The Beast Out of the Sea
1Then I saw a wild beast rising from the sea with ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten royal crowns, and on its heads were blasphemous names. 2It was like a leopard with feet like a bear’s, and its mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon shared his power, throne, and great authority with the wild beast.
3One of the heads of the wild beast seemed to have received a deathly wound, but the wound had been healed. After this, the whole world was filled with fascination and followed the wild beast. 4They worshiped the dragon because he had given the beast its ruling authority. They also worshiped the wild beast, saying, “Who is like the wild beast? And who is able to make war against him?”
5The wild beast was given a mouth to speak boastful and blasphemous words, and he was permitted to exercise authority for forty-two months. 6So the wild beast began to blaspheme against God, blaspheming his holy name and his dwelling place; that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7The beast was given the authority to wage war against the holy believers. And he was given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation. 8Everyone on earth will worship the wild beast—those whose names have not been written from the foundation of the world in the Book of Life of the Lamb who was slain.
9If anyone has been given ears to hear, he’d better listen! 10For the one who leads others into captivity, into captivity he goes. The one who kills others by the sword, by the sword he will be put to death. This is a call for the endurance and faithfulness of the holy believers.
The Beast from the Earth
11Then I saw another wild beast coming up from the ground. It had two horns like a ram, but it spoke like the dragon. 12It operated in all the authority of the first beast on its behalf, causing the earth and its inhabitants to worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. 13It performed great miracle-signs, even publicly causing fire to fall out of heaven to the earth. 14And through these startling miracles that he performed on behalf of the first beast, he deceived the world, telling the people to erect a statue in the image of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15The beast from the earth was empowered to breathe life into the image of the first beast so that it could speak and kill those who refused to worship its image. 16It also caused everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and bound, to be marked on the right hand or on the forehead. 17This meant no one could buy or sell unless they had the mark; that is, the name of the beast or its number.
18This will require wisdom to understand: Let the one with insight interpret the number of the wild beast, for it is humanity’s number—666.