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Question: Are DRAGONS in the Bible? Did Jerusalem have a well for dragons?
Answer: Nehemiah was a prophet held captive by the Persian empire. He was released and given permission to return to Judah and rebuild Jerusalem and its walls. After arriving in the city he toured the walls to assess their condition before reconstructing them. On his journey he mentions something rather odd:
"And I went out by night by the gate of the valley, EVEN BEFORE THE DRAGON WELL, and to the dung port, and viewed the walls of Jerusalem, which were broken down . . ." (Nehemiah 2:13, KJV)
So, what about this well for dragons? The New Interpreter's Bible Commentary thinks it could be another name for the natural spring named En-rogel mentioned in 1Kings:
"And Adonijah sacrificed sheep and oxen and fattened cattle by the stone of Zoheleth, which is by En Rogel; he also invited all his brothers, the king’s sons, and all the men of Judah, the king’s servants." (1Kings 1:9, NKJV)
The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (ISBE) thinks it was a well dug in this area. An alternative name for this particular well is Jackal's well, a translation found in the New American Standard Bible and New International Version Bible translations.
The Hebrew word translated "dragon" in Nehemiah 2:13 is "tanniym," (Strong's Concordance Number #8577). Now this word can mean a sea serpent, jackal, dragon, serpent, crocodile or even a whale. This word is used for the rod of Moses that became a snake when giving a sign of his mission from Jehovah to Pharaoh of Egypt:
"Then the Lord spoke to Moses and Aaron, saying, 'When Pharaoh speaks to you, saying, 'Show a miracle for yourselves,' then you shall say to Aaron, 'Take your rod and cast it before Pharaoh, and let it become a serpent (tanniym) ' ' " (Exodus 7:8-9, NKJV)