Dragons and the Bible
- Is there a connection between dragon legends and dinosaurs?
- What is the leviathan mentioned in the Bible?
- What is behemoth?
- Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
Hebrew: תַּנִּין —transliteration: tannin —English pronunciation: tan-NEEN —meaning: serpent, dragon, sea monster
plural: tanninim or tanniym
This very ancient Hebrew word refers to some very great sea creature(s)—sea monster(s), and it is not likely to be whales.
God created the great sea monsters and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarmed after their kind… —Genesis 1:21 NASB excerpt
Other translations: great “sea creatures” (Gen. 1:21 NKJV; Gen. 1:21 ESV) / great “creatures of the sea” (Gen. 1:21 NIV) / great “whales” (Genesis 1:21 KJV)
In the King James Version, the word tannin is often translated as “dragon.” The New American Standard Bible does so twice.
He hath swallowed me up like a dragon,
He hath filled his belly with my delicates,
He hath cast me out. —Jeremiah 51:34 KJV
In that day the Lord will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent,
With His fierce and great and mighty sword,
Even Leviathan the twisted serpent;
And He will kill the dragon who lives in the sea. —Isaiah 27:1 NASB excerpt
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the Lord;
Awake as in the days of old, the generations of long ago.
Was it not You who cut Rahab in pieces, Who pierced the dragon [Hebrew: tannin] ? —Isaiah 51:9 NASB
Other translations of tannin in this verse: “monster” (Jeremiah 51:34 NKJV; Jer. 51:34 NASB; Jer. 51:34 ESV
This word tannin is also used to refer to some land animal(s) inhabiting desert places and ruins. As the original identification is unknown, translators have guessed what they are. The King James Version says dragons, others say jackals, which may not be a correct identification.
- “dragons” (Job 30:29 KJV)
“jackals” (Job 30:29 NKJV; Job 30:29 NASB; Job 30:29 ESV)
- “dragons” (Psalm 44:19 KJV)
“jackals” (Psalm 44:19 NKJV; Psalm 44:19 NASB; Psalm 44:19 ESV)
- “dragons” (Isaiah 13:22 KJV)
“jackals” (Isaiah 13:22 NKJV; Isaiah 13:22 NASB; Isaiah 13:22 ESV)
- “dragons” (Isaiah 34:13 KJV)
Isaiah 34:13 NKJV; Isaiah 34:13 NASB; Isaiah 34:13 ESV
- “dragons” (Isaiah 43:20 KJV)
“jackals” (Isaiah 43:20 NKJV; Isaiah 43:20 NASB; Isaiah 43:20 ESV)
- “dragons” (Jeremiah 10:22 KJV)
“jackals” (Jeremiah 10:22 NKJV; Jeremiah 10:22 NASB; Jeremiah 10:22 ESV)
- “dragons” (Micah 1:8 KJV)
“jackals” (Micah 1:8 NKJV; Micah 1:8 NASB; Micah 1:8 ESV)
- “dragons” (Malachi 1:3 KJV)
“jackals” (Malachi 1:3 NKJV; Malachi 1:3 NASB; Malachi 1:3 ESV)
Satan, “The Great Red Dragon”
Greek: δράκων —transliteration: drakón —meaning: a dragon —occurrences: 13
The ancient Greeks classified a “dragon” as a type of serpent.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child. —Rev. 12:3-4 NASB and LSB
And there was war in heaven, Michael and his angels waging war with the dragon. The dragon and his angels waged war, and they were not strong enough, and there was no longer a place found for them in heaven. And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. —Rev. 12:7-9 NASB
So the dragon was enraged with the woman, and went off to make war with the rest of her children [literally: seed], who keep the commandments of God and hold to the testimony of Jesus. —Rev. 12:17 NASB
- Who is SATAN, the enemy of God and all people? Answer
- Is Satan a real being that influences our world today? Is he affecting you?
- SATAN’S STRATEGY—What is one of Satan’s most successful strategies in dealing with followers of Christ? Answer
- What are DEVILS and DEMONS in the Bible
A “beast” that speaks like a dragon
Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
…And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. —Revelation 13:11-13 NASB excerpt
- serpent—a word sometimes interchangeable with dragon in ancient times
- Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
- KIDS VERSION: Are dinosaurs mentioned in the Bible?
- DINOSAUR ORIGIN—Where did the dinosaurs come from?
- Why did God create dinosaurs? Answer
- LIVING WITH DINOSAURS—What would it have been like to live with dinosaurs?
- EXTINCTION—Why did dinosaurs become extinct? Answer
- NOAH’S ARK—Did Noah take dinosaurs on the Ark? Answer
- DINOSAURS AFTER THE FLOOD—Following the Flood, what happened to dinosaurs? Answer
- Dragon well
- Read: Job 40-41 KJV