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Tuesday, January 17 2012

The Dragons Of The Bible

The English word "dragon" came from a French word, by the same spelling, that originated from a Latin word, draco, that further originated from a more-ancient Greek word, pronounced derkomai, which meant to see with fiery eyes. It is historically uncertain what, or what creature, real or imagined, that "fiery eyes" referred to, however the English word "dragon" came to generally mean "a mythical fire-breathing reptilian creature with wings." As such, that's what most people think of when they find "dragon" used in English translations of the Holy Scriptures. But what do the actual Hebrew and Greek words of the Scriptures mean?

As we shall see, there are three very different kinds of "dragon" (as it's translated into English) in the Bible. In the first, "dragon" is used by some versions of the Bible to translate the original Hebrew word that described an actual wild animal that inhabited the desert or wilderness areas. Some translations, such as the Revised Standard Version, render the word as jackal (a wolf-like creature) that howled (or "wailed," as described below) in a very "haunting" manner:

Jackal

"13:19 And Babylon, the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah [see The LORD And The Two Angels and Why Did Lot's Wife Look Back?]. 13:20 It shall never be inhabited, neither shall it be dwelt in from generation to generation: neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there; neither shall the shepherds make their fold there. 13:21 But wild beasts of the desert shall lie there; and their houses shall be full of doleful creatures; and owls shall dwell there, and satyrs shall dance there. 13:22 And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons [correctly rendered as jackals the RSV] in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged." (Isaiah 13:19-22 KJV)

"34:8 For it is the day of the Lord's vengeance, and the year of recompenses for the controversy of Zion. 34:9 And the streams thereof shall be turned into pitch, and the dust thereof into brimstone, and the land thereof shall become burning pitch. 34:10 It shall not be quenched night nor day; the smoke thereof shall go up for ever: from generation to generation it shall lie waste; none shall pass through it for ever and ever [see The Lake Of Fire Into An Ocean Of Fire - When?]. 34:11 But the cormorant and the bittern shall possess it; the owl also and the raven shall dwell in it: and he shall stretch out upon it the line of confusion, and the stones of emptiness. 34:12 They shall call the nobles thereof to the kingdom, but none shall be there, and all her princes shall be nothing. 34:13 And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons [correctly rendered as jackals the RSV], and a court for owls [see Howls Of The Wilderness]." (Isaiah 34:8-13 KJV)

"1:3 For, behold, the LORD cometh forth out of his place, and will come down, and tread upon the high places of the earth. 1:4 And the mountains shall be molten under him, and the valleys shall be cleft, as wax before the fire, and as the waters that are poured down a steep place. 1:5 For the transgression of Jacob is all this, and for the sins of the house of Israel. What is the transgression of Jacob? is it not Samaria? and what are the high places of Judah? are they not Jerusalem? [see The Tree Huggers Of Israel And Judah] 1:6 Therefore I will make Samaria as an heap of the field, and as plantings of a vineyard: and I will pour down the stones thereof into the valley, and I will discover the foundations thereof. 1:7 And all the graven images thereof shall be beaten to pieces, and all the hires thereof shall be burned with the fire, and all the idols thereof will I lay desolate: for she gathered it of the hire of an harlot, and they shall return to the hire of an harlot. 1:8 Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons [correctly rendered as jackals the RSV], and mourning as the owls." (Micah 1:3-8 KJV)

"1:1 The burden of the word of the LORD to Israel by Malachi. 1:2 I have loved you, saith the LORD. Yet ye say, Wherein hast thou loved us? Was not Esau Jacob's brother? saith the LORD: yet I loved Jacob, 1:3 And I hated Esau, and laid his mountains and his heritage waste for the dragons [correctly rendered as jackals the RSV] of the wilderness. 1:4 Whereas Edom saith, We are impoverished, but we will return and build the desolate places; thus saith the LORD of hosts, They shall build, but I will throw down; and they shall call them, The border of wickedness, and, The people against whom the LORD hath indignation for ever. 1:5 And your eyes shall see, and ye shall say, The LORD will be magnified from the border of Israel [see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates]." (Malachi 1:1-5 KJV)

"Dragon" is also used to translate the original Hebrew word that refers to some sort of large, ferocious water creature, such as that in the verses below - obviously a Nile River crocodile i.e. "Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers":

Crocodile

"29:1 In the tenth year, in the tenth month, in the twelfth day of the month, the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, 29:2 Son of man, set thy face against Pharaoh king of Egypt [see Why Did They Go To Goshen?], and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt: 29:3 Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD;

Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own [see also The River Of Moses], and I have made it for myself. 29:4 But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales. 29:5 And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven. 29:6 And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel." (Ezekiel 29:1-6 KJV)

Another example of the same "dragons in the waters":

"74:10 O God, how long shall the adversary reproach? shall the enemy blaspheme thy name for ever? 74:11 Why withdrawest thou thy hand, even thy right hand? pluck it out of thy bosom. 74:12 For God is my King of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. 74:13 Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. 74:14 Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness. 74:15 Thou didst cleave the fountain and the flood: thou driedst up mighty rivers. 74:16 The day is thine, the night also is thine: thou hast prepared the light and the sun. 74:17 Thou hast set all the borders of the earth: thou hast made summer and winter. 74:18 Remember this, that the enemy hath reproached, O LORD, and that the foolish people have blasphemed thy name. 74:19 O deliver not the soul [see What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?] of thy turtledove unto the multitude of the wicked: forget not the congregation of thy poor for ever. 74:20 Have respect unto the covenant: for the dark places of the earth are full of the habitations of cruelty. 74:21 O let not the oppressed return ashamed: let the poor and needy praise thy name." (Psalm 74:10-21 KJV)

"Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground ... 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"

The word "dragon" is also repeatedly used for Satan, not because he is or ever was hideous in appearance, but because of his repulsive behavior - which began as a corruption of his God-given beauty. When his rebellion against the Throne of God in heaven failed, the "pretty boy" was cast down to the earth.

In The Wilderness

"28:13 Thou hast been in Eden [see The Garden In Eden] the garden of God; every precious stone was thy covering, the sardius, topaz, and the diamond, the beryl, the onyx, and the jasper, the sapphire, the emerald, and the carbuncle, and gold: the workmanship of thy tabrets and of thy pipes was prepared in thee in the day that thou wast created. 28:14 Thou art the anointed cherub that covereth; and I have set thee so: thou wast upon the holy mountain of God; thou hast walked up and down in the midst of the stones of fire. 28:15 Thou wast perfect in thy ways from the day that thou wast created, till iniquity was found in thee. 28:16 By the multitude of thy merchandise they have filled the midst of thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: therefore I will cast thee as profane out of the mountain of God: and I will destroy thee, O covering cherub, from the midst of the stones of fire. 28:17 Thine heart was lifted up because of thy beauty, thou hast corrupted thy wisdom by reason of thy brightness: I will cast thee to the ground, I will lay thee before kings, that they may behold thee." (Ezekiel 28:13-17 KJV)

Satan's rebellion included other angels, who thereafter became known as "demons" or "devils" (i.e. demons aren't necessarily evil-looking either). Once upon Earth, the "dragon" began to infect humans with his spirit of rebellion too (see Do You Want A Servant Or A Serpent?) and thereafter used deceived humans to persecute those who repented and turned back to the LORD.

"12:1 And there appeared a great wonder in heaven; a woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and upon her head a crown of twelve stars: 12:2 And she being with child cried, travailing in birth, and pained to be delivered. 12:3 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. 12:4 And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and did cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman which was ready to be delivered, for to devour her child as soon as it was born. 12:5 And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne. 12:6 And the woman fled into the wilderness, where she hath a place prepared of God, that they should feed her there a thousand two hundred and threescore days. 12:7 And there was war in heaven: Michael and his angels fought against the dragon; and the dragon fought and his angels, 12:8 And prevailed not; neither was their place found any more in heaven. 12:9 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."

12:10 And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night. 12:11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb, and by the word of their testimony; and they loved not their lives unto the death. 12:12 Therefore rejoice, ye heavens, and ye that dwell in them. Woe to the inhabiters of the earth and of the sea! for the devil is come down unto you, having great wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short time. 12:13 And when the dragon saw that he was cast unto the earth, he persecuted the woman which brought forth the man child. 12:14 And to the woman were given two wings of a great eagle, that she might fly into the wilderness, into her place, where she is nourished for a time, and times, and half a time, from the face of the serpent. 12:15 And the serpent cast out of his mouth water as a flood after the woman, that he might cause her to be carried away of the flood. 12:16 And the earth helped the woman, and the earth opened her mouth, and swallowed up the flood which the dragon cast out of his mouth. 12:17 And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ." (Revelation 12:1-17 KJV)

The "dragon" has influenced humanity to build great false-Christian empires (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy) that have always persecuted the true Church of God with their doctrines that are based on paganism, not on Christ (see Is Your Religion Your Religion? and The True Gospel Of Christ). Revelation chapter 13 is a prophecy of the end time political/military "beast" and his "great false prophet" Christian-professing church (see The Gods Of The People). Satan's greatest power of deception is based on a false view of Christ, doctrinally and personally, in which the picture that many people have of Jesus Christ, in their minds, or hanging on their walls, is actually that of Satan, not of Jesus Christ (see the Fact Finder question below).

Picture

"13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea [see From What Sea Has The Beast Risen?], having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 13:2 And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. 13:4 And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

13:5 And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. 13:6 And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. 13:7 And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations. 13:8 And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world [see From The Foundation Of The World and The Rock Of The Church].

13:9 If any man have an ear, let him hear. 13:10 He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience and the faith of the saints.

13:11 And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon. 13:12 And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed. 13:13 And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men, 13:14 And deceiveth them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live. 13:15 And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed. 13:16 And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads: 13:17 And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.

13:18 Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six." (Revelation 13:1-18 KJV)

The return of Jesus Christ to establish the Kingdom of God on Earth (see The Last Days Before The Everlasting Days and After The Smoke Clears) will mark (no pun intended) the end of the "dragon" - after he has misled humanity on its final fool's errand.

Fire

"16:12 And the sixth angel poured out his vial upon the great river Euphrates; and the water thereof was dried up, that the way of the kings of the east might be prepared. 16:13 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.

16:14 For they are the spirits of devils, working miracles, which go forth unto the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty." (Revelation 16:12-14 KJV)

Satan will be confined for 1,000 years, briefly released for a final test of humanity that only at that time will have come to know the Truth (see The Eighth Day: What Does It Mean?) and then cast forever into his place of oblivion where he "shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever" from the choices that he will have made for himself.

"20:1 And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand.

20:2 And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, 20:3 And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up, and set a seal upon him, that he should deceive the nations no more, till the thousand years should be fulfilled: and after that he must be loosed a little season." (Revelation 20:1-3 KJV)

"20:7 And when the thousand years are expired, Satan shall be loosed out of his prison, 20:8 And shall go out to deceive the nations which are in the four quarters of the earth, Gog and Magog, to gather them together to battle: the number of whom is as the sand of the sea.

20:9 And they went up on the breadth of the earth, and compassed the camp of the saints about, and the beloved city: and fire came down from God out of heaven, and devoured them.

20:10 And the devil that deceived them was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone, where the beast and the false prophet are, and shall be tormented day and night for ever and ever." (Revelation 20:7-10 KJV)

Fact Finder: Satan has counterfeited the Creator's true Sabbath with the Roman "sun day" (see Why Observe The True Sabbath?). What other fraud has he committed with the identity of the true Messiah?
See Who's Hiding On Your Wall?


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This Day In History, January 17

38 BC: Octavian (who became the first emperor of the Roman empire; see Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire) divorced Scribonia and married Livia Drusilla, thereby ending the political peace between the Second Triumvirate and Sextus Pompey (see The Politics Of Rome).

395: Upon the death of Emperor Theodosius I, the Roman Roman Empire was no longer ruled by a single leader. As a political and military entity, it thereafter began to be moved northward, where it became officially known as "The Holy Roman Empire of The German Nation" (see The Holy Roman Empire and Ein Volk! Ein Reich! Ein Euro!).

683: The Battle of al-Harrah. A Syrian army supporting the Umayyad caliph Yazid I defeated the rebel forces of Medina.

1377: Pope Gregory XI restored the papacy to Rome from Avignon, France, where it had resided for 72 years. It had been moved there by French Pope Clement V in 1305, to escape the political turmoil in Italy at the time (see The Struggle For The Papacy).

1562: The Edict of St. Germain took effect by which the Huguenots (French Protestants) were recognized in France. On the same day, the Duke of Guise and the Cardinal of Lorraine formed a union to block the edict.

1601: The Treaty of Lyons was signed between France, Spain and Savoy under which Henry IV gained Bresse, Bugey, Gex and Valromey.

1773: The Resolution, under England's Captain James Cook, became the first ship to enter Antarctic waters.

1775: 9 women in Kalisk, Poland were burnt as witches, accused of causing bad harvests.

1811: The Battle of Calderon Bridge during the Mexican War of Independence; a force of 6,000 Spanish troops defeated a Mexican revolutionist force of 100,000.

1852: The United Kingdom recognized the independence of the Boer colonies of the Transvaal.

1912: Robert Scott's expedition reached the South Pole, a month after Roald Amundsen of Norway.

1939: The Nazi government in Germany prohibited Jews from working as dentists, veterinarians and chemists (see Presidential Quotes On War, Terrorism, Religion).

1945: The Soviet Red Army liberated and occupied Warsaw, Poland, from German forces.

1957: Canada's last aircraft carrier (Canada had 3 aircraft carriers during the Second World War to Cold War era), HMCS Bonaventure, was commissioned. The ship was retired in 1969.

1961: U.S. President Dwight Eisenhower delivered a national televised farewell address, warning of the self-destructive influence of the "military-industrial complex" (arms manufacturers making billions in profits by getting war-lusting politicians elected).

1966: A U.S. B-52 bomber collided in mid-air with a refueling tanker over Spain. 8 people were killed, and the bomber released its H-bomb into the Atlantic.

1977: Double-murderer Gary Gilmore became the first person to be executed in the U.S. since the reintroduction of the death penalty. He chose a firing squad.

1995: More than 6,000 people were killed after a strong earthquake struck central Japan. Measuring 7.2 on the Richter scale, the earthquake, centered around the port of Kobe, was the biggest quake to hit Japan in half a century.

1998: Matt Drudge broke the story of the Bill Clinton-Monica Lewinsky affair on his website The Drudge Report.





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