Revelation 13 Expanded Bible (EXB)
The Two Beasts
13 Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea [C the sea was a symbol of chaos in the ancient world; Dan. 7:1–8]. It [or He] had ten horns [C symbols of power and strength] and seven heads [12:3], and there was a ·crown [diadem; royal crown; C indicating a king of evil] on each horn. A ·name against God [L blasphemous name; some manuscripts read the plural “names”] was written on each head. 2 This beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear’s feet and a mouth like a lion’s mouth. And the dragon gave the beast all of his ·power [authority] and his throne and great authority. 3 One of the heads of the beast looked as if it ·had been killed by a wound [had a fatal/mortal wound; L was slain to death; C an evil imitation of the Lamb that was slain; 5:6], but this ·death wound [fatal/mortal wound; L wound of its death] was healed [C a false imitation of the resurrection]. Then the whole world was amazed and followed the beast. 4 People worshiped the dragon because he had given his ·power [authority] to the beast. And they also worshiped the beast, asking, “Who is like the beast [Ex. 15:11]? Who can make war against ·it [or him]?”
5 The beast was ·allowed [L given a mouth] to say ·proud words [L great things; Dan. 7:8, 11, 20] and ·words against God [L blasphemies; Dan. 11:36], and it was allowed to ·use [exercise] its ·power [authority] for forty-two months [11:2]. 6 It ·used [opened] its mouth ·to speak [blaspheme] against God, against God’s name, against ·the place where God lives [his dwelling/tabernacle], and against all those who ·live [dwell] in heaven. 7 It was given ·power [authority] to make war against ·God’s holy people [T the saints] and to ·defeat [conquer] them. It was given ·power [authority] over every tribe, people, language, and nation [Dan. 7:21]. 8 And all who live on earth will worship ·the beast [L it; or him]—all the people since the ·beginning [foundation] of the world whose names are not written in the Lamb’s book [scroll] of life [3:5; 17:8; Ex. 32:32–33]. ·The Lamb is the One who was killed [or The Lamb who was killed/slaughtered before the creation/foundation of the earth]. [C Some commentators link the phrase “since the beginning/foundation of the world” with “all who live on the earth”; others link it with “written in the Lamb’s book of life”; and still others with “the Lamb who was slain.”]
9 Anyone who has ears should ·listen [hear; obey]:
10 If you are to be ·a prisoner [L taken into captivity],
This means that ·God’s holy people [T the saints] must have ·patience [perseverance; endurance] and faith.
11 Then I saw another beast ·coming up [rising] out of the earth [Dan. 7:17]. It [or He] had two horns like a ·lamb [or ram; Dan. 8:3], but it spoke like a dragon [C acting like a prophetic spokesperson for the dragon (see 16:13); along with the dragon and the first beast, this second beast forms an evil trinity]. 12 This beast ·stands before the first beast and uses the same power the first beast has [or uses all the authority of the first beast on its behalf]. By this ·power [authority] it makes ·everyone living on earth [L the earth and its inhabitants] worship the first beast, who had the ·death wound [fatal/mortal wound; L wound of its death] that was healed. 13 And the second beast ·does great miracles [performs great signs] so that it even makes fire come down from heaven to earth [1 Kin. 18:38; 2 Kin. 1:10, 12] ·while people are watching [L before people]. 14 It ·fools [deceives; tricks] those who live on earth by the ·miracles [signs; C these are counterfeit miracles] it has been given the power to do. It does these ·miracles [signs] ·to serve the first beast [L before/in the presence of the first beast]. The second beast orders [tells] people to make an ·idol [image] to honor the first beast, the one that ·was wounded by the deadly [L has the wound of the] sword but ·sprang to life again [lives]. 15 The second beast was ·given power [or allowed] to give ·life [breath; a spirit] to the idol of the first one so that the idol could speak. And the second beast was ·given power [allowed] to ·command [cause; make] all who will not worship the ·image [idol] of the beast to be killed. 16 The second beast also ·forced [caused; made] all people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to have a ·mark [brand; stamp; C to show allegiance to the first beast] on their right hand or on their forehead [compare 7:2–4; 14:1]. 17 [L So that] No one could buy or sell without this mark, which is the name of the beast or the number of its name [C Greek and Hebrew letters had a numerical equivalent, and so could represent names—a practice known as gematria]. 18 This ·takes [calls for; L is] wisdom [Dan. 12:10]. Let the one who has understanding ·find the meaning of [calculate; figure out] the number [L of the beast], which is the number of a ·person [or man]. Its number is 666[a] [C a symbolic number signifying imperfection and sin; some speculate it represents the name of a Roman emperor, perhaps Nero or Domitian].
Click the button below to continue.
Upgrade to the best Bible Gateway experience! With Bible Gateway Plus, you gain instant access to a digital Bible study library, including complete notes from the NIV Cultural Backgrounds Study Bible and the Believer's Bible Commentary. Try it free for 30 days!
Three easy steps to start your free trial subscription to Bible Gateway Plus.