Bible Question:

What is the meaning of the dragon in the Bible?

Bible Answer:

There are two different dragons in the Bible. The first one, called Leviathan, is found in the Old Testament and the second one, Satan, occurs in the New Testament in the book of Revelation.

Leviathan. There are a number of passages in the Old Testament about the dragon called Leviathan: Job 3:8; Job 41:1-34; Psalms 74:13-14; Psalms 104:25-26; and Isaiah 27:1. The major passage is found in Job. Some believe Leviathan is an elephant or a crocodile. But there are problems with this conclusion because of some of the key descriptions of Leviathan:

CharacteristicsPassage
DragonIsa. 27:1
Twisted serpentIsa. 27:1
Lives in the seaPs. 104:25
More than one headPs. 74:14
Tough skinJob 41:7
Very StrongJob 41:12
ScalesJob 41:15-17
Eyes can glowJob 41:18
Flames from his mouthJob 41:19
Smoke from his noseJob 41:20
One made without fearJob 41:33
Long neckJob 41:34

This is a description of an animal and not a person. The animal sounds like the Loch Ness monster in the British Isles that so many claim to have seen. Was or is he real? Henry M. Morris, a highly respected scientist, believes it was an dinosaur. Skeletal remains of such an animal exist – a sea animal with a long neck.

What is the meaning of the dragon? The dragon reveals the awesome power of God. Job 41:33 says,

Nothing on earth is like him, One made without fear. He looks on everything that is high; He is king over all the sons of pride. (NASB) Job 41:33-34

There was nothing else on earth like him. God made him mightier, stronger and more fierce than anything, including man. God used Leviathan to remind us that there is no one else like Himself. There is only one God (Isaiah 45:6) and He is all powerful. It is He who makes the sick, lame, the blind and the deaf (Ex. 4:11). There is no one else who can do that, and there is only one God who can kill the powerful and feared Leviathan (Ps. 74:14).

Satan. Satan is called a dragon in the book of Revelation. He is described in Rev. 12:3, 4, 7, 9, 13, 17; Rev. 13:1, 2, 4, 11; Rev. 16:13 and Rev. 12:9 and 20:2. Revelation 20:2 tells us the dragon is the devil or Satan. The dragon appears to symbolize power (Rev. 13:2) and again God conquers with power (Rev. 20:2). Satan is an evil angel (Ezekiel 28:14), a created being – a cherub who used to live in heaven with God. In Revelation the term dragon is another name for Satan, and it is also symbolic of Satan’s real power.

Conclusion:

Satan and Leviathan are powerful beings. Satan is a created, powerful angel who turned to evil and was then removed from heaven. Leviathan was a powerful created animal of the sea. Scripture reminds us that God is greater than any spiritual or physical being. There is nothing like God on earth, in heaven or anywhere else. Glory to God!

Reference Links:

Peace With God
Is Leviathan a crocodile or a dragon?
Were dinosaurs on the ark?