtimepilgrim.org/rev12b.jpg

As well as the Book of Revelation another dragon monster is described in detail in the Old Testament. The Book of Job details a large sea-monster called Leviathan. In Isaiah 27:1 it states, ‘In that day the Lord with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea.’ And in Job 3.8 it states ‘May those who curse days curse that day, those who are ready to rouse Leviathan’

Dragons Featured in the Bible - image courtesy of http://media-2.web.britannica.com/eb-media/99/123499-004-009EA903.jpg

In Jeremiah there are two significant dragon references:

‘Jeremiah 10:22 Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons.’

‘Jeremiah 49:33 And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it.'

Interestingly, throughout the ages there have been multiple literary references to dragons and large sea monsters. One of the earliest recorded dragon stories occurs in the Babylonian battle between the god Marduk, also known as Bel, and the dragon Tiamat. Tiamat is described as a savage scale covered dragon with terrifying claws and large wings. Sea dragons feature in multiple mythologies, not just in the bible. Greek mythology features two sea dragon stories; there’s Perseus who has to save Andromeda from Ceto, (Perseus slays the giant sea snake and claims Andromeda as his wife.) and Cadmus, a prince who’s companions are killed by a giant water dragon which forces him to go and battle the monster.

For a large period of time in the 1800’s, Mary Anning of Lyme Regis was discovering large fossils thought to be the remains of sea dragons. She made a living off finding the fossils of what scientists now call plesiosaurs and ichthyosaurs. These large sea dragons are also mentioned in the bible in the book of Psalm 74:13, "Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters."

If we take the time to search for the clues and the references on dragons they can be found. Dragon News will continue to bring to light some of the well known and lesser known legends and stories on Dragons over the next year. One thing is certain from delving into the history books; dragons have been written about since the beginning of literature and will continue to be written about for many thousands of years to come.

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