The beast appears is different Bible verses. In order to correctly understand what the beast represents, we must integrate the main points of all the Bible verses. Later on, the beast appears in chapter 17, and the great prostitute is sitting on the beast.
In the book of Daniel, chapter 7, Daniel sees 4 beasts; the first three beasts are Babylon, Persia and Greece. The fourth beast is dreadful and terrifying and will not appear until the end times, it is also the seventh head of this beast.
We will explain each character in detail so that we do not leave out any important elements.
13:1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
The “sand of the seashore” is the common boundary between the sea and the land. The sea represents the political world; the land represents the religious world. The range of his evil forces stretches across the political world and the religious world. The dragon , Satan, will use the “beast from the sea” and the “beast from the earth” together to attack the Church of God. Satan will combine the powers of religion and politics to strike the Church.
Politics and religion have a great impact on people’s life and their behavior in the community. These are the two topics that cause many heated arguments among people
It seems that in the end times Satan’s power becomes greater and greater as are his sings and wonders. Missionaries in undeveloped regions of the world cannot match up to the powers of the witch doctors and in civilized regions they are driven out of the country one by one and even killed under their political regime.
Although this beast looks fierce, its master Satan is at his final struggle, because in chapter 12 it says three times that he was “thrown down”. Three times means that it will happen for sure. He will definitely be defeated. Even though he stands on the common boundary of the land and the sea and his evil influence is on both areas, when we look at the strong angel in chapter 10 who had his right foot on the sea and his left on the land, which implies that he also has power over these two regions; this strong angel is more powerful than Satan which is the dragon.
THE BEAST FROM THE SEA
1 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.
Many people believe that the beast as the “Antichrist”. Actually, this beast represents the imperial dynasties that persecute God’s people. The beast has 7 heads, representing 7 empires from different eras. The “horns” on its head are what represents the leaders of a country. The angel explained to Daniel the vision that he saw. “The beast” represents the empires of Babylon, Persia, Greece, etc. It doesn’t represent a particular king. And the “horns” on the beast’s head represent outstanding leaders.
The beast from the “sea” represents the rise of a great political power that is against God. In the first century, the Jews believed that all political powers that were against God would come from the bottomless pit, from the midst of the sea. The four beasts from Daniel chapter 7, all come from the sea. And when the Roman Empire appeared, it was more obvious, because their territory surrounded the Mediterranean Sea; it included Europe, Asia and the coastal areas of Africa. Sea trading during ancient times was very prosperous. Troops that invaded Israel also came from the sea.
2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
A leopard, a bear, a lion; those were the three beasts that Daniel saw. They were shrewd, fierce and violent. Daniel could not describe the fourth beast; he just said that it was dreadful, and terrifying and extremely strong. It included all the characteristics of the ferocious beasts, the leopard, the bear and the lion. I other words, the characteristics of the last beast was different from all the other political powers that had been against God. It was an accumulation of the most brutal and tyrannical regimes from all eras, the essence of all evil. Satan gave it special authority and powers.
1 有十角七頭。… 七頭上有褻瀆的名號。
1 having ten horns and seven heads…and on his heads were blasphemous names.
“Ten horns and seven heads” appears in many places. Actually, what are the “seven heads”? Chapter 17 explains it.
17:9 那七頭就是女人所坐的七座山，10 又是七位王( 七個王朝) ，五個已經傾倒了，一個還在，一個還沒有來到。
17:9 The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings (7 dynasties); five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come.
Seven heads are seven “dynasties”. Each head is like just like each beast in the Book of Daniel. The difference between the beast here and the ones that Daniel saw is that each beast that Daniel saw represented on Empire, here the beast with seven heads represents the joint essence of all the Empires; therefore, having seven heads is like having seven beasts.
John said: “Five have fallen”. Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece; these first five empires have been destroyed. “One is”, this was the Roman Empire that was still standing when John wrote this book. “The other has not yet come”, this is the empire that has not appeared yet and that will come during the end times.
Some people believe that during the end times, democracy will rule the whole world and many imperial systems will slowly disappear. But, in fact, there are still many dictatorial regimes.
Perhaps they don’t call themselves an “empire”, but essentially, they have the authority of a king. Moreover, in this day and age as everything is computerized, it is very easy for the government to monitor the people. In a democracy the people’s freedom is diminished. If someone uses the telephone, the email or the internet to plan a terrorist attack or to denounce the government, the police would be paying them a visit in no time. Let alone many other countries that are not democratic, the way they operate would be more terrifying.
THE HEAD THAT DIED AND CAME TO LIFE AGAIN
3 我看見獸七頭中有一個似乎受了死傷( 被殺死過) ，那死傷卻醫好了。全地的人都希奇跟從那獸。
3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound (was killed), but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.
The head spoken here “had died but came to life again”. The translators believed that besides God, no one had authority over life. Who else could resurrect people from the dead? Therefore, they were not willing to say that the head “died ”, so they said “had a fatal wound”. Actually the wording here indicates that it had died, it was not just wounded.
Of course Satan does not have authority over life, he can perform signs and wonders but cannot make a person resurrect from the dead. But, remember that here it is not talking about a person but a dynasty, an empire. It is telling us that this empire was dead, destroyed, did not exist anymore, but later on it came to life again. After all, which empire is it?
A nation that had died in the past and came to life again is Israel. But Israel is not an empire that is an enemy of God; she is still undergoing persecution. Many Bible commentators say that the ten kings or ten empires during the end times are a continuation of the Roman Empire. Eastern Rome did not completely disappear until the 15th century; it would seem natural for it to come to life again after a few hundred years. They believe that the Roman Empire is the European Union. Therefore, they say that it is the European Common Market.
This kind of explanation does not fit in with what the Bible says. The European Common Market is not inside the territory of the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire surrounded the Mediterranean Sea; the northern part of Europe and Eastern Europe were not under their dominion. Neither are the countries in Northern Africa and Eastern Asia part of the Common Market.
The European Common Market is not under the regime of the empire that is against God, since many of those countries are Christians or Catholic countries. It is true that many of those countries are secular but we cannot say that these countries are continuously blaspheming and persecuting the Church of God. Therefore, to say that the Roman Empire has come to life again does not agree with Bible prophecies or with history. So, from all the empire that existed, which empire had died and come to life again? The answer is , only “Persia”.
瑪代波斯在主前550 到330 年之時，成為強大的帝國。後來被希臘所滅。但到羅馬帝國的中段，波斯國復活了。在羅馬國之東興起，叫第二波斯帝國。在主後226 到651 年間，與羅馬帝國不斷有地土上的爭執，打仗打了四百年，兩敗俱傷。在651 年國力衰弱期，被阿拉伯帝國乘虛而入，結果被阿拉伯帝國所滅。
The Medo-Persian Empire became very powerful between 550 BC to 330 BC. Later on it was destroyed by Greece. But in the middle part of the Roman Empire, the Persian nation resurrected. It rose to the east of the Roman Empire. It was called Second Persian Empire. It had continuous territorial disputes with the Roman Empire, they were at war for 400 years and both empires suffered great losses. In the year 651, the nation went into a decline; the Arab Empire took advantage of their weak state and destroyed them .
12 “The ten horns you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but who for one hour will receive authority as kings along with the beast.
The ten horns represent ten kings, ten leaders who are enemies of God; they are heads of states that persecute God’s Church. “For one hour”, means that they will be in power simultaneously. It is a major alliance; leaders of many countries cooperating with each other to establish a great federation. Therefore, the ten horns are not divided into seven heads, but they are all on one head. These ten nations did not emerge during John’s time, but at the present, as the end times are approaching, we will know very soon which the ten nations these are.
In Daniel’s vision, he also saw “ten horns”, which are “ten toes”. The enormous statue that he saw: The head of pure gold, Babylon; the chest and arms of silver, Medo-Persian Empire; the belly and thighs of bronze, Greece; the legs of iron, Eastern and Western Rome; and finally the feet “ten toes” partly of iron and partly of baked clay. This was not like the ruling of ancient kings who governed their kingdoms with an iron fist. In the future there will be an alliance of nations that will be part democratic and part totalitarian. In the end, a rock that came from God will smashed them to pieces.
Persia is today’s Iran. The territory of ancient Persia was very big, it included Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, Turkey, and other smaller nations in the north. Therefore, the empire that had died and came to life again during the end times will be new Persian Empire headed by Iran; it will be an alliance of many nations. In the territory of the Second Persian Empire there are now already ten nations.
It seems that it is very hard for today’s Iran to gain any ground due to the constant pressure by western countries. But at the present, when many Western countries are going through difficult times, imperceptibly they may be giving them a chance to develop. Also because of the sanctions by many countries, the only way out for them would be to unite forces with other nations. Many Arab counties have good relations with Western countries mainly because of economic interests. Most of the people of those countries are anti-American, are against Israel and against Christianity. At the end they will get together to form a great alliance.
THE EMPIRE THAT WILL BE WORSHIPED BY THE ENTIRE WORLD
3 全地的人都希奇跟從那獸，4 又拜那龍，因為牠將自己的權柄給了獸，也拜獸說：誰能比這獸，誰能與牠交戰？5 又給他說誇大褻瀆話的口。有權柄給他，可以任意而行四十二個月。
3 The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given authority to the beast, and they also worshiped the beast and asked, “Who is like the beast? Who can wage war against it? ” 5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.
Daniel said that the last beast would devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The whole world will follow this alliance of 10 nations. The people of the whole world, the generation in the last days, will admire this kind of regime .
The leaders of many countries are involved in scandals one after another; there is unrest in their regime, and their people are not willing to submit to them. Countries with advanced military equipment, developed science and technology, and flourishing economy no longer lead the world . On the other hand, countries in the Middle East though they are under constant turmoil and have wars between factions, still keep a high morale, are not afraid to suffer, to die or to sacrifice themselves, and will fight until the end. That is why at the end, they will be the ones who will have paramount power. Persians are more radical than other Arab people; they are stubborn, arrogant, cunning, brave and crafty and in the future they will become an empire that people will worship .
5 有權柄給他，可以任意而行四十二個月。6 獸就開口褻瀆神的名並祂的帳幕，以及那些住在天上的。7 牠與聖徒爭戰，並且得勝。
5 To exercise its authority for forty-two months. 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven. 7 It was given power to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them.
The book of Daniel tells us that at the start of the last seven years of great tribulation, the Antichrist will make a peace treaty with Israel; but after three-and-a-half years things will change and it will attack the Church more severely . Therefore, it says here: “To exercise its authority for forty-two months.” That means that during the last three-and-a-half years it will succeed in destroying the Church and Israel.
From this passage we can see that: (1) The beast and Satan have a very in-depth relationship; (2) It succeeded in deceiving the whole world; (3) It was very successful in attacking the Church and the saints. People in this world worship success; when they worship power, they show great authority, this is a serious threat to the Church and the whole world admired it. But in the end, its power will be completely crushed.
THIS EMPIRE IS IN OPPOSITION WITH THE KINGDOM OF HEAVEN
8 凡住在地上，名字從創世以來沒有記在被殺之羔羊生命冊上的人，都拜他。9 凡有耳的，就應當聽。10 擄掠人的，必被擄掠，用刀殺人的，必被刀殺。聖徒的忍耐和信心，就是在此。
8 All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world. 9 Whoever has ears, let them hear. 10 “If anyone is to go into captivity, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed.” This calls for patient endurance and faithfulness on the part of God’s people.
The people of the world followed the beast not because of its holiness, righteousness, patience or trustworthiness, but because of its authority and power, it could give people success and fame. Nowadays some churches also follow those ways, they seek authority, power, fame, they want to be rich and prosper. It is very likely that they are worshiping the beast.
Those whose names are written in the Lamb’s book of life will not worship the beast. True disciples do not have power, they are not famous, they do not look like mighty heroes, and they depend on God to be the Judge. When they are persecuted they do not seek revenge, they believe that those who kidnap people will be kidnapped and those who kill will be killed. They trust God’s righteous judgments, they suffer in silence.
There is a phrase here that calls our attention: “Whoever has ears, let him hear.” This phrase only appears in chapters 2 and 3 when Christ gives words of encouragement to the seven churches. He who has an ear let him hear; he who overcomes, Christ promised them a certain kind of reward. But now it is different, they were believers who were going through hardships, they had missed been raptured to the throne of God. But they still had to pay attention and listen carefully. Because those who oppose the beast will go through very hard times and those who obey it will be greatly benefited. It is important to be clear about what road to take in life.
There are many ways to prove to whom the life of a believer belongs to. During the last seven years, the believers who are left on the earth will have to go through suffering and death to prove their faith and perseverance, as during the times of the early church.