Bible Articles on the Topic of Dragon

The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.

Leviathan

Among the ancient civilizations there are myths about dragons. The Babylonian creation myth contains a battle between Merodach and a dragon (Tiamet). The destruction of this dragon turns into the creation of the earth and the ascendancy of Merodach.

Rahab (Egypt)

“Rahab” was the name of a mythological sea serpent or dragon, literally the “boisterous one,” referred to a number of times in the Old Testament (Psalms 87:4; 89:10; Job 9:13; 26:12; Isaiah 30:7, 51:9). The name of this monster has not hitherto been discovered in any extrabiblical text. In the Old Testament, Rahab functions similarly to Leviathan, an originally Canaanite chaos monster, but whether these are to be identified or are separate monsters in origin is not entirely clear.

War In Heaven

“And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, and prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.” (Revelation 12:7-9)

The Jackal

In the past the golden or Indian jackal has been a very common creature throughout the Holy Land and the surrounding areas, such as Sinai. It is strange, therefore, that it finds no mention in the AV. However, a number of words in the Hebrew Scriptures may refer to this creature:

Dragon

The dragon represents a power from which come forth unclean teachings at the time of the end: “And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs come out of the mouth of the dragon, and out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet” (Revelation 16:13). The dragon first appears in Revelation 12: “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads” (v. 3). In Revelation 12 the dragon represents pagan Rome, with the seven heads relating to the seven hills of Rome (17:9) and the horns representing countries over which Rome ruled.

An Eschatological Interpretation of Constantine’s Labarum Coin

Shortly after the opening of the Constantinople mint in A.D. 326, several coin types were issued commemorating Constantine’s victory over Licinius in the recent civil war.¹ Among these was a bronze issue displaying reverse iconography strongly suggesting biblical imagery. The motif depicts a labarum piercing a dragon or crooked serpent, with the legend SPES PVBLIC (Hope of the Commonwealth) stamped across the field (Figure 1). The labarum on the coin is the Christian war standard originated by Constantine, and described in Eusebius’ Vita Constantini I. 31:² a vexillum topped with a monogram composed of the first two letters of the Greek word christos, a chi superimposed on a rho.³ Overlaid on the descending staff is a crossbar carrying a banner with three medallions representing Constantine and his two sons holding the rank of Caesar (Constantine II and Constantius II). The four regular specimens of this coin type in museum collections contain obverses only of Constantine I, with the legend CONSTANTI-NVS MAX AVG.⁴

Michael and the Great Dragon

Revelation 12:7-9: “And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. And the great dragon was cast out, that old serpent, called the Devil, and Satan, which deceiveth the whole world: he was cast out into the earth, and his angels were cast out with him”.

Dragon

(1.) Hebrew: tannim, plural of tan. The name of some unknown creature inhabiting desert places and ruins (Job 30:29; Psalms 44:19; Isaiah 13:22; 34:13; 43:20; Jeremiah 10:22; Micah 1:8; Malachi 1:3); probably, as translated in the Revised Version, the jackal (q.v.).

Bel and the Dragon

bel, bāl, drag ́un (Greek words: δράκων, drákōn, “dragon,” “serpent”; ἐκτός, ektós, “except”; ὅρασις, hórasis “vision,” “prophecy”; ὄφις, óphis, “serpent”; σφραγισάμενος, sphragisámenos, “having sealed”; χωρίς, chōrís, “except,” Hebrew or Aramaic words: חתם, ḥātham, “to seal”; זיפא, zēphā', “pitch”; זעפא, za‛ăphā', “storm,” “wind”; נחשׁ, nāḥāsh, “snake”; תּנּין, tannīn, “serpent,” “sea monster”).

Dragon

drag ́un (תּנּין, tannīn, plural תּנּים, tannīm, תּנּות, tannōth; δράκων, drákōn):

Jackal

(1) תּנּים, tannīm, “jackals,” the King James Version “dragons”; compare Arabic tînân, “wolf”; and compare תּנּין, tannīn, Arab tinnîn, “sea monster” or “monster” the English Revised Version “dragon” (Job 7:12 m; Psalms 74:13; 148:7; Isaiah 27:1; 51:9; Jeremiah 51:34), “serpent” (Exodus 7:9, 7:10, 7:12; Deuteronomy 32:33; Psalms 91:13), the King James Version “whale” (Genesis 1:21; Job 7:12); but תּנּין, tannīn, “jackals,” the King James Version “sea monsters” (Lamentations 4:3), “jackal’s well,” the King James Version “dragon well” (Nehemiah 2:13), and tannīm, “monster,” the King James Version and the English Revised Version “dragon” (Ezekiel 29:3; 32:2).

Leviathan

lḗ-vi ́a-than (לויתן, liwyāthān (Job 41:1-34), from  לוה, lāwāh, “to fold”; compare Arabic name of the wry neck, Iynx torq̱uilla, abū-luwā, from kindred, lawā, “to bend”):

Sea-Monster

sē ́mon-stẽr: Genesis 1:21 (תּנּינם, tannīnīm), “sea monsters,” the King James Version “whales,” Septuagint (τὰ κήτη, tá kḗtē), “sea-monsters,” “huge fish,” or “whales.” Job 7:12 (תּנּין, tannīn), “sea-monster” the King James Version “whale,” the Septuagint δράκων, drákōn, “dragon.” Psalms 74:13 (תּנּינים, tannīnīm), the American Standard Revised Version and the English Revised Version margin. “sea-monsters,” the King James Version and the English Revised Version “dragons,” the King James Version margin “whales” Septuagint δράκοντες, drákontes, “dragons” Psalms 148:7 (תּנּינים, tannīnīm), “sea-monsters” the King James Version and the English Revised Version “dragons,” the English Revised Version margin “sea-monsters” or “water-spouts,” Septuagint drakontes, “dragons.” Lamentations 4:3 (תּנּין, tannīn) “jackals,” the King James Version “sea monsters” the King James Version margin “sea calves,” Septuagint drakontes. Matthew 12:40 (referring to Jonah) (κῆτος, kḗtos), English Versions of the Bible “whale,” the Revised Version margin “sea-monster.” In the Apocrypha, the Revised Version changes the King James Version “whale (kētos) into “sea-monster” in Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 43:25 but not in Song of Three Children verse 57. See DRAGON; JACKAL; WHALE.

Whale

hwāl: (1) κῆτος, kḗtos (Sirach/Ecclesiasticus 43:25 (the Revised Version “sea-monster”); The Song of Three Children verse 57 (the Revised Version “whale”); Matthew 12:40 (the Revised Version “whale,” margin “sea-monster”; the King James Version “whale” throughout)). (2) תּנּין, tannīn (Genesis 1:21; Job 7:12), “sea-monster,” KJV “whale.” (3) תּנּים, tannīm (Ezekiel 32:2), “monster,” the English RV “dragon” the KJV “whale” the King James Version margin “dragon.”

Dragon

Dragon, (from the Greek δράκων, as in the Apocrypha and Revelation frequently), an imaginary serpent of antiquity, especially in mythology, supposed to be supplied with feet and often with wings, stands in our version usually as a translation of two Hebrews words of different signification, but common derivation — tan, תִּן, and tannian, תִּנַּין (according to Gesenius, from תָּנִן, to extend, with reference to the great length of one or both of them). The similarity of the forms of the words may easily account for this confusion, especially as the masculine plural of the former, tannin, actually assumes (in Lamentations 4:3) the form tannin, and, on the other hand, tannim is evidently written for the singular tannin in Ezekiel 29:3; 32:2. But the words appear to be quite distinct in meaning; and the distinction is generally, though not universally, preserved by the Sept. Bochart, however, proposes (Hieroz. 2:429) to read uniformly tannin as the plur. of tan, and thus merge both terms into one. SEE WHALE.

Whale

Whale, the rendering in the A. V., (besides κῆτος,Matthew 12:40) of two very closely related Heb. terms: תָּן, tan (or rather תִּנַּים, tannim’, as a sing., Ezekiel 32:2; “dragon,” 29:3; elsewhere as a plural and rendered “dragons,” Job 30:29; Psalms 44; 19; Isaiah 13:22; 34:13; 35:7; 42; 20; Jeremiah 9:11; 10:22; 14:6; 49; 33; 51; 37), and תִּנַּין, tannnin’ (Genesis 1; 21; Job 7:12; “serpent,” Exodus 7:9-10,12; “sea- monster,” Lamentations 4:3; elsewhere also “dragon,” Deuteronomy 32:33; Nehemiah 2:13; Psalms 74:13; 91:13; 148:7; Isaiah 27:1; 51; 9; Jeremiah 51:34). The texts where these are used in general present pictures of ruined cities and of desolation in the wilderness, rendering it difficult to determine what kind of creatures in particular are meant, except as may be inferred from other passages (Job 30:29; Psalms 44:19-20; Isaiah 13:22; 34:13; 35; 7; Jeremiah 9; 11; 10; 22; 49; 33; 51; 34; 37). Where the term is associated with beasts or birds of the desert, it clearly indicates serpents of various species, both small and large (Isaiah 43; 20; Psalms 91:13; also Exodus 6:9-12), and in one passage a poisonous reptile is distinctly referred to (Deuteronomy 32:33). SEE SERPENT. In Jeremiah 14:6, where wild asses snuffing up the wind are compared to dragons, the image will appear in its full strength, if we understand by dragons great boas and python-serpents, such as are figured in the Presenting mosaics. They were common in ancient times, and are still far from rare in the tropics of both continents. Several of the species grow to an enormous size, and, during their periods of activity, are in the habit of raising a considerable portion of their length into a vertical position, like pillars, ten or twelve feet high, in order to survey the vicinity above the surrounding bushes, while with open jaws they drink in a quantity of the current air. The same character exists in smaller serpents; but it is not obvious, unless when, threatening to strike, they stand on end nearly three fourths of their length. Most, if not all, of these species are mute, or can utter only a hissing sound; and, although the malli-pambu, the great rock -snake of Southern Asia, is said to wail in the night, no naturalist has ever witnessed such a phenomenon, nor heard it asserted that any other boa, python, or serpent had a real voice; but they hiss, and, like crocodiles, may utter sounds somewhat akin to howling, a fact that will sufficiently explain the passage in Micah (Micah 1:8). When used in connection with rivers, the term probably signifies the crocodile (Psalms 74:13; Isaiah 27:1; 51; 9; Ezekiel 29:3; 32:2), and when allusion is had to larger bodies of water, probably some of the cetaceous mammalia (Genesis 1; 21; Psalms 148:7; Lamentations 4:3). SEE LEVIATHAN. The above interpretation is according to that of Bochart (Hieroz. 2, 429), who proposes always to read תִּנַּין in the sense of huge serpents; but others, following Rab. Tafichum Hieros., suggest a different etymology for the plur. forms תִּנַּים and תִּנַּין (the isolated case of a sing. form תִּנַּים, in, Ezekiel 29:3, being taken for a corrupt reading for תִּנַּין, as in some MSS.), from the root תָּנִן, in the tropical sense of stretched out in running, and applied to the jackal, a swift animal, which answers well to the description where these forms occur, being a creature living in deserts (Psalms 44:19; Isaiah 13:22; 34:13; 35:7; 43; 20; Jeremiah 9:11; 10:22; 14:6; 49; 33; 51; 37), suckling its young (Lamentations 4:3), and uttering a wailing cry (Job 20:29; Micah 1:8). The other passages in which the forms, sing. תִּנַּין, plur. תִּנַּינַים, occur are thus left to be explained as before, namely, as signifying,

The Apocalypse of Saint John the Evangelist on the Island of Patmos

Dragon

The Apocalyptic Woman (1497 woodcut)

Dragon

The Archangel and the War In Heaven

Dragon

A Red Dragon

Dragon

A Woman Clothed in the Sun

Dragon

A Woman Clothed in the Sun

Dragon

The Beast with Seven Heads and Ten Horns (16th c. engraving)

Dragon

The Beast with Seven Heads and Ten Horns

Dragon

The Beast with Two Horns and the Dragon with Seven (16th c. engraving)

Dragon

The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb (1497 woodcut)

Dragon

The Beast with Two Horns Like a Lamb (1497 woodcut)

Dragon

Christ Defeats the Beast of Revelation

dragon

Defeat of the Seven-Headed Dragon (1220, folios 101v-102)

Dragon

The Devil is Come Down

Dragon

Dragonslayer (detail)

Dragon

The Dragon

Dragon

Dragon and Woman of Revelation

Dragon

The Dragon Tries to Devour the Child

Dragon

Great Battle in Heaven

Dragon

The Great Red Dragon

Dragon

The Infant of the Apocalypse Saved from the Dragon (1843)

Dragon

La Bete de la Mer (Medieval tapestry)

Dragon

Luther’s Bible (1524)

Dragon

Luther’s Bible (1524)

Dragon

Michael and His Angels Fought Against the Dragon

Dragon

Michael and the Dragon

Dragon

Michael Fights the Dragon

Dragon

Pagan Roman Dragon

Dragon

Saint Michael Fighting the Dragon (1497 woodcut)

Dragon

Saint Michael Fighting the Dragon (1497 woodcut)

Dragon

The Serpent Spouted Water Like a River Out

Dragon

The Seven Headed Beast (8th c. illumination)

Dragon

The Seven Headed Lion Beast

Dragon

The Sun-clothed Woman. Rev. 12:1-2.

Dragon

The Two Great Wonders

Dragon

The Virgin of the Apocalypse

Dragon

War in Heaven (ca. 1531, Ottheinrich Bible)

Dragon

War in Heaven

Dragon

The Woman and the Dragon (Revelation XII)

Dragon

The Woman and the Dragon

Dragon

The Woman and the Dragon

Dragon

The Woman and the Dragon of Revelation

Dragon

The Woman and the Dragon of Revelation

Dragon

Woman Clothed with the Sun (1047, f. 186v)

Dragon

Woman Clothed with the Sun (1536 woodcut)

Dragon

The Woman Clothed with the Sun (16th c. engraving)

Dragon

Woman Clothed with the Sun

Dragon

Woman Dressed with the Sun

Dragon

Woman Dressed with the Sun

Dragon

The Woman Dressed with the Sun and the Dragon (16th c. fresco)

Dragon

The Woman Dressed with the Sun and the Dragon (16th c. woodcut)

Dragon

The Woman Dressed with the Sun, the Dragon and the Archangel

Dragon

Woman Flees into the Desert

Dragon

Woman of the Apocalypse

Dragon

Woman of the Apocalypse

Dragon

The Woman of The Apocalypse

Dragon

The Woman of the Revelation

Dragon

The Woman of the Revelation

Dragon

Leviathan

Leviathan (/lᵻˈvaɪ.əθən/; Hebrew: לִוְיָתָן, Modern Livyatan, Tiberian Liwyāṯān) is a sea monster referenced in the Tanakh, or the Old Testament.

Serpents in the Bible

Serpents (Hebrew: נחש nāḥāš) are referred to in both the Hebrew Bible and the New Testament. The symbol of a serpent or snake played important roles in religious and cultural life of ancient Egypt, Canaan, Mesopotamia and Greece. The serpent was a symbol of evil power and chaos from the underworld as well as a symbol of fertility, life and healing. Nachash, Hebrew for “snake,” is also associated with divination, including the verb-form meaning to practice divination or fortune-telling. In the Hebrew Bible, Nachash occurs in the Torah to identify the serpent in Eden. Throughout the Hebrew Bible, it is also used in conjunction with saraph to describe vicious serpents in the wilderness. Tanniyn, a form of dragon-monster, also occurs throughout the Hebrew Bible. In the Book of Exodus, the staffs of Moses and Aaron are turned into serpents, a nachash for Moses, a tanniyn for Aaron. In the New Testament, the Book of Revelation makes use of ancient serpent and the Dragon several times to identify Satan or the devil. (Revelation 12:9; 20:2) The serpent is most often identified with the hubristic Satan, and sometimes with Lilith.