Revelation 13:1–14, On the rise of Luciferian, antichrist New World Order technocratic system and the mark of the beasts. See notes on Isa 25:7.
Revelation 13:1, The beast…the sea. Two possible end time scenarios may explain the setting of this vision.
The first scenario is that the beast of Revelation 13 that rises up out of the sea is the end times New World Order, anti-Christ system comprised of the kings of the earth and their armies (see Rev 19:19). This beast is the political and economic branch of the Babylon the Great New World Order system. The metaphor of the sea is a Hebraism meaning “the seas of humanity.” This could be a reference to all the oceans of the earth or just to the Mediterranean Sea, which is in the middle of the earth (the meaning of word Mediterranean) and may symbolically represent all the earth’s oceans. Since all the kings of the earth follows this beast (v. 3), and “all the world” worshipped the dragon who gives authority to the beast (v. 4), it seems that seas is likely a reference to all the seas or oceans of the earth. This beast seems to correspond with the fourth beast of Daniel’s four beast vision (Dan 7:7ff).
The second scenario is that the sea is just the Mediterranean Sea. The island of Patmos from which John received his vision (Rev 1:9) is located just east of Turkey between the Aegean and Mediterranean seas. If this is the case, then the beasts that John sees rising out of the Mediterranean Sea represent localized regional powers and aren’t global in nature. The seven heads being the seven regional empires that have dominated that region over the millennia (Egypt, Babylon, Assyria, Persia, Greece, Rome and the Ottoman Turks) seem to give credence to the validity of this second scenario explaining John’s vision. If this is the case, then the ten horns may be ten end time regional Muslim powers under a caliphate confederacy who conspire together for the destruction of Israel. Perhaps Psalm 83:1–8 is a prophecy pertaining to this. These ten nation of Psalm 83 may be the ten toes of Daniel’s ten-toe prophecy (Dan 2:41–42).
Revelation 13:1, Seven heads and ten horns. The seven heads appear to be the seven “world”-ruling manifestations of this Babylonian beast system down through the ages to the present time (i.e. Egypt, Assyria, neo-Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome and end times Babylon the Great comprised of all nations [i.e. the New World Order]). The ten horns may be ten global semiautonomous regional governments, which, when combined, comprise all the nations of the earth and make up Babylon the Great. This may be what Daniel saw in the ten toes of the great image of Daniel 2. Perhaps the two legs of that image represent apostate Christianity and Islam—the two great religions of the world, which are in nearly every nation and become semi-united in some bizarre, demonic way. The two legs of Daniel’s image could also represent the first Roman Empire that then broke into the Eastern and Western Roman Empires. The spiritual descendants of the Western Roman Empire is apostate Christianity out of which comes the European and American-based New World Order, which is the head of Babylon the Great. The descendants of the Eastern Roman Empire became the Ottoman Turkish Empire. The fourth beast of Daniel’s four beast vision also had ten horns (Dan 7:7). Daniel speaks of a little horn coming up in the midst of the ten horns, which plucked three of the first horns up by the roots (Dan 7:8). This same horn speaks pompously (Dan 7:8, 11) and makes war against the saints (Dan 7:21, 22, 25) and prevails against them until Yeshua destroys it at his second coming (Dan 7:11, 21, 22). John uses similar language to describe the political and economic beast of Revelation 13:1. This beast also makes war against the saints and overcomes them (Rev 13:7).
Revelation 13:2, The dragon gave him his power. This is the ultimate end-times antichrist system. Also see notes at 2 Thess 2:3–4 where we discuss the parallels between the Man of Sin, Antichrist figure, Isaiah’s prophecy about the fall of Satan (Isa 14), and the Satan-led leader of end times Babylon the Great as prophesied about in this chapter.
Revelation 13:7–8, Every tribe, tongue and nation…all who dwell on the earth. Does this beast have authority over every single heathen on earth, and every last heathen on earth will worship him? In the Scriptures, all and every are sometimes used as hyperbole where exaggeration is used to emphasize a point. (For a discussion of this, see notes at 2 Sam 16:22 and Zech 14:2.)
Revelation 13:8, Whose names. This states that some names aren’t written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. This seems to counter the idea that all humanity’s names are written in the Book of Life, only to be erased when they fail to receive the salvation of the Lamb.
Revelation 13:11, Another beast. This beast is the religious leg of the Babylon the Great New World Order, and comes out of the earth (probably the European or Eurasian continent), since this would be the perspective of the John, the writer. “Out of the earth” could be a reference to the devil and demon spirits coming out of the pit to torment men (i.e. Rev 9:1–11).
Two horns. The religious branch of Babylon has two horns—one that speaks like a lamb and one that speaks like a dragon. Could this be a reference to an ecumenical uniting of apostate Catholic Christianity (with her apostate daughters) and Islam?
Revelation 13:15, The image of the beast. Inanimate objects can be demon possessed.
Revelation 13:16, He. This is a reference to the religious beast. It is this beast who causes all humans to take a mark on their head or hand, in order that they might buy or sell. In other words, the religious beast component of Babylon the Great uses its miraculous power and spiritual deceptions to entice humanity to worship the image of the first or political and economic beast (a cloak for Satanic worship). This false religion beast is behind the effort to kill all those who refuse to worship the image of the beast.
Revelation 13:18, The number of the beast. Which beast is being referred to here—the first or second beast? The first beast would be political figure, while the second beast would be a religious figure.
Six hundred threescore and six [KJV]/666 [NKJV]. Here is the full text of this verse:
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666. (Rev 18:13, NKJV)
[My apologies, but in the following discussion, the fonts fro the Greek words are not coming through as I copy and paste from my notes to this blog.]
For six hundred threescore and six (KJV) or666 (NKJV), New Testament Greek-English interlinear translations show two variants as to the Greek behind these words. Some show the Greek words hexakosioi hexekonta hex/ éxakosioi éxhkonta éxmeaning “six hundred and sixty six” (e.g. William Mounce’s Greek and English Interlinear New Testament and The Greek New Testament [fourth edition by Aland, Metzger et al]. Most Greek lexicons define these same words (e.g. Thayer and Arndt-Gringrich) as meaning “six hundred and sixty six”…
- hexakosioi means “six hundred”
- hexekonta means “sixty”
- hex means “six”
For six hundred threescore and six (KJV) or666 (NKJV), J.P. Green and J. J. Griesbach (in his Diaglott) in their New Testament translations have the Greek letters “cxv” behind the words 666 as does Vincent in his lexicon (Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 2, p. 531).
As to why some New Testament Greek interlinears and lexicons simply have the Greek letters cxv, while others have the Greek words hexakosioi hexekonta hex/ éxakosioi éxhkonta éx, Vincent explains that in the earlier Greek New Testament manuscripts, it is written in full (i.e. éxakosioi éxhkonta éx) as opposed to just the letters cxv, which correspond to the Greek numbers (ibid.):
- hexakosioi/c = six hundred
- hexekonta/x= sixty
- hex/v= six
Curiously Strong’s Concordance lists the Greek words behind the English words six hundred threescore andsix (KJV) as cxv or chi xi stigma (Strong’s G5516). Chi/c is the twenty-second letter, xi/x is the fourteenth letter and sigma/v is the eighteenth letter of the Greek alphabet.
In those translations that list cxv as the Greek behind the words 666, the question is this: What is the last letter in this three letter word? It appears to be the letter sigma, which is eighteenth letter in the Greek alphabet and looks like this: v. However, Strong’s lists it as a stigma and defines this as “a non-existent letter in the Greek alphabet, and of this symbol says, “the primary meaning of stigma presumable derives from the primary word stizō (to ‘stick’, that is, prick); a mark incised or punched (for recognition of ownership), that is, (figuratively) scar of service.” Why Strong’s chose to call this letter a stigma instead of a sigma, is not explained. No other lexical reference that I could find calls the last letter of this word a stigma, but refers to it as a sigma.
So what is a Greek stigma? According to Wikipedia,
Stigma is a ligature of the Greek letters sigma/v and tau/t, which was used in writing Greek between the Middle Ages and the 19th century. It is also used as a numeral symbol for the number 6. In this unrelated function, it is a continuation of the old letter digamma…, which had served as a numeral since antiquity and was conflated with the…ligature in the minuscule handwriting of the Middle Ages.
The name, stigma, is originally a common Greek noun meaning “a mark, dot, puncture”, or generally “a sign”, from the verb (“puncture”); the related but distinct word stigme is the classical and post-classical word for “geometric point; punctuation mark”. Stigma was co-opted as a name specifically for the sign, evidently because of the acrophonic value of its initial st- as well as the analogy with the name of sigma. (ibid. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stigma_(letter))
It appears, based on the evidence presented below, that the Strong’s reference to the stigma, is an outdated and fanciful assumption that has nothing to do with the actual Greek biblical text.
Adding more confusion to the issue, The Complete Word Study Dictionary—New Testament by Spiros Zodhiates defines cxv differently than Strong’s G5516 as the Greek letters standing for 600 and 60 and 6 or 666. He goes on to explain that this is “[a]n enigmatic number found in Rev. 13:18. The number six, being the number of man, may indicate that 666 symbolizes the zenith of man’s power. This power is concentrated in the apocalyptic beast of Rev. 13:1–8 identified to many as the antichrist…According to the Genesis narrative, man was created on the sixth day. His appointed days of labor and toil are six. A Hebrew slave was to serve for six years. For six years the land was to be sown. Under the sixth seal, appalling and universal catastrophe upon mankind ensues. As the number seven denotes what is perfect or complete, six being short of that, signifies human imperfection and toil although a demonstration of human strength. It should also be noted that the image of gold set up by Nebuchadnezzar for his own glorification was sixty cubits long (Dan. chap. 3). Daniel 3 can be said to point forward to the even deeper and Satanic evil of Revelation 13. The one foreshadows the other. Thus we might say that the triple six is the fullest, highest development of man under direct satanic control. It is the combination of civil, religious and political power satanically inspired. It is, so far as man can do it, the complete setting aside of God as the Supreme Ruler” (ibid. p. 1478). Adam Clarke in his New Testament commentary also defines 666 as being the actual letters of the Greek alphabet with the last letter being a sigma with the whole phrase meaning “666.”
Some Bible students look to the Aramaic New Testament for help in understanding the meaning of the words behind 666, but no help beyond what we already know is to be found there. For example, George Lamsa in his Bible translated from the ancient Aramaic translates Revelation 18:13 as:
Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding decipher the code number of the beast: for it is the code number of the name of a man; and his number is six hundred sixty-six [with the following footnote: “This number represents the Aramaic letters which spell Nero Caesar, namely 50, 200, 6, 50, 100, 60, 200.” ]
John Ethridge, from the Aramaic Peshitta, translates Revelation 13:18 as,
Here is wisdom. Let him who hath mind, calculate the number of the beast of prey; for the number is of man; and his number is Six hundred and sixty and six.
James Murdock’s translation of the Peshitta:
Here is wisdom: let him that hath intelligence, compute the number of the beast of prey; for it is the number of a man: and its number is six hundred and sixty and six.
Now what is the origination of the letter-number correlation in Revelation 13:18’s 666? The reason for the letter-number correlation is that before the Arabs invented numerical figures in the tenth century, the ancients used the letters of the alphabet as numbers (Adam Clarke’s Commentary on the New Testament on Rev 18:13). “The Greeks in the time of Homer, or soon after, are thought by some to have assigned to their letters a numerical value corresponding to their order in the alphabet…” (ibid.).
On the subject of the number of the beast, David Stern, translator of The Complete Jewish Bible, writes in his Jewish New Testament Commentary,
In both Hebrew and Greek each letter of the alphabet corresponds to a number—the first nine letters correspond to 1 through 9, the next nine to 10 through ninety, and the last few letters to the hundreds.”
The number of a word or name is the sum of the numerical equivalents of it letters.…The number could be entirely symbolic. The name of the Messiah in Greek, Iesous, equals 888; seven is regarded as the perfect number; and triple repetition symbolizes absolute ultimacy (as Isaiah 6:3, “Holy, holy, holy is [YHVH] of Hosts.”). Therefore 888 means that Yeshua is absolutely and ultimately beyond perfection, while 666 means that the beast in every respect falls short of perfection and is therefore absolutely and ultimately imperfect and evil. (ibid., p. 829).
In conclusion as to the meaning of 666 and the identity of the individual to whom the numbers apply, Vincent sums up the confusion among Christian scholars in this regard as follows:
The interpretation of this number form a jungle from which escape is apparently hopeless. Reuss says, “This famous number has been made to yield almost all the historical names of the past eighteen hundred centuries [Vincent’s lexicon was published in 1886]…and it would not be difficult, on the same principles, to read in it one another’s names” (Vincent’s Word Studies in the New Testament, vol. 2, p. 531).
Revelation 14:6–7, Everlasting gospel…fear Elohim. These words of the everlasting gospel are reminiscent of the final words of the preacher in Ecclesiastes 12:13–14. What is that everlasting gospel? Revelation 12:17 and 14:12 tell us. It is the word of or keeping of the Torah-commandments of Elohim (the Old Testament) and adherence to the testimony and faith of Yeshua the Messiah (the New Testament).
Revelation 14:6 (also vv. 8 and 9), Another angel. The Greek word angelos like the Hebrew word malak can refer to a human messenger as well as a supernatural heavenly messenger. Could this verse be referring to human messengers whose message is being transmitted through the heavens via modern wireless telecommunications such as radio, television and satellite? The same could also be said of the succeeding angles of verses 8 and 9.
Revelation 14:15, The harvest of the earth. In the land of Israel, there are four main harvests:
- the early spring barley harvest
- the late spring wheat harvest
- the early fall grape harvest
- the late fall, early winter olive harvest
Each of these harvest are prophetic symbols of YHVH’s harvest of men’s souls. Here are some suggestions as to what each of these harvests may picture prophetically.
- The barley harvest speaks of Yeshua’s resurrection from the dead as the first of the first fruits and relates to Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread.
- The wheat harvest speaks of those who have been redeemed from the time of Yeshua until the present time and relates to the Feast of Weeks or Pentecost.
- The grape harvest speaks of those who will be redeemed at the end of the age prior to and immediately after the second coming and relates to the Feast of Tabernacles.
- The olive harvest speaks of those who will be redeemed toward the end of the millennium and relates to Hoshana Rabbah or the last great day of the Feast of Tabernacles.
Revelation 16:2, Men who had the mark. This may be a hint that here will be a group of people on earth during the bowl judgments who have refused to take the mark, or else why does this verse say that the sores came upon those who had the mark and worshipped the image of the beast? In all fascist systems, there have always been the resisters.
Revelation 16:15, Keeps his garments clean. (cp. Rev 3:14–22) This verse alludes to two of two categories of believers: those who watch and keep their garments clean, and those walked in nakedness and shame (who presumably aren’t watching or keeping their garments clean). There are garments of righteousness that YHVH clothes us with at the time of our initial salvation (Isa 61:10), but the garments of good works or righteousness are a result of our good works of Torah-obedience and which will determine our level of rewards in YHVH’s kingdom (Rev 19:7–9 cp 3:17–18; 2 John 1:8).
Revelation 16:16, They gathered. This verse says Satan’s armies will gather at Armageddon, not that the this is where battle by that name will occur.
Armageddon. This is the Greek rendition of the Hebrew Har Megiddo thought to refer to the hill or mountain of Megiddo located near the present day Jezreel Valley, also referred to historically as the Valley of Megiddo or the plain of Esdraelon located six miles from Mount Carmel and eleven miles from Nazareth. The name Megiddo derives from the ancient city by that name located nearby, which is now a tell. Many biblical scholars assume that the final battle between the forces of Antichrist and the Messiah will occur here near the valley. However, another possibility needs to be considered. Technically, no hill or mountain of any significance is located at this site, which begs the question, what is John referring to when he speaks of the “mountain of Megiddo”? The Hebrew name Megiddo means “place of crowds/assembly.” According to Michael Heiser, the Hebrew equivalent of Armageddon is Har Mo’ed or Mount of Assembly, which he believes can refer to no other place than the Temple Mount, which he maintains will be location of the final battle between the Messiah and his end-times demonic antagonists. After all, which piece of real estate on planet earth is at the center of more dispute between the spiritual forces of light and darkness than the Temple Mount (Reversing Hermon, p. 175)?
Revelation 17:1, Great harlot. This seems to be referring to a religious system that is larger than the Roman Catholic church and her Protestant daughters, or even a revived Islamic state or caliphate. How about a merging of the two: Chrislam? The Catholic Church has been making ecumenical overtures to Islam for years. The only way for the New World Order to achieve world peace may be to unite the world’s major religions at some level (how about the United Nations of Religions, which the Roman Catholic Church is now considering?). If Catholicism and Islam can unite in some bizarre way, then, no doubt, the Hindus and Buddhists (and the other smaller major world religions) may want to also join in on the game. The great harlot “sits on many waters” or peoples, and so this religious system involves many nations of the world.
Great harlot/whore. (Gr. megas pornay) Pornay is defined as “a woman who sells her body for sexual uses; a prostitute, a harlot, one who yields herself to defilement for the sake of gain; any woman indulging in unlawful sexual intercourse, whether for gain or for lust.” This whore can also be defined metaphorically as “an idolatrous woman.” In the ancient world, idolatry and sexual licentiousness were indivisible concepts and practices. Think Baal and Asherot, the major Canaanite deities that YHVH told the Israelites to destroy. The same aspects of Baal worship will be true in the end times Babylon the Great religious system among those who have given themselves over to this system.