The two beasts
1I looked and saw a beast coming up from the sea. This one had ten horns and seven heads, and a crown was on each of its ten horns. On each of its heads were names that were an insult to God.#Dn 7.3; Rev 17.3,7-12. 2The beast that I saw had the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon handed over its own power and throne and great authority to this beast.#Dn 7.4-6. 3One of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but now it was well. Everyone on earth marvelled at this beast, 4and they worshipped the dragon who had given its authority to the beast. They also worshipped the beast and said, “No one is like this beast! No one can fight against it.”
5The beast was allowed to boast and claim to be God, and for forty-two months it was allowed to rule.#Dn 7.8,25; 11.36. 6The beast cursed God, and it cursed the name of God. It even cursed the place where God lives, as well as everyone who lives in heaven with God. 7It was allowed to fight against God's people and defeat them. It was also given authority over the people of every tribe, nation, language, and race.#Dn 7.21. 8The beast was worshipped by everyone whose name wasn't written before the time of creation in the book of the Lamb who was killed.#13.8 wasn't written…was killed: Or “wasn't written in the book of the Lamb who was killed before the time of creation.”#Ps 69.28.
9If you have ears,
10If you are doomed#Jr 15.2; 43.11.
to be captured,
you will be captured.
If you are doomed
to be killed by a sword,
you will be killed
by a sword.
This means that God's people must learn to endure and be faithful!
11I now saw another beast. This one came out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. 12It worked for the beast whose fatal wound had been healed. And it used all its authority to force the earth and its people to worship that beast. 13It performed mighty miracles, and while people watched, it even made fire come down from the sky.
14This second beast fooled people on earth by performing miracles for the first one. Then it talked them into making an idol in the form of the beast that did not die after being wounded by a sword. 15It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so that it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death. 16All people were forced to put a mark on their right hand or forehead. Whether they were powerful or weak, rich or poor, free people or slaves, 17they all had to have this mark, or else they could not buy or sell anything. This mark stood for the name of the beast and for the number of its name.
18You need wisdom to understand the number of the beast! But if you are clever enough, you can work this out. Its number is six hundred and sixty-six, and it stands for a person.