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The Bible and the Headlines: News You Can Use – Dragon Babies

By David Bachelor, PhD

While Americans are in the midst of the annual race to file their tax returns before April 15th, over in China a very different race against time is underway. The terminus of the Chinese race is May 15th. What is the prize offered to the more than one billion residents of the Middle Kingdom who beat this deadline? A dragon baby!

On February 9th, The Guardian published, “The Power of Dragon Babies: Could an Auspicious Year Boost China’s Ailing Birthrate?” The article instructs couples who wish to have a baby during the lunar calendar Year of the Dragon, “Sowing should be completed by May 15 of this year at the latest. You have to work hard during the New Year!” According to folklore, “Those born under its sign [the dragon] are considered destined for success.” Every twelfth year is a dragon year and brings a spike in births. “One expert predicts an extra million babies to be born in China in 2024.”

A dragon baby bonanza was also on people’s minds in Singapore. The February 8th edition of TIME featured, “Singapore’s Prime Minister Urges Citizens to Have More Babies During Year of the Dragon.” In his lunar New Year’s message, Singapore’s Prime Minister told the citizens of the city state, “Now is as good a time as any for young couples to add a ‘little dragon’ to your family.” Like China and several Asian nations, Singapore has a declining birthrate. In 2022, “Its birth rate dropped to a record low of 1.05 babies per woman.”

The February 8th Al Jazeera article, “Auspicious but Unlucky: The Perils of a Lunar New Year Dragon Baby Boom” was less than optimistic for the children conceived in the next ninety days. The subtitle explained, “Many ethnic Chinese parents want a baby born in the Year of the Dragon. The problem is, so does everyone else.” The author interviewed a 38-year-old “dragon-baby.” The man complained, “Because we have more dragon kids in this year [1976], we could expect for university or high school exams … more competition.. . Even my compulsory military service, there were more opportunities to be unlucky.” A researcher from the National University of Singapore commented, “We find that larger dragon cohorts face weaker educational and economic prospects due to greater competition.”

The Bible contains only one narrative that concerns a dragon and a baby. The baby in these verses was very “lucky.” His “luck” was that he escaped the dragon. Revelation 12 contains the account of the war between God’s angels and the devil and his angels (v.7). In this struggle the devil took the shape of a multiheaded red dragon (v.3). At verse four the Bible says, “The dragon took his place before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when the baby was born, the dragon might kill him.” Before this could happen, God snatched the baby up to heaven (v.5).  In response, “The dragon was angry with the woman and went away to make war on the rest of her seed, who keep the orders of God, and the witness of Jesus” (v.17).

The verdict is still out on whether dragon babies will bring the benefits ascribed to their zodiac sign. What cannot be debated (because God promised it in Psalm 2:9) is that the baby who escaped the dragon will one day “rule over all the nations with a rod of iron” (Rev 12:5). “Lucky” for us, this dragon-free “baby” is Jesus.