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The Two Beasts

13 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. There was a crown on each horn. A name against God was written on each head. This beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear’s feet. He had a mouth like a lion’s mouth. The dragon gave the beast all of his power and his throne and great authority. One of the heads of the beast looked as if it had been wounded and killed. But this death wound was healed. The whole world was amazed and followed the beast. People worshiped the dragon because he had given his power to the beast. And they also worshiped the beast. They asked, “Who is as powerful as the beast? Who can make war against him?”

The beast was allowed to say proud words and words against God. He was allowed to use his power for 42 months. He used his mouth to speak against God. He spoke against God’s name, against the place where God lives, and against all those who live in heaven. He was given power to make war against God’s holy people and to defeat them. He was given power over every tribe, people, language, and nation. All who live on earth will worship the beast. These are all the people since the beginning of the world whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book of life. The Lamb is the One who was killed.

If anyone has ears, he should listen:

10 If anyone is to be a prisoner,
    then he will be a prisoner.
If anyone is to be killed with the sword,
    then he will be killed with the sword.

This means that God’s holy people must have patience and faith.

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, but he talked like a dragon. 12 This beast stands before the first beast and uses the same power that the first beast has. He uses this power to make everyone living on earth worship the first beast. The first beast was the one that had the death wound that was healed. 13 The second one does great miracles. He even makes fire come down from heaven to earth while people are watching. 14 This second beast fools those who live on earth. He fools them by the miracles he has been given the power to do. He does these miracles to serve the first beast. The second beast ordered people to make an idol to honor the first beast. This was the one that was wounded by the sword but did not die. 15 The second beast was given power to give life to the idol of the first one. Then the idol could speak and order all who did not worship it to be killed. 16 The second animal also forced all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 17 No one could buy or sell without this mark. This mark is the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Whoever has understanding can find the meaning of the number. This requires wisdom. This number is the number of a man. His number is 666.[a]

Footnotes

  1. 13:18 666 Some Greek copies read “616.”

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