Beast from the Sea

The “Dragon” was poised to attack the “Seed of the Woman” as he stood on the seashore summoning his “seed,” the “Beast from the Sea” and the “Beast from the Earth.” Having failed to destroy the Messianic “Son” and the “Woman,” he set out to annihilate her “Seed,” the men who had the “Testimony of Jesus.”

Chapter 13 opens with John’s vision of the “Beast ascending from the Sea,” a monstrous creature with “Seven Heads and Ten Horns.” The image is based on the vision of four “beasts from the sea” in the Book of Daniel - (Daniel 7:2-8).

Dragon Head Rock - Photo by Tiraya Adam on Unsplash
[Photo by Tiraya Adam on Unsplash]

  • (Revelation 13:1-2) – “And I saw out of the sea a beast ascending; having ten horns and seven heads, and upon his horns ten diadems, and upon his head, names of slander. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet as of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.”

The Dragon “stood on the SAND OF THE SEA” (estathė epi tėn ammon tės thalassė). The clause is a link to the final battle in Chapter 20 when “Satan gathered the nations to the war, the number of whom was as the SAND OF THE SEA” (hė ammos tės thalassė) - (Revelation 20:7-9).

John “saw the Beast ascending out of the Sea.” This employs language from Daniel’s vision of four beastly creatures “ascending out of the sea.” The English term “ascending” translates the Greek participle anabainon, which is in the present tense and thus portrays an ongoing process of ascent, not a single incident.

The “Beast” was seen ascending “from the Abyss” in Chapter 11, also using the participle anabainon. The “Sea” is the equivalent of the Abyss,” the place from which the seed of the Dragon rises to wage war on the saints - (Revelation 11:7, 13:11, 15:2, 17:8, 21:1-2).

The Greek noun translated as “beast” or thérion originally referred to “wild beasts,” not domesticated animals. Likewise, the Greek term translated as “lamb” or arnion is its diminutive form. The grammatical parallel is deliberate since the “Beast from the Sea” imitates the “Lamb.”

Daniel saw four “beasts” symbolizing four kingdoms that were “diverse one from another.” In contrast, John saw one beast that had the characteristics of Daniel’s four beasts, the lion, the bear, the leopard, and the unnatural creature with “Ten Horns.” Furthermore, John listed the animals in reverse order from Daniel. The single beast of Revelation is an amalgam of all four of the beasts in Daniel.

The “Beast” had “Seven Heads and Ten Horns,” and a crown on each horn. The “Seven Heads” were based on the seven individual heads of Daniel’s four beasts, the lion, the bear, the fourth beast, and the four “heads” of the leopard.

The “Dragon” also had “Seven Heads and Ten Horns,” but it had “seven diadems” on its seven heads. The “Beast” had ten diadems on each of its horns. There was a familial connection to the “Dragon.” The “Beast” was the “seed” of the Devil. The “diadems” pointed to the authority of the “Dragon” who ruled through his earthly servants - (Daniel 12:3).

The number "seven" speaks of completeness. It stresses the complete political authority of the "Beast" (“There was given to it authority over every tribe, tongue, and nation”). The seven heads demonstrated it was more than an individual man - (Revelation 13:7, 17:7-12).

The “Seven Diadems” symbolized its claim to political sovereignty over the Earth, though its claim was “blasphemous.” The “Lamb” is the true “Ruler of the Kings of the Earth” and the “King of kings” - (Revelation 1:4-5, 5:6-14, 17:14).

  • (Revelation 13:3-5) – “And I saw one of its heads, showing that it had been slain unto death, and the stroke of its death was healed. And the whole earth marveled after the beast, and did homage to the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they did homage to the beast, saying: Who is like the beast, and who can make war with it? And there was given it a mouth speaking great things and slanders, and it was given it to act forty-two months.”


The slaying of one of the seven “Heads” mimicked the messianic prophecy of the Book of Genesis - “I will put enmity between the Serpent and the Woman, and between your Seed and her Seed” - (Genesis 3:15).

The Greek verb translated as “slain” is sphazō, meaning “slay” or “slaughter.” It is used in the Greek Scriptures for the slaying of sacrificial animals. The same term was applied to the “Lamb” who stood “as one having been slain,” and to the martyrs under the Altar who were “slain” for “their Testimony” - (Revelation 5:6:9-11).

There is thus a grammatical link between the death of the “Lamb” and the slaying of the Beast’s “head.” Its restoration to life mimicked the resurrection of Jesus, and this understanding is confirmed by the description, “the stroke of the sword and he LIVED [ezésen].” The same verb for “live” was applied to Jesus when he was described as the one “who became dead and LIVED [ezésen]” - (Revelation 2:8).

The “head” was slain by the “PLAGUE of death” (plégé). This suggests God caused its “death” through one of the plagues released by the Seven Trumpets or the Seven Bowls of Wrath. The death of the “Head” parallels the defeat and expulsion of the “Dragon” in Chapter 12. After his defeat, he retained the ability to deceive the “Inhabitants of the Earth,” but he was authorized to do so for only a short season.  Likewise, the “Beast from the Sea” was authorized to persecute the “saints” for the short period of “forty-two months.”

Only one of the seven heads was slain. Elsewhere, the “Seven Heads” represented seven kingdoms, and so, the demise of this “head” symbolized the fall of a kingdom - (Revelation 17:10).

The “whole Earth marveled after the Beast” because it lived again. All men who gave allegiance to the “Beast” gave homage to the Dragon, the power behind the imperial throne. The Greek term translated as “render homage” signifies an act of submission to someone of higher rank.

The “Inhabitants of the Earth” in amazement asked, “Who is like the Beast.” The question parodied the biblical declaration about God (“Who is like you, O Yahweh, among the gods?”). Hence, the “Inhabitants of the Earth” ascribed to the “Beast” honors that belonged only to God.

Moreover, they proclaimed, “Who can make war with the Beast?” Previously, the “Dragon” was defeated by Michael and “his army.” The “Inhabitants of the Earth” did not understand that they served a defeated overlord, so they offered it allegiance despite its previous defeat - (Revelation 13:8).

Stormy Sea Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash
[Photo by Barth Bailey on Unsplash]

The “
Beast” was given authority to operate for “forty-two months,” the same period during which the “Holy City was tread underfoot” in Chapter 11. Likewise, in Daniel, the fourth beast “trampled the remnant with its feet” for the designated period - The “time, times, and part of a time” - (Daniel 7:19-25, 8:10, Revelation 11:2-3, 12:6, 12:14, 13:5).

The “forty-two months” is also identical to the “twelve hundred and sixty days” during which the “Two Witnesses” gave their “Testimony” and were slain by the “Beast from the Abyss.” In each case, the same period or reality is presented from different aspects.

What we are seeing in Chapter 13 is the war of the Dragon against the “Seed of the Woman” set into motion by the events of Chapters 11 and 12. Having been defeated by the exaltation of the Messianic “Son,” Satan persecutes the “saints” for as long as he is authorized to do so.

  • The Ascending Beast - (To identify the Antichrist, we must understand what the relevant passages say about him, his methods, and his agenda)
  • Inhabitants of the Earth - (The Inhabitants of the Earth represent the men who are omitted from the Book of Life because they embrace the Beast from the Sea)
  • War Against the Saints - (The Beast from the sea is authorized to wage war on the SAINTS for its overlord, the Ancient Serpent, the Dragon – Revelation 13:6-10)



Second Trumpet

Short Season