In the King James version of the Bible, the word “dragon” appears several times. While dragon today refers to a mythical flying creature, the word previously had a larger semantic range. According the 1828 Webster’s Dictionary, when used in scripture, dragon seems to refer to a large serpent.
Bible verses about dragons
- Ezekiel 29:3 says, “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.”
- Psalms 74:13 recounts when the Lord divided the sea by force, but also says he broke the heads of dragons.
- Isaiah 34:13 also contains a reference to dragons. That reference reads, “And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls.”
- Revelation 12:3 reads, “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.” Later, in Revelation 20:2, the text calls Satan a dragon. It states that the dragon will be bound for a thousand years.
Are dragons a myth?
Yes. Dragons are mythical creatures, but several cultures consider them an important part of folk-lore. According to the American Museum of Natural History, “In legends and folktales, dragons are magical—yet early naturalists often treated these creatures as part of the natural world. Biologists in Europe once wrote accounts of the behavior and habitat of dragons, along with lizards and snakes. Chinese scholars have classified the dragon as one of the 369 animal species with scales.”
Throughout folkloric history, dragons have been consistently portrayed as large lizard-like or serpentine creatures, but the meaning of dragons changes from culture to culture.
In Chinese culture, dragons are considered positive. Brittanica said, “The Chinese dragon, lung, represents yang, the principle of heaven, activity, and maleness in the yinyang of Chinese cosmology.” This differs from other cultures like in the Middle East, where dragons were considered evil.