Revelation of Jesus Christ Chapter 13 denniscopp Verse 1 I saw a beast coming out of the sea. By this first boast several understand antichrist, as St. Irenæus, lib. v. chap. xxviii. and St. Gregory,…More
Revelation of Jesus Christ Chapter 13

Verse 1

I saw a beast coming out of the sea.
By this first boast several understand antichrist, as St. Irenæus, lib. v. chap. xxviii. and St. Gregory, lib. xxxi. Moral. chap. xli. But this is not certain. By the other beast[1] coming up out of the earth, (ver. 11) many understand antichrist’s false prophet, some famous impostor and magician in antichrist’s time, who will do great wonders and signs. The seven heads and ten horns, may again signify a great number of kings and princes, who shall be overcome by antichrist, and submit themselves to him. The dragon, or devil, gives that great power to antichrist, signified by the different parts of the beast, some like to a leopard, others to a bear, and others to a lion. The head wounded to death and cured, is either antichrist himself or some one of those heads or kings, cured by the devil and diabolical arts after a mortal wound. (Witham) --- This first beast, with seven heads and ten horns, is probably the whole company of infidels, enemies and persecutors of the people of God, from the beginning to the end of the world. The seven heads are seven kings, that is, seven principal kingdoms or empires; which have exercised, or shall exercise, tyrannical power over the people of God: of these, five were then fallen, viz. the Egyptian, Assyrian, Chaldean, Persian, and Grecian monarchies: one was present, viz. the empire of Rome: and the seventh and the chiefest was to come, viz. the great antichrist and his empire. The ten horns may be understood of ten lesser persecutors. (Challoner)
Though St. Irenæus, and also St. Gregory, (lib. xxxi. mor. chap. xli.) by the first of these two beasts understand antichrist, and others would have antichrist to be meant by one of the two, yet this is not to be looked upon as absolutely certain, not being witnessed by the consent of primitive Fathers. The ancient Fathers, especially in the exposition of obscure prophecies, many times give us no more than their private opinions, or suspicions and conjectures, as St. Augustine expressly takes notice in the 20th book de Civ. Dei, (chap. xix. tom. 7. p. 597, Nov. Ed.) where he speaks of antichrist: so that though St. Irenæus had seen St. Polycarp, who was a disciple of St. John the evangelist, yet he delivers us divers things concerning antichrist, which are no more than his private opinions and conjectures, in which others do not agree with him; as that antichrist shall be of the tribe of Dan; that he shall sit in the temple of Jerusalem. He was also in an error as to Christ’s reign of a thousand years upon the earth with his elect. Arethas, bishop of Cesarea, in Cappadocia, in the sixth age [century], in his commentary on the Apocalypse, (tom. vi. Bib. Patrum, Edit. Colon) speaking of this opinion, that some would have the first beast (Apocalypse xiii. 1.) to be antichrist, and others the second beast, only says: quidam sic accipiunt, &c.

Verse 2

M. Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, observes in the emperors Maximian Herculeus, Galerius Maximin, and Dioclesian, the distinguishing characters of these three animals. The leopard represents Maximian, a changeable, restless and cruel prince. The bear figures Galerius Maximin, a man from the north of cruel and brutal disposition, terrible mein, and gigantic stature. Lactantius moreover informs us, that he took a pleasure in feeding bears, which bore so great a resemblance to him in size and brutality. The lion, in fine, is the symbol of Dioclesian, who was cruel and vehement against Christians. (Calmet) --- The whole of this is by Pastorini applied to the empire of Rome, which was composed of the territories of the three preceding empires, which are represented by Daniel under the figure of these animals. And as the body of the beast was like to a leopard, the centre and capital of the Roman empire, under antichrist will be the Grecian empire, denoted by the leopard, of which Constantinople became the capital. Various interpreters explain the whole of this vision by different ways. (Haydock)

Verse 3

One of his heads,
&c. Some understand this of the mortal wound which the idolatry of the Roman empire (signified by the sixth head) received from Constantine; which was as it were healed again by Julian the apostate. (Challoner)

Verse 4

They adored the dragon;
i.e. in antichrist’s time, they will adore both antichrist and the devil, who will make war against the saints for forty-two months, i.e. a short time, signified also by 1260 days, and by three years and a half. (Witham)

Verse 6

His tabernacle,
&c. That is, his Church, and his saints. (Challoner)

Verse 8

Slain from the beginning.
In the foreknowledge of God; and in as much as all mercy and grace, from the beginning, were given in view of his death and passion. (Challoner)

Verse 10

Here is the patience,
&c. Here is the motive of the patience and the faith of the saints, or the servants of God in this world. By faith they rely on the promises of God for the reward of their patience, and leave him to vindicate as he may judge fit their cause with respect to their persecutors. (Pastorini)

Verse 11

I saw another
[2] beast, &c. He had two horns like those of the Lamb, pretending to imitate Christ by an outward sanctity, and by working strange things. (Witham) --- This second beast with two horns may be understood of the heathenish priests and magicians, the principal promoters both of idolatry and persecution. (Challoner)
Vidi aliam bestiam, Greek: eidon allo therion. Another wild beast. St. Irenæus calls this second beast armigerum primæ, and takes notice that he is also called in other places of the Apocalypse (Chap. xvi. 13. and xix. 20. and xx. 10.) the false prophet, pseudopropheta of the first beast. By what is said in this chapter, this second beast must live and act at the same time with the first; for it is said, ver. 12, that he exercised all the power of the former beast in his sight, Greek: enopion autou; and again, ver. 14, that he did wonders in the sight of the first beast, Greek: enopion tou theriou. 2. It is said that this second beast made all that dwelt on the earth adore the first beast. 3. That he made all persons make an image to the first beast, that was wounded and cured, and that they should be slain who adored not that image. 4. He caused that all persons should have the character of the first beast, and the number of his name, i.e. of the name of the first beast. All those who hold that the first beast in this chapter is antichrist, who is to come a little before the end of the world, hold in like manner that the second beast is not come, but will also come at the same time; and that he is to be a famous imposter and false prophet in antichrist’s time. But they who hold the first beast not to be antichrist, but to be the idolatry of heathen Rome, by the second beast understand the philosophers and magicians, who were accustomed to raise the indignation of the pagan emperors against Christians. This exposition of the bishop of Meaux, and of divers Catholic interpreters, I shall here give in Dr. Hammond’s words: "By the second beast is meant magic, auguries, adn oracles of heathens, made use of to advance idol worship. This beast had two horns, two powers, with some resemblance of Christ, the Lamb; the power of doing some kind of miracles, even of making fire seem to come down from heaven, as Philostratus relates of Apollonius of Thanea, (lib. v. chap. v.) and the pretended power of prophecy by dubious and obscure oracles; by which also they engaged the emperors to promote idolatry, and to make bloody edicts against Christianity, to force every one to join in their heathen worship, and to shew that they did so by exterior marks and signs, by tickets, to shew that they had sacrificed to idols, otherwise they should be incapable of buying and selling, i.e. of enjoying any particular advantages, or the common benefits of life." Dr. Hammond did not think it worth taking notice of, that so many writers of the pretended reformation would have the second beast to be a great many popes, whom they affirm to be the most famous antichrist. Never was there a more groundless or a more malicious invention, without shadow of authority or reason, and evidently contradictory to both, which I may shew as occasion offers, and as far as these short notes will permit. Here I shall only touch upon what relates to that which is set in this chapter. 1. The late reformers, some of them, make the first beast the popish antichrist, (as we may see in the bishop of Meaux, and also in Dr. Wells) and some affirm this of the second beast. The two beasts are quite different: are they both the popish antichrist? 2. Some of them prove the popes to be the second beast, because the popes mitre has a resemblance of his two horns: does this deserve an answer? See the bishop of Meaux. 3. Is it not as ridiculous to pretend that by fire coming from heaven, is meant the pope’s excommunications? Is not the power of excommunication grounded in St. Paul? Do not the Protestants themselves own, and make use of this power? 4. Those Protestants who tell us the second beast is the popish antichrist, say that the first beast was the state of paganism in the Roman empire. This, as they own, was destroyed before the popes began to be antichrist: how does this agree with what is here said of the second beast, antichrist’s armiger, that he exercised all his power in the sight and in the presence of the first beast? 5. How can they pretend that the popes ever ordered all to be slain who would not adore the first beast? (that is, heathen idols, or the images of heathen gods, of Jupiter, Mars, &c.) or who did not bear on his forehead or hand the character, the mark, or the number of some of the heathen gods or heathen emperors? 6. If the second beast be the popish antichrist, all those Protestants have been guilty of a grievous oversight, who have endeavoured to prove the popes antichrist, by finding the number 666 in their names, or in the word Lateinos; for it is evident by this chapter, (ver. 17) that the number of the name belongs to the first beast, and not to the second. 7. This contradicts what the Protestants teach with St. Paul (2 Thessalonians. ii.) that antichrist is to be the man of sin, who will make himself adored above all that is called or worshipped as God; whereas, in this place of the Apocalypse, the second beast does not make himself, but the first beast, to be adored. Therefore this second beast is not the popish antichrist. Of this more in the following chapters.

Verse 12

He executed all the power of the former beast in his sight,
or before him, doing great wonders, as Christ foretold should be done by false prophets (Matthew xxiv. 24) making even fire by lightning come from heaven, as the devil was permitted to do in the time of Job. (Chap. i.) --- He caused men to adore the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed, and the image of the first beast, of antichrist, to be adored, and that no one should buy or sell any thing, unless he had on his forehead or on his arm, some particular mark, called the character of this false Christ, or antichrist; or his name, or the number of his name, that is, his name which was made up of numerical letters, 666; but, St. Irenæus thinks, in Greek letters or characters, as St. John wrote his Revelation in Greek. According to the application made by the bishop of Meaux, &c. by the first beast with seven horns were signified the cruel persecutors of the Church, Dioclesian and other six persecuting emperors, to wit, Maximian Herculeus, Galerius Maximian, Constantius Chlorus (father to Constantine), Maxentius, Maximinus, and Licinius. These they look upon to have been the seven heads of the first beast, and by this beast they understand the idolatry of the heathen Roman empire; and by the ten horns, a great many barbarous nations, who in their time made irruptions and pillaged the empire, and afterwards brought destruction upon the whole Roman empire, to wit, the Goths, Vandals, and the rest. The resemblances of a leopard, bear, and lion, are introduced with an allusion to what is written by the prophet Daniel, (Chap. vii.) meaning the four great empires: by the leopard, that of the Chaldeans; by the bear, that of the Persians; by the lion, that of the Grecians and of Alexander the great; lastly, that of the Romans, which is not represented by any one beast, but as a compound of others. When it is said that the beast had received a mortal wound, and was cured again, these interpreters understand the idolatry of the empire, which was in a great measure destroyed by Constantine, but which was again revived and renewed by Julian the apostate. He might well be said to have a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; but his power lasted only for a short time, signified by forty-two months, though literally he did not reign so long. By the other beast, (ver. 11) these interpreters, as also Dr. Hammond, understand the philosophers and magicians, with their auguries and pretended oracles of the heathen gods. For these men, under Dioclesian, and particularly under Julian, were constantly exciting the emperors and the people against the Christians, telling them that the gods required that the religion of the Christians should be utterly destroyed. We find in the histories of those times, that an image or statue was erected to Julian, together with Jupiter, Mars, and Mercury, and orders given to put to death all those who refused to adore that image. See St. Gregory of Nazianzus, Orat. 3. cont. Julianum, and Sozomen, lib. v. Hist. chap. xvii. Under Dioclesian, and also under Julian, meats offered to idols, were thrown into fountains; and waters consecrated to idols, were sprinkled upon all things to be sold in the market, to the end that the Christians might be defiled by every thing that they bought or eat. As to the number of the name of the beast, 666, in these Greek letters, Greek: chxs, nothing can be produced but mere conjecture. St. Irenæus[3] (lib. v. chap. xxx. p. 371. Ed. Feuardentii) says, that according to the testimony of those who had seen St. John, the number of the beast was to be computed by Greek letters. He takes notice that this number of 666 may be found in several names. He produces some examples, and amongst others the word Lateinos; of which he says, it may seem very likely that this is the name, because the last of the four empires, which were spoken of by the prophet Daniel, was then extant, and had this name of the empire of the Latins. Take notice, that he has not a word that hints at the Latin Church, as some of the late pretended reformation would insinuate. But, says he, the word Teitan carries with it a greater probability. Yet he concludes, that such expositions are uncertain, and he will not venture to say that this will be the name. The bishop of Meaux proposes, DIoCLesAVgVstVs: but this is to look for it in Latin letters. Others have produced other names. Such fancies are conjectures seen full as well omitted. (Witham)
St. Irenæus, (lib. v. chap. xxx. p. 370) numerus nominis bestiæ secundum Græcorum computationem per litteras quæ in eo sunt, sexcentos habebit et sexaginta et sex. Eusebius (lib. v. History of the Church, chap. viii. Ed. Valesii) citing the words of St. Irenæus, in Greek, p. 172: Greek: oti o arithmos tou onomatos tou theriou, kata ten ton ellenon psephon dia ton en auto grammaton emphainetai. But he declares it rash and dangerous to affirm any thing: Greek: emeis oun ouk apokinduneuomen, &c. As for the name itself, he proposes first Greek: euanthas and then of Lateinos says, that valde verisimile est quoniam novissimum, regnum (to wit, of the four kingdoms, in Daniel) hoc habet vocabulum. It is evident he speaks of the empire, not of the Christian church of Rome. Latini enim sunt qui nunc regnant, sed non in hoc nos gloriabimur. Sed et Teitan....omnium nominum, quæ apud nos inveniuntur magis fide dignum est....but adds, nos tamen non periclitabimur in eo, nec asseberantes pronuntiabimus, &c. Dr. Wells in a note observes, that Mr. Mede and Mr. Whiston, without sufficient grounds, take notice of this conjecture of St. Irenæus, as favouring their notion of the pope to be antichrist.

Verse 18

Six hundred sixty-six.
The numeral letters of his name shall make up this number. (Challoner)


The Beast from the Sea and the Beast from the Land

The Sanctions of the Covenant Treaty continue:

Rev. 12:3 "Then a second sign appeared in the sky: there was a huge red dragon with seven heads and 10 horns, and each of the seven heads crowned with a coronet."

Rev. 13:1-2 "Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and 10 horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles. I saw that the beast was like a leopard, with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion.."

Note: The New Jerusalem translation does not translate this first verse correctly. The description of the beast literally reads: "it had 10 horns and 7 heads.." It seems a small difference that they have reversed the description of horns and heads to match the description of the Dragon in 12:3 but in doing so they have theologically disrupted the message. The Beast is not the Dragon. He is in the image of the Dragon but he is not the Dragon/Satan! This difference will be important in Rev. chapter 17.

The key to understanding the symbolism of the Beasts in Revelation is found in the Book of the Prophet Daniel. The Book of Daniel begins with Daniel being taken captive by the Babylonians circa 597BC. The last date referenced in the book is probably circa 522BC.

"Daniel said, 'I have been seeing visions in the night. I saw that the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great Sea; four great beasts emerged from the sea, each different from the others. The first was like a lion with eagle's wings and, as I looked, its wings were torn off, and it was lifted off the ground and set standing on its feet like a human; and it was given a human heart. And there before me was a second beast, like a bear, rearing up on one side, with three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth. "Up!" came the command "Eat quantities of flesh!" After this I looked and there before me was another beast, like a leopard, and with four bird's wings on its flanks; it had four heads and was granted authority. Next, in the visions of the night, I saw another vision: there before me was a fourth beast, fearful, terrifying, very strong; it had great iron teeth, and it ate its victims, crushed them, and trampled their remains underfoot. It was different from the previous beasts and had ten horns. While I was looking at these horns, I saw another horn sprouting among them, a little one; three of the original horns were pulled out by the roots to make way for it; and in this horn I saw eyes like human eyes, and a mouth full of boasting.".....verse 11"I went on watching: then, because of the noise made by the boastings of the horn, as I watched, the beast was put to death, and its body destroyed and committed to the flames. The other beasts were deprived of their empire, but received a lease of life for a season and a time." Daniel 7:2-8, 11-12

The World Kingdoms (Beasts under the influence of Satan) who persecute God's holy people in Daniel chapter 7. These beasts are repeated in Rev. 13:2


Babylonian Empire c. 612BC-539BC


Medo-Persian Empire c.539BC-334BC


Alexander the Great - Greek Empire divided into four Kingdoms (4 wings & 4 heads) in 323BC

Beast with 10 horns

-Roman Empire (same Beast as Rev. chapter 13) conquered the Greek Seleucids in 190BC. Rome took Judah as a Roman province in 63BC and renamed it Judea(h).

The World Kingdoms Statue of Daniel chapter 2

head of fine gold

Babylonian Empire

chest and arms of silver

Medo-Persian Empire

belly and thighs of bronze

The Greek Empire - Alexander the Great

legs of iron with feet of iron and clay

Roman Empire (legs) and Province of Judea (feet)

the stone that struck and destroyed the statue and became an everlasting 5th Kingdom (Jesus is the stone)

The Kingdom of Heaven on Earth - the Catholic Church

More details are given for the kingdom of the Medes and Persians and for the Greek Kingdom of Alexander the Great in Daniel 8:3-12 and the interpretation for this vision is given in Dan 8:15-27. Please read Daniel's vision of the Ram and the He-goat in ch. 8

(visions interpreted by Gabriel in 8:17-27. Especially note verse 17c where Gabriel says:"understand this: the vision shows the time of the End") Gabriel is not talking about the "end of the world" but the End of the period of great Tribulation resulting in the revolt of the Maccabees and independence for Judah. Throughout Biblical history there are a number of "Ends" where prophecy is fulfilled included in those "ends" are the End or Last Days of the Old Covenant as prophesized by Joel and by St. Peter in Acts 2 and the End as in the Second Advent of Christ at the End of Time.)

Daniel 8: The Ram and the He-Goat

the Ram with two horns (second taller) v.3

Medo-Persian Empire: the #2 taller horn represents the power of the Persians who succeeded in absorbing the Medes.v20

the He-Goat with one great horn which broke and was replaced by 4 horns v.8

Alexander the Great and the Greek conquest. When Alexander died his Empire broke into 4 parts v.21-22

one of the 4 horns grew in size v. 10-11

Syrian Seleucid (Greek) Empire which controlled the Promised Land. Antiochus Epiphanes(BC174-164) banned the Sabbath and the Holy Feast Days and abolished the daily Sacrifice in the Temple in Jerusalem. These actions led to the Revolt of the Maccabees and a nearly 100 yr. Period of independence for the Jews before the Roman conquest of Judea in BC63 when Judea became a Roman province. The Jews would never experience independence again until United Nations voted to create the state of Israel in 1947. When they achieved Independence in 1948 no "nation" named Israel had existed since 722BC.

The vision of the 4 kingdoms in Daniel chapter 7 is a retelling of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the 4 kingdoms in chapter 2 as interpreted by Daniel in 2:31-45 which identifies these same 4 kingdoms which will be followed by a 5th Kingdom that will "shatter and absorb all the previous kingdoms and itself last for ever.." The 5th Kingdom is Christ's Kingdom of heaven on earth = the Catholic (universal) Church. Therefore, the 4th kingdom has to be Rome, and not the Seleucid Greek Empire (one of the 4 kingdoms formed after the death of Alexander the Great) as some scholars suggest. The Seleucid's never controlled the whole earth and had more than 10 kings (actually 15) before the Romans conquered Syria and made it a Roman province in the first century BC. The Roman Empire, from Julius Caesar to Vespasian and the destruction of the Temple in Jerusalem, had 10 emperors; there were also 10 Roman provinces (and 7 Judean puppet kings). This has to be the same "Beast" as the "Beast with 10 horns" in Rev. ch. 13 . It is this Kingdom, and one "horn" in particular, who will be guilty of "making war on the holy ones and proving the stronger, until the coming of the One most Venerable who gave judgment in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, when the time came for the holy ones to assume kingship." (Daniel 7: 22-23) Then too the 4th Kingdom is described "as different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole world, trample it underfoot and crush it." (Daniel 7:23) Only Alexander the Great and the Romans conquered the known world. Also notice the reference to "the final days" in Daniel 2:28. This reference refers to the "final days" of the Old Covenant and not to the end of time. It is the same "final days" as the Revelation time frame.

It is important to keep in mind that the Bible is God's revelation of His Covenant extended to those who belong to Him. The Book of Jesus Christ's Apocalypse (unveiling or revealing) to John is a covenant document as well as a prophetic document and like the prophecies of the Old Testament, it is not concerned with making predictions of catastrophic world events but instead its focus is ethical and redemptive. It was written by the Holy Spirit through human writers to witness to us what God has done to save His children and to glorify Himself through His Saints.

Therefore, when God speaks about the Babylonian Empire of the 6th century BC or the Roman Empire of the 1st century AD His intent is not record historical events for their own sake but instead His intent is only to make the connection between those human forces and events in relation to the history of redemption as it impacts upon His Covenant people. The most important point about Rome from the point of view of the inspired writer of Revelation is not its place as a powerful state but instead its use as a force of Satan to scatter and persecute the Saints of God. The Roman Empire of the 1st century AD does not persecute God's Covenant people just because it is a pagan Roman state but because of Satan's influence it has become a "Beast" in opposition to the Covenant of God. The Roman Empire, the Beast from the Sea, is not viewed in terms of its historical significance but solely in terms of 1) Almighty God and 2) the Church.

Warning: Any commentary of the Bible that does not refer to the Old and New Testament references given in the various passages of the book being studied is only an interpretation of the commentator's imagination. St. Augustine wrote about the study of Holy Scripture: "the New (Testament) is hidden in the Old (Testament) and the Old(Testament) is fulfilled in the New(Testament)!"

Please read 12:18-13:10: The Beast from the Sea

Verses 12:18 & 13:1 "And I took my stand on the seashore. Then I saw a beast emerge from the sea: it had seven heads and ten horns, with a coronet on each of its ten horns, and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles." (13:1 should read: "10 horns and 7 heads." The New American translation is correct. It is important to note that this is the reverse order of the description of the dragon in 12:3 that has "7 heads and 10 horns". The point is that the Sea Beast is the mirror image of the dragon but it is NOT the dragon. This difference is also apparent in the position of the crowns. The crowns are on the 7 heads of the dragon but there are crowns on the 10 horns of the Sea Beast and the heads of the Sea Beast are marked with "blasphemous titles").

God has given John a special vantage point. I wonder about the similarity between the Greek textual wording of John taking his stand on the seashore and the Dragon taking his stand before the Woman in Rev. 12:4 but none of the commentators I consulted discussed such a connection. It almost sounds like God has placed John in the forefront of the battle to be the first to see the "Beast" emerging from the sea. This is, of course more than just a geographic view; although with the Italian peninsula across the Mediterranean Sea from the coast of Israel (Judea) it may have seemed to John as though the Roman beast rose from the sea. But there is also the Biblical symbolism of the sea to take into account. In the opening verses of Genesis the sea is seen as a place of chaos. After the Fall of man this Biblical imagery continued and the sea is used in Scripture as a symbol of the world in chaos as a result of the rebellion of men and nations against God, especially as rebellious gentile nations coming against Israel: (Isaiah 17:12 Disaster: The thunder of vast hordes, a thunder like the thunder of the seas, the roar of nations roaring like the roar of mighty floods, of nations roaring like the roar of ocean!" and 57:20 "The wicked, however, are like the restless sea that cannot be still, whose waters throw up mud and dirt. 'No peace', says Yahweh, 'for the wicked.'"

But there is even more at work here than symbolism of the Beast of the sea as a violent gentile nation--the "sea" in Scripture is always viewed as a place of chaos.. Look at Rev. 9:1-3 and v.11 where the angel of the Abyss is identified as Satan and the Rev. 12:3 description of the great red Dragon with 7 heads and 10 horns who is identified as Satan in verse 9-the same as the angel of the Abyss. Now look at the description of the Beast of the Sea again. Satan is involved with the release of this Beast. As long as men are faithful to God the demons are kept imprisoned in the Abyss but when men apostatize and break God's holy covenant, the demons are released. But as man repents and is restored to communion with God the demons are sent back into the Abyss (Luke 8:26-33).

Question: Carefully compare the description of the Dragon in Rev. 12:2 with the Beast of 13:1. What do you notice and what is the symbolism? Hint: see Genesis 1:26 and Gen. 5:6.

Answer: The Beast of the Sea is not identical to Satan (horns crowned instead of heads) but in every other way he is the image of Satan the great Dragon. The Beast is not Satan but he is the son or "seed" of Satan...created in Satan's image as believers are created in the image of God. It is Satan who gives the Beast his power and his throne of great authority. He is Satan's seed. The Roman Empire of the 1st century was a chaotic and rebellious unity of man in opposition to God and a perfect candidate for the Beast of 13:1.

Question: What do horns symbolize in Scripture?

Answer: power. See 1Kings 22:11; Zech. 1:18-21; Psalms 75:10.

Question: Turn to Rev. 17:9-11. What are we told the 7 heads and the 10 horns represent in Rev. 17:9-11?

Answer: The 7 heads are 7 (Roman) Emperors and the 10 horns are 10 kings of minor power (rulers of the Roman provinces). Go to the Chart section of this study and pull up the Chart of Roman Emperors. We will be using it for the next few chapters. The key to the 10 horns of limited power but under the authority of the Beast perfectly fit the 10 Roman provinces and their rulers.

Verse 1b "and its heads were marked with blasphemous titles." Satan often parodies God's plan, like man in the image of God and the beast in the image of Satan. There may also be a connection to the sacerdotal plate the high priests wore on their miters which declared "Sacred to Yahweh" [see Exodus 28:36-38]. Ironically in parody the Beast displays on his heads not the sacred name but blasphemous names which may be the names of the Roman emperors who claimed to be gods [for example the Roman Emperor Domitian insisted on being addressed as Dominus et Deus noster" = "Our Lord and god"]..

Question: Whose head was marked with a title consecrating him to God? Hint: see Exodus 28:36-38.

Answer: God's representative to the people, the High Priest wore a golden ban on which was written: consecrated to Yahweh. Blasphemy is claiming to be God or claiming for oneself what belongs to God.

According to the authority of the Roman Empire, Roman Emperors or "Caesars", (they assumed Julius Caesar's name as a title) were gods. Each Emperor from the time of Julius Caesar's deification by the Roman Senate after his assassination, was granted either the title Augustus or Sebastos, meaning "one to be worshiped" and "one to be glorified." You may recall that Julius Caesar's grandnephew, Octavian, was granted the title Augustus Caesar and was the Emperor who ruled the Roman world when Jesus was born. Many temples throughout the Roman Empire were erected to these deified roman rulers, especially in Asia Minor as we discussed in Rev. chapters 2-3. These Roman Emperors took for themselves the title "Son of god" above their images on their coinage and they expected worship in the 10 Roman provinces as an act of obedience and loyalty to Rome and the Roman authority. The Emperor Nero (died 68AD) even erected a 120 foot statue of himself to be worshiped. For this reason St. Paul called Nero "the man of sin" and "the son of destruction who opposes and exalts himself above every so called god or object or worship, so that he takes his seat in the Temple of God displaying himself as being God." (2 Thes. 2:3-4). It was Nero's plan, before his timely suicide in AD68, to erect a status of himself to be worshiped in the Holy of Holies in Jerusalem. Christians all over the Roman Empire were persecuted because they refused to take part in the worship of the Roman Emperor.

Verse 2: "I saw that the beast was like a leopard, with paws like a bear and a mouth like a lion: the dragon had handed over to it his own power and his throne and his immense authority."

Question: As animals, what do these three animals have in common?

Answer: they are all predators. In this verse the Roman Empire is symbolized as a ferocious animal under the Curse (of Satan). The Empire is a predator empowered with satanic powers who kills without mercy. This is also a direct reference to Daniel's vision of the 3 animal/ kingdoms in Daniel chapter 7 [but in reverse order] when Daniel is given the vision of the rise of Babylon, Persia and Alexander the Great's Greek Empire. In this case, Rome is to be a composite animal indicating it has the worse traits of all 3 previous Empires and then, historically, Rome did conquer all the lands that were part of the former kingdoms.

Rome is Daniel's 4th Beast, the one who rules just before God established his glorious 5 Kingdom- the Church: "Behold a 4th Beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong.." Daniel 7:7 . "The fourth beast is to be a fourth kingdom on earth, different from all other kingdoms. It will devour the whole world, trample it underfoot and crush it." Daniel 7:23. The Roman Empire conquered and expanded the territories of all the previous great empires. It conquered the known world!

Question: Is the Beast of the Sea simply an Empire or is he a human being as well? Answer: The Beast is also human. Biblically a ruler and his empire are considered to be as one: the Babylonian king, Nebuchadzzar, was Babylon. The Roman Empire was embodied and represented in the person of the reigning Emperor. A Roman maxim stated that "Caesar is Rome and Rome is Caesar." This isn't just a Biblical concept but a 1st Century AD historical concept.

No Roman Emperor so typified a "beast" as Nero Claudius Caesar Drusus Germanicus who was born in AD37 and who came to the throne at the age of 17 after his mother murdered his step-father the Emperor Claudius (actually the three previous Roman emperors died violent deaths before he came to the throne: Tiberius was smothered, Caligula was cut down by his own Praetorian guard, and Claudius was poisoned by Nero's mother Agrippina). Before his death at the age of 30 this bisexual degenerate whose greatest pleasure came from watching people suffer the most horrifying tortures and dressing up as a wild beast in order to attack and rape both female and male prisoners, had murdered his mother, kicked his pregnant wife to death, ordered the murders of both Sts. Paul and Peter, and celebrated his garden parties by tying the bodies of Christian men, women, and children to stakes, smearing their bodies with pitch and burning them as lighting for the evenings festivities. It was Nero who began the persecution of the Church by the Roman Empire. This animalistic, sadistic pervert was worshiped as a god by the Roman world and made this world super-power the moral cesspool of mankind. Who better to typify the Beast?

Verses 3-4 "I saw that one of its heads seemed to have had a fatal wound but that this deadly injury had healed and the whole world had marveled and followed the beast. They prostrated themselves in front of the dragon because he had given the beast his authority; and they prostrated themselves in front of the beast, saying: 'Who can compare with the beast? Who can fight against him?' "

It is significant that this fatal wound is mentioned 3 times: here in v. 3,in v.12, and v. 14. Most commentators assume that John is referring to the Nero redivivus myth. Nero was hated by the upper classes who saw his insanity first hand but he was dearly loved by the Roman masses to whom he generously gave free beer, bread, and death in the admission-free gladiatorial games. Having sunk to their level, the popular masses saw Nero as one of them and he was sincerely worshiped as a god. Believing him to be a god, most common Romans sincerely believed he would resurrect and bring vengeance to his enemies. I think it ridiculous to assume that John in any way would allude to pagan superstition, and in any case Nero did not receive a deadly head would.

Other scholars have suggested that the wound of the beast may refer to anarchy in the Roman Empire in the year 69AD which followed Nero's death. It is called the year of the 4 Emperors because 3 Romans came to the throne in rapid succession only to die violent deaths and the Empire was in utter chaos. It wasn't until the 4th Emperor, Vespasian, successfully took leadership of the Empire that the "near fatal wound" of the Empire seemed healed and the monster returned to life. While this is a plausible explanation I think it is important to turn instead to sacred Scripture for our answer because the mention of the head wound 3x is a sign that this event is theological and symbolic not literal.

Question: Who is the great enemy who is prophesized to receive a head wound? Hint. read Genesis 3:15 and Dan. 2:44-45.

Answer: the Serpent/ Satan. Christ crushed the head of Satan in his Resurrection and Ascension. The prophet Daniel had prophesied that in the days of the 4th kingdom the stone of the 5th Kingdom would crush the Satanic empires and replace them (Dan. 2:44-45). With Christ's Ascension and the spread of the Gospel across the Roman world Satan's head receives a mortal wound but he isn't finished yet. There are still those who worship him and who are motivated by his evil influence.

Verses 5-6 "The beast was allowed to mouth its boasts and blasphemies and to be active for forty-two months; and it mouthed its blasphemies against God, against His name, His heavenly Tent and all those who are sheltered there."

Once again, the 42 months or 31/2 years is a limited time of persecution; not the like 42 generations while God's people waited for the coming of the Messiah (see Matthew chapter 1 = 42 generations from Abraham to Jesus). It is a broken 7 and is a symbolic figure in prophetic language, signifying a time of trouble when the enemies of God are in power or when judgment is being poured out.

.Question: Against whom did the Beast mouth its blasphemies?

Answer: against God, His name = baptized believers, and against the heavenly Temple and the angels and saints.

Verses 7-9 "It was allowed to make war against the Saints and conquer them and given power over every race, people, language and nation; and all people of the world will worship it, that is, everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the sacrificial Lamb's book of life. Let anyone who can hear listen."

Notice the use of the impersonal passive "it was allowed" in verses 5 and 7 which implies that it is God who permits the Beast four temporal privileges. These privileges are:
A mouth which blasphemes v 5
Conquest of the holy ones v. 7
Authority for 42 months v. 5
Power over all people v. 9

Question: in his exercise of the 4th privilege of v. 9 over whom does he wield his power and influence? Count your answer. Why is that number significant

Answer: authority over: 1) every race, 2) people, 3) language and 4) nation. The significance of the number 4 is that it is the Biblical number that represents the earth. His authority is over the four-fold earth!

It is interesting that there is a historical connection between the symbolic number of 42 months in verse 5 and the persecution of Christians under the Emperor Nero. Persecution of the Christians in Rome began after the great fire of Rome when Nero convinced the Roman Senate to condemn Christians as the arsonists in November of AD64. At that time persecution of Christians spread across the Empire. This persecution lasted until Nero's suicide in June of 68. This is a period of 42 months or 3 1/2 years.

This passage is a reference to Dan. 7:6 -27 and the 4th Beast v.21 "This was the horn I had watched making war on the holy ones and proving the stronger, until the coming of the One most venerable who gave judgment in favor of the holy ones of the Most High, when the time came for the holy one to assume kingship...... v.25 "He will insult the Most High and torment the holy ones of the Most High. He will plan to alter the seasons and the Law, and the Saints will be handed over to him for a time, two times and a half a time." That is another reference to the 42 month period of suffering.

Question: What comparison can you make between the power of the Beast, the power of Daniel's 4th kingdom and the influence of the Roman Empire?

Answer: The Roman Empire ruled "all the kingdoms of the earth" from Britain to India. In fact it is Satan who ruled: Matt. 4:8-8, John 12:31; Daniel 10:13, 20. His authority was "legal" in a way because Adam had, after all, abdicated the throne and his divine sonship but Satan's rule was illegitimate as well. The Father's of the Church declare that the Second Adam, Jesus Christ, won back the world from Satan's dominion by just and lawful means and reclaimed the inheritance of Adam. St. Irenaeus: "The all-powerful Word of God, who never fails in justice, acted justly even in dealing with the Spirit of Rebellion. For it was by persuasion, not by force, that He redeemed His own property..."(Against Heresies v.i.1). St Augustine adds: "Christ demonstrated justice by his death, he promised power by his resurrection. ...First justice conquered the devil, then power; justice, because he had no sin and was most unjustly put to death by the devil; power because he lived again, after death, never to die thereafter." (On the Trinity, xiii.18).

We shouldn't miss the importance of v 8 "and all the people of the world will worship it." This is the same technical formula phrase given 12 times in the book of Revelation, and 4 times in this chapter:13: 8, 12, & 14 [twice] which recalls the 4-fold curse of the Covenant lawsuit. In Greek the phrase should literally read "and those who dwell on the Land will worship it."

Question: In Biblical symbolism what does the phrase "those who dwell on the Land" refer? Hint: see the discussion of Chapter 3:10. The 12 references to this phrase are in Rev. 3:10; 6:10; 8:13; 11:10[twice]; 13:8, 12, 14 [twice]; 14:6; 17:2, &8.

Answer: John uses the phrase "those who dwell on the Land" 12 times in Revelation, once for each of the 12 tribes of Israel, to refer to apostate Israel. In the Greek Old Testament (the version used at the time of Christ and the version used by the early Church) it is a common prophetic expression for rebellious, idolatrous Israel about to be destroyed and driven from the Land: Jer. 1:14; 10:18; Ezek, 7:7; 36:17; Hos. 4:1,3; Joel 1:2, 14; Zeph, 1:18; etc), and is based on its original usage in the historical books of the Bible for rebellious, idolatrous pagans about to be destroyed and driven from the Land in Num. 32:17; 33:52, 55; Josh 7:9; 9:24; Judg. 1:32; 2Sam. 5:6; 1Chron, 11:4; 22:18; Neh. 9:24. In other words when this phrase is used for Israel it means Israel has become a nation of pagans, and is about to be destroyed, exiled, and supplanted by a new nation, the Church.

Question: In the first century context, Israel is condemned for Emperor-worship and for becoming followers of Satan: Can you think of several examples in the New Testament that indicates Judea and the priestly authority put Rome before God?


1). Every day in the Temple in Jerusalem a bull was sacrificed for the Roman Emperor.

2). In conspiring to kill Jesus the chief priests and the Pharisees meet to discuss what to do: "If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him, and the Romans will come and suppress the Holy Place and our nation. One of them, Caiaphas, the high priest that year said, 'You do not seem to have grasped the situation at all; you fail to see that it is to your advantage that one man should die for the people, rather than that the whole nation should perish.'"John 11:48-50

3). On Passion Friday the Jews of Jerusalem protested when the Roman governor Pilate wrote "Jesus of Nazareth, King of the Jews" on the plague that would hang on the cross. They cried out:"We have no king but Caesar!" John 19:15 When faced with a choice between Christ and Caesar they chose Caesar and in doing so chose Satan.

4). In the Book of Acts and in John's letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation it is revealed that Jews continually persecuted Christian communities and tried to use the Roman authority in their persecution.

Question: In John's letters to the Churches what does Jesus call the communities of Jews who persecute Christians? Hint: see Rev. 2:9 and 3:9

Answer: He calls them "Synagogues of Satan."

v. 8b-9 "everybody whose name has not been written down since the foundation of the world in the sacrificial Lambs book of life. Let anyone who can hear listen."

Question: This is the second reference in Rev. to the Lamb's Book of Life. Where is the first reference found?

Answer: Rev. 3:5-6. Jesus speaking to the Church at Sardis: "anyone who proves victorious will be dressed, like these, in white robes; I shall not blot that name out of the Book of Life, but acknowledge it in the presence of my Father and His angels. Let anyone who can hear listen to what the Spirit is saying to the churches." The Book is life is named 7 times in the Book of Revelation: Rev. 3:5; 13:8; 17:8; 20:12 [twice]; 20:15; & 21: 27. Other references to the Book of Life are found in: Ex. 32:32-33; Psalms 69:28; 139:16; Isaiah 4:3; Dan. 7:10; 12:1; Lk 10:20; Phil 4:3.

Verses 9-10 "Let anyone who can hear listen: Those for captivity to captivity; those for death by the sword to death by the sword. This is why the Saints must have perseverance and faith."

I repeated verse 9 because it was relevant to Rev. 3:6 where the same phrase is repeated here in v. 10 but it also stresses the importance of the message in verse 10. Jesus will use the phrase: "Let anyone who has ears, listen!" three times in the Gospel of Matthew: 11:15; 13:9; and 13:43. The other references to this phrase are found in Deuteronomy 16:16-18 and Matt.17:5; Mk 9:7; and Luke 9:35. That makes 7 times! In the Deut. passage God tells the Children of Israel that the Messiah will come from among their own people and he will be THE Prophet of God and then ends with the admonition: "Listen to Him!" In the Gospels "Listen to Him!" is the message the Apostles hear God the Father call our from heaven in the experience on the Mount of Transfiguration.

Verse 10 is a reference to the prophet Jeremiah's prophecy of the destruction of Jerusalem in 586(7)BC and the great Tribulation that would befall the inhabitants of Jerusalem: Jeremiah 15:2 "Yahweh says this: those for the plague, to the plague; those for the sword, to the sword; those for famine, to famine; those for captivity, to captivity!"

This prophecy was historically fulfilled with the fall of Jerusalem on the 9th of Ab 586BC to the Babylonian world empire and was historically fulfilled a second time on the 9th of Ab 70AD with the fall of Jerusalem to the Roman world empire. Some of the inhabitants of Jerusalem died from the plague, some from famine and some by the Roman sword. The rest were taken captive and sold into slavery.

Through this terrible ordeal the Saints must have faith that this is part of God's plan and He and they (the Church) will ultimately be victorious. What is the end for Old Covenant Israel is really a beginning for the New Covenant Church.

Please read 13:11-17 The Beast from the Land

Question: Can you recall any other references in Scripture to Land and Sea Beasts? Answer: In the Old Testament there are several references to sea beasts and a land beast. These animals are most often used symbolically as representing the evil powers of Satan. The sea beasts are Leviathan (Ps. 74: 13-14; 104:26; Job 41:1-34; Is. 27:1; as Egypt in Ps. 74:13-14), Tannin (Dragon= Ps 91:13), and Rahab (Job 26:12-12, Is. 51:9-10; & often used as a symbol for Egypt's wars against God people in Ps. 87:4; 89:10; Isa 30: 7). The Bible relates each of these monsters to the Serpent, who is the deceitful and cunning enemy of God's people since Eden. The Land beast is the Behemoth, which is described in Job 40: 15-24 and 63:2. Don't let anyone tell you dinosaurs aren't mentioned in the Bible. Listen to Job's description of the Behemoth: "But look at Behemoth, my creature, just as you are! He feeds on greenstuff like the ox, but what strength he has in his loins, what power in his stomach muscles! His tail is as stiff as a cedar, the sinews of his thighs are tightly knit. His bones are bronze tubes, his frame, like forged iron...."(Job. 40:10 (15)-13(18). The New Jerusalem Bible translation notes say this is a hippo or an elephant. But they have little, scrawny tails. This animal has a tail like a cedar tree. Is it possible that this huge land animal is a dinosaur, possibly a brachyosaurus (formerly known as brontosaurus)? The description is very similar to what we know about this huge beast from pre-history and unlike any living species that we know of from John's time or ours.

The book of Job has prepared us for John's vision of the beasts. Job 40:15-24 tells us of the Land Beast-Behemoth and the Sea Beast Leviathan in Job 41:1-34. This is an interesting reversal of the imagery in Revelation. In the Greek Septuagint translation the Greek word for the Hebrew Behemoth is Therion. This is the same word St. John uses for the Beast in Revelation (Land and Sea Beasts). The Greek uses the word Drakon for Leviathan which we translate as dragon. John uses this word for the great red dragon in Rev. 12 verses and in ch. 13 he uses it 4 times: verses 1,2,4, &11 (14 times in the entire book). Job sees the Land Beast, the Sea Beast and then God (Job 42), but John's vision show us the demonic reverse of Job's vision:

Job 40-42

Revelation 12-13

Land Beast

Satan as the Dragon (Leviathan)

Sea Beast

Sea Beast in the dragon's image


Land Beast in the image of the Sea Beast who is in Satan's image

The Image of the Beast is a continuation of the Satanic counterfeit: the demonic reversal of God's order. Just as the Son of God is the Image of the Father (Jn 1:18; Col 1:15), so the Church as been redemptively re-created as the Image of the Son (Romans 8:29"He decided beforehand who were the ones destined to be molded to the pattern of his Son."; Col. 3:10"..and you have put on a new self which will progress toward true knowledge the more it is renewed in the image of its Creator;"). But Israel, which was to have been a kingdom of priests to the nations of the earth has surrendered her position to Leviathan and the Beast (Satan). Instead of placing a godly imprint on every people and culture, Israel in rejecting Christ, has been remade into the image of the pagan state; instead of becoming a prophet nation of God, Israel has become a prophet nation of Satan and a false witness against Christ. The Dragon is the antithesis of God but the sea and land beasts are the antithesis of the Lamb and the authority of the Church:

Satanic Parody of the Dragon and his beasts

God the Father


The Son (Image of the Father)

Beast (image of the Dragon)

Angels/Bishops (given authority by Son)

False Prophet Beast (authority by Beast)

Church (Image of the Son)

Synagogue of Satan (image of the Beast)

Verses 11-12 "Then I saw a second beast, emerging from the ground; it has two horns like a lamb, but made a noise like a dragon. This second beast exercised all the power of the first beast, on its behalf making the world and its people worship the first beast, whose deadly injury had healed."

The Land Beast is a parody of the Lamb of God (2 horns like a lamb) but just as the Beast from the sea was in the image of the Dragon, so this creature is the image of the Beast and is coming up from within Israel/Judea itself.

Question: What is the identity of this Land Beast and where does he get his power? Hint: see Rev. 16:13; 19:20 and 20:10.

Answer: He is the False Prophet. Did you notice that the Lamb has two witnesses/prophets and the Dragon has two monsters. This false prophet is what Jesus had warned would take place in the last days of Judea and the Old Covenant in Matthew 24:5, 11."And Jesus answered them, 'Take care that no one deceives you, because many will cone using my name and saying, "I am the Christ," and they will deceive many..'" "Many false prophets will arise; they will deceive many.." It is important to remember that false prophecy is not a pagan culture phenomena but is instead a heresy that appears only within the covenant context. It is an imitation of true prophecy and operates to deceive God's covenant people and to work in opposition to His true prophets. Even Moses warned that false prophets would rise from among the Covenant people performing signs and wonders in Deut. 13:1-5 "If a prophet or dreamer of dreams arises among you, offering you some sign or wonder, and he sign or wonder comes about; and if he then says to you, 'Let us follow other gods (hitherto unknown to you) and serve them,' you must not listen to that prophet's words or to that dreamer's dreams. Yahweh your God is testing you to know if you love Yahweh you God..."(v. 1-4) In this passage Moses goes on to give God's judgment that any town of Israel that rejects God it must be placed under the "curse of destruction" and be utterly destroyed. This is the curse place on Jerusalem for the rejection of the Messiah.

Question: Why does he have the appearance of a Lamb?

Answer: Jesus had warned in Matt 7:15 "Beware of the false prophets, who come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves..." This is a reference to the false prophet's claim of messiahship. He is not a Lamb he is a Wolf.

Question: Verse 11 says this Beast speaks like a Dragon. How does the Dragon speak? Answer: He used deceptive, subtle, seductive speech to draw God's people away from the faith and into his trap (Gen. 3:1-6, 13; 2Cor 11:13; Rev, 12:9). He is also a liar, a slanderer, and a blasphemer (Jn 8:44; Rev 12:10). The book of Acts is full of examples of these Satanic false witnesses persecution the New Covenant Church.

The Parody between the 2 Witnesses and the 2 Beasts

In chapter 13 you will notice a number of comparisons between the Dragon's Land Beast and Sea Beast/false prophet and Jesus' 2 faithful witnesses/ prophets in chapter 11. This contrast animates the idea of conflict between good and evil, between God and Satan.

The Lamb's Two Prophets ch 11

The Dragon's 2 Beasts ch 13

will witness for 1,260 days (42 mo.) (11:3)

Land Beast active for 42 months (11:6)

The 2 witnesses serve God (11:4)

The 2 Beasts serve Satan (Dragon) (13:2 &13:12)

The witnesses are two prophets who warn men to be faithful to the true God. (11:3)

The sea beast is called the false prophet (14:13; 19:10; 20:10). Leads men to worship false gods, the Dragon, and the Land beast. (13:4; 13:14-15)

they perform miracles (11:6)

he performs great wonders (13:13-14)

they stand before the Lord of the earth in attendance on Him (11:4)

-he exercises full authority of the 1st Beast

they stand before the Lord of the earth in attendance on Him (11:4)

he exercises full authority of the 1st Beast

special power to call down fire (11:5)

he makes fire come down from heaven (13:13)

they are revived with "breath of life from God" (11:11)

the Beast animates the image with the "breath of life", mimicking the power of God the creator. (13:15)

When God resurrects the witnesses, mankind is convinced of God's supreme power (11:11)

he kills all who do not worship the image (13:15) because the Land Beast has recovered from his fatal wound (13:3,12,14) and his miracles lead people astray. He compels everyone to worship the statue of the Land Beast. (13:15-17)

The witnesses are the two lampstands and the two olive trees (11:4)

he has two horns like a lamb (13:12) and receives


2)authority from the Beast in the image of the Dragon

Question: If the first Beast is the Roman Empire, who is the second Beast who works in cooperation with the first Beast?

Answer: the Apostate Jews who rejected the Messiah and who worked to use the Roman authority to destroy Jesus and his disciples. The first Beast (Rome) is the agent of the dragon (Satan) and the second Beast is the agent of the first Beast. The term "all authority" makes the second Beast the complete agent of the first Beast. This is made clear by John's statement that will be repeated in v. 14 that "those who dwell on the Land" which is a symbolic formula for the people of Israel, exercise power "on its behalf" or more literally "in his presence" and even "worship the first beast who head wound had healed."

Question: How is this in direct contrast to a true prophet of God?

Answer: a true prophet stands in God presence, worships God and has God's divine authority.

Question: How is the reference to the Beast's recovery from his "wound" here and in verse 14 contrasted to Christ?

Answer: It is a counterfeit resurrection of a counterfeit Son. It is also given as the reason for worshipping the beast just as Christian worship is ultimately founded on the Resurrection as Christ as proof of His Messianic character. In other words the continuation of the power of Rome and Jesus' seemingly inability to conquer Rome was proof to apostate Judea that Christ was not the true Messiah.

Verses 13-14 "And it worked great miracles, even to calling down fire from heaven onto the earth while people watched. Through the miracles which it was allowed to do on behalf of the first beast, it was able to lead astray the people of the world (those who dwell on the Land) and persuade them to put up a statue in honor of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and still lived."

In Matthew 24:24 Jesus warned that "false christs and false prophets will arise and provide great signs and portents, enough to deceive even the elect.."

Question: Can you think of any examples of false prophets working miracles in the New Testament?

Answer: The Book of Acts has several examples: see Acts 8:9-24 and 13:6-11. 19:13-15.

Question: What does the word idolatry mean in its broader sense?

Answer: making anything more important than God. To the Jews pleasing the Roman state had become more important than pleasing God. The high priest even said Jesus must die so as not to upset the balance of power with the Roman state (John 11:47-48"Then the chief priests and Pharisees called a meeting, 'Here is this man working all these signs', they said, 'and what actions are we taking? If we let him go on in this way everybody will believe in him and the Romans will come and suppress the Holy Place and our nation.'"

Verses 15-17 "It was allowed to breathe life into this statue, so that the statue of the beast was able to speak, and to have anyone who refused to worship the statue of the beast put to death. It compelled everyone-small and great alike, rich and poor, slave and citizen-to be branded on the right hand or on the forehead, and made it illegal for anyone to buy or sell anything unless he had been branded with the name of the beast or with the number of its name."

The statue is an image of the Beast, and the False Prophet uses his demonic power to breathe life into so that the image might speak.

Question: When God created man in His image how did he bring man to life? Hint: see Genesis 2:7-8.

Answer: God breathed on Adam to give him life.

Question: What is the next thing Adam does in Gen. 2:19-20?

Answer: Adam speaks, naming and defining the creation in terms of God's mandate. This is the parallel between the False Prophet's creation and God's creation. The only other time God breathed on man was when Jesus breathed on the Apostles after the Resurrection in John 20:22 "He breathed on them and said: Receive the Holy Spirit."

Question: Who was compelled to worship the Beast or be branded? How many classifications of society are mentioned?

Answer: 6. The number of man.

Question: What charges did the Jewish court bring to the Roman authority against Jesus? For what reason was Jesus put to death?

Answer: The Jewish court was enforcing submission to the Roman Emperor: the Beast. The charge against Jesus was that He was a rival to the authority of Caesar (John 19:12-15). Jesus claimed to be the "Son of God" and Caesar claimed to be the "son of god." There could only be one "son of god."

Question: Who did the Jews chose?

Answer: the Jews chose Caesar. The Jewish charge against Him was blasphemy but the charge they gave the Romans was that Jesus claimed for Himself what belonged to Caesar and therefore the charge was treason against the Empire and the punishment was death.

Question: Were there others who were put to death for refusing to worship the Beast-Rome?

Answer: Stephen, Peter, James, Paul, and all the other Apostles and many disciples. There were also organized economic boycotts against those who refused to submit to Caesar as Lord. Burning incense to the Emperor was required. When one fulfilled the requirement a stamp was placed on the worshipper's hand to signify he had fulfilled his duty to his emperor and to the Roman State.

The "mark of the Beast" in verse 17 is a Satanic parody. The New Jerusalem translation uses the word "branded" but in other passages uses the word "marked". The same Greek word (charagma) indicating the "mark of the Beast" is used 7 times in Rev. in 13:16,17; 14:9,11; 16:2; 19:20; and 20:4. This is a symbolic sign not a literal one.

Question: What is the reference of this mark in relation to the righteous of God? Answer: It is the Satanic parody of the "seal of the Living God" on the foreheads and hands of the righteous (see Rev/ 3:12; 7:2-4; 14:1). The "seal of God" is the mark of complete obedience to the Covenant in thought and deed in Deut. 6:6-8. It is the "mark" of blessing and protection in Ezek 9:4-6, and the sign that one is Consecrated to Yahweh as the high priest in Exodus 28:26. It is also the "seal" of the 144,000 as mark out for warriors in God's plan of redemption. Apostate Judea and its capital of Jerusalem have rejected Jesus the Messiah and is "marked" with the seal of her union to Rome. She chose to serve the pagan state and to persecute and kill those who sought salvation in Christ. Israel/Judea has surrendered herself to a Satanic power(the Dragon), to a Beast made in Satan's image (the Sea Beast) and has herself become the Land Beast who in the image of the Sea Beast (Rome) exercised his power over God's people. As the angel of God marked the foreheads of the righteous for protection in Rev. 7:3 so the Beast's angel/messenger stamped the wicked with its own branding mark of evil. The leaders of Israel worked to enforce worship, not to of the true God, as in the Christian churches, but of the Synagogue itself. Jesus to the church at Smyrna tells them He knows their suffering from "the slander of the people who falsely claim to be Jews but are really members of the Synagogue of Satan."

Verse 18 "There is need for shrewdness here: anyone cleaver may interpret the number of the beast: it is the number of a human being, the number 666."

For a Jew this number was a fearful image. The Old Testament image that would immediately connect with Jews or Messianic Jews would be the fall of King Solomon, Israel's greatest ruler, as he led his people into apostasy. We'll discuss those passages at the end of this section.

As you will remember we discussed the concept of "Rome is Caesar and Caesar is Rome;" that a ruler and his empire is one and the same. John clearly shows us this connection in the riddle of the number of the Beast. In the ancient world there was no separate set of symbols representing number value. Letters of the alphabet carried numerical value. The 22 letters of the Hebrew alphabet all had number value just as the 24 letters of the Greek alphabet each had a number equivalent. But as for the Romans, only 6 letters carried number value: 1= the letter I, 5= the letter V, 10 = the letter X, 50 = the letter L, 100= the letter C, and 500 = the letter D. Contrary to popular belief there was no letter value for 1000. That number was represented by back to back Ds and so resembled the letter M.

John warns us that to solve this puzzle takes shrewdness and cleverness! The Roman Emperor we know as Nero Caesar had two common spelling for his name in the first century. One form was Nero Kesar but the Hebrew spelling is Neron Kesar. This is important because some ancient MSS (handwritten manuscripts) instead of using the number 666 have the number 616. If you add up the letter values in Hebrew (that's why it takes shrewdness-most people did not know Hebrew) Neron Caesar (Neron Kaisar) adds up to 666. Neron Kaisar =Nrwn Q(K)sr in Hebrew which used no vowels, was the linguistically correct Hebrew form and is found in the Jewish Talmud, in the writings of the community at Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found, and other rabbinical writings. No Jew would ever have thought of Nero except as rsq nwrn (Hebrew read left to right). But Nero Caesar (rsq nwr), the other spelling (alternate spellings were very common), adds up to 616, which is exactly the variant reading in a few New Testament Revelation manuscripts for the number of the Beast.

Examples of Gematria for Neron Caesar and Nero Caesar




Nrwn Qsr - Neron Caesar

Nrw Qsr - Nero Caesar

Iesous - Jesus

This is extremely strong evidence for the Beast representing the depraved Roman emperor Nero. It also cannot be overlooked that all the earliest Catholic Christian writers on the Apocalypse from St. Irenaeus Bishop of Lyon in the 2nd century down to St. Victorinus Bishop of Pettau martyred in 302AD and Commodian in the 4th century, and Adreaeus in the 5th and St. Beatus in the 8th centuries connect Nero and/or Rome with the number of the Beast.

Question: Why is 6 the number of man and the number of the beast?

Answer: 6 is the number of man and the beasts because they were created on the 6th day. There's an important connection to Christ and man here. Can you guess what it is? You'll find the answer in bold type as the lesson continues.

Question: But if Nero is the Beast isn't Rome also the Beast. After all, isn't this a case of "Caesar is Rome"? If you add up the value of the numbers used by Rome for counting what is the value of those numbers?

The Gematria of Roman numerals


666 is a trinity of 6s never to be a 7. 6 is the number of man, especially as man in rebellion against God. Goliath was 6 cubits and a span (see 1 Sam 17:4). King Nebuchandezzer erected a statue to himself to be worshipped. It was 60 cubits high and 6 cubits across (Dan 3:1)

The answer of course is 666: The number of the Beast. Then too, Caesar claimed to be God. The word god in Greek is theos. Kaisar Theos is 616, the alternate number in some manuscripts:

If you are interested in numbers, you may like to know that the square of 6(6x6) is 36, and the triangular of 36 is 666. Triangulation is a method of computation that was popular in the ancient world and was very familiar to people in the first century. It is too complicated to explain here but the different computations of the triangulation of 666 will yield both the numbers 3 1/2 and 1260 which are numbers you recognize from John's prophecy of the period of time the Beast is powerful and able to inflict suffering on the Saints.

Another interesting aspect of this very mysterious number is that John wrote out the symbols. He didn't spell out the number. Therefore, the first number was the same first initial double letter (in Greek) as the name of Christ: x = CH. The last letter which looks like an s in Greek, was the first double-letter (st) of the word Cross = stauros. Between the two stood the symbol of the Serpent. The whole formed a triple repetition of 6, the number of man, and the number day that Jesus was crucified (Friday is the 6th day of the week with Saturday, the Sabbath, the 7th). Jesus died for man on the day man was created. Jesus was resurrected on the 8th day; which became the first day of the new creation. The gematria for Jesus (Iesous) in Greek, the language of the New Testament is 888. 8 is the number of salvation and redemption. Jesus is a trinity of 8s.

Question: Can you find anywhere else in Scripture where the number 666 is mentioned? Hint: see 1Kings 10:14 and 1Chron. 9:13.

Answer. It is found only in these 2 places. Both passages record that King Solomon received 666 talents of gold in one year. Solomon is both a Biblical type for Christ and for the Beast. The number 666 marks both the height of his reign and the beginning of his fall away from God and into apostasy. Solomon falls from his position of favor with God as he breaks the three laws of godly kingship as recorded in Deuteronomy 17:16-17: the law against multiplying gold (1Kings 10:14-25); the law against multiplying horses (1Kings 10: 26-29); and the law against multiplying wives (1Kings 11:1-8). As I already mentioned, for a Jew the number 666 was a fearful sign of apostasy and the mark of both a king and his kingdom that had failed to image God and so had fallen to the image of Satan.

John's message is that Satan, the great red Dragon, at his most powerful is just a 6, or a series of 6s. He will never be a seven = perfection. His plans for the world and the downfall of man will never be fulfilled. The Church will overcome and be victorious through Jesus, the 888, who conquered on the 8th Day! Praise and glory to the King!