As a born-again male Christian, having been born and raised in a pastoral family with my father and grandfather being pastors, this brought me closer to God at a young age. With the 15-year experience I have in both campus and youth ministry, I have encountered numerous Biblical intrigues. I have always wondered if the dragon is a mythical or an actual creature and whether it is part of God’s creation. This led me to raise the question, what does dragon symbolize in the Bible?
The Bible mentions the term dragon severally in the primary context of being a symbolic allegory in both the Old and New Testaments. Scriptures use dragon imagery to depict a sea creature in Job 41:1 and Isaiah 27:1, an ominous cosmic entity in Nehemiah 2:13, Psalms 74:13, Jeremiah 51:34 and Ezekiel 29:3, and an ancient serpent known as Satan or the Devil in Revelation 12:9. In this framework, the dragon is implied as being the ultimate adversary of God who prevails over all creatures and creation.
In this article, by exploring the scriptures, I aim to shed light on the meaning of the dragon. I also would like to share my insights and understanding with you regarding various dragon dream symbolisms which are shrouded in mystery. Without further ado, join me on this exploration as we delve into the history and faith behind this fascinating topic.
Are dragons in the Bible?
Yes, dragons are in the Bible. Dragons are mentioned by name in the King James Bible version. They are found in the Old Testament in the Books of Job 41:1, Nehemiah 2:13, Psalms 74:13, Isaiah 27:1, Jeremiah 51:34, and Ezekiel 29:3. They are derived from the Hebrew word tanniyn. Dragons are equally found in the New Testament, particularly in the Book of Revelation 12:9. They are derived from the Greek word drakon.
Biblical references of dragons
The following are Biblical references of dragons in both the Old and New Testaments.
In Job 41:1, Leviathan is a sea creature portrayed by God to appear like a dragon. In Nehemiah 2:13, the prophet goes to the dragon waterpoint in Jerusalem at night to show that the creature had symbolism to the inhabitants. In Psalms 74:13, God is illustrated to divide the sea by His might and destroyed the heads of the dragons in the waters. In Isaiah 27:1, God is demonstrated to punish Leviathan by slaying the dragon with a great and strong sword. In Jeremiah 51:34, Nebuchadnezzar, the king of Babylon, is depicted swallowing up the prophet like a dragon and casting him out. In Ezekiel 29:3, God is shown to be against Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, and describes him as the great dragon that lies within the rivers. In Revelation 12:3-17, the dragon is described as having ten horns and seven crowns upon his head that fought against Archangel Michael and his angels. In this case, the dragon is described as the ancient serpent known as the Devil or Satan that deceives the whole world.
What do dragons represent in the Bible?
In the Old Testament, dragons are used to represent Tannin, Rahab, Behemoth, and Leviathan, which is an enormous and fierce sea creature. In the New Testament, the dragon is used to represent the serpent.
5 symbolic meanings of dragons in the Bible
The symbolic meaning of the dragon is that it is the ultimate manifestation of supreme evil. The dragon comes down to Earth to wreak havoc on God’s people. This is because it is a force of chaos and a creature that conflicts with God. Because the dragon is the antagonist, The Almighty keeps it in check due to His mighty power and ultimately destroys it in the very end.
The dragon unveils the grand power of God in Job 41:33-34 where He is exemplified as nothing in the world can compare to Him as He is a fearless Creator. God looks over all His creation as the king of the universe, including the sea creatures denoted by the dragon. God uses the dragon to exalt Himself as being mighty, powerful, and fiercer than anything in the world. He applies the dragon symbolism to address humanity that there is no one else like Himself as He is the only God and He is all-powerful.
The dragon is used to symbolize Satan’s real power in Revelation 13:2, and God defeats the dragon with His mighty power in Revelation 20:2. Satan is depicted to fall from being a powerful angel who was a created cherub that used to reside in Heaven with God in Ezekiel 28:14 and turning into an evil dragon. As the dragon still infers to a powerful being, God uses its allegorical features to remind human beings that He is mightier than any spiritual or physical forces on earth, in Heaven, or anywhere else.
What does the red dragon in the Book of Revelation mean?
The red dragon in the book of Revelation is illustrated in Revelation 12. The book is an apocalyptic work that depicts the red dragon to represent the ancient monstrous serpent known as the Devil or Satan. The red color is to signify war to show that the dragon is a terrible and bloody murderer.
In Revelation 12:3, the great red dragon has seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns; one on each of the seven heads. The horns symbolize power, while the crowns symbolize authority. The seven heads and ten horns portray a terrifying representation of immense power, authority, and influence.
This great power and authority are shown in Revelation 12:4, where the dragon can cast down a third of the stars from heaven to the earth. The dragon’s influence is depicted when it can convince a third of the angels from heaven to join his cause, thus causing them to fall and become fallen angels. In the same verse, the dragon challenges the woman and seeks to destroy her special male child.
The woman represents the nation of Israel, while the male child represents Jesus Christ, the Messiah. This means that the dragon is unable to defeat Jesus Christ but then attacks God’s people. Revelation 12:7 illustrates a war in heaven between Archangel Michael and his angels against the dragon and his fallen angels, who are eventually conquered and cast down to the earth. Revelation 12:9 makes clear that the dragon represents the ancient serpent who is called the Devil or Satan and the deceiver of the whole world. Satan is pictured in the Book of Revelation to refer to a red dragon that scheming and vicious.
What is the spiritual meaning of dragons?
Dragons have a myriad of spiritual meanings. They can mean an element of celestial being wrapped in mystery but mostly inclined with a dark or sinister agenda. Dragons are also believed to mean evil and envious creatures, only drawn to their individualistic well-being, vanity, and bliss. They were very confident of their capabilities and disposed to make irrational decisions without forethought.
Dragons can equally mean an ordeal whereby the dragon must be conquered to attain order and harmony in the world. When you defeat the dragon, it exemplifies heroism, and you access the mysteries of life to gain wisdom. Dragons also refer to duality as most dragons are in duos, symbolizing the positive and the negative or the intermingling yin and yang.
Dragons can mean having an element of magic, which explains why they are usually used in numerous holy temples. In different mythologies, the sight of the dragon is enough to frighten a sheer mortal, which illustrates the supernatural attributes of the creatures. Dragons can also mean good fortune, as it is alleged that if you see a dragon in your dreams, good karma, and success are on the horizon.
The spiritual meaning of dragons is also represented by the various colors the creatures have. Fire dragons convey lessons of self-mastery, leadership, resourcefulness, mental effectiveness, and alchemical transformation. Water Dragons symbolize being concentrated on what sails the ship of your life and being willing to eliminate negative patterns and navigate toward your destiny. Earth dragons stabilize and harness the key to support your desires. Air dragons wrap you securely within their grasp and soar high for you to attain greater perspectives individually and universally, unruffled by the motions of change.
What do dragons symbolize in different cultures?
From ancient epics to modern fiction, the dragon inspires great imagination in humanity. It is a legendary creature with diverse symbolism in numerous cultures and civilizations, both in the West and East.
In China, the dragon symbolizes life, immortality, emperor power, nature, weather, elements, or plant life cycles. They denote energy that can be hazardous but not necessarily destructive. The dragon is also believed to be an envoy of the deities or a guardian of worldly treasures. Likewise, there is a notion in the Chinese fable that the sky is partitioned into nine palaces, and there is a dragon as an emperor in each of them.
In Celtic and Nordic mythology, dragons are affiliated with their leaders and are viewed to symbolize their right to power. Ancient Celt warriors used dragon emblems to imply royalty, power, and victory. They also believed dragons to be oracles with consummate wisdom and that seeing a dragon was a sign of a bountiful harvest and excellent health.
In Greek mythology, the dragon is believed to be the guardian of a treasure or a consecrated territory and must be conquered to access it. The treasure being guarded is wisdom and immortality.
In Alchemy, the dragon symbolizes a disorderly planet having a certain potential for order, with the dragon being the primeval energy.
In Medieval Europe, the dragon is believed to be valuable, vile, protective, or authoritarian.
In Native America, folklore of the dragon describes them as creators that created the world and the Native Americans. They also deemed dragons as serpents rather than fire-breathing creatures.
In the African culture, dragons were believed to control the water bodies in Egypt. When happy and generous, dragons would create rain and fertilize their crops. However, when angry, dragons would cause floods and calamities. In addition, some African tribes believed that a dragon swallowed the moon to create an eclipse.
What does it mean when you dream about dragons?
When you dream of yourself being transformed into a dragon, it is believed to be a good premonition and means that you oversee your life. This means you know how to make perceptions and conduct yourself accordingly in a controlled manner. In addition, it infers that you possess great communication skills, and can proactively lead people and get things done. It indicates that you oversee every situation occurring in your woke life. It also means you have influence over people and display excellent cooperation skills.
When you dream about killing a dragon, it is believed that you have resentment toward your awakening life. You are unpleasant, stressed, and incapable of coping with everything occurring around you. Because you are aggressive and angry, you act in a wild manner. You may be experiencing difficulties in your life, and the dream implies your uncontrolled behavior. This dream signals you to take a breather, be rational concerning everything, and keep your demeanor in check before it gets out of hand.
When you dream about flying dragons, it is believed that after all the suffering you have endured, it is finally time for you to feel happy and contented in your life. It depicts that you are moving along the right track in your life, and you will soon accomplish the dreams or milestones that you set.
When you dream about being attacked by dragons, it is believed that you have emotional struggles or you have a stressful situation in your personal or social life. This dream may occur if you are experiencing problems in your awakening life. Therefore, it is plausible that you are dreaming of being attacked by a dragon frequently. If a dragon attacks you in the dream, it suggests you address your intrinsic anxieties rather than shunning them. If you fight back the attacking dragon, it implies that you are having trouble managing your emotions or situations in life.
When you dream about riding a dragon, it is believed to represent the authority you are prepared to take back in your awakening life. You are ready to oversee your life and manage anger rather than allowing it to control you. You are now willing to face all the impediments from which you have been evading for a long time.
When you dream about a dragon spreading its wings, it is believed that it is prepared to embrace you and guide you along the right path. You may begin to comprehend and recognize the difficult circumstances in your life. This dream tells you not to have apprehension as you have been granted the security of a dragon. It is also a symbol of good fortune, and you will have several good things unravel themselves in your life soon. It denotes a better future in your direction after facing all your obstacles in life.
When you dream about fire-breathing dragons, this is believed to serve as a warning of being more wary of the things that you utter with your tongue. There may be a likelihood of hurting people even if that was not your intention. This dream equally means that you must manage the passion inside you to advance in your awakening life. If the dragon happens not to breathe fire, it is believed that you are a critic of yourself.
When you dream about a baby dragon, this is believed to imply your innocence. A baby dragon in your dream means you must be cognizant of your innate self or own desires. Giving birth to a baby dragon in your dream signifies a fresh start in life, usually affiliated with revitalization.
When you dream about being on the dragon’s back, it is believed that you can conquer the fears and hardships in your awakening life.
Are dragons in a dream always a bad omen?
No, dragons in a dream are not always considered a bad omen. This is because it is believed that when you dream about a dragon, it could be a sign of luck and good fortune. Several civilizations believe that dragon dreams are an indication of power, valor, transformation, wealth, and abundance in life. If you dream about the dragon, it is believed that you are powerful enough to face the intricate matters in your life, which is a positive sign.
They say that the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree, right? Being raised by Christians significantly impacted my life since I started professing Christ from a young age. My passion for the Christian faith made me pursue a degree in Religious studies and a Masters in Theology. I am a believer and pastor dedicated to spreading the word of God. I have been in the Christian ministry for over a decade and am currently ministering in Life Christian Church. I have also been privileged to teach 4 Christian courses in a college and university. Please check the About Us Page for more details.