Term used by the KJV to translate two closely related Hebrew words (tannim and tannin). At times the terms appear to be interchangeable. Context indicates that the first term refers to a mammal inhabiting the desert (Isa 13:22; 35:7; 43:20; Lam 4:3). Most modern speech translation equate the animal with the jackal, though perhaps the wolf (REB) is intended. The second term has four possible uses: (1) “great sea monster” (KJV, “great whales”) in the sense of a large sea
Revelation uses three types of literature. First, it is a letter written by the apostle John to seven churches in Asia Minor. Second, it is prophecy speaking God’s judgment and truth. Finally, it is apocalyptic writing a common form of Jewish literature.
One of Isaiah’s favorite themes was that the pagan gods of his time were powerless, while Yahweh, the supreme God of the Israelites, was all-powerful. Here the prophet portrayed two gods of the Assyrians and Babylonians as so weak and helpless that they had to be carried around by oxen and horses.
The horns of certain animals appear frequently in Scriptures as symbols. These are often used in prophetic visions to represent the power of individuals or kingdoms (1 Kings 22:11). While horns were also fashioned into musical instruments (see TRUMPET/SHOFAR), their symbolic use is usually indicated when they are mentioned. Hornlike projections were included at the four corners of the altar of incense in the original tabernacle and in the Jerusalem temple. These horns were carved from wood
In a few places in the Bibles, the term beast is used in its modern descriptive sense of la menacing or mindless animal whose behavior is somewhat unpredictable. Jacob compared his son Issachar to a donkey or beast of burden (Gen 49:14), creating a picture of capacity and stubbornness as strong traits in his ninth born. Many biblical monsters seem to be mythical, or at least are symbolic of threats of God’s order and authority in the world. But unlike the monstrous beasts of surrounding cultures and religions, God retains power over all the beasts and chaos in the world, and will ultimately defeat them. Continue reading SIGNS SYMBOLS OF THE BIBLE (BEAST)→