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A First Monster

13 Then I saw a monster coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. Each of the ten horns was wearing a coronet, and blasphemous names were written on the heads. The monster I saw was like a leopard, with bear’s feet and a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave the monster its power and its throne and great authority. One of the heads appeared to have been slaughtered and killed, but its fatal wound had been healed. The whole earth was awed and astonished by the monster, and worshipped the dragon because it had given the monster its authority. They worshipped the monster too. ‘Who is like the monster?’ they were saying. ‘Who can fight against it?’ And the monster was given a mouth that speaks great, blasphemous words, and was given authority for forty-two months. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, to curse his name and his dwelling place – that is, those who dwell in heaven. It was granted the right to make war against God’s holy people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe and people and language and nation. So everyone who lived on earth worshipped it – everyone, that is, whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life belonging to the lamb who was slaughtered.

If anyone has ears, let them hear!

10 If anyone is to be taken captive, into captivity they will go. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, with the sword they will be killed. This is a summons for God’s holy people to be patient and have faith.

A Second Monster

11 Then I saw another monster coming up from the earth. It had two horns like those of a lamb, and it spoke like a dragon. 12 It acts in the presence of the first monster and with its full authority, and it makes the earth and those who live on it worship the first monster, whose fatal wound had been healed. 13 It performs great signs, so that it even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of people, 14 and it deceives the people who live on earth by the signs which it has been allowed to perform in front of the monster, instructing the earth’s inhabitants to make an image of the monster who had the sword-wound but was alive. 15 It was allowed to give breath to the monster’s image, so that the monster’s image could speak, and it could kill anyone who didn’t worship the monster’s image. 16 It makes everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free and slaves, receive a sign from it, marked on their right hands and on their foreheads, 17 so that nobody can buy or sell unless they have the mark of the name of the monster or the number of its name.

18 This calls for wisdom. Anyone with a good head on their shoulders should work out the monster’s number, because it’s the number of a human being. Its number is Six Hundred and Sixty-Six.