Leviathan is a sea monster referred to in the Bible. The word has become synonymous with any large sea monster or creature. In literature (e.g., Herman Melville’s Moby-Dick) it refers to great whales, and in Modern Hebrew, it simply means whale.
Leviathan is mentioned several times in the Tanakh. Some passages of Scripture that reference Leviathan are describing an actual creature, some are poetic metaphors and some are prophetical metaphors.
Leviathan was written of as a metaphor for mourning in the Book of Job. It says, “Let those curse it who curse the day, who are ready to rouse up Leviathan” (Job 3:8 ESV). The King James translation says, “Let them curse it that curse the day, who are ready to raise up their mourning” (Job 3:8 KJV). The Hebrew word used for “mourning” in the KJV is “livyathan” (לִוְיָתָן). The KJV actually translated this passage wrong.
In the Genesis account of God’s creation of the heavens and the earth, the creation of sea monsters is recorded. Genesis says, “So God created the great sea creatures and every living creature that moves, with which the waters swarm, according to their kinds, and every winged bird according to its kind. And God saw that it was good” (Genesis 1:21 ESV). Leviathan is described extensively in the Book of Job.
“Can you draw out Leviathan with a fishhook or press down his tongue with a cord? Can you put a rope in his nose or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many pleas to you? Will he speak to you soft words? Will he make a covenant with you to take him for your servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you put him on a leash for your girls? Will traders bargain over him? Will they divide him up among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hands on him; remember the battle–you will not do it again! Behold, the hope of a man is false; he is laid low even at the sight of him. No one is so fierce that he dares to stir him up. Who then is he who can stand before me? Who has first given to me, that I should repay him? Whatever is under the whole heaven is mine. “I will not keep silence concerning his limbs, or his mighty strength, or his goodly frame. Who can strip off his outer garment? Who would come near him with a bridle? Who can open the doors of his face? Around his teeth is terror. His back is made of rows of shields, shut up closely as with a seal. One is so near to another that no air can come between them. They are joined one to another; they clasp each other and cannot be separated. His sneezings flash forth light, and his eyes are like the eyelids of the dawn. Out of his mouth go flaming torches; sparks of fire leap forth. Out of his nostrils comes forth smoke, as from a boiling pot and burning rushes. His breath kindles coals, and a flame comes forth from his mouth. In his neck abides strength, and terror dances before him. The folds of his flesh stick together, firmly cast on him and immovable. His heart is hard as a stone, hard as the lower millstone. When he raises himself up the mighty are afraid; at the crashing they are beside themselves. Though the sword reaches him, it does not avail, nor the spear, the dart, or the javelin. He counts iron as straw, and bronze as rotten wood. The arrow cannot make him flee; for him sling stones are turned to stubble. Clubs are counted as stubble; he laughs at the rattle of javelins. His underparts are like sharp potsherds; he spreads himself like a threshing sledge on the mire. He makes the deep boil like a pot; he makes the sea like a pot of ointment. Behind him he leaves a shining wake; one would think the deep to be white-haired. On earth there is not his like, a creature without fear. He sees everything that is high; he is king over all the sons of pride.”
(Job 41:1-34 ESV)
Some scholars think Leviathan as described in Job 41:1-34 is a crocodile. When reading this passage it is obvious that this is absurd. Leviathan appears to be a large fire breathing animal of some sort. Just as the bombardier beetle has an explosion producing mechanism, so the great sea dragon may have an explosive producing mechanism to enable it to be a real fire breathing dragon. Leviathan is also perhaps thought by some scholars to be an the extinct animal from the Plesiosauridae family.
Psalms 104 mentions Leviathan poetically as the Psalmist praises and magnifies God for His beautiful creation of the world. “Here is the sea, great and wide, which teems with creatures innumerable, living things both small and great. There go the ships, and Leviathan, which you formed to play in it. These all look to you, to give them their food in due season” (Psalms 104:25-27 ESV).
Asaph authored a Psalm which appears to describe the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple by the Chaldeans (Babylon and Nebuchadnezzar). This Psalm also appears to have a dual metaphor for Leviathan. This metaphor appears to describe an actual event that references Leviathan as a sea monster and a possible parallel prophecy of the head wound that the Antichrist will receive as described in the Book of Revelation.
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. Thou brakest the heads of leviathan in pieces, and gavest him to be meat to the people inhabiting the wilderness.
(Psalms 74:13-14 KJV)
The Prophet Isaiah wrote used the name of Leviathan as a metaphor in Judeo-Christian eschatology. Isaiah’s metaphor of Leviathan is a reference to the coming Antichrist and confirms and reinforces the prophecies in the Book of Revelation.
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 KJV)
The coming Antichrist is also pictured as coming from the sea and coming in the power of the dragon (Satan) in the Book of Revelation. The connections between Leviathan and the Antichrist are very obvious. Every comparison that we will make between Leviathan and Antichrist is also a comparison to Satan as he is the controlling force behind the Antichrist. There are also obvious connections to fallen angels, the Nephilim and the alien agenda or extraterrestrial deception.
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.
(Revelation 12:9 KJV)
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. 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. 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. 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?
(Revelation 13:1-4 KJV)
It would be fair to conclude that some passages in Scripture describe Leviathan as a dragon. Dragons were the symbol of ancient Babylon. Draco is a constellation in the far northern sky. Its name is Latin for dragon.
The Leviathan of the Middle Ages was used as an image of Satan. St. Thomas Aquinas described Leviathan as the demon of envy, first in punishing the corresponding sinners. Leviathan became associated with visual motif of the Hellmouth, a monstrous animal into whose mouth the damned disappear at the Last Judgement, found in Anglo-Saxon art from about ninth century, and later all over Europe.
In Satanism, according to the author of the Satanic Bible, Anton Szandor LaVey, Leviathan represents the element of Water and the direction of West. The element of Water in Satanism is associated with life and creation, and may be represented by a Chalice during ritual. In the Satanic Bible, Leviathan is listed as one of the Four Crown Princes of Hell. This association was inspired by the demonic hierarchy from the Book of the Sacred Magic of Abra-Melin the Mage. The Church of Satan uses the Hebrew letters at each of the points of the Sigil of Baphomet to represent Leviathan. Starting from the lowest point of the pentagram, and reading counter-clockwise, the word reads לִוְיָתָן. Translated, this is (LVIThN) Leviathan.
The fact that Leviathan is a real creature is beyond doubt and, as such, it is under God’s sovereign control. God uses Leviathan’s strength and power to illustrate to Job his weakness and frailty. God asks Job to consider how powerless he is against even the sea creatures God has created and to understand his position in the universe. God points out to Job that he could never pull Leviathan out of the water with a hook. Whatever its nature, leviathan is large and powerful enough to be subject only to the sovereign control of God Almighty.