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2001 Translation

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    Dragons

    The word dragon is found several times throughout the Greek Septuagint and New Testament Greek text of the Bible.
    It is actually a Greek word (drakonta) that has basically been Anglicized.
    Note that dragons are thought of as animals with the bodies of snakes (gr. orphis), but they also have feet and legs. However, the many ways that the Greek term dragon and its apparent Hebrew counterparts (leviathan or behemoth) are used in the Bible seem to indicate some sort of fearsome wild beast.

    What was the original dragon?
    It’s an interesting fact that the answer to this question would still be open to debate were it not for the explanation that we find at Revelation 12:9, which tells us:

    ‘So, the huge dragon was thrown out.
    He is the first snake, the one that is called the Slanderer and Opposer, who is misleading the whole earth.’

    As you can see, this last book in the Bible clarifies the mystery of who the original ‘snake’ or ‘dragon’ that seduced Eve in the ‘Paradise of Delights’ (see Genesis 3:2) really was.

    That the dragon is viewed as a snake with legs in religious legends throughout the world, testifies to the fact that people everywhere once believed in the Bible account in Genesis. And they also believed that when God cursed the snake to ‘travel on its chest and belly,’ it lost its legs.

    The fact that the Bible speaks about what is translated as dragons several times raises some interesting questions. For the dragon, although supposedly a mythical animal, is one of the world’s most widely recognized creatures. It is highly regarded in the Buddhist religion and it can be seen in ancient religious carvings from around the world. This testifies to the fact that people have believed in the existence of dragons for as far back as human records go.

    Also note that dragons are also part of the folklore of Europe, for who hasn’t heard the story of Saint George and the Dragon? Yet, if you are familiar with that story, you’ll see that it is actually an allegory about man’s fight against sin and the Slanderer.
    So in that case, it also refers to the original dragon, who was the first creature of terror.

    Notice that faithful Job once asked the question (at Job 7:12):

    ‘Am I the sea or the dragon that guards it?’

    This view that a dragon guarded the edges of the seas was common throughout Europe until after the 15th century, for dragons were usually drawn at the edges of maps of seas during that time.

    Also notice that there is an entire chapter in Job (Job chapter 41) that appears to be a description of the dragon, where it clearly identifies it as the evil one. However, the meanings of the words have been misunderstood by copyists, translators, and commentators alike due to the fact that the Hebrew text uses different words (since it is a different language).
    For Hebrew-based Bibles speak of a leviathan or a behemoth in the Book of Job.
    And it is also calls it, the crooked serpent.

    Although nowhere in the Greek Septuagint text of Job 41 do we actually find the word dragon, verses 18-21 are obviously talking about such a creature. It says:

    ‘His sneezing brings about brightness And his eyes are like morning stars.
    From out of his mouth comes burning lamps,
    Like the scattered coals of a fire.
    From his nostrils comes the smoke of a furnace,
    Burning with the fire of live coals.
    For his soul is much like live coals,
    And flames shoot out of his mouth.’

    Then notice the further description in verses 31, 32:

    ‘He breaks from the abyss as though a brass pot;
    He thinks of the seas as his own ointment jar,
    And the abyss of Tartarus as his captive;
    For to him, the abyss is just a promenade.
    There’s nothing on earth that’s quite like him;
    For he was made to be mocked by My angels.’

    So, what is God talking about here?
    Well, some Bible critics dismiss the account of Job altogether, claiming that it is Bible mythology, while others say that God was just describing a wild ox. However, if you examine these verses carefully, you’ll see that God was using cryptic text to explain to Job just who was to blame for the problems he had been experiencing.

    Notice that the use of the word Tartarus in the Greek text (the place where evil gods are sent) in these verses provides us a clue to who is being spoken of, since the term isn’t found again in the Bible until the reference at 2 Peter 2:4; And the only mention of his coming out of his prison (pit or abyss) is found at Revelation 20:7. But of course, since Tartarus is a Greek word, the Hebrew text of these verses refers to that place as ‘the white-haired deep.’

    Nevertheless, you’ll find that this second-to-the-last Chapter in Job (as in any good writing), is really bringing back all the characters that the book started out with in the first chapter, God, the Evil One, and Job.

    Then, why did Jewish scribes and translators have so much trouble understanding the meaning of the words here that there are some obvious deletions in the texts?
    There are four likely reasons:

    1. They didn’t believe in fire-breathing dragons

    2. They didn’t know that the Slanderer was the dragon

    3. They didn’t know of the Slanderer’s position in Tartarus or the pit (or ‘the deep’)

    4. The correct understanding would have linked the Book of Job to the NT Scriptures that were written later by Christians.

    It is interesting that we also find mention of a dragon in the Greek text of Isaiah 27:1.
    For there we read:

    ‘In that day, He will bring His great holy sword Against the dragon (the crooked fleeing snake),
    And He will destroy that beast of the sea.’

    Notice that this is an obvious reference to the destruction of the same dragon mentioned at Revelation 12:9. However, this link generally goes unnoticed, because the Hebrew-based texts use the word leviathan. And we only come to realize that dragon is the Greek word for leviathan if we compare the Greek Septuagint text to the Masoretic text, which most modern scholars refuse to do.

    What is particularly interesting about this scripture is that it speaks of the dragon from the sea in the same words as are found at Ezekiel 32:2, where the reference is obviously to the land of Egypt and to its destruction.

    And you will also find references to the land of Egypt in the song that precedes Isaiah Chapter 27.
    So, there does seem to be a cryptic connection the dragon, the sea, and the land of Egypt.

    Notice that this song (as found at Isaiah 26:19-21), which precedes the discussion of the dragon, seems to speak of some future time when God’s people will be released from a symbolic Egypt after an Armageddon-like battle;
    For notice the rest of the words of the prophecy, which say:

    ‘We will not fall, though others will fall.
    But the dead will be raised from their tombs,
    And all on the earth will be joyful.
    For as dew, You’ll send them a cure,
    While the lands of the godless will fall.

    ‘So proceed, O my people, to enter your bedrooms…
    Go inside and lock all your doors,
    Then hide in there for a while!
    Because this will happen, then that;
    And the rage of Jehovah will pass.

    ‘{Look!} From His Holy Place, Jehovah sends rage Upon those that live in the lands.
    Then the ground won’t cover all of the blood,
    Nor [the bodies] of those He destroys.’

    Therefore, Egypt seems to be used here as a symbol of the godless nations that are destroyed in the Battle of Armageddon (Revelation 16:16), and the dragon that represents them appears to be the Opposer (Devil or Satan).