“Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns,and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.” Revelation 13:1-2
Here we see yet another beast, who also has seven heads and ten horns, just as the dragon did. But this passage confirms our earlier theory, that the four beasts of Daniel’s vision and this beast who rises from the sea are the same. Recall that the four beasts of Daniel’s vision were a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a terrible beast which could not be described. Among the four beasts, there were seven heads: one on the lion, one on the bear, one on the terrible beast, and four on the leopard. And among the four beasts, there were ten horns, for the terrible beast had ten horns.
This beast rising from the sea which John saw, has seven heads and ten horns, just as Daniel’s beasts do, and also like Daniel’s beasts, it has the attributes of a leopard, a bear, and a lion. This is the Scripture’s way of telling us that the beasts are one and the same; Daniel and John are seeing the same thing.
The beast represents the world- dominating empires, the kingdoms of this world. The empires are Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome, the final empire, which is still ongoing. What is the blasphemous name on the seven heads? The blasphemy is that, one way or another, each of the kings of these empires demanded that they be worshiped as god. Nebuchadnezzar, the head of Babylon, did, you can read about it in Daniel chapter 3. Darius, the head of Media-Persia, did, you can read about it in Daniel chapter 6. Alexander did. Antiochus did. And history bears out that the Roman emperors considered themselves gods. The reason the Christians were persecuted for centuries in the Roman empire is that they refused to sacrifice — something that was done to a god in the ancient world — to Caesar. It has ever been. The Pharaohs of Egypt believed that they were Amon-Ra incarnate. Nimrod, with whom it all began, was also venerated as the god incarnate.
The world- dominating empires, the kingdoms of this world, derive their power from Satan, and receive their throne and authority from him (vs. 2). When Satan was tempting Jesus in the wilderness, he offered Him the kingdoms of this world. He could offer them because they belonged to him.
I am sure the fact that the beast rises from the sea means something. I don’t know yet what that is.
To be continued …
Update: continued in Revelation 13: the beast from the sea, part two