The Beasts of Revelation 13
Who are these two beasts of Revelation 13? They clearly are important, as they are referred to in the Old Testament (OT), and also in the New Testament (NT), by inference. They undoubtedly are in timing related to the events of the end of the Gentile period, and the saving of Israel by Almighty God in Christ Jesus Messiah!
Revelation 13:1 of the Bible describes them as “rising up out of the sea”. The word “sea” in Scripture usually denotes many peoples, unless specific to usually the Mediterranean, which is often referred to as “the Great Sea”;
Special note; July 2019:
Recent actions in Syria and Iraq, (Old Babylonia) by ISIS; which have arisen because of the “Arab Spring”, and subsequent to the invasion of Sadam Hussain’s Iraq; has raised the subject of “Militant Islam” in the minds and discussions of many thinking people. This was naturally the result of various acts of terrorism by ISIS (claimed) in Europe, and other countries of the world.
It has even been quoted that Islam is linked to, or is the beast of Chapter 13 of Revelation, and that Islam was initiated in the year AD 666!
However, history shows that although there was much “stirring” of religious politics from approx. AD 630 to AD 710, in Arabia, Mesopotamia, Persia, Levant, Egypt, Maghreb, Al-Andalus, Transoxiana and Hindustan, it was not until approx. AD 750 under the Abbasid Caliphate that consolidation of all the Islamic elements started; but infighting and rivalry continues to the present. The two main divisions are Sunni and Shia, with many subdivisions.
As regards Israel, the countries which are in Scripture regarding the “End Times”; are given in Ezk. 32, 38, and Psalm 83.
Because of the differences that Islam teaches; there would have to be a unifying force within their elites, to allow joint effort; and that would be made possible by a “figurehead” such as the “Mahdi”; or “Hidden Imam”, (see: Rev Chapter 2, verse 12(a)) & (see: "New Age" Religion:) & (see: Euphrates: Rev. 9:14-16).
Most, if not all the events of Scripture have as the geographical focus what has become known in the past as Palestine, which is at the eastern end of the “Great Sea”. As the history of the area progressed over time, and especially during the Roman Empire period, the Countries around the Mediterranean became important to Prophecy, because of the Roman occupation, and the prophecy in Daniel 2:33, which refers to the "latter days" V28, and the events of that time! The particularly important point is verse 42, which refers to “the toes of the feet”, which in later comment is shown to be 10 individual Nations, which were part of the Roman Empire; and are shown to be important to the “End Time” events, as depicted by their description as toes on the feet of the Iron Rome (now defunct in the military sense, but not in the religious).
As regards the religious context, after the six day war with Israel of 1967, in which Israel took control of Gaza, the Golan Heights, the so called “West Bank” and Jerusalem; after being invaded from all sides; the Temple Mount was left in the control of Jordon and vicariously the PA. There are political and religious reasons that the Temple Mount was not fully restored to Israel at that time, not least of which is the desire by Israel for a peaceful solution to the Palestinian conflict. Also, the South Eastern neighbour, Jordon is ruled by the ‘Hashemite Dynasty, which it is claimed by Islam is in the direct line of Mohammed, and is named after; ‘HASHIM’ the great grandfather of Mohammed. The ‘Hashemite’ Kings have maintained the Temple site physically, and are as prominent Muslims jealous to keep the al-Aqsa as their unique domain for all time!
There seems to be no solution to this impasse; so it is interesting to observe what the Bible’s comments have to say!
First, Almighty God’s comments on Jerusalem give the first insights as to Almighty God’s Mind on the matter! These can be seen in ( Jerusalem ); and can be summed up by God’s statement in 2Chronicles 6:6, with at least 35 related references in the Old Testament!
That God in Christ Jesus in the future will resolve Esau’s/Edom’s hatred of Israel (Jacob), is shown in many Scriptures passages i.e. Isaiah 34:8 and 63:1-6, but in many other passages also. The reference in Isa. 63:1-6 are particularly pointed, as they show that the eventual outcome will be devastating for Edom/Esau/Jordon! It will also for the first time be the unchallenged establishment of the “One True God”, Isa. 49:6-8 and 45:5!
The following are extracts from www.revelationsmessage.co.uk and are from Chapter 13. This first extract is the “first beast”, and as will be seen refers to political power; whereas the “second Beast” refers to religious power and its effect in the world.
V.1 And (a)he stood on the sand of the sea, and I saw a (b)wild beast coming up out of the sea, having (c)ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads (d)names of blasphemy.
V.2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet as the feet of a bear its mouth as a lion’s mouth, and the (e)dragon gave it this power, also its throne, and great authority.
(a) "He"; this is translated in AV as "I". However, as this verse in the original undivided text follows V.17 of Chapter 12, the reference is almost certainly to Satan. (Chapters and verses have only been inserted into the Bible in recent times; Chapters in the 13th Century, and verses in the 16th Century). Therefore Satan oversees as he stands on the edge of the sea the rising of the beast. Sea is often used in Scripture as a metaphor for peoples / Nations, so here "he", watched the rising of a particular grouping of peoples, or personage, or both! Satan oversees this birth, whereas Almighty God oversaw the birth of Christ from Israel (12:1-5).
(b) "Wild beast"; this is the first reference in Scripture to such since Daniel (B.C. 495). In his day, the Nation of Israel was in exile in Babylon from his youth for 70 years, and he was a man (Prophet) much loved by God (Dan. 9:23) & (Dan. 10:19). Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams, in the Power and Permit of Almighty God, to which he always paid homage and witness to God’s power; and did so on a number of occasions in his early captivity. One of those dreams much troubled Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 2) and concerned the image of a man. Daniel, after witnessing to the source of the dream (Dan. 2:28) gave its meaning (Dan. 2:29-45). The man's image represented 4 kingdoms.
1) The head of gold represented Babylonian Empire, symbol LION B.C. 626 - 539.
2) The chest and arms of silver, Medo - Persia, BEAR B.C. 539 - 330.
3) Belly and thighs of bronze, Greek Empire, LEOPARD B.C. 330 - 63.
4) Legs of iron, Roman Empire, Eagle? (Terrifying beast) B.C. 63 - to: (A.D. 70 as regards Israel)!
The important principle in the above for the purpose of the Almighty, and the record made by the Holy Spirit in the Bible, is not the Kingdoms as such, but the fact that they impinge on ISRAEL when the history of Israel is current (defined as "Ammi") as opposed to the history of mankind generally. Such is the present success of Satan, that mankind is blinded to the importance of the Divine Clock regarding Israel. Israel is special to God, and are called such on many occasions in Scripture, because God chose Abraham, because He knew his heart, and that he would be prepared to stand against the Satanic idolatry around him, Abraham responded in faith, and all the promises of God in the Old Testament relate to Abraham, and subsequently Israel. Because of this fact, only events affecting Israel in human history, and the purposes of God are the subject of prophecy and record in the Bible. For example; in item 4) above, the Roman Empire ceased to be important in the Divine Plan at A.D. 70, BECAUSE ISRAEL HAD BECOME "LO-AMMI", (NOT MY PEOPLE) (HOSEA 1:9), and that was as a consequence of the rejection of Christ as their Messiah!
At some stage in the future, Jewish history as defined above will re-commence. There is however only a short time left in the Divine prophetic time scale, as laid out to Daniel in Dan. 9:27; which gives only 7 more years of that prophecy to run. In between Dan. 9:26 and V.27, already approximately 1,930 years have elapsed. These however are not Jewish years of 360 days, but a mixture of Julian and Gregorian, which allows for Calendar changes over time. In short it is probably not possible to know the exact Jewish year which we are now in, although some claim to know (i.e. on the 1/10/00, the Jewish new year of 5,761 begins according to Jewish "Rabbinical wisdom"). Even if it was known, it is irrelevant, as only God the Father knows the time when the Jewish Nation will become "AMMI" (MY PEOPLE), again, (Hos. 2:23), (Zech. 13:9), (Rom. 9:26) and (1Peter 2:10). In Dan. 9:27 the statement of "a Covenant", gives the probable clue as to commencement of the final 7 years of the prophecy, as that "Covenant", will be for peace for Israel. When they think they have "peace and safety"; Satan in the guise of the beast in V.2 will strike (Ezk. 38:14) and (1Thess. 5:3), for the last time against Israel, (prior to the Millennial Reign); "in the midst of the week", i.e. half way through the 7 year period described above. However, turning now to the beast described in V.1 and V.2; put into its context in Chapter 13 of Revelation, and bearing in mind the above, a few comments can be made with some certainty.
1) The symbols of Empires, Leopard, Lion, Bear, are repeated from earlier Empires, affecting Israel as a Nation. I.e. there have been other Empires in that area since, but Israel was not a Nation in their land, under Jehovah; when their, prophetic progress is current!
2) Since 1948 Israel has officially been recognised as a Nation (by the then League of Nations, now the U.N.). That was the first time since A.D. 70, and the Jews kept their unique identity wherever they were scattered, although very few know their tribe of origin, but their Jehovah God does!
3) The fact that they are now a Nation in the eyes of the world, probably augers the re-commencement of their Divine History, i.e. the last 7 years of Dan. 9, in the near future.
4) The identities of the Leopard, Lion and Bear are known from Dan. 2, and this last "beast" is certainly in the Prophetic geographical area, ( The "Prophetic Area" and its Significance! ) and in characteristics shows an amalgam of these and probably the Roman Empire. These Empires covered and overlapped each other, and in the crossroads to Asia, Africa and Europe in what was known as Palestine, and Israel is central. The yet future Empire (beast) described in this Chapter has Israel at its focal point, and is further described in Dan. 2:41-44.
5) The specific Nations involved are probably given in Ezk. 32, 38 and Psm 83, all of which fit the above criterion, and are in the "Prophetic area", i.e. the known world of Old Testament Prophecy, and directly affecting the chosen people, Israel. The Nations mentioned are listed as
(Ezk. 32); V11 “Babylon”; V22 “Asshur”; = Assyria; V24 “Elam” = Iran; V26 “Meshech and Tubal” = Turkey, Armenia, Mesopotamia; V29 “Edam” = Jordon; V30 “Zidonians” = Lebanon, Syria, Iraq.
(Ezk. 38); V2 “Magog” = Meshech and Tubal = Turkey and Caucuses; V5 “Persia, Ethiopia and Libya”; V6 “Gomar” = north of Asia Minor = present day parts of Russia; V6 “Togarmah” = Armenia = Caucuses.
(Psm. 83); V6 “Edom and Ishmaelites” = Jordon and local peoples; V6 “Moab and Hagarens” = Jordon and descendants of Hagar; V7 “Gubal, Ammon and Amalek” = “Philistia, Tyre” and Assyria which is most of the Arabs; V8 “Assur” = Assyria.
From the above listed Nations, Scripture shows the Nations that are involved in the “Last Days” events! They make up the “toes” of Dan. 2:41, and are grouped around the present Nation of Israel. They are all within easy striking distance of Israel, and to a greater or lesser degree are all hostile to Israel! The present conflict (2016) in that area, with ISIS of great threat, may auger a massive movement towards the “Last Days” of Dan. 8:17; 12:4; 12:9 and 12:13.
6) The animal symbols given probably show characteristics of this beast, again referring to Daniel 2:29-45. The "Leopard"; speed, Alexander's Empire from Macedonia to the Indus river, was conquered and formed in 8 years! The "Bear"; Medo-Persia, present day Persia (Iran), Iraq, Caucuses peoples, and half of Turkey. These are probably the "feet", of the beast, they bear the weight. The "Lion"; the Babylonian Empire, with the ancient city of Babylon at the centre, is present day Iraq, of recent infamous history. This is the probable head/ mouth of the beast.
- To summarise; this beast will form very quickly, "Leopard". It will also consist of part of ancient Greece, now Turkey, (the area of the 7 Churches. "Ekkiesia"). - Its extent will be roughly the area of the Medo-Persia Empire, "Bear".
- Its head/ mouth will be Babylon - "Lion".
(c) "Ten horns and seven heads"; these are well described in Dan. 7:7-8, and Dan. 7:19-28. This end time Empire Confederation (beast) will probably be of the Nations described above. The horns are ten kings (Dan. 7:24), three will be replaced by one who is more powerful (V.20). They are located in 7 countries (or areas) of the above mix.
(d) “Names of blasphemy"; this fact underlines him whose power reigns in this Empire; Satan. His throne (power base) will be in Pergamum (i.e. in present day Turkey), and his whole effort will be to attempt to annihilate Israel with all the power available to him. The "names of blasphemy", will show in part in his attempt to persuade the people of Israel and the world that he is God, and he will show much power and wonders to that end, his is the unforgivable sin (Matt. 12:31) and those that follow him appear to suffer the same fate. See note Rev. 14:1(c).
(e) Satanic beyond all previous, with Satan's power and authority beyond description. As we know from Rev. 12:12 Satan knows his time is short, and he will condense the evil and terror.
What follows is the extract from www.revelationsmessage.co.uk concerning the “second Beast”, and as mentioned refers to the religious development.
V.11 And I saw (a)another (b)beast coming up out of the Earth; and he had (c)two horns like a lamb, and he was (d)speaking as a dragon.
(a) "Another"; the Greek word (allos), means "another of the same kind", (Comp. App. 124-1).
(b) "Beast"; (i.e. "wild beast", but distinguished from that of V.1).
(c) The fact of similarity to a "lamb", shows inescapable similarity to the "Lamb of God", and is intended as such. The two horns speak of testimony (App. 10) or difference. When two testimonies agree, it is conclusive. Horns in Scripture always speak of kingships, or power (relative to Earth). So here two horns agree, (testimony), conveyed by "a lamb", (spiritual or religious figure).
(d) "Speaking as a dragon"; in Scripture, only Satan. So, after the first beast (political), arises and is established, this second "beast", (religious) arises which is empowered by Satan, and whose task is to bring about worship from the people (V.15), and therefore remove worship and allegiance from the "One True God", Jehovah Zebaoth! This beast is then probably the false prophet of Chp. 16:13, 19:20 and 20:10.
V.12 And he exercised all the (a)power of the first beast before him, and caused the Earth and them that dwell therein to (b)worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.
(a) Here the 2nd "beast", shows itself to be similar to the first (V.11), with the same power, but with a different emphasis.
(b) The emphasis is "worship"! The politics of the first beast brought about the attention and focus of the peoples, which is now to be turned further into "worship", (vicariously of Satan) which as stated previously is the motive force and objective of Satan from earlier Ages; which he attempts through false religions and groups. There are many of these on Earth, and Satan will use them all, but will control the most prevalent and powerful!
V.13 And he doeth (a)great wonders including making (a)fire descend from Heaven onto the Earth in the sight of men,
V. 14 And (b)deceived them dwelling on the Earth by means of those wonders, which it was given him to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the Earth, that they should make an (c)image to the beast, which had the wound of a sword, and did live.
(a) "Great wonders"; nothing impresses mankind more than demonstrations of power, especially when they lean to the mystery and charisma that only Satan can generate (i.e. towards darkness). When Elijah contended with the priests of Baal, (1Kings 18), bringing fire down from Heaven in the contest, defeating the Baal priests, slaying them and winning the day for, and by Jehovah, he was not a popular man (1Kings 19). When our Lord did the required miracles (signs) (Isa 29:18), (Isa. 35:5-6), (Matt. 11:4-5) & (Rom. 15:8), they were derided by the Pharisees and priesthood, and rejected by them. Here this beast (false prophet), (2 Thess. 2:9) & (Rev. 16:13) does "great wonders", and is accepted, instantly.
(b) Deceit is Satan's main method (Rev. 20:3) & (Rev. 20:8) and with humans it started in the Garden of Eden with Eve.
(c) "Image"; Almighty God expressly forbade Israel to make any image for worship (Lev. 26:1), in that command, God states that He is their God (Jehovah). In John's Gospel (4:23-24), the mind of the Father is revealed, requiring only "worship in spirit and in truth”. Stating clearly that He is "Spirit", and requiring only sincere from the heart worship, as opposed to ritual and ceremony. The Enemy therefore, through the second beast requires the opposite, i.e. image, ritual and ceremony, (reminiscent of the Roman Church), so as to maximise idolatry and worship of Satan.
These brief extracts from Chapter 13 of www.revelationsmessage.co.uk should be studied with care against a good copy of the Holy Bible, (one such being the KJV, Companion Bible) to become familiar with the Prophecies, and to form one’s own opinions on them! It is particularly important now, due to the many events taking place in the Mediterranean area!
It is thought that the events of the “Arab Spring”, which started in early 2011 could be the formation of the first “Beast” of Rev. 13. However, as those “Beasts” are certainly a function of “Jacob’s Trouble”; (The Great Tribulation), the more likely interpretation is that they are the “beginning of sorrows” Matt. 24:8.
Taking Israel as the focal point (i.e. proximity), Matt. 24:6 and Luke 21:9, probably gives relevance to what is happening now in the Arab Nations surrounding them.
Isa. 66 describes in detail the deliverance of Israel in the yet future (current date 2019), and describes it as “birth”, 66:9. If the events of the “Arab Spring” are the beginning of the birth-pangs, then they are unstoppable, and the “birth” will happen, soon!
If you have questions or comments, please click here.
Or go to Chapters 1 to 22, or
SUBJECTS GROUPED or