John sees a beast rise out of the sea. Beasts in Scripture are often symbols of nations or of rulers. The sea here probably means the sea of humanity, out of which rise nations and rulers. The beast has seven heads and ten horns. Some think the symbolism of the heads means that they came one at a time in succession. It says in 17:9 that the heads are seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and one is yet to come. The "one who is" is often interpreted as Domitian, the Roman emperor at the time of the writing of Revelation. The one to come is the Antichrist, II Thess. 2:7-11. Who the Antichrist is be cannot be known until he comes, Dan.9:27. The ten horns are ten kings, Rev. 17:12 and Daniel 7:24.

At this point John saw another beast come out of the earth. The Greek word translated "another," means another of the same nature. The second beast later will be called "the false prophet," 16:13; 19;20; and 20:10. These two beasts are two men who rise to power. The second beast has the appearance of a lamb. The symbolism is that he will deceive the people, for he appears to be gentle and harmless. He causes the people to worship the first beast. He does great signs and wonders that deceive many. He will cause people to receive a mark in their right hand or on their foreheads. This mark is necessary for them to buy or sell. This is like being branded. At the time of John it signified owner- ship, and was a way to identify slaves. The number of the beast is given as 666. The Roman numerals I + V + X + L + C + D = 666. "The Received Text" and some of the other texts have in place of the number 666 the Greek letters cxV. The first and last letters are the letters that begin and end the name Christ, cristoV. The middle letter resembles a snake. This makes perfect sense since the Antichrist is the evil one who attempts to rule as Christ.


TEXT w/ Scofield Notes

(Rev 13:1 KJV) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast[1] rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads[2] the name[3] of blasphemy.

1 "BEAST": Daniel's fourth beast (Dan 7:26, note). The "ten horns" are explained in Dan 7:24 and Rev 17:12 to be ten kings. The whole vision is the last form of Gentile world power, a confederation of ten nations which will be a revival of the old Roman Empire. Its sphere will probably reach out beyond the old boundaries, since it is to be a world power (v. 8). For example, in Rev 17:1 - 7 the woman arrayed in purple and scarlet is seen sitting upon a scarlet beast. The woman is Babylon, apostate Christendom (see Rev 18:2, note) and the beast is the final form of Gentile world power. Because the woman rides the beast, where one goes the other goes also; thus the world empire will embrace all the areas of Christendom, which assuredly includes the Western Hemisphere. Rev 13:1 - 3 refers to the ten-kingdom power; vv. 4 - 10, to its ruler who is emphatically the "beast" (see Rev 19:20, note).

2 "HEADS": In this unveiling of conditions on the earth at the end of the age, the following factors will be manifest: (1) the world ruler is satanically energized (vv. 2,4); (2) he and his image are worshiped (vv. 4,8,12,15); (3) he is acknowledged as possessing supreme military power (v. 4); (4) he exercises a universal authority (v. 7); and (5) he persecutes the believers in Christ (vv. 6 - 7). The second beast is (1) a deceiver (vv. 13 - 14), and (2) he exercises economic dictatorship (vv. 16 - 17).

<The Beast:> vv. 1 - 8; Rev 19:19. (Dan 7:8; Rev 19:20)

3 "NAME": Rev 17:3

(Rev 13:2 KJV) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon[1] gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Rev 13:2: In Dan 7:4 - 6 three animals - a lion, a bear, and a leopard - are seen. They are symbols of the empires which preceded the Roman Empire, the composite beast (Dan 7:7) which combined characteristics and qualities of the first three: Babylonian voracity, Persian tenacity, and Macedonian swiftness.

1 "DRAGON": Rev 12:3,9

(Rev 13:3 KJV) And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded[1] to death[2]; and his deadly wound was healed[3]: and all the world[4] wondered[5] after the beast.

1 "WOUNDED": Fragments of the ancient Roman Empire have never ceased to exist as separate kingdoms. It was the imperial form of government which ceased; the one head "wounded to death" What is written prophetically in v. 3 is the restoration of the imperial form as such, though over a federated empire of ten kingdoms. The head is "healed," i.e. restored; there is an emperor again - the beast.

2 "DEATH": <Death> (physical): v. 3; Rev 18:24. (Gen 2:17; Heb 9:27, note)

3 "HEALED": Cp. Dan 7:8

4 "WORLD": See v. 8, note

5 "WONDERED": Rev 17:8

(Rev 13:4 KJV) And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him?

(Rev 13:5 KJV) And there was given unto him a mouth[1] speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months[2].

1 "MOUTH": v. 6; cp. Dan 7:8, 11,20,25

2 "MONTHS": Rev 11:2

(Rev 13:6 KJV) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell[1] in heaven.

1 "DWELL": Cp. Rev 12:12

(Rev 13:7 KJV) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints[1], and to overcome[2] them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.

1 "SAINTS": Cp. Dan 7:21; Rev 11:7

2 "OVERCOME": For the assurance of victory for the people of God over all these evil forces, see Rev 15:2.

(Rev 13:8 KJV) And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not[1] written in the book of life[2] of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world[3].

1 "NOT": Rev 20:12 -15; cp. Phil 4:3; Rev 3:5

2 "LIFE": <Life> (eternal): v. 8; Rev 17:8. (Mat 7:14; Rev 22:19)

3 "WORLD": World (Gk. <kosmos>), Summary: In the sense of the present world system, the ethically bad sense of the word refers to the order or arrangement under which Satan has organized the world of unbelieving mankind upon his cosmic principles of force, greed, selfishness, ambition, and pleasure (Mat 4:8 - 9; John 12:31; 14:30; 18:36; Eph 2:2; 6:12; 1 John 2:15 - 17). This world system is imposing and powerful with military might; is often outwardly religious, scientific, cultured, and elegant; but, seething with national and commercial rivalries and ambitions, is upheld in any real crisis only by armed force, and is dominated by satanic principles. Cp. Zech 12:1 - 6; see Mat 4:8, note.

(Rev 13:9 KJV) If any man have an ear, let him hear.

(Rev 13:10 KJV) He that leadeth into captivity shall go into captivity: he that killeth with the sword must be killed with the sword. Here is the patience[1] and the faith of the saints.

1 "PATIENCE": Rev 14:12; cp. Rev 1:9

(Rev 13:11 KJV) And I beheld another[1] beast[2] coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns[3] like[4] a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.

1 "ANOTHER": <Antichrist:> vv. 11 - 17; Rev 16:13. (Mat 24:5; Rev 13:11, note)

2 "BEAST": Many identify the "beast coming up out of the earth" as the Antichrist. According to Scripture "many antichrists" (1 John 2:18) and those who have the "spirit of the antichrist" (1 John 4:3) precede and prepare the way for the final Antichrist. The supreme mark of all antichrists is the denial of the incarnation of the eternal Son of God (John 1:14; see Mat 1:16, note). If the "beast coming up out of the earth" (vv. 11 - 17) is the Antichrist, he is the same as the "false prophet" of 16:13; 19:20; 20:10. Because the word "antichrist" is never directly applied to him, however, some have considered the term "antichrist," defined in the sense <against Christ,> as applying to the first beast (vv. 1 - 10), who is the political ruler.

3 "HORNS": See Deu 33:17, note

4 "LIKE": Cp. John 1:29

(Rev 13:12 KJV) And he exerciseth all the power of the first beast before him, and causeth the earth and them which dwell therein to worship[1] the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

1 "WORSHIP": v. 8

(Rev 13:13 KJV) And he doeth great wonders, so that he maketh fire[1] come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men,

1 "FIRE": Cp. 2 Ki 1:10

(Rev 13:14 KJV) And deceiveth[1] them that dwell on the earth by the means of those miracles[2] which he had power to do in the sight of the beast; saying to them that dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast, which had the wound by a sword, and did live.

1 "DECEIVETH": Mat 24:24; 2 Th 2:9 - 12; Rev 12:9; cp. 1 John 4:1 - 3

2 "MIRACLES": See vv. 5,11

(Rev 13:15 KJV) And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed[1].

1 "KILLED": Cp. Dan 3:1 - 6

(Rev 13:16 KJV) And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads[1]:

1 "FOREHEADS": Cp. Rev 7:2 - 3

(Rev 13:17 KJV) And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark[1], or the name of the beast, or the number of his name[2].

1 "MARK": Rev 14:9 -11

2 "NAME": Rev 15:2

(Rev 13:18 KJV) Here is wisdom. Let him that hath understanding[1] count the number[2] of the beast: for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six.

1 "UNDERSTANDING": 1 Cor 2:14; cp. Dan 12:10

2 "NUMBER": Cp. Ps 9:20