If the name is familiar, it is because leviathan is one of the most popular creatures in mythology and role-playing video games (the image above is from Final Fantasy XV). He (sorry, but I am assigning a gender here) is depicted as a massive sea creature – often a serpent. Leviathan is also the subject of one of the most often debated passages in the Bible. Some say he is a myth. Others believe he is a more familiar animal like a crocodile or alligator. Quite often I have heard many who say he is a dinosaur, like a plesiosaur.
I disagree with all of these, and the evidence could not be clearer.
The longest and most famous description of Leviathan is in Job 41. The Bible implies the difficulty of fishing him from the water with a hook or piercing his jaw (v. 1-2). He is not one to keep promises or being controlled like a servant (v. 3-4). He is not to be played with or eaten (v. 5-6). His skin cannot be pierced by spears (v. 7). The very sight of Leviathan will bring you to your knees (v. 9).
Furthermore, Leviathan has “terrible” teeth, scales that are so tight that even air cannot come between them (v. 15-17). His nostrils and eyes glow like lamps (v. 18) and he breathes smoke and fire (v. 19-21). He finds joy in suffering (v. 22) and is so strong that iron is like straw and brass like rotten wood (v. 27). He is much more powerful than we are, even with weapons (v. 28-31).
Most importantly, verse 33 says, “on earth there is not his like, who is made without fear”. Furthermore, he is connected with “high things” and is “a king over all the children of pride” (emphasis mine).
Does this sound anything like a crocodile to you? A whale? Absolutely not. Is it possible that he is a dinosaur? I do not believe so.
I believe that Leviathan is Satan, not the Loch Ness Monster.
Satan is a dragon. Revelation 12 describes him as “a great red dragon” with seven heads and powerful tail. Verse 9 calls him “that old serpent, called the Devil” who was cast out of heaven to the earth.
Isaiah 27:1 says, “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.” This is a direct reference to Satan during the “end times” (which is often referred to as “that day” or “latter days” throughout Scripture); described as a “crooked serpent” and “dragon that is in the sea” – just as Leviathan is described.
Leviathan is no dinosaur. This attempt to define Leviathan as a dinosaur is often used by critics of the Gap as a counter to claims that dinosaurs existed before God destroyed the earth in the flood between Genesis 1:1 and 1:2, not during the time of man.
I always find it interesting that critics of the Gap accuse proponents of using the Gap to defend science that dates dinosaurs to millions of years ago, while they also attempt to justify the existence of dinosaurs by pointing to scientific discoveries of human skeletons near dinosaur fossils.
I also find it interesting that critics attempt to cast doubt by saying that there is no explicit mention of a gap between those verses in Genesis 1, yet there is no explicit mention of dinosaurs being created. In fact, other than “dragons”, there are no mentions of any dinosaur species in the Bible. Were they around during the flood? Were there dinosaurs on the ark? If Job 40-41 are about real dinosaurs, were they still around during Job’s time? When did they go extinct? How did they go extinct?
There are too many unanswered questions. However, if the Gap is correct, then the problem is solved. If Leviathan is actually Satan, then it would make sense why he could be mentioned in the passages in both Job and Isaiah and need no explanation how the species went from extinct to being killed by God “in that day.”
Leviathan is Satan. Psalm 74: 14 says, “Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, And gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.” Notice it does not say “head of leviathan,” but “heads.” Leviathan has more than one head – just as Satan does in Rev. 12.
Leviathan is a serpent with scales. Satan took the form of a serpent in Genesis 3. There is no evidence of dinosaurs having scales, especially now that science has uncovered that they were more like birds than reptiles.
Leviathan is “made without fear.” Satan fears nothing, including God (Ezekiel 28).
Leviathan has a glowing mouth and eyes. Satan was the angel of light (Isaiah 14 – Lucifer means “light bearer”).
Leviathan is a fire breathing dragon. Satan is a dragon who can also spout water (Rev. 12).
Leviathan dwells in the sea. Satan can create floods (Rev. 12).
Leviathan is king of all the “children of pride.” Satan was cast out of heaven because of his pride (Ezekiel 28: 17) and the fallen angels would certainly be “children of pride” for following him.
Furthermore, consider the law of first mention – the principle that a word used in the Bible shares the same meaning in subsequent uses unless the context is changed. Leviathan is first mentioned in Job 41. He is mentioned again in Psalm and finally in Isaiah. At no point does the context change. However, Isaiah makes it clear that Leviathan is the “great red dragon” that God destroys after the Tribulation. The dragon is Satan in Revelation 12. Ergo, Leviathan is Satan in Job 41 as well.
Even if you do not buy that Job 41 is describing the Devil, there is much more evidence that Leviathan is Satan than a dinosaur and it is glaringly obvious that he is any sort of crocodile, whale, or animal that we are aware of today.
I believe the Bible is not only explicit in its description of Satan as Leviathan, but this truth limits questions about the problem of dinosaurs living during the time of humans which is not explicit in the Book.
What do you think? Do you agree? Did I miss something? Feel free to let me know so we can all benefit from improved understanding!