Ezekiel 29:3-6

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BibleOld TestamentEzekiel

"the great dragon" – הַתַּנִּים֙ הַגָּד֔וֹל


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.
But I will put hooks in thy jaws, and I will cause the fish of thy rivers to stick unto thy scales, and I will bring thee up out of the midst of thy rivers, and all the fish of thy rivers shall stick unto thy scales.
And I will leave thee thrown into the wilderness, thee and all the fish of thy rivers: thou shalt fall upon the open fields; thou shalt not be brought together, nor gathered: I have given thee for meat to the beasts of the field and to the fowls of the heaven.

And all the inhabitants of Egypt shall know that I am the LORD, because they have been a staff of reed to the house of Israel.

JPS Tanakh

2 O mortal, turn your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him and against all Egypt. 3 Speak these words:

Thus said the Lord GOD:
I am going to deal with you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt,
Mighty monster, sprawling in your channels,
Who said,
My Nile is my own;
I made it for myself.

The Jewish Study Bible Notes to Ezekiel 29:3:

'Mighty monster,' lit. "the great dragon." Egypt is compared to a dragon in Isa. 11.15, which employs the imagery of the seven-headed Leviathan (Lothan) of Canaanite mythology, and in Isa. 30.7 to the sea dragon Rahab (see also Isa. 51.9-10; Job 9.13; 26.12-13; Ps. 89.9-10). The 'Nile' river forms the natural "backbone" of Egypt and serves as the source of Egypt's life.

A Creation Text

Scholars identify the dragon in the sea as an echo of ANE creation myths.

The appropriation of the grandiose mythological imagery builds up the impression of God's great power, as well as insulting Egypt.

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