Some biblical scholars considered Leviathan to represent the pre-existent forces of chaos. In Psalm 74:13-14 it says "it was You who drove back the sea with Your might, who smashed the heads of the monsters in the waters; it was You who crushed the heads of Leviathan, who left him as food for the creatures of the wilderness. (JPS edition)" God drove back the waters of the pre-existent Earth (Genesis 1:2 "And the earth was formless and void, and darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was moving over the surface of the waters." ([NAS])Some interpreters suggest that Leviathan is a symbol of mankind in opposition to God, claiming that it and beasts mentioned in the books of Daniel and Revelation should be interpreted as metaphors. The word Leviathan to the ancient Jews became synonymous with that which warred against God's kingdom. This especially included nations warring against Israel such as Assyria and Egypt.
Leviathan also appears in the Apocryphal Book of Enoch, giving the following description of this monster's origins there mentioned as being female, as opposed to the male Behemoth:
- And that day will two monsters be parted, one monster, a female named Leviathan in order to dwell in the abyss of the ocean over the fountains of water; and (the other), a male called Behemoth, which holds his chest in an invisible desert whose name is Dundayin, east of the garden of Eden. - 1 Enoch 60:7-8
Leviathan is also sometimes said to have been of the order of Seraphim. According to the writings of Father Sebastien Michaelis, Balberith, a demon who allegedly possessed Sister Madeleine at Aix-en-Provence, obligingly told the priest not only the other devils possessing the nun, but added the special saints whose function was to oppose them. Leviathan was one devil that was named and was said to tempt men into committing sacrilege. Its adversary was said to be St. Peter.
According to St. Thomas Aquinas, Leviathan is the demon of envy and the demon who is first in punishing the corresponding sinners. Some medieval authors, such as Collin de Plancy and Johann Weyer, considered Leviathan to be Grand Admiral of the maritime regions of Hell.
In The Satanic Bible, subsequently the final section, the "Book of Leviathan", authored by Anton LaVey, and according to most Satanist groups, particularly LaVeyan Satanism, Leviathan is one of the "Four Crown Princes" and represents the number three, the color blue, man's carnal side and the human element chaos. There, Leviathan's element is water, water being that which human forms are primarily created of. This representing the unity of matter and anti-matter, chaos and order, yin with yang, and Leviathan's direction is west, west being used to represent chaos and disorder.
Leviathan as an animalEdit
In the book of Job, both Behemoth and Leviathan are listed alongside a number of other animals that are clearly mundane, such as goats, eagles, and hawks, leading many Christian scholars to surmise that Behemoth and Leviathan may also be mundane creatures. The animal most often proposed for Leviathan is the Nile crocodile.
Like the Leviathan, the Nile crocodile is aquatic, scaly, and possesses fierce teeth. Job 41:18 states that Leviathan's eyes "are like the eyelids of the morning". Some have compared this verse to a crocodile's eyes, which rise out of the water before the rest of its head, invoking the image of the sun rising over the horizon.
The major difficulty of this view is that in Job chapter 41 Leviathan is described as breathing fire like a dragon.
Another difficulty is that the crocodile does not seem to fit the descriptions of Leviathan given in other Bible passages, e.g. it does not have multiple heads.
Another theory, often cited by cryptozoology, is that Leviathan was an aquatic reptile, such as a Plesiosaurus.
During sea-faring's Golden Age, European sailors saw Leviathan as a gigantic whale-like sea monster, usually a sea serpent, that devoured whole ships by swimming around the vessels so quickly as to create a whirlpool.
Powers & AbilitiesEdit
- Immortality - Death reveals that the Leviathans were God's first creations, being before angels and humans.
- Shapeshifting - Upon physical contact, they can transform into the person they are in contact with. They can also use hair instead of physical contact to assume a person's identity. Soon after changing, they eat the original person. They are also able to take on the memories of not only those they possess, but those they shapeshift into.
- Healing Factor - Leviathans can heal from injury quickly.
- Superhuman Strength - They are stronger than guardian angels and can overpower them with ease. The Leviathan's have proven to be extremely stronger then humans as they can over power them while feeding on their flesh.
- Invulnerability - So far, it hasn't been revealed what can kill a Leviathan. However they can be weakened with Borax.
- Possession - They can take over any one by a touch.
Witchcraft - It's unknown if witchcraft can kill them, but they are affected by it.
Decapitation - A Leviathan can be beheaded, but it's not permenant since the head eventually re-attaches itself back to the body. If the head is kept a considerable distance from the body, it appears they are not capable of re-attaching the head to their body.
Borax - Acts as an corrosive acid. When a Leviathan comes into contact with this chemical it causes severe pain and melts away flesh. It is unclear if they can heal once contact is made with this chemical. Splashing Leviathans with borax makes it possible to get close enough to behead them.