The wild animal from the sea
1Then I saw a wild animal that was coming up out of the sea. It had 10 horns and there was a crown on each horn. The animal also had 7 heads. On each head there was a bad name that insulted God. 2The wild animal that I saw was like a leopard. But its feet were like a bear's feet and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. #13:2 A bear is a big, strong animal that has thick hair all over it. It moves more slowly than a leopard, but it also kills other animals. The dragon gave his own power and great authority to the wild animal. The animal became king in the dragon's place.
3Someone had cut one of the wild animal's heads badly. It seemed that it would die. But the animal's head had become well again. This surprised all the people who were living on the earth. As a result, they were ready to obey what the wild animal said. 4People worshipped the dragon because he had given his authority to the wild animal. They also worshipped the wild animal. They said, ‘Nobody is like this animal! Nobody is strong enough to fight against him!’
5The wild animal received authority to hurt people for 42 months. It could say it had great power. It could also speak bad things against God. 6So the wild animal began to insult God and to speak against God's name. It spoke against the place where God lives, and against all the people who live there in heaven. 7It received authority to fight a war against God's own people. It received power to win against them. It received power over people from every family group, people from every country and people from every language. 8Nearly all the people who live on the earth will worship the wild animal. But those people whose names are in the Lamb's book of life will not worship it. #13:8 The Lamb's book of life has the names of people who will live with God for ever. See Philippians 4:3, Revelation 3:5; 17:8; 20:12; 21:27. The Lamb wrote the names of these believers in his book from the beginning of the world. He is the Lamb that people killed as a sacrifice. #13:8 The wild animal from the sea seems to be like a false Jesus Christ. People killed Jesus, but God caused him to become alive again. This wild animal makes people believe that it also became alive again after death. But it is the Devil (the dragon or great snake) who gives the wild animal authority.
9Everyone who can understand should listen carefully to these words:
10‘If it is right for someone's enemy to catch him, that is what will happen.
If it is right for someone's enemy to kill him with a sword, that is what will happen.’
This means that God's people must be patient and strong. They must continue to trust God. #13:10 God's people must believe that God knows what will happen. Sometimes this is difficult for us to understand. But we should continue to trust God. He has all authority and he knows what is right for everyone.
The wild animal from the land
11Then I saw a second wild animal. This one was coming up out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb's horns. But it spoke like a dragon. 12It worked for the first wild animal and it used the authority the first wild animal. It made all the people on earth worship the first wild animal. That first animal was the one that someone had cut very badly. It seemed that it would die but it had become well again.
13The second wild animal did great miracles that surprised people. It even caused fire to come down from heaven to the earth. And everybody who was living on the earth saw the fire. 14This second animal received power to work for the first animal and to do great things. As a result, the people who lived on the earth believed its lies. It told them to make an idol and to worship it. This idol looked like the first wild animal. This was the one that a sword had cut badly, but it was still alive. 15The second wild animal received power to give life to the idol. As a result, the idol which looked like the first wild animal could speak. It said, ‘Anyone who refuses to worship me must die!’
16The second wild animal also caused everyone to receive a mark. They put the mark on each person's right hand or on the front of their head. They did this to everyone, great people and unimportant people, rich people and poor people, free people and slaves. 17Nobody could buy anything unless they had this mark on them. Nor could they sell anything. This mark shows the wild animal's name or the number of its name.
18You must think carefully so that you can understand this number. Anyone who is wise should try to understand what the wild animal's number means. It is a human number. The number is 666. #13:18 The wild animal from the land seems to be like a false prophet or a false Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit causes people to worship Jesus. This second wild animal causes people to worship the first wild animal. That first animal seems like a false Jesus. The Devil is trying to be like God.