Revelation 13: The 2 Beasts

Posted on March 4, 2021


By David Ettinger

What This Is
Back in the mid-to-late 1990s, I taught a Sunday school class verse by verse on the Book of Revelation. This series represents my notes for each class. (I have done some updating as some of my understandings have changed over the years.) I came across them recently and decided to post them. If you wish to use these notes as a study guide, the way to do it is as follows: Read the verse first in your Bible, then look at the corresponding notes here for commentary.

For some reason, I don’t have notes for Chapters 1-3, therefore this series begins with Chapters 4-5. Following the Chapter 4-5 study notes, each chapter will be presented individually.

Read Chapter 4-5 notes here.
Read Chapter 6 notes here.

Read Chapter 7 notes here.
Read Chapter 8 notes here.
Read Chapter 9 notes here.
Read Chapter 10 notes here.
Read Chapter 11 notes here.
Read Chapter 12 notes here.

This chapter represents the program of Satan and the Antichrist during the final 3½ years of 70th Week of Daniel – the final 7 years of this age of human history.

Verse 1
* 10 horns: 10 kings.

* 7 heads: 7 kingdoms.

* 10 crowns: Diadems, that is, the emblem of governmental authority.

* The empire of the Antichrist is seen here in the form it will take after 3 of the nations that form its beginning are overthrown and come under the power of the beast (Antichrist). For more on this, see Daniel 7:19-22.

* The blasphemous names on the horns indicate that each king – the entire empire, in fact – is opposed to God.

Verse 2
* Daniel 7:2-7 helps identify the “beast” aspect of the final kingdom. The Lion is Babylon. The Bear is Medo-Persia. And the Leopard is Greece (Syria, which I’ll explain below in a blog I will link to). These ancient enemies of Israel will in some form be a part of the final beast empire.

* This final empire will have the combined character of the previous beast empires, and much more.

* The Antichrist will be empowered by Satan.

Verse 3
* The beast with the fatal wound that had been healed can be seen several ways:

1) A ruler/nation of the past that has been destroyed but is raised in the end times.

2) A person from the past will be raised to run Satan’s kingdom. Those who subscribe to this position have pointed to such evil rulers as Nero, Mussolini, Stalin, and Hitler.

3) The reinstitution of a former empire. (Some view a Revived Roman Empire, which is not my position).

4) A ruler at that time of the end will appear to be killed in an assassination attempt as his injury would normally cause death, but somehow he doesn’t die. Or he WILL die, but will come back to life.

* Regardless of the proper interpretation, the supernatural origin and special powers of this world ruler will be revealed.

* Note that there should be a differential between the words “raised” and “resurrected.” “Raised” indicates the bringing back to life from the dead, but only to die again, as did Lazarus. “Resurrected” indicates the raising to life from the dead and never to die again, as did Jesus. Satan, apparently, can “raise,” but not “resurrect.”

* The healing of the fatal wound is what will cause the world to follow the Antichrist.

Verse 4
* Because of Satan’s power to “raise” from the dead – and other supernatural signs – people will not be able to see how anyone can fight against the Antichrist, whom Satan is empowering.

Verse 5
* “The beast given a mouth …” It is almost as if Satan is giving the Antichrist the very words to say. He is certainly giving him the will to want to blaspheme.

* There is no power on Earth to prevent Satan from setting up his world government and ruler.

* The 42 months is of God, not Satan. God has allowed only 3½ years for the events of this time. Had Satan the authority, he would go on for centuries.

Verse 6
* His blasphemy will extend to the highest reaches of Heaven.

Verse 7
* The Antichrist will wage war against Christians and will kill many (see also Daniel 7:21).

* “Every tribe, people, language, and nation …” This does not mean everybody on Earth will worship the Antichrist, but that his sphere of authority will be over the entire world. However, this also doesn’t mean that there that he won’t encounter opposition. There will be opposition. There will be individuals and nations that will resist him (Daniel 11:40-44).

Verse 8
* The Book of Life ­ – all those who know Christ.

* Only those whose names are written in the Book of Life will not worship the Antichrist or take his mark.

Verse 9
* No matter when during the course of history, there was always the individual choice being offered. This will be true at the end of the age, as well.

* Justice will be meted out to those who have chosen to follow the beast (the Antichrist).

Verse 10
* The believer will need patient endurance and much faith during this time.

Verse 11
* “Coming out of the earth”: The first beast (the Antichrist) will come out of the sea (possibly the Mediterranean, indicating a specific place of origin). The beast coming out of the earth would indicate a more general place of origin rather than the Middle East.

* Two horns: Indicative of political authority.

* A lamb: Gives the appearance of being harmless. Also has a religious connotation (i.e., the Lamb of God).

* Like a dragon: Craftiness is in view here.

* In Revelation 19:20 he is called a false prophet.

* The imagery: The beast out of the earth appears harmless, but is very crafty.

Verse 12
* The job of the second beast is to direct humanity toward the first beast.


* In Israel’s history, there were at least 22 major false christs (messiahs).

* In every case, there was always a religious leader associated with him.

* The false christs were primarily political and leaned toward military might. They were political leaders.

* A religious leader of the day, usually and esteemed rabbi, would tell the people that this political leader was the Messiah and was to be followed.

* This false prophet of Revelation 13 will likely be a Gentile and a supporting character. He will possess some of the supernatural power of the world ruler, or first beast (the Antichrist), and he will use his power to cause people to worship the world ruler.

* NOTE: Past false christs in Israel have claimed to be the actual fulfillment of Scripture.

* The Antichrist will be different. He will be both against and in place of. He will not claim to be the fulfillment of Scripture. In essence, he will step in and say, “I will bring in a golden age and will be able to solve the world’s problems.”

* Again, note the mention of the fatal wound that was healed.

Verse 13
* “Performed great and miraculous signs” – see Matthew 24:24.

* These signs performed by the second beast will “authenticate” his false message that the “new messiah” has arrived.

* That the false prophet will be able to bring fire down from Heaven will link him to the great prophet Elijah (1 Kings 18:36-38; Revelation 11:15 – though, here, fire comes from the prophet’s mouth). Also, one of Elijah’s functions will be as a forerunner, or announcer, of the Messiah (Malachi 4:5). The beast out of the earth will have a similar, though false, purpose.

* In other words, the second beast will be the ultimate false prophet to the ultimate false christ.

* “Full view of people” – nothing will be hidden or discreet. Everything that happens will be for the entire world to see because this will be the climax of all spiritual warfare.

Verse 14
* The beast out of the earth will direct the heart of the world toward the Antichrist.

* He will perform impressive, miraculous signs.

* Signs were given as a means to authenticate, or substantiate. See Isaiah 7:14.

* As part of his program, the beast out of the earth (the “prophet”) will get the worshipers of the Antichrist to set up an image of him (the Antichrist).

* The image is referred to several times in this chapter and six more times in the remainder of the book.

Verse 15
* “Breath to the image” – during the days of the Roman Empire, there were ventriloquists who used their skills to make it appear as though statues were actually speaking.

* I’m not certain how all this will play out, but in any case, it will cause the people to worship the Antichrist and those who won’t will be put to death.

Verse 16
* We have the technology to accomplish all this. A chip, for example, could be placed under the skin that will give a person his or her own identification number.

* One will need this number to function under a worldwide economy.

* The mark will identify a person as a worshiper, or follower, of the Antichrist.

Verse 17
* There will be horrible consequences for those who won’t take the mark. People won’t be able to provide for themselves or their families.

* This was played out before regarding the church of Smyrna, where Caesar worship rewarded those who submitted, but penalized brutally those who didn’t.

* We don’t know what the name of the beast is.

Verse 18
* We will need wisdom to weigh the facts logically and without panic.

* Compare 666 to 777. 666 is humanity’s number. 777 is God’s number.

* Just as 7-7-7 could mean Father-Son-Holy Spirit, so 6-6-6 could mean Satan-the Antichrist-the false prophet.

* 6-6-6 could read as, Not God, not God, not God.”

* NOTE: The number 7 is used 54 times in the Book of Revelation.

For further study, read my posts:

“Examining the Number 666.”

“What You Need to Know About the Antichrist.”