Leviathan לויתן
(2,624 words)

I. Name

Liwyātān is the Heb. name of a mythical monster associated with the Sea (or Yam). First attested in a Ugaritic text (KTU 1.5 i:1 || 27) where it occurs as ltn (to be vocalized lı̄tānu, as convincingly argued by Emerton 1982), the name is related to a root lwy. Etymologically it might be interpreted either as ‘the twisting one’ (cf. Arab. lawiyā) or ‘the wreath-like’, ‘the circular’ (cf. Heb. liwyâ), both possibilities pointing to an original concept of Leviathan as a snake-like…

Cite this page
C. Uehlinger, “Leviathan לויתן”, in: Dictionary of Deities and Demons in the Bible Online, Edited by: Karel van der Toorn, Bob Becking, Pieter W. van der Horst. Consulted online on 22 January 2019 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2589-7802_DDDO_DDDO_Leviathan>

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