went up [`alah] a smoke [`ashan] out of his
nostrils, ['aph] and fire ['esh] out of his mouth [peh]
devoured: ['akal] coals [gechel] were kindled [ba`ar] by it.
went up out of His nostrils, And fire from His mouth devoured; Coals were
kindled by it. NASB
The imagery of a large and powerful dragon is used to describe the power and determination of God in His righteous effort.
Taken from folklore, the dragon is used to describe the animal response when angered by an adversary, and provoked into a confrontation or a fight.
The heavy breathing, the fire and hot coals from the mouth, all describe the power and resolve of the dragon or beast, not only to defend its own, but to dispatch quickly any adversary challenging its territory.
In typical folklore, the dragon is powerful and against which there is no equal. And so anyone who might be foolish enough to challenge its lair, would never return to tell about it. The fire would remove any and all evidence of the threat. Not even the ashes would remain as evidence that a challenge had ever been made.
And thus the symbolisms continue in describing Gods response to evil, and one day, at the end of time, that response will actually come, and the aftermath of the world will see total decimation and destruction.
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