Day Five of creation featured the formation of aquatic and aerial living creatures. God said, “Let the waters teem with swarms of living creatures, and let birds fly above the earth in the open expanse of the heavens” (Gen. 1:20), and it was so. The most interesting of the created beings was mentioned in verse 21. Genesis 1:21 states that God created the great tannin, which is best translated as a “dragon, serpent, or chaos monster.” The Dictionary of Biblical Imagery states, “In the ancient Near East, a monster is a common symbol to represent a watery chaos that threatens life in the world…. In the [Old Testament,] three terms are found for monsters that symbolize a threat to the divine order of the world: Leviathan (levyatan), Rahab (rahab), and dragon or sea monster (tannin).” Fittingly, the Hebrew word rahab is also translated as “blusterer, proud, or storm.” As described below, every Chaos Monster is arrogant.
Our world is full of Chaos Monsters. However, as the creator of and ruler over all, God retains ultimate control and authority. At Psalm 74:13, we read, “You [God] divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea monsters (tannin) in the water.” Isaiah prophesied, “On that day the Lord will punish Leviathan (levyatan), the fleeing serpent (nahas), with His fierce and great and mighty sword, [e]ven Leviathan (levyatan) the twisted serpent (nahas); [a]nd He will kill the dragon (tannin) who lives in the sea” (Isa. 27:1).
In the Book of Revelation, Satan was symbolized as a great Red Dragon, who persecuted and sought to destroy the Holy Child (Rev. 12:4-5). However, the Chaos Monster can also symbolize certain humans. For example, at Jeremiah 51:34, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon (the conqueror of Judea, BC 605-BC 586) was called a Sea Monster (tannin). At Ezekiel 29:3, we learn that the Pharoah of Egypt was also called a Chaos Monster. We read, “This is what the Lord God says, ‘Behold I am against you, Pharaoh king of Egypt, [t]he great monster (tannin) that lies in the midst of his canals, [t]hat has said, “My Nile is mine, and I myself have made it” (Eze. 29:3). At the core of every Chaos Monster is arrogance and the desire to usurp God. Over the years of human history, significant numbers of humans could be classified as Chaos Monsters. Obvious examples include Marx, Hitler, Lenin, Stalin, and Mao. Such humans (along with Satan and fallen angels) are enemies of the Divine Order.
In the Book of Daniel, we learn that certain nations can also be classified as Chaos Monsters. “Daniel said, ‘I was looking in my vision by the night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts were coming from the sea, different from one another’” (Dan. 7:2-3). The four Chaos Monsters described a succession of conquering world powers: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The final and most horrific beast (Rome) was noted for waging war against the Saints (Dan. 7:21). Emperor Nero’s persecution of Christians began in AD 64 and culminated in the executions of Peter and Paul. The Book of Revelation also described the Roman Beast:
Then I saw a beast coming out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten crowns, and on his head were blasphemous names. And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne, and great authority (Rev. 13:1-2).
Satan is the ultimate power behind the Chaos Monsters and the result is a blasphemous tyranny where humans are deprived of their freedom to serve and worship God.
We discussed the Divine Order in our blog: Primal Desires v. Higher Thinking (April 17, 2020). The Divine Order includes ideas like the obligation to worship God, the right to own private property, and the identification of sinful activity like hatred, envy, covetousness, stealing, murder, adultery, and slander. Currently, in the United States, we are witnessing the Chaos Monster’s destruction of our culture and society. It is Satan’s strategy to divide us by hatred toward each other and God. We are becoming a culture of chaos. Over the years, many recognized that we (the United States) would most likely destroy ourselves before we could be destroyed by an outside national power. In contrast, God promotes love toward Him and each other. This love – His love – unifies us. (Col. 3:14.)
Despite the power and arrogance of the Chaos Monsters, God will prevail. God will crush the heads of the Sea Monsters in the waters (Ps. 74:13). He will destroy the dragon who lives in the sea (Isa. 27:1). He will cut Rahab into pieces and pierce the Dragon (Isa. 51:9). The Prophet Daniel proclaimed: “And to Him [Jesus Christ] was given dominion, honor, and a kingdom, so that all peoples, nations, and populations of all languages might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away; and His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14). And Daniel added,” But the saints of the Highest One will receive the kingdom and take possession of the kingdom forever, for all ages to come” (Dan. 7:18). Psalm 148 invokes all of creation to worship and praise God, which includes the Chaos Monsters. Psalm 148:7 states, “Praise the Lord from the earth, Sea monsters, and all the ocean depths” (Ps 148:7). “They are to praise the name of the Lord, [f]or His name alone is exalted; His majesty is above earth and heaven” (Ps. 148:13).
 “H8577 – tannîn – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 8 Aug, 2021. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h8577/nasb20/wlc/0-1/>.
 “Monsters.” Dictionary of Biblical Imagery, edited by Leland Ryken, et al, InterVarsity Press, 1998.
 “H7294 – rahaḇ – Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon (nasb20).” Blue Letter Bible. Web. 8 Aug, 2021. <https://www.blueletterbible.org/lexicon/h7294/nasb20/wlc/0-1/>.