Posts Tagged ‘dragons in the bible’

I’ve been regaling you with tales of the sirrush, a dragon of Babylonian lore. Unlike many dragon tales, the sirrush dwells in a zone of intersection between history and legend. Documents exist from the era that can confirm or deny details about this dragon. One of these is a text from the Book of Daniel.

Daniel, of course, is a famous Biblical prophet. His mission was to throw down idols and expose what, to him, were false gods. Since Babylon was the world’s great power of the time, Daniel went after their pantheon.

In those days, priests of the god Baal housed a sirrush in one of their temples. They worshiped the dragon, believing this was their god personified on Earth. Upon seeing the sirrush, Daniel declared this was nothing but a beast. The priests of Baal were insulted. They challenged him to prove his words. Daniel baked barley cakes, but secretly poisoned them with pitch, hair and tar. When these were fed to the sirrush, it caused the creature to swell up and burst!

Naturally, the priests were even more furious. They demanded justice from their king. This led to Daniel’s stint in the den of lions, from which the prophet miraculously emerged unharmed. The king was suitably impressed that Daniel’s god had protected him. He had the priests of Baal thrown into the lion’s den instead, where they were instantly killed.

A few of my other books:

Aunt Ursula’s Atlas, Lucy D. Ford’s short story collection

Masters of Air & Fire, Lucy D. Ford’s middle-grade novel

The Grimhold Wolf, my Gothic werewolf fantasy, and my epic fantasy, The Seven Exalted Orders.

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Certainly, in some cases, authors create good dragons who would grieve the passing of their own or a human friend. One of the best cases is Anne McCaffrey’s Pern series.

Now, these dragons are quite a bit different from the mythical sort. They are genetically created by scientists and “impress” upon hatching with human companions. Indeed, Pernese dragons require this mental bond and cannot survive without it; there are no wild Pernese dragons. Still, the books show numerous instances where dragons mourn.

Because of the mental bond, if a dragon’s rider is killed, the dragon immediately commits suicide by going between forever. When this happens, the other dragons show grief by “keening,” an eerie wailing that echoes throughout their weyrs. They are also shown to lose color, eat less, and behave as if depressed. Most riders also commit suicide if their dragon is killed, although a few manage to survive through the torment. Dragons don’t mourn these riders, unless they were significant leaders such as queenriders.

Believe it or not, there also is mention in the Bible of dragons mourning. In the Book of Micah, Chapter 1, Verse 8, it states:

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.

This is a pretty definitive statement that dragons can mourn. Check back Tuesday for more on this topic.

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