He moves his tail like a cedar: the sinews of his thighs are knit together. Job 40:17
Influences of the culture caused dragons to be edited from the biblical text. Keep in mind that the word dinosaur was not invented until 1842. The word that was used to describe these large beast was a dragon.
Greek scriptures were widely used during the time Jesus walked the earth. Early Christians did not typically read Hebrew, so they read in Greek. It was ‘The Translation of the Seventy’ or The Septuagint that emerged when the Hebrew Torah was translated into Greek at the request of Ptolemy II Philadelphus (285–247 BC). The Septuagint means literally the seventy (LXX)—referring to the seventy biblical scholars that carefully (word by word) translated third-century scrolls into words common people could read.
Over hundreds of years, many translations maintained the many references to dragons, which were described in detail as massive in size and strength. The Behemoth was one such animal. These dragons had body types and mannerisms we later identified as mighty lizards we called dinosaurs.
King James translated the Greek version of the bible into English in 1611. During this careful translation, dragons were maintained within the text. Then, hundreds of years later, modern translators systematically removed the term “dragon” as man taught dinosaurs as many millions of years extinct and dragons as mythological.
In the New King James Version in 1982, all references to dragons were translated out of the biblical text. Once massive and proud dragons (dinosaurs) became various other animals, including jackals, serpents, reptiles, and even monsters.
How could any translator purposely make a massive beast of the field with a “tail that sways like a cedar tree” into a tiny jackal? We find compromise made in God’s Word modified to meet the naturalistic assumptions of man.
All verses quoted below come from The Blue Letter Bible, the original from King James Version (KJV), and the updated translation into the New King James Version (NKJV).
Their wine is the poison of dragons, and the cruel venom of asps. KJV
Their wine is the poison of serpents, And the cruel venom of cobras. NKJV
And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, even before the dragon well, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down, and the gates thereof were consumed with fire. KJV
And I went out by night through the Valley Gate to the Serpent Well and the Refuse Gate, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem which were broken down and its gates which were burned with fire. NKJV
I am a brother to dragons, and a companion to owls. KJV
I am a brother of jackals, And a companion of ostriches. NKJV
Though thou hast sore broken us in the place of dragons, and covered us with the shadow of death. KJV
But You have severely broken us in the place of jackals, And covered us with the shadow of death. NKJV
Thou didst divide the sea by thy strength: thou brakest the heads of the dragons in the waters. KJV
You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters. NKJV
Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet. KJV
You shall tread upon the lion and the cobra, The young lion and the serpent you shall trample underfoot. NKJV
Praise the LORD from the earth, ye dragons, and all deeps: KJV
Praise the LORD from the earth, You great sea creatures and all the depths; NKJV
And the wild beasts of the islands shall cry in their desolate houses, and dragons in their pleasant palaces: and her time is near to come, and her days shall not be prolonged. KJV
The hyenas will howl in their citadels, And jackals in their pleasant palaces. Her time is near to come,
And her days will not be prolonged.” NKJV
In that day the LORD with his sore and great and strong sword shall punish leviathan the piercing serpent, even leviathan that crooked serpent; and he shall slay the dragon that is in the sea. KJV
In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, Will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; And He will slay the reptile that is in the sea. NKJV
And thorns shall come up in her palaces, nettles and brambles in the fortresses thereof: and it shall be an habitation of dragons, and a court for owls. KJV
And thorns shall come up in its palaces, Nettles and brambles in its fortresses; It shall be a habitation of jackals, A courtyard for ostriches. NKJV
The beast of the field shall honour me, the dragons and the owls: because I give waters in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert, to give drink to my people, my chosen. KJV
The beast of the field will honor Me, The jackals and the ostriches, Because I give waters in the wilderness And rivers in the desert, To give drink to My people, My chosen. NKJV
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD; awake, as in the ancient days, in the generations of old. Art thou not it that hath cut Rahab, and wounded the dragon? KJV
Awake, awake, put on strength, O arm of the LORD! Awake as in the ancient days, In the generations of old. Are You not the arm that cut Rahab apart, And wounded the serpent? NKJV
And I will make Jerusalem heaps, and a den of dragons; and I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant. KJV
“I will make Jerusalem a heap of ruins, a den of jackals. I will make the cities of Judah desolate, without an inhabitant.” NKJV
Behold, the noise of the bruit is come, and a great commotion out of the north country, to make the cities of Judah desolate, and a den of dragons. KJV
Behold, the noise of the report has come, And a great commotion out of the north country, To make the cities of Judah desolate, a den of jackals. NKJV
And the wild asses did stand in the high places, they snuffed up the wind like dragons; their eyes did fail, because there was no grass. KJV
And the wild donkeys stood in the desolate heights; They sniffed at the wind like jackals; Their eyes failed because there was no grass.” NKJV
And Hazor shall be a dwelling for dragons, and a desolation for ever: there shall no man abide there, nor any son of man dwell in it. KJV
“Hazor shall be a dwelling for jackals, a desolation forever; No one shall reside there, Nor son of man dwell in it.” NKJV
Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon hath devoured me, he hath crushed me, he hath made me an empty vessel, he hath swallowed me up like a dragon, he hath filled his belly with my delicates, he hath cast me out. KJV
“Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon Has devoured me, he has crushed me; He has made me an empty vessel, He has swallowed me up like a monster; He has filled his stomach with my delicacies,
He has spit me out. NKJV
And Babylon shall become heaps, a dwellingplace for dragons, an astonishment, and an hissing, without an inhabitant. KJV
Babylon shall become a heap, A dwelling place for jackals, An astonishment and a hissing, Without an inhabitant. NKJV
Speak, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great dragon that lieth in the midst of his rivers, which hath said, My river is mine own, and I have made it for myself. KJV
“Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, Who has said, ‘My River is my own; I have made it for myself’. NKJV
Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked: I will make a wailing like the dragons, and mourning as the owls. KJV
Therefore I will wail and howl, I will go stripped and naked; I will make a wailing like the jackals
And a mourning like the ostriches, NKJV
All references to dragon are used in the book as parable or code.