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What does the Bible say about dragons?

The existence of dragons is a ubiquitous feature among many cultures, fictional stories, and mythical legends worldwide. Some of my favorites are Smaug from The Hobbit, Toothless from How to Train Your Dragon, and Mushu from Disney's Mulan. Dragons are super cool creatures! But were they ever really real? Does the Bible tell us anything about dragons?

The primary mentions of the word "dragon" in the Bible are uses that can be considered metaphorical. In Ezekiel 29:3, Pharaoh king of Egypt is referred to as "the great dragon that lies in the midst of his streams." Another notable mention is in the book of Revelation, in which our enemy, the devil, is referred to as an "ancient serpent" that God throws down to the earth (Revelation 20:2; also see chapters 12, 13, 16).

Sadly, as cool as the idea of dragons are in myths and stories, we don't have much hard evidence from the Bible to prove dragons were actually animals God created. That said, just because the Bible doesn't explicitly mention dragons outside of a metaphorical reference, that doesn't mean their existence at some point in history is impossible. We should never underestimate the marvelous power of the Creator of the universe, right?

In every culture of every era, dragons have had a place in the mythos of the world—always. Ranging from China to Africa, dragons and giant reptile “sightings” have been documented. Is it possible all these people were having delusions? Or could there be some slice of truth to these legends and stories?

The most reasonable explanation for documentation of giant reptiles throughout time is that giant reptiles indeed existed at some point. That's why ancient humans recorded stories of seeing giant reptiles—because they have seen giant reptiles!

The Bible says that all animals were created around 6000 years ago and lived at the same time as human beings. Job 40-41 also mentions two creatures which both sound A LOT like dinosaurs: the behemoth and the leviathan. Plus, we have plenty of physical evidence of giant creatures from ancient times, so we know that dinosaurs were real. So what people may have interpreted as "dragons" were very likely actual dinosaurs, the behemoth, or the leviathan.

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TL;DR

The primary mentions of the word "dragon" in the Bible are uses that can be considered metaphorical, such as a reference to the devil (Revelation 12, 13, 16, 20). But the fact that ancient civilizations have all reported sightings of giant reptiles tells us that there IS something to these myths and legends. Most likely, these “dragons” were dinosaurs, the behemoth, or the leviathan (Job 40-41). The Bible doesn’t explicitly state dragons existed, but we should never underestimate God's marvelous creative power.

By: Vivian Bricker

Vivian loves learning, studying the Word of God, and helping others in their walk with Christ. She is dedicated to helping people learn more about Jesus and is ready to help in any way she can. Her favorite things to do are spending time with her family and friends, cooking, drawing, and spending time outside. When she is not writing, you can find her soaking up the sunshine or going on an adventure.

Original Dragon Art by Rachael Selk

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