17:8 was, and is not, and is about to rise. The description is a counterfeit of the sovereignty of God, which is proclaimed in 1:4, 8; 4:8. “And is not” indicates that persecution is at an ebb but will rise with renewed intensity in the future. The beast represents a repeated pattern of persecution, as did the four successive beasts of Dan. 7 (13:2 note).
book of life. See note 13:8.