This week, Kaleb and Joe return to a listener favorite: Mythic Origins. Join them for a discussion on Bahamut, Cockatrice, and Leviathan. Enjoy!
Bahamut- Bahamut comes from Arabian Mythology. He is a giant fish that acts as a supporting layer of the earth. According to Zakariya al-Quazwini, a 13th century Arabic Astronomer, Earth is supported by an ox that stands on Bahamut who dwells in a cosmic ocean. That ocean is in a bowl that sits on top of an angel or a jinn (also known as a genie). Another account claims that Bahamut is supporting a bull named Kujata, who’s supporting a ruby mountain holding an angel who holds and supports the seven earths. Yet another version of the story accounts that Bahamut supports a bed of sand that supports a bull, who rests a rock on his back holding the waters in which Earth is located. Argentinian writer Jorge Luis Borges claims that Bahamut is the large fish that Jesus beholds in the 496th night of the One Thousand and One Nights. In this version, he is a giant fish swimming in a vast ocean, carrying a bull on its head which bears a rock and above the rock is an angel who carries the seven stages of the earth's. Beneath Bahamut is an abyss of air, fire, and a serpent called Falak, a serpent so great that only its fear of Allah’s power keeps it from swallowing all of creation.
Cockatrice- FFIV The Cockatrice is a mythical beast that’s a two legged dragon, or serpent like beast, with a rooster’s head. The name derives from the medieval Latin calcatrix, which means tracker. According to Alexander Neckam, a mid 12th century English Scholar and Theologian, the cockatrice is the product of an egg laid by a male chicken and incubated by a toad, sometimes substituted with a snake. THe name became almost synonymous with basilisk, the main difference being that basilisks are generally depicted as animals without wings. The cockatrice is a pretty lethal creature. It can kill you by looking at you, touching you, and sometimes breathing on you. Medieval bestiaries reported that the weasel is the only animal immune to the glance of the cockatrice. The two ways to slay the beast is by it hearing a rooster crow, and having it look at itself in the mirror.
Leviathan- Leviathan is a sea monster referenced in the Hebrew bible in the Book of Job, Psalms, and Isaiah. In the Book of Job, Leviathan is a reflection of the older Lotan, a primeval monster defeated at the hands of the god Hadad in a very “Zeus slaying Typhon” kind of way. Some scholars have interpreted Leviathan as referring to large aquatic creatures, namely the crocodile. Leviathan later became used as “great well” and also a general term for “sea monsters”. In modern Hebrew, the word simply translates to “whale”. The Tanakh mentions Leviathan six times, and is generally referred to as an ocean creature that isn’t harmful, but is instead part of God’s creation. Later Jewish sources described Leviathan as a dragon who lives over the sources of the deep and along with Behemoth, will be served up to the righteous at the end of time. In the Book of Enoch, Leviathan is described as a female monster dwelling in the watery abyss. When the midrash (explanations of the Tanakh) were being composed, it was believed that God originally produced a male and female leviathan, but ended up slaying the female to prevent the creature from destroying the world and reserved her flesh for the banquet that will be given to the righteous upon the coming of the Messiah. In Christian mythology, Leviathan has come to be used as an image of Satan that endangers God’s creatures and God’s creation by threatening it with being eaten, and upheaval. The creature is described as a demon of envy, and one of the seven Princes of Hell, corresponding with the seven deadly sins. Leviathan has become associated with the visual motif of the Hellmouth, who is a monstrous animal into whose mouth the damned appear at the Last Judgement. Revised versions of the Bible have suggested that leviathan may be a name for a crocodile and that Behemoth is a hippo, and Young Earth Creationists have identified these two as dinosaurs. Like I said before, we started using LEviathan to refer to any sea monster around the early 17th century. Great whales, Kracken, whatnot what have you. Leviathan represents the Element of Water and the direction of West in the Satanic Bible, where he is also listed as one of the Four Crown Princes of Hell.