The Big Question 95: Are There Monsters in the Bible?
Feb 22, 2022 1227
Are there monsters in the Bible?
The answer to this question is yes, there are many monsters in the Bible, but they’re not necessarily the monsters you might think.
The monsters that the people in Biblical times were afraid of were mainly the ones in the natural world around them. They didn’t need to create too many make-believe monsters when they had lions and bears nearby!
However, the Bible does talk about two monstruous creatures, and no one really agrees on what they were.
The first one is called the “leviathan, mentioned in Job, Psalms, and Isaiah. From the description given of the leviathan, it seems to have lived in the sea. It seems to have been like a serpent, and it was big, and had sharp teeth. It is even described as having many heads, and as being able to spit fire from its mouth. Sounds rather fanciful to me.
The problem we have is that all the passages in which it is mentioned are highly poetic and not really literal. A lot of people think that the leviathan might have actually been a crocodile, with some poetic license thrown into the descriptions.
The other monstruous creature is called the behemoth, and we read about it in Job 40. This animal is very strong, with a long tail, and ate grass. It lived in or near waterways, and had a tough skin. Some people think this might have been a hippo, though I’m not sure about how the long tail fits in.
There are some Christians who think that dinosaurs survived the flood and that the creatures I’ve just mentioned could be dinosaurs. They would say that in subsequent literature they were called “dragons,” and even that phenomenon such as the Loch Ness monster could be a surviving dinosaur.
Talking about dragons, there are actually dragons in the Bible too, but not as literal creatures, but instead as symbols in prophecy. A dragon in the Bible was considered to be a huge serpent. In the sense that the devil first appears in the book of Genesis as a serpent, the dragon in prophecy comes to represent the devil. I guess that the greatest monster of all is the devil.
But we don’t have get so spiritual to find monsters. There are many monsters much closer to home.
Think of Joseph Stalin and Adolf Hitler. Think of monsters closer to home, such as those who prey on our children in our neighbourhoods. And what about the monsters who are abusive in relationships, or those who use others for their own benefit, callously uncaring of the pain and the hurt that they cause?
We see, in the annals of history, many examples of the monstrous deeds of which human beings are capable when we forget God and who he created us to be. We find that in the Bible too. It turns out, that apart from God, we are ourselves the worst of monsters.