Leviathan


Since time immemorial, sailors who sailed the seas had the belief that in the depths of the seas there was a gigantic dragon with the appearance of a sea serpent which had the power to devour entire ships. Said being was known under the name of Leviathan. The origins of this creature are found in the scriptures of the Old Testament, to be more specific in Genesis and in the book of Isaiah. According to the story, this beast arose on the fifth day of Creation, from the moment in which God gave life to all the creatures of the sea. According to beliefs, this serpent dragon was created for the sole purpose of being the one in charge of ruling the immense marine kingdom.

This word is derived from the Greek word Liwyathan and is usually translated as coiled or twisted. According to biblical accounts, there is no man who has the ability to defeat Leviathan and it is for this reason that God punished him by condemning him to live in a cavern on the seabed. For its part and according to the Hebrew tradition this monster is considered as a being that is a symbol of the devil and the idea of ​​evil in all its expression. According to the legends of Judaism, the Leviathan is physically represented as an androgynous dragon which has the ability to change its appearance. For its part, in the Christian tradition the Leviathan is identified with the beast that appears in the book of revelations.

According to writings extracted from Genesis, this beast is implicitly mentioned where it is said that “God created the great” Tininim” which can be translated in Hebrew as cetaceans.

For his part in the Talmud, the Leviathan is mentioned in Avoda Zara 3b: “Rav Yehuda says, there are twelve hours in a day. In the first three hours the lord sits and learns Torah, then in the second three hours he sits and judges the world. Later, in the third three hours, God will be in charge of feeding the whole world… finally, in the fourth period of three hours, God plays with the Leviathan.

Likewise, mention is made of him in Moed Katan 25b: «Rav Ashi said to Bar Kipok: what will be said at my funeral? Whereupon he replied, “If a llama can bring down a cedar, what hope does a small tree have? “If a Leviathan has the strength to hook and haul to land, what hope does a fish have in a lake?”