What is a dynasty? It is a series of sovereigns of a same family. A dynastic government is one in which the successors follow the same system of govern of those who came before them. The Pharaohs, kings of Egypt, formed a dynasty of draconian government, that is, despotic, tyrannical. The Scriptures declare that the Egyptian Pharaoh was the great dragon. “Speak and say, ‘Thus says the Lord Jehovah: “Behold, I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, the great monster that lies in the midst of his rivers, that has said, ‘My river is my own, and I have made it for myself.’”’” (Ezek. 29:3). According to the dictionary of the encyclopedias, a dragon is a fantastic animal, created by the ancient peoples’ imagination that represented it with lion’s claws, eagles wings and serpent’s tail. Lion’s claws because it tears and devours the adversaries, eagle’s wings because it flies to the heights of heaven, and goes down to catch the prey, and serpent’s tail because it is the genius of evil.
1. The first dragon that we know of is the serpent of Eden, created by Jehovah inside the paradise with ample powers to overthrow the first parents of humanity, Adam and Eve. The one who revealed this mystery was the apostle John, saying: “There was war in the sky. Michael and his angels made war on the dragon. The dragon and his angels made war. They didn’t prevail, neither was a place found for him any more in heaven. The great dragon was thrown down, the old serpent, he who is called the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world. He was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him” (Rev. 12:7-9).
2. The second dragon mentioned in the Bible is the Pharaoh who oppressed Israel, and imposed a tyrannical yoke forcing them to build the cities of Python and Ramesses. The poor captive people were forced to make bricks of clay and straw. All the male children were killed to weaken the power of the Israelite people. Compared to the great dragon, Pharaoh is compared to Satan. The ten plagues that Jehovah produced in Egypt, and the hardening of Pharaoh’s heart reveal that the one who makes the wickedness of Satan is the very Jehovah, who claims to be the only author of evil, in Amos 3:6, that says: “Does the trumpet alarm sound in a city, without the people being afraid? Does evil happen to a city, and Jehovah hasn’t done it?” Now, if Pharaoh is the picture of Satan, for both are dragons, the hardening of Pharaoh is a picture of the hardening of Satan to persecute the Christians. Satan never quits. He follows the texts of the hardening of Jehovah: Ex. 4:21; 7:2-3; 10:1; 10:20; 10:27; 11:10; 14:4,8,17.
3. The third dragon mentioned in the Bible is also of a dynasty of four kings of Assyria. The dynasty of Salmanazar (2 Kings 18:9). These kings ruled in the 8th and 9th centuries BC. Because of sin and the corruption of Solomon, Jehovah divided the kingdom in two kingdoms, knowing that they would not subsist (Matt. 12:25-26). The king of Assyria took the kingdom of the north formed of ten tribes. Jehovah compared this king of Assyria to Pharaoh. In reality, Pharaoh is compared to the king of Assyria in the text (Ezek. 31:2-3; 31:18). The king of Assyria was the biggest dragon of Pharaoh.
4. The fourth dragon mentioned in the Old Testament was Nebuchadnezzar. Jeremiah, the prophet, declared it: “Nebuchadnezzar the king of Babylon has devoured me, he has crushed me, he has made me an empty vessel, he has, like a monster, swallowed me up, he has filled his maw with my delicacies; he has cast me out” (Jer. 51:34). This huge dragon devoured the kings of Judah, his sons and daughters, and took their princes and nobles to the Babylonian captivity. Jeremiah, in the book of Lamentations tells the incredible sufferings of the Jewish people. Dishonor, slavery, hunger, water at the price of blood, violation of women and virgins. This is the gall water that Jehovah gave for his chosen people to drink (Jer. 9:15; 8:14).
Well, these four kings of Babylon and Satan, the king of this world, are also four rivers. In Ezek. 29:3 we read that Pharaoh rests between his rivers, and says: The river is mine; I have made it for myself. And the prophet Jeremiah said: “Egypt rises up like the Nile, and his waters toss themselves like the rivers: and he says, I will rise up, I will cover the earth; I will destroy cities and its inhabitants” (Jer. 46:8). Pharaoh’s rivers are his armies. The king of Assyria is the second river. Isaiah, the prophet, is the one who speaks: “now therefore, behold, the Lord brings upon them the mighty flood waters of the River: the king of Assyria and all his glory. It will come up over all its channels, and go over all its banks. It will sweep onward into Judah. It will overflow and pass through; it will reach even to the neck; and the stretching out of its wings will fill the breadth of your land, Immanuel” (Is. 8:7-8). Babylon is also a river, for Jeremiah says: “It shall be, when you have made an end of reading this book, that you shall bind a stone to it, and cast it into the midst of the Euphrates: and you shall say, Thus shall Babylon sink, and shall not rise again because of the evil that I will bring on her; and they shall be weary. Thus far are the words of Jeremiah” (Jer. 51:63-64). And speaking of captivity, Jehovah declares that Judah is a belt thrown in the river Euphrates to rot. The fourth king, that is also a river, is the dragon, or serpent, or Satan. In the book of Revelation we read: “The serpent spewed water out of his mouth after the woman like a river, that he might cause her to be carried away by the stream” (Rev. 12:15).
What is fantastic about Jehovah’s mysteries, the one who spoke through riddles (Ps. 78:2), is that four rivers bathed the Garden of Eden. Pishon, that is the Jordan River, Gihon, that is the Nile, Tigris, and the Euphrates (Gen. 2:10-14). These four rivers watered the Garden of Jehovah. The first river to water the Garden of Jehovah was Satan, who ruled in deceit, rebellion, sin, and death (Gen. 3:1-6); Rom. 5:12). The second river to bathe the Garden was the Nile, or Egypt. This river bathed the Garden with sodomy, corruption, prostitution, and idolatry (Ezek. 23:2-4). The third river was the Tigris, which symbolizes Assyria (Gen. 2:14). This river watered with sexual immoralities, violence and destruction. The fourth river bathed with a yoke of iron, slavery, rapes, prostitution, misery, and disintegration of personality (Lam. 5:1-16).
Someone will say: What absurd comparison. The reader should know that the prophet Ezekiel reveals in chapter 31 of his book that there was a Garden of Eden in the days of the Pharaohs and Assyria, and that Assyria watered the Garden with its rotten waters (Ezek. 31:1-9). The Garden of Eden of Gen. 2 is a pale material and physical picture of the true spiritual Garden of Jehovah, which intended to heal the wound of the people through violence and corruption. Jehovah knew what was going to happen because he was the author of the plan.
It is different with Jesus. He loved the lost sinners so much—the victims of violence and corruption—that he incarnated out of love, and poured his own blood to save them. He redeemed us from that state of misery with his own blood (1 Pet. 1:18-19). Jesus watered the true Garden of God with the love of God the Father, for God is love, and does not use wrath or fury (John 3:16-17; 1 John 4:8). He watered with mercy and forgiveness (2 Cor. 1:3; 1 John 2:12). He watered with gifts from heaven, so rich and glorious, that the possessions and riches of this agonizing world in convulsion look like despicable garbage and even like refuse, as Paul said (Phil. 3:7-8).
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira