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Notes on Revelation

Dragon


2000 is the "Year of the Dragon" according to Chinese astrology.


"In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."--Isaiah 27:1

"Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon?"--Isaiah 51:9

Rahab is another word for Egypt and some commentators believe the dragon here represents "the crocodile, an emblem of Egypt, as represented on coins struck after the conquest of Egypt by Augustus; or rather here, 'its king,' Pharaoh." (Jamieson-Fausset and Brown, Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible, 1871).

"Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out."--Jeremiah 51:34

"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, and I have made it for myself."--Ezekiel 29:3

"The chief river of Egypt was the Nile, which opened in seven mouths or gates into the sea, and out of which canals were made to water the whole land; which abounding with rivers and watery places, hence the king of it is compared to a great fish, a dragon or whale, or rather a crocodile, which was a fish very common, and almost peculiar to Egypt; and with which the description here agrees, as Bochart observes; and who also remarks that Pharaoh in the Arabic language signifies a crocodile; and to which he may be compared for his cruel, voracious, and mischievous nature; and is here represented as lying at ease, and rolling himself in the enjoyment of his power, riches, and pleasures.

"Herodotus says of this king, that he was so lifted up with pride, and so secure of his happy state, that he said there was no God could deprive him of his kingdom. This proud tyrannical monarch was an emblem of that beast that received his power from the dragon, and who himself spake like one; of the whore of Babylon that sits upon many waters, and boasts of her sovereignty and power, of her wealth and riches, of her ease, peace, pleasure, prosperity, and settled estate." (The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible).


The following is Apollodorus' description of a battle that took place in the heavens between Zeus and Typhon:

Typhon "out-topped all the mountains, and his head often brushed the stars. One of his hands reached out to the west and the other to the east, and from them projected a hundred dragons' heads. From the thighs downward he had huge coils of vipers which...emitted a long hissing...His body was all winged...and fire flashed from his eyes. Such and so great was Typhon when, hurling kindled rocks, he made for the very heaven with hissing and shouts, spouting a great jet of fire from his mouth." To the sky of Egypt Zeus pursued Typhon "rushing at heaven." "Zeus pelted Typhon at a distance with thunderbolts, and at close quarters struck him down with an adamantine sickle, and as he fled pursued him closely as far as Mount Casius, which overhangs Syria. There, seeing the monster sore wounded, he grappled with him. But Typhon twined about him and gripped him in his coils..." "Having recovered his strength Zeus suddenly from heaven riding in a chariot of winged horses, pelted Typhon with thunderbolts...So being again pursued he [Typhon] came to Thrace and in fighting at Mount Haemus he heaved whole mountains...a stream of blood gushed out on the mountain, and they say that from that circumstance the mountain was called Haemus [bloody]. And when he started to flee through the Sicilian sea, Zeus cast Mount Etna in Sicily upon him. That is a huge mountain, from which down to this day they say that blasts of fire issue from the thunderbolts that were thrown."

(Worlds in Collision, Immanuel Velikovsky)

The author's contention is that this is a description (and it is one of many) of what people saw when a comet came close to earth and had its orbit distorted so that it was caught in the earth's rotation. The timing coincides with the Exodus.


See "The Witness of the Stars: Draco (The Dragon) and Hydra (The Serpent)."


**With an ancient history and countless varieties, dragons are the most widespread and enduring of all legendary beasts. And yet, dragons remain a puzzle. Despite their prehistoric origins, cave art shows no signs of dragons. When did they emerge in human history? The answer is elusive. In the West, dragons may have first appeared in ancient Babylon some 4,000 years ago with a myth that attributes the formation of the very universe to a dragon. Before the earth was created, according to Babylonian legend, a ferocious she-dragon called Tiamat thrashed across the void. All the gods of Babylon scattered before Tiamat's reign of terror...In her fury, Tiamat destroyed all who challenged her. All that is, except the Babylonian sun god, Marduk. In a cosmic battle, Marduk slew Tiamat. Then, from her dismembered body, he fashioned the heavens and the earth. From dragon blood, Marduk created man.

**For thousands of years Chinese dragons have been sacred symbols of change, able to make themselves as small as silkworms or large enough to fill the space between heaven and earth. Even more remarkably, dragons were thought to govern the essential rhythms of Chinese society. Ancient tradition says that dragons water the rice fields providing the cornerstone of Chinese civilization...Yet Chinese dragons have a destructive side, too. They are also thought to deliver the devastating storms that regularly batter China's shores...Peasants tell stories of dragon kings, noble animals that live in aquatic palaces on the ocean floor. In the spring, dragons ascend to the heavens. In the autumn, they return to their undersea homes. These seasonal passages are said to stir up China's destructive storms...Far from the tempests of everyday life stands China's Forbidden City, the emperor's exclusive palace. It is adorned with dragons...Curiously, the emperor's dragon was always depicted with five claws. This creature became so wedded to the imperial identity that before long every feature of the Chinese court was described in terms of dragons. The emperor was called the "true dragon"; he sat on the "dragon throne" and wrapped himself in "dragon robes." So jealously did the royal household guard its five-clawed dragon that anyone who displayed the symbol without approval was punished by death.

**Uther Pendragon, father of the legendary king Arthur, adopted the symbol of a dragon after dreaming of a great dragon flaming in the sky. It has been the battle standard of English kings ever since.

**The constellation of Draco has been identified with dragons for 6,000 years. Greek mythology claimed that in the battle of the Titans, the goddess Athena hurled a Titanic dragon into the sky where it tangled among the stars.

(Dragons, In Search of History, The History Channel)


In the "Anchor Bible Dictionary" under "Dragon and Sea, God's Conflict with" is the following (mostly my paraphrase):

In the OT there are many references to God's conflict with the dragon and the sea. Sometimes it's associated with 1. the creation of the world, 2. with a specific foreign nation, and 3. projected into the end times.

1. For a long time, the background for this imagery was considered to have come from Babylon. Enuma Elish was the Babylonian creation epic that depicted Marduk defeating the sea monster Tiamat. However, the discovery of the Ugaritic mythological texts has shed new light on this theory and seems to point to a Canaanite origin.

The Ugaritic texts describe Baal's defeat of the sea-god Yam, "conflicts between Baal or Anat and the sea monster Leviathan (also known as the twisting serpent, the crooked serpent, and the dragon, in addition to other monsters..."

The allusions to creation had their natural expression during New Year's festivals (yearly renewal). "It seems likely that the theme of Yahweh's conflict with the dragon and the sea was a motif in the celebration of Yahweh's kingship at the autumn festival (feast of tabernacles) in the Jerusalem cult." Marduk defeats the sea monster Tiamat in Babylon, Baal defeats the sea-god Yam at Ugarit, Yahweh is victorious over the sea.

Psalm 29 "The LORD sitteth upon the flood; yea, the LORD sitteth King for ever."

Psalm 74 "Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters."

Psalm 93 "The LORD on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."

2. The dragon/conflict with the chaotic sea are also applied to specific entities. Egypt and the Exodus prompt Moses to compose a song to the Lord (Exo 15:1-21) which interestingly begins and ends by saying "...the horse and his rider hath he thrown into the sea" which reminds me of the horses and their riders in Revelation 6. Assyria, Babylon and groups of nations are also represented.

3. Another area where the dragon/sea play a part is in the end-times.

Isaiah 27:1 "In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea."

Daniel chapter 7 and the Ugaritic texts show similarities regarding the imagery of the end-times.

Daniel 7:13,14 "I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed."

Ugaritic Texts: 1. The Canaanites' supreme god was called El, "Father of Years" and was depicted as an old man with gray hair. 2. The Canaanite god Baal is often called the "Rider of the clouds" and he was only allowed to rule through El's authority.

[Revelation 1:7 "Behold he cometh with clouds..."]

This last paragraph is straight from the Anchor Bible article:

"In the present form of the text the 'one like a son of man' may denote the angel Michael (cf. Dan 12:1). One may compare Rev 12, where Michael defeats the seven-headed dragon (=Satan). It is striking that Michael, not Christ, defeats the dragon; this may reflect an underlying Jewish tradition equating the 'one like a son of man' with Michael. Interestingly, the next chapter of Rev (i.e., chapter 13; cf. 17:3) presents another creature derived from Leviathan, the seven-headed beast, symbolizng Rome (Rev 13:1-10) as well as another beast, symbolizing the false prophet, who appears to derive from Behemoth (Rev 13:11-18)."


For more info please see the following files:

Studies on Revelation 12:
Hydra, the water serpent in the sky
The Tail of the Dragon

See also Coat of Arms of Prince Charles of Wales
See also Hamon-gog


Moza

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