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Leviathan

sea creature job hell

The name Leviathan occurs in several Old Testament passages, notably *, which contains a lengthy description, spoken by *God to Job, of the fearsome and powerful beast whom God tames. The creature appears again in Psalm , translated as draco (dragon or serpent) in the Vulgate, described as living in the great, wide sea. Other references to Leviathan are found in *Isaiah 27:1, where it is described as a “crooked” and “piercing serpent,” a “dragon” in the sea, and *Ezekiel 29:3-5, where *Pharaoh is equated with this evil dragon in the river. Early Christian and medieval commentators associated Leviathan with the whale or sea creature which swallowed *Jonah, as well as a symbol for evil, *Satan, and *hell. The hook that snares Leviathan (Job 41:1) was interpreted as *Christ, who triumphs over the *Devil and who breaks open the jaws of the creature (Job 41:14) in his harrowing of hell . Leviathan, as a dragonesque sea creature, is found especially in Romanesque and Gothic illustrations of the *Last Judgment, *Mouth of Hell, and *Fall of the Rebel Angels. *Demons, the damned, flames, and a boiling cauldron may be depicted in and around the gaping jaws.
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