Christianity Knowledge Base

The Leviathan is a dragon-like entity mentioned on a few occasions in the Bible, particularly in the Old Testament. The exact nature of Leviathan has been debated by scholars for many years and perspectives on its identity are being increasingly colored by the creation evolution controversy.

References to Leviathan in the Bible[]

  • "Let them curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up leviathan." (Job 3:8)
  • Can you pull in the leviathan with a hook, or press down his tongue with a cord? Can you put a rope into his nose, or pierce his jaw through with a hook? Will he make many petitions to you, or will he speak soft words to you? Will he make a covenant with you, that you should take him for a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird? Or will you bind him for your girls? Will traders barter for him? Will they part him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with barbed irons, or his head with fish spears? Lay your hand on him. Remember the battle, and do so no more. Behold, the hope of him is in vain. Won’t one be cast down even at the sight of him? None is so fierce that he dare stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Everything under the heavens is mine. I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, nor his mighty strength, nor his goodly frame.
Who can strip off his outer garment? Who shall come within his jaws? Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror.
Strong scales are his pride, shut up together with a close seal. One is so near to another, that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another. They stick together, so that they can’t be pulled apart.
His sneezing flashes out light. His eyes are like the eyelids of the morning. Out of his mouth go burning torches. Sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils a smoke goes, as of a boiling pot over a fire of reeds. His breath kindles coals.
A flame goes forth from his mouth. There is strength in his neck. Terror dances before him. The flakes of his flesh are joined together. They are firm on him. They can’t be moved. His heart is as firm as a stone, yes, firm as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up, the mighty are afraid. They retreat before his thrashing.
If one attacks him with the sword, it can’t prevail; nor the spear, the dart, nor the pointed shaft. He counts iron as straw; and brass as rotten wood. The arrow can’t make him flee. Sling stones are like chaff to him. Clubs are counted as stubble. He laughs at the rushing of the javelin. His undersides are like sharp potsherds, leaving a trail in the mud like a threshing sledge.
He makes the deep to boil like a pot. He makes the sea like a pot of ointment. He makes a path shine after him. One would think the deep had white hair. On earth there is not his equal, that is made without fear. He sees everything that is high. He is king over all the sons of pride.” " (Job 41)
  • "You broke the heads of leviathan in pieces. You gave him as food to people and desert creatures." (Psalm 74:14)
  • "There is the sea, great and wide, in which are innumerable living things, both small and large animals.There the ships go, and leviathan, whom you formed to play there." (Psalm 104:25-26)
  • "For, behold, Yahweh comes forth out of his place to punish the inhabitants of the earth for their iniquity. The earth also will disclose her blood, and will no longer cover her slain. In that day, Yahweh with his hard and great and strong sword will punish leviathan, the fleeing serpent, and leviathan the twisted serpent; and he will kill the dragon that is in the sea." (Isaiah 26:21-27:1)

References to Leviathan in the Dueterocannon[]

"And that day will two monsters be parted, one monster, a female named Leviathan in order to dwell in the abyss of the ocean over the fountains of water; and (the other), a male called Behemoth, which holds his chest in an invisible desert whose name is Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden." - 1 Enoch 60:7-8. Note: The Book of Enoch is only accepted by the Oriental Orthodoxy.




Angel or Demon[]



Many commentators have concluded that the Leviathan is synonymous with the crocodile, as it is the only known large aquatic reptile that would have been familiar to people in the ancient near east. Though the crocodile is not armored enough to be impenetrable to steel and bronze this is a less likely candidate for the leviathon


The whale has also been considered a potential candidate for the Leviathan because of its large size and that the spouting water from its blowhole could be compared to smoke as if the animal could breath fire. though the references to the leviathan being armored to the point where "steel is like straw and bronze is like rotton wood" the whale is less likely of a candidate for being the leviathon

Sea Serpent[]

For centuries many people have reported sightings of large serpentine reptiles at sea. Recently the Clark brothers of San Francisco are notable in the field of sea serpent studies. The Leviathan fits many of the basic descriptions of a Sea Serpent and some people have thought that it represents an unknown marine reptile group.


Many young earth creationists feel that the biblical description of Leviathan is consistant with the fossilized remains of plesiosaurs, and are proof of human cohabitation with purportedly ancient reptiles and by extension, of a young earth. Critics of this idea states that the biblical description gives characteristics that are unlikely for any animal, much less a plesiosaur. Specifically they refer to the Leviathan's ability to breath fire. The young earth camp responds by saying that since we only have fossils of plesiosaurs, we have no firm evidence whether or not they breathed fire. Critics argue that adaptations would be needed to protect the plesiosaurs delicate throat and the inside of its mouth from its own fire. In defense of an ability to breathe fire, many creationists draw parallels to the bombardier beetle.

in the case that the leviathan is a fire breathing creature it would need a way to breath fire (refering to the kronosauraus, which has a short neck) the plesiosaur has more of a means of breathing fire in the usefulness it would be.