a reply to: galien8
An extract from my own thread on the subject;
The seven kings make their appearance in Revelation ch17 v10, as one of the explanations of the seven heads of the Beast.
The number "seven", in Revelation, is a number which points us towards the action of God.
The implication is that God is controlling the limits of the sequence- that's the number that he's willing to allow.
We know nothing about the first five, except that they have "fallen".
There's a king in the present, the one who "is".
And there's a king in the future, who remains "only a little while".
Then we're told that the Beast, "who was and is not", is an eighth and "out of" (EK) the seven. "One of their number" is the usual interpretation. Or,
just possibly, "following on from them".
That word "Eighth" also has associations with Christ.
1 Peter ch3 v20 observes that eight persons were saved on the Ark, which is a symbol of the salvation made possible through Christ.
2 Peter ch2 v5, making exactly the same point, describes how Noah was saved from the Flood "as an eighth man" (OGDOON). However, that particular
detail of number symbolism is invisible to the readers of most modern translations, which tend to give a rendering like "saved along with seven
others". (This is one of my favourite examples of the drawbacks of paraphrase translation; if the writer of the paraphrase misses the point, he also
makes it impossible for his readers to find it for themselves)
In addition to that, some of the early Fathers liked to observe that Christ was raised from the dead on what was effectively "the eighth day of the
week", because it was the day following the seventh. So the event could be described as "the eighth day of Creation", because it completed and
perfected the work of the original seven.
"Wherefore also we keep the eighth day for rejoicing, in the which our Lord Jesus rose from the dead, and having been manifested ascended into
heaven"- "Epistle of Barnabas"- 15 v9
If the Beast is taking a number which is associated with Christ, that may be an additional indication that it presents itself as an imitation of
Part of the sequence of kings can be correlated with events in the other chapters of Revelation.
Presumably the sixth king, the one who "is", belongs to the time when John is receiving these visions.
That puts him in the first chapter of this book, which appears to be a time of tribulation for the church.
(in which case, the first five kings don't enter into the picture at all)
We know that the "eighth" is the Beast.
This means that the "seventh king" occupies the period between those two points.
That period includes the events of ch6, which come just before the rise of the Beast.
I think, then. we have just discovered why the seventh king remains "only a little while". His reign must be the one that is interrupted and cut short
by the catastrophic events of the "Four Horsemen".
That gives us a rough timescale for these events.
The tribulation implied in ch1, and God's response to it in ch6, must be separated by the kind of interval which would place them under successive
kings (or regimes?).
These kings relate to the Beast in two different ways- the seven are "the heads of the Beast", and the eighth is "the Beast itself".
The first appearance of the Beast with seven heads and ten horns comes at the beginning of ch13;
(My previous discussion of it can be found here; The Beast from the sea
The Beast was rising out of the sea, like the various beasts of the vision of Daniel ch7.
Since the beasts of Daniel's vision represent kingdoms, that's the most natural way of understanding the Beast of ch13.
Following the analogy of the "four-headed leopard" in Daniel's vision, I suggested that the seven heads represented subordinate kingdoms, probably
coming in sequence, and that the "Beast which recovered from a mortal wound" would be a revived version of one of them.
The Beast which appears in ch17 seems to be exactly the same Beast, though the place of origin is now given as "the bottomless pit".
I'm inclined to think that "the sea" and "the bottomless pit" are the same place, for symbolic purposes.
They both have their roots in the "deep" (ABYSSOS), from which God organised the universe at the beginning of Genesis.
In that story, the sea is part of "the deep"; it is the lower portion of the great waters, the portion that remains "below the firmament".
While the fact that the pit is "bottomless" (ABYSSOS) is a pointer in the same direction.
They both represent, in slightly different metaphors, "that part of the universe which God has not organised for human habitation".
This makes them suitable symbols in Revelation for the source of evil.
We're told that the Beast "was and is not and is to come".
This needs to be set against the way that ch1 describes the Lord God, "who is and who was and who is to come".
Clearly the difference between them is the opposition between those two central statements, "IS", and "IS NOT".
That is as far apart as it is possible for two statements to get, which makes the Beast the polar opposite of God.
This definition of the Beast is echoed in the "was and is not" of v11.
That seems to force the conclusion that the "eighth" of v11 is not any individual king, but the world dominating state (the Beast from the sea)
edit on 5-5-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)