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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:
"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)
"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":
"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;
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.
"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."
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).
"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?
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.
"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.
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.
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?
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.