posted on Apr, 14 2011 @ 08:43 PM
You can't just pick one small section of The Revelation of John and deal with it as if it is an entire entity unto itself. You have to read it in
context. Lets begin with,
13.1 And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads; and on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads were
In this verse, the seven heads referenced by John are likely symbolic of the Seven Hills of Rome. The seven heads, according to John himself, also
represent the seven emperors of Rome mentioned later in Revelation 17.9b-10. “also, they are seven kings of whom five have fallen, one is living,
and the other has not yet to come”. If the seven kings are Rome’s major emperors, and the living head is the one currently in control of the
beast, then the beast, at the time that John wants the reader to believe he’s writing, is Rome, and the living head is Nero. Further evidence of
this is shown in Revelation 13:17-18 describing the number of The Beast as 666 and 616, representing the numerological interpretation of the
translation of the Greek Neron Kaesar, or Nero Caesar, respectively, into Hebrew. We see further evidence of this in 13:3, which I’ll address
We are also told of the blasphemous names written on each head. During this time, Nero had enforced a law demanding that the people conquered by Rome
must worship him and all previous emperors as gods. To call anyone but God a god is a blasphemy and a violation of the covenant with Moses (Ex 20:4).
If each head is an emperor, then they each carry a blasphemous name on them.
I believe the ten horns would best be described along with the description given for Revelation 13:2.
13.2 And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave it
his power and his throne and great authority.
This seems to be a reference to Daniel 7:3-6. In it, Daniel references 4 beasts rising from the sea. Each of these beasts is represented by a
different animal; the lion, the bear, leopard and the fourth is not represented by an animal, but by its iron teeth and ten horns. These four beasts,
for Daniel, represented the Babylonian Empire, the Medes, the Persians and the Greeks. They may also have represented the four segments that Greece
was separated into after the death of Alexander the Great, those being: the Ptolemaic Kingdom, the Seleucid Empire, the Kingdom of Pergamon and
Macedon as a political statement by the author of Daniel. In John’s scenario, however, the beasts are joined as one body, representing Rome, under
the seven heads, with one of those heads in control. By making his beast so similar to Daniel’s, he allows the reader to understand the
significance of his political commentary, and serve as a warning that history will repeat itself.
The final part of this line references the Dragon that is mentioned in Revelation 12:9 “The great dragon…that ancient serpent, who is called the
Devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world…” Here, we are meant to understand that Rome was given its power by Satan, and that it is an evil
13.3 One of its heads seemed to have received a death-blow, but its mortal wound had been healed. In amazement the whole earth followed the
Referencing, once again Revelation 17.9b-10, we know that the Beast has one living head. If we assume that the five dead heads are the former
emperors, starting with Augustus, and then counting up, we find that the living head is Nero. We can then assume that the mortal wound that had been
healed was meant to represent the Nero Redivivus legend, that is, the legend that Nero, although mortally wounded, would recover from the injury, rise
from the dead and continue his blasphemous rul. John predicts that the people, based on his miraculous recovery, and his law stating that he’s
divine, would idolize him. John continues his discussion of the idolatry with his next line.
13.4 They worshiped the dragon, for he had given his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast , saying, “Who is like the beast, and
who can fight against it?”
Here, John describes the worship and rule of the Rome and Nero, and the power given to him by Satan.
13.5 The beast was given a mouth uttering haughty and blasphemous words, and it was allowed to exercise authority for forty-two months.
John uses the number Forty two months, or three and a half years. This may be another reference to Daniel. In Daniel 7:25b the angelic host says
“…and they shall be given into his power for a time, two times, and a half a time.” If we take “a time” to mean a year, then we have
exactly 42 moths.
13.6 It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling, that is, those who dwell in heaven.
This seems to be a straightforward way of reinforcing the blasphemous nature of Nero’s reign. Because of the Jewish belief that God actually lives
in the, by destroying or in any way desecrating the temple, Nero would be blaspheming his dwelling, and those who dwell with him. The blasphemy
continues with the next line.
13.7 Also, it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. It was given authority over every tribe and people and language and
Some believe that the war with the saints alludes to the persecution of Judeans during the first Jewish war with Rome, and it seems to be the accepted
interpretation, since it is supported by the notes in the Harper Collins study bible. And if we accept that the Beast is Rome, then we know that it
had military authority over much of the known world at the time, as further described in 13:8.
13.8 and all inhabitants of the earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of
life of the Lamb that was slaughtered.
Here we are reminded of the book of life mentioned throughout scripture (Ex 32:32, Dan 12.1, Phil 4.3, etc). The book of life is a metaphor for
salvation where the names written for acceptance by God. This line tells us that those who succumb to Nero’s law of blasphemy (that is, worshiping
emperors as gods) would not find salvation. The Lamb, is, of course, meant to represent Jesus (John 1:29). Idolatry is one of the cardinal sins of
Judaism. Worshiping Nero and his predecessors is idolatry, and a sure fire way to get one’s name blotted out of that book.
Throughout this chapter, and others, we are given many descriptions of Rome and Nero as the Beast, including the numerology of Nero’s name, the
legend of his revival from death, and his laws of blasphemy and the persecution of John’s people. Given the evidence, it’s extremely likely that
Rome and Nero are who he was referring to when writing Revelation. One has to concede, however, that the symbolism is just vague enough that it can
be applied to many different times and many different places, which is why it has maintained people’s fascination for nearly 2000 years.
TL;DR The Beast is Ancient Rome, circa first century. It's all right there, believe it or not. It's not a prophesy, it's a historical apocalypse
written around the time of the Jewish Revolt that ended up destroying the second temple.