Father Fortea, why is it said that Leviathan had various heads?

In Psalm 74:14, we read: “You crushed the heads of Leviathan.” If Leviathan is only one being, why is the plural “heads” used?

Just as the pope is the visible head of the Church, and each pope is an individual person, each, in turn, is head of the Church. Similarly, throughout history, there are persons who are the visible and manifest heads of the iniquity and power of Satan, infamous figures such as Antiochus Epiphanes, Nero, Diocletian, Napoleon, Hitler, Stalin, and Pol Pot. Though the Church has only one head at any given time, Leviathan (i.e., evil) can have various “heads” simultaneously. While the Church forms a mystical body (the mystical body of Christ), evil does not. Good is order and unity; evil is disorder and dispersion.


Editor’s Note:  To learn more about spiritual warfare and demonology, Catholic Spiritual Direction recommends Fr. Fortea’s excellent book Interview With An Exorcist – An Insider’s Look at the Devil, Demonic Possession, and the Path to Deliverance.

Father José Antonio Fortea Cucurull is a priest, exorcist, and writer from Spain. He has published many books, some of which have been translated from Spanish into English, and has spoken at various venues in the United States. His most famous title is the Summa Daemoniaca, currently available only in Spanish. His book Exorcistica is a supplemental publication of Summa Daemoniaca.

To see many other posts on spiritual warfare and demonology, please click on the following link to see all our posts in this series: Spiritual Warfare and Demonology Posts (and Their Links) on SpiritualDirection.com


Art for this post on Leviathan and the various heads: The Revelation of St John: The Sea Monster and the Beast with the Lamb’s Horn, Albrecht Durer, 1497-98, PD-US author’s life plus 100 years or less; detail of Padre José Antonio Fortea 2017, photographed by Elgatoconbotaselgatoconbotas, 5 May 2017 own work, CCA-SA 4.0 International; both Wikimedia Commons. Cover of “Interview with an Exorcist” used with permission, all rights reserved.

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