The Serpent Satan
Scripture has always portrayed in draconic imagery those who exhibit overt antagonism to Israel's God. For this reason, to the Hebrew's, the dragon is symbolic of the devil. But in the Orient, the dragon is worshipped and glorified. This has been true for thousands of years. Nebuchaddnezzar and his people, for instance, worshipped in Babylon a giant serpent-dragon called 'Bel'.
One of the more persistent representations of the devil in scripture is that of a great red dragon (Rv.12:3), a master serpent who rules the lower waters.
"That day, the Lord will punish, with his hard sword, massive and strong, Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent; he will kill the sea-dragon." (Is.27:1).
Satan's reptillian imagery in scripture started with Adam and Eve in Eden. It was there that God transformed Satan into a belly-crawling creature after he had seduced Adam and Eve. The words God used on that occasion (Gen.3:14-15) evoke the likeness of a snake; Satan's defining image ever since.
In his Book of Revelation, the Apostle John completed the Bible's draconic imagery of the devil with his fire, smoke and sulphur-breathing serpent -- the 'great red dragon' described above -- destined to lead the kings of the East into the gathering of the nations at Armageddon. In Greek mythology, Draco, the dragon, was the constellation of stars in the heavens which were thought to be responsible for bringing famine and pestilence to the world.
Because in the East (especially in China and Japan) the dragon continues to occupy a place of great honor, the last-day rise predicted by scripture of the 'kings of the East' remains ominously consistent with the imagery of these ancient prophecies.
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