The Two Beasts
13 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea [C the sea was a symbol of chaos in the ancient world; Dan. 7:1–8]. It [or He] had ten horns [C symbols of power and strength] and seven heads [12:3], and there was a ·crown [diadem; royal crown; C indicating a king of evil] on each horn. A ·name against God [L blasphemous name; some manuscripts read the plural “names”] was written on each head. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear’s feet and a mouth like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave the beast all of his ·power [authority] and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast looked as if it ·had been killed by a wound [had a fatal/mortal wound; L was slain to death; C an evil imitation of the Lamb that was slain; 5:6], but this ·death wound [fatal/mortal wound; L wound of its death] was healed [C a false imitation of the resurrection]. Then the whole world was amazed and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given his ·power [authority] to the beast. And they also worshiped the beast, asking, “Who is like the beast [Ex. 15:11]? Who can make war against ·it [or him]?”
5 The beast was ·allowed [L given a mouth] to say ·proud words [L great things; Dan. 7:8, 11, 20] and ·words against God [L blasphemies; Dan. 11:36], and it was allowed to ·use [exercise] its ·power [authority] for forty-two months [11:2]. 6 It ·used [opened] its mouth ·to speak [blaspheme] against God, against God’s name, against ·the place where God lives [his dwelling/tabernacle], and against all those who ·live [dwell] in heaven. 7 It was given ·power [authority] to make war against ·God’s holy people [T the saints] and to ·defeat [conquer] them. It was given ·power [authority] over every tribe, people, language, and nation [Dan. 7:21]. 8 And all who live on earth will worship ·the beast [L it; or him]—all the people since the ·beginning [foundation] of the world whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book [scroll] of life [3:5; 17:8; Ex. 32:32–33]. ·The Lamb is the One who was killed [or The Lamb who was killed/slaughtered before the creation/foundation of the earth]. [C Some commentators link the phrase “since the beginning/foundation of the world” with “all who live on the earth”; others link it with “written in the Lamb’s book of life”; and still others with “the Lamb who was slain.”]
9 Anyone who has ears should ·listen [hear; obey]:
10 If you are to be ·a prisoner [L taken into captivity],
then you will ·be a prisoner [L go into captivity].
If you are to be killed with the sword,
then you will be killed with the sword [Jer. 15:2; 43:11].
This means that ·God’s holy people [T the saints] must have ·patience [perseverance; endurance] and faith.
11 Then I saw another beast ·coming up [rising] out of the earth [Dan. 7:17]. It [or He] had two horns like a ·lamb [or ram; Dan. 8:3], but it spoke like a dragon [C acting like a prophetic spokesperson for the dragon (see 16:13); along with the dragon and the first beast, this second beast forms an evil trinity]. 12 This beast ·stands before the first beast and uses the same power the first beast has [or uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf]. By this ·power [authority] it makes ·everyone living on earth [L the earth and its inhabitants] worship the first beast, who had the ·death wound [fatal/mortal wound; L wound of its death] that was healed. 13 And the second beast ·does great miracles [performs great signs] so that it even makes fire come down from heaven to earth [1 Kin. 18:38; 2 Kin. 1:10, 12] ·while people are watching [L before people]. 14 It ·fools [deceives; tricks] those who live on earth by the ·miracles [signs; C these are counterfeit miracles] it has been given the power to do. It does these ·miracles [signs] ·to serve the first beast [L before/in the presence of the first beast]. The second beast orders [tells] people to make an ·idol [image] to honor the first beast, the one that ·was wounded by the deadly [L has the wound of the] sword but ·sprang to life again [lives]. 15 The second beast was ·given power [or allowed] to give ·life [breath; a spirit] to the idol of the first one so that the idol could speak. And the second beast was ·given power [allowed] to ·command [cause; make] all who will not worship the ·image [idol] of the beast to be killed. 16 The second beast also ·forced [caused; made] all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a ·mark [brand; stamp; C to show allegiance to the first beast] on their right hand or on their forehead [compare 7:2–4; 14:1]. 17 [L So that] No one could buy or sell without this mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name [C Greek and Hebrew letters had a numerical equivalent, and so could represent names—a practice known as gematria]. 18 This ·takes [calls for; L is] wisdom [Dan. 12:10]. Let the one who has understanding ·find the meaning of [calculate; figure out] the number [L of the beast], which is the number of a ·person [or man]. Its number is 666[a] [C a symbolic number signifying imperfection and sin; some speculate it represents the name of a Roman emperor, perhaps Nero or Domitian].
- Revelation 13:18 666 Some Greek copies read “616.”
New International Version
The Beast out of the Sea
13 The dragon[a] stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea.(A) It had ten horns and seven heads,(B) with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.(C) 2 The beast I saw resembled a leopard,(D) but had feet like those of a bear(E) and a mouth like that of a lion.(F) The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.(G) 3 One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed.(H) The whole world was filled with wonder(I) 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(J) the beast? Who can wage war against it?”
5 The beast was given a mouth to utter proud words and blasphemies(K) and to exercise its authority for forty-two months.(L) 6 It opened its mouth to blaspheme God, and to slander his name and his dwelling place and those who live in heaven.(M) 7 It was given power to wage war(N) against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.(O) 8 All inhabitants of the earth(P) will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life,(Q) the Lamb(R) who was slain from the creation of the world.[b](S)
9 Whoever has ears, let them hear.(T)
The Beast out of the Earth
11 Then I saw a second beast, coming out of the earth.(X) It had two horns like a lamb, but it spoke like a dragon.(Y) 12 It exercised all the authority(Z) of the first beast on its behalf,(AA) and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast,(AB) whose fatal wound had been healed.(AC) 13 And it performed great signs,(AD) even causing fire to come down from heaven(AE) to the earth in full view of the people. 14 Because of the signs(AF) it was given power to perform on behalf of the first beast, it deceived(AG) the inhabitants of the earth.(AH) It ordered them to set up an image in honor of the beast who was wounded by the sword and yet lived.(AI) 15 The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship(AJ) the image to be killed.(AK) 16 It also forced all people, great and small,(AL) rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads,(AM) 17 so that they could not buy or sell unless they had the mark,(AN) which is the name of the beast or the number of its name.(AO)