Also see definition of "Leviathan" in Word Study
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HEBREW: 3882 Ntywl livyathan
NAVE: Leviathan
EBD: Leviathan
PORTRAITS: Leviathan
Letter, Smallest | Letters | Letushites | Leummites | Levi | Leviathan | Levirate Law | Levirate Marriage | Levis | Levitical Cities | Leviticus


In Bible versions:

a twisting aquatic monster, possibly the crocodile of the Nile, and used symbolically of Assyria and Babylonia (by the twisting Euphrates River IBD).

NET Glossary: in Ugaritic mythological texts a seven-headed monster of the deep or chaos described as a "wriggling serpent"; in the Old Testament defeated by Yahweh (Job 3:8; Ps 74:14; Isa 27:1), possibly to be identified with the Babylonian goddess Tiamat
Arts Topics: Behemoth and Leviathan


Strongs #03882: Ntywl livyathan

1) leviathan, sea monster, dragon
1a) large aquatic animal
1b) perhaps the extinct dinosaur, plesiosaurus, exact meaning unknown

3882 livyathan liv-yaw-thawn'

from 3867; a wreathed animal, i.e. a serpent (especially the
crocodile or some other large sea- monster); figuratively, the
constellation of the dragon; also as a symbol of
Bab.:-leviathan, mourning.
see HEBREW for 03867

Leviathan [EBD]

a transliterated Hebrew word (livyathan), meaning "twisted," "coiled." In Job 3:8, Revised Version, and marg. of Authorized Version, it denotes the dragon which, according to Eastern tradition, is an enemy of light; in 41:1 the crocodile is meant; in Ps. 104:26 it "denotes any large animal that moves by writhing or wriggling the body, the whale, the monsters of the deep." This word is also used figuratively for a cruel enemy, as some think "the Egyptian host, crushed by the divine power, and cast on the shores of the Red Sea" (Ps. 74:14). As used in Isa. 27:1, "leviathan the piercing [R.V. 'swift'] serpent, even leviathan that crooked [R.V. marg. 'winding'] serpent," the word may probably denote the two empires, the Assyrian and the Babylonian.

Leviathan [NAVE]

Possibly a crocodile, Job 41; Psa. 104:26.
The crooked serpent, Isa. 27:1.
Psa. 74:14.
See: Dragon.


(jointed monster) occurs five times in the text of the Authorized Version, and once in the margin of (Job 3:8) where the text has "mourning." In the Hebrew Bible the word livyathan , which is, with the foregoing exception, always left untranslated in the Authorized Version, is found only in the following passages: (Job 3:8; 41:1; Psalms 74:14; 104:26; Isaiah 27:1) In the margin of (Job 3:8) and text of (Job 41:1) the crocodile is most clearly the animal denoted by the Hebrew word. (Psalms 74:14) also clearly points to this same saurian. The context of (Psalms 104:26) seems to show that in this passage the name represents some animal of the whale tribe, which is common in the Mediterranean; but it is somewhat uncertain what animal is denoted in (Isaiah 27:1) As the term leviathan is evidently used in no limited sense, it is not improbable that the "leviathan the piercing serpent," or "leviathan the crooked serpent," may denote some species of the great rock-snakes which are common in south and west Africa.


LEVIATHAN - le-vi'-a-than (liwyathan (Job 41:1-34), from [~lawah, "to fold"; compare Arabic

name of the wry neck, Iynx torquilla, abu-luwa, from kindred lawa, "to bend"):

(1) The word "leviathan" also occurs in Isa 27:1, where it is characterized as "the swift serpent .... the crooked serpent"; in Ps 104:26, where a marine monster is indicated; also in Ps 74:14 and Job 3:8. The description in Job 41 has been thought by some to refer to the whale, but while the whale suits better the expressions denoting great strength, the words apply best on the whole to the crocodile. Moreover, the whale is very seldom found in the Mediterranean, while the crocodile is abundant in the Nile, and has been known to occur in at least one river of Palestine, the Zarqa, North of Jaffa. For a discussion of the behemoth and leviathan as mythical creatures, see EB, under the word "Behemoth" and "Leviathan." The points in the description which may well apply to the crocodile are the great invulnerability, the strong and close scales, the limbs and the teeth. It must be admitted that there are many expressions which a modern scientist would not use with reference to the crocodile, but the Book of Job is neither modern nor scientific, but poetical and ancient.

(2) See ASTRONOMY, sec. II, 2, 5.

Alfred Ely Day

Also see definition of "Leviathan" in Word Study

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