CHAPTER 29 – Revelation 13: 1-10 第五奇象- 海裡出來的獸 THE FIFTH SIGN: THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

這獸在多處經文出現,一定要綜合所有經文要點,纔能準確了解這獸是甚麽。後來在十七章,這獸又出現了,那大淫婦騎在這獸之上。

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.

在但以理書七章,但以理看見四頭獸,前叁個獸是巴比倫、波斯與希臘,然後第四獸非常可畏,要到末日纔出現,也就是這獸的第七頭。

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.

我們需要一個一個名辭解釋,纔不怕漏掉重要的地方。上一章最後一句話應該歸在這一章裡面。

We will explain each character in detail so that we do not leave out any important elements.

12:17 那時龍就站在海邊的沙上。

13:1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.

「海邊的沙上」,就是海洋與陸地的交界點。海洋代表政治界,陸地代表宗教界。牠的惡勢力範圍,橫跨宗教界與政治界。龍,撒但將使用「海裡的獸」與「地中的獸」一起來攻擊神的教會。撒但要結合宗教與政治的勢力來打擊教會。

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.

在社會上對人類生活行為影響最大的,就是「宗教」與「政治」。人與人之間爭辯得面紅耳赤的事,都離不開這兩個領域。

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

末世撒但的能力似乎越來越大,行的奇事越來越多。宣教士們在落後的地方比不上巫醫的能力,在文明地方受各國政權限制,被人趕逐甚至被殺害。似乎撒但藉著這獸掌握勝算。

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.

這獸雖然看起來兇猛,但牠的主子撒但只是在垂死掙扎。因為十二章說了叁次,「牠被摔下去了」。叁次的意思,就是告訴我們這是肯定的事。牠肯定是要失敗的。牠雖然站在海與地的交界點,兩處都有牠的惡毒影響,但看第十章的大力天使,右腳踏海,左腳踏地,他也牽涉海洋與陸地的能力,看起來他就比撒但,就是龍,威猛得多。

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.

海裡的獸

THE BEAST FROM THE SEA

1 我又看見一個獸從海中上來。

1 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea.

很多人把獸看成是「敵基督」個人。其實這頭獸是代表逼迫神子民的帝國王朝,牠有七個頭,所以代表七個時代的帝國。頭上的「角」,纔是代表國家領導人。天使向但以理解釋他所見獸的異象。「獸」,代表巴比倫、波斯、希臘等王朝,不是代表某一個王。而獸頭上的「角」,纔是代表傑出的領袖。

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.

獸從「海」裡出來,表示敵對神的「大政權」出現了。第一世紀猶太人的想法,所有逼迫神子民的政權,都從無底坑出來,從海中上來。但以理第七章之四獸,都從海裡出來。到了羅馬帝國時更加明顯,因為羅馬帝國的地土,包圍著地中海,包括歐洲亞洲與非洲沿海,故海運非常發達。入侵以色列的軍隊,都是從海裡上來的海軍。

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 我所看見的獸,形狀像豹,腳像熊的腳,口像獅子的口。那龍將自己的能力、座位和大權柄,都給了牠。

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.

豹、熊、獅,都是但以理前面的叁獸,牠們敏捷、兇殘、強暴。第四獸形容不出,只覺得非常可怕。牠包括所有兇猛野獸,豹、熊、獅的特徵。就是說,這最後一頭獸,跟所有時代的敵神政權不同。牠累積各時代,各兇暴政權的精華。撒但給了牠特別大的權柄與能力。

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.

七頭

SEVEN HEADS

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.

「七頭十角」在多處出現。「七頭」到底代表甚麽?第十七章有解釋。

“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.

七個頭是七個「王朝」。每一個頭就像但以理書中一個獸。這獸與但以理所見的獸不同之處,是但以理所見的,只代表一個帝國,這裡七頭的獸卻集合了所有帝國的精華,所以有七個頭,就像有七個獸一樣。

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.

約翰說,「五個已經傾倒」。埃及、亞述、巴比倫、波斯、希臘,前面五個帝國已經滅了。「一個還在」,就是約翰寫書的時候還在的羅馬帝國。「一個還沒有來到」,就是末世最後那一個王朝,還沒有出現。

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.

有人以為到末世,全世界都走民主路線,難再看見「帝國」出現。很多帝王制度都慢慢消失了。但事實上還有很多政權是獨裁的政權。

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.

或許他們不叫自己做「皇帝」,但實質上,仍有皇帝的權力。而且當今時代一切電腦化之後,政府監控人民也容易很多。在民主國家人的自由度也減少了。如果人在電話、電郵、網絡中亂講一些偏激的話咒罵政府、咒罵總統,或計劃恐怖活動,很快就會有警察上門。何況還有很多國家不能算民主國家,他們的手段必更可怕。

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.

死過復活的頭

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.

這裡所說的頭是「死過又活」的,翻譯的人想,除了神以外,誰有生命的權柄?誰能複活?所以不情願翻作「死」,就叫「死傷」,好像是重傷,其實這裡所用的字,指明是死過,不是受傷。

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.

當然撒但沒有生命的權柄,牠能行奇事,但不能使死人復活。但要記得,這裡說的,不是人,是王朝、是帝國。告訴我們,這個國曾經死了、滅了,不存在了,但後來卻又活過來,到底這裡指的是哪一個國?

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?

過去死了,後來又活過來的國,有以色列。但她不是敵對神的國,她還在受逼迫。很多解經的人說,末後的十王或十個王國,是羅馬帝國的延續。東羅馬一直到十五世紀纔真正消失,隔了幾百年之後復活,好像是很自然的事。認為羅馬帝國就是歐洲各國聯合成為大聯邦。所以說是歐洲「共同市場」。

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.

這種解釋與聖經講法不合。歐洲共市,不在羅馬版圖之內。羅馬是包圍著地中海的帝國,歐洲北部及東歐都與它沒有關係。非洲北部與亞洲西部的國家,也不在共市之內。

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.

歐洲共市也不是敵神的帝國政權,其中很多個國家是基督教、天主教國家。說他們世俗化是真的,但說他們不斷褻瀆逼迫神的教會,卻不可能。所以說羅馬帝國復活不合聖經預言,也不符合歷史。那麽在眾帝國中,哪一個是曾死過復活的?答案只有「波斯」。

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 .

十角

TEN HORNS

17:12 你所看見的那十角,就是十王。他們還沒有得國。但他們一時之間要和獸同得權柄,與王一樣。

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.

十角代表十個王,十個領導人物,是敵對神、逼迫神教會的元首。「一時之間」,表示他們同時間作王,同時掌權,是個大聯盟。多個國家的首領一起合作,建立一個大聯邦帝國。所以那十個角,不是分散在七個頭上,乃是全部長在第七個頭上。在約翰的時代,他們還沒有出現,但現在到了末世,我們很快就會知道是哪十個國、十個王了。

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.

在但以理的異象裡,也看見「十角」,就是「十個腳趾」。他所見那大像,金頭巴比倫、銀胸瑪代波斯、銅腹希臘、鐵腿東西羅馬,最後是半泥半鐵的「十腳趾」。半泥半鐵表示不像古代君王的鐵腕強權,將有半民主、半極權的國家聯合起來。到最後,從神來的大石把它們打得粉碎。

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.

波斯就是現在的伊朗。古代波斯國的版圖很大,包括伊拉克、敘利亞、阿富汗、巴基斯坦、印度,土耳其以及北面幾個小國。所以末後這個死過復活的帝國,是以伊朗為首的新波斯帝國,是多國的聯盟。在第二波斯國版圖中,現在也有十個國家。

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.

現在的伊朗,由於西方國家不斷施壓力,似乎很難抬頭。但今西方國家大部份落在困難中,無形中也給它發展的機會。也就是因為受到各國的製裁,它最後的出路,肯定是聯合多個國家。阿拉伯各國中,有多個是親西方的。但他們主要是為利益,這些國家的人民,多是反美、反以色列、反基督教的。最後必定使他們連成一氣,成了大的聯盟。

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.

受全地崇拜的帝國

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.

但以理說,末後的獸會踐踏,蹂躪、征服全地。這裡說,全地的人都跟從這十國的聯邦,末後的世代,全地的人都會佩服這一個政權。

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 .

許多國家的領袖紛紛鬧出醜聞,各國的政權動盪不安,得不到人民的順從。在武器、經濟、科技方面,先進的國家不再能領導世界,反而中東各國,雖然仍是有許多動亂,也分不同的派別互相鬥爭,但他們的士氣高昂,不怕苦、不怕死、不怕犧牲,要跟人鬥爭到底。所以最後一定是他們成為世界霸主。波斯人與其他阿拉伯人更激進,他們固執、驕傲,工心計,有勇有謀,將會成為人所敬畏的帝國。

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.

但以理書告訴我們,在最後七年大災難開始時,敵基督會與以色列立和約,但過叁年半之後,會變本加厲的對付教會。所以這裡說:「他任意而行四十二個月。」就是後叁年半,他要成功消滅教會與以色列。

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.

從這段經文看見,第一,牠與撒但有很深入的關係;第二,牠也成功迷惑全地的人;第叁,牠更成功打擊教會與聖徒。在這世界的人都崇拜成功、崇拜能力的時候,他們顯出很大的權能,嚴重威脅神的教會,叫全世界佩服。不過他的能力,最後也徹底被粉碎。

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.

這帝國是與天國對立的

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.

世人跟從牠,不是因為牠有聖潔、公義,或仁愛、信實,乃是因為有權柄、能力,能給人成功、成名。今日有些教會也走這路線,追求權柄、能力、成功、成名、發展、發達。很可能他們所敬拜的也是獸。

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.

名字在羔羊生命冊上的人不會崇拜牠。真門徒沒有權力、名聲,沒有威猛英雄形象,他們倚靠神作審判官,受逼迫不報復,相信綁架人的必被綁架,殺人的必被殺。他們信任神的公義審判,自己默默地忍受。

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.

這裡還出現一句話叫我們注意:「凡有耳就應當聽。」這話只出現在第二及第叁章,講論七個教會的時候,基督所給人的鼓勵。凡有耳的要聽,凡是得勝的,基督應許將要得到怎樣的獎賞。但現在不一樣,他們是在大災難裡的信徒,錯過了被提到主台前的時刻。不過還是要注意聽。因為反對牠的人有很大難處,順從牠的有很大利益,要認清楚人生的路應該怎樣走。

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.

信徒有很多方式,證明他們的生命是屬於誰的。到末後七年,那些留在地上的信徒,更要用受苦、受死,證明他們的信心與忍耐,要忍受逼迫,像初期教會一樣。

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.