The sea serpent Leviathan is mentioned several times in the Old Testament of the Bible. Legends about this immense and powerful creature were based on earlier stories about Tiamat, a dragon defeated by the god Marduk in a Babylonian creation myth. Later a similar tale appeared among the ancient Canaanites, who claimed that the god Baal slaughtered a seven-headed primeval serpent named Lotan.

primeval from the earliest times

chaos great disorder or confusion

In the Bible, Leviathan roamed the sea, breathing fire and spewing smoke from his nostrils. The book of Psalms describes how the Hebrew god Yahweh struggled with the many-headed Leviathan and killed it during a battle with the waters of chaos. Yahweh then created the universe, day and night, and the four seasons. Scriptural references to the end of time say that the flesh of Leviathan will be part of a feast served on the Day of Judgment.

See also Baal ; Creation Stories ; Dragons ; Marduk ; Semitic Mythology ; Serpents and Snakes ; Tiamat .

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