Meaning of Leviathan

What is Leviathan:

Leviathan is a mythological creature that is referred to in the Holy Bible, especially in the Old Testament. It is, broadly speaking, a sea creature that represents chaos and evil before the creation of the world. This creature would have been created by God.

Many interpretations attribute a long appearance like a sea serpent to it. Others associate it with whales or sperm whales. In any case, any of these interpretations emphasize its relationship with the chaos prior to creation.

Originally from the Hebrew culture, Leviathan is mentioned several times in the texts of the Judeo-Christian tradition. Among them, the book of Job and the book of Psalms.

Due to the fact that he is associated with evil, it is not surprising that Leviathan is one of the main figures of worship in the satanic faith, in which he is considered one of the four princes of hell.

William Blake: Behemoth and Leviathan. Century XVIII.

Likewise, some parallels of this creature can be found in certain texts of Classical Antiquity, such as the Odyssey in which Scylla is mentioned, a Greek nymph who was transformed into a sea monster.

In the age of naval exploration voyages, legends grew about extraordinary phenomena experienced by sailors on the high seas. In this context, the legend of Leviathan again took effect, but instead of referring specifically to the biblical character, the name was used as a generic term to call all the sea monsters described by the travelers.

These monsters, which most of the time imagined as whales, swam rapidly around the ships until creating a whirlpool, and with it, they prepared to devour the entire ships.

Leviathan by Thomas Hobbes

Leviathan or The matter, form and power of an ecclesiastical and civil republic is the name of a book by Thomas Hobbes published in 1651, in which the philosopher reflects on the power of the State, with a view to justifying absolutist governments. For Hobbes, the word Leviathan becomes an image of the power of the State.

This is how Hobbes expresses it in the text, when he indicates that what is called a republic or the State is, metaphorically, a great Leviathan, a non-human being or, specifically, an "artificial" man destined to protect the natural man. Hobbes claims to take this image from the biblical text itself (Book of Job, chapter 41).

However, this Leviathan, as it was conceived, is not an eternal or divine being, but is subject to becoming ill and / or perishing like all mortals, which is why Hobbes dedicates himself in his book to explaining the problems that the State , Great Leviathan, you must face, and what laws you must obey to ensure your survival.

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