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Bluefinger

Revelation 13 Decoded

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So, after many years of research, I think I have come to a satisfactory interpretation of the 13th chapter of Revelation. I will give a quick interpretation without explaining first, then if anybody disagrees or wants a better explanation, I can elaborate.

(vs. 1)The beast from the sea = The Ancient Roman Empire

(vs. 1) The ten horns with ten crowns = The first ten emperors of the Roman Empire

1. Octavian

2. Tiberius

3. Caligula

4. Claudius

5. Nero

6. Galba

7. Otho

8. Vitellius

9. Vespasian

10. Titus

(vs. 2) like a leopard, feet like a bear's, mouth like a lion's = massive dominion like the Greeks, military might like the Persians, and great authority like the Babylonians

(vs. 3)The wounded head = Roman Empire during the civil war also known as the year of four emperors, which began when Nero killed himself to appease the Senate.

(vs. 3) The wound healed = Vespasian taking control of the empire and restoring it to order.

(vs. 4) And they worshiped the dragon = War in Judea

(vs. 4) "Who can fight against it?" = Rome's victory over Judea in 70 CE and 74 CE.

(vs. 5-6) Mouth speaking blasphemous things = Domitian

(vs. 7) it was allowed to make war on the saints and conquer them = Domitian persecuting Christians at the time the Apocalypse was written.

(vs. 8) all who dwell on earth will worship it (the mouth) = Domitian's imperial cult-enforced tribunes

(vs. 10) Call for patience and endurance = The Roman Empire would persecute the saints for many years.

(vs. 11) The second beast = Diocletian's tetrachy.

(vs. 11) Two horns like a lamb but spoke like a dragon = Constantius Chlorus and Galerius.

(vs. 12) Exercises all the authority of the first beast in its presence = Constantius and Galerius were both made Caesars but answered to Diocletian and Maximian.

(vs. 12) Makes the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast = Galerius pushed to restore the Roman Empire to its old ways and old religion

(vs. 13) It performs great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth = The Oracle of Delphi was instrumental in Diocletian accepting Galerius' push to issue strict decrees. Upon the oracle's answer, Diocletian began issuing decrees that would persecute Christians

(vs. 14) told them to make an image for the beast that was wounded = Galerius pushed to restore the Roman Empire's old ways by enforcing pagan worship as an act of tribute

(vs. 15) And it was allowed to give breath to the image = imperial decrees as issued by Diocletian and enforced by Galerius

(vs. 15) and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain = first the persecution against the Manicheans and then against the Christians. The Diocletian Persecution was the worst persecution against Christians recorded.

(vs. 16) Also it causes all...to be marked on the right hand or forehead = Certificate of worship issued by the Roman tribunal

(vs. 17) so that no one can buy or sell unless he has the mark = Certificate was likely warranted before anybody was allowed to sell or buy, as a method of curbing Christianity.

(vs. 17-18) the name of the beast or the number of its name...666 = The name of Nero, whose empire almost fell when he died. Also first emperor to persecute Christians.

What do you think?

Edited by Bluefinger
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.

The beastly desire for world wide control and domination of humanity causes historical and ongoing turmoil, so that might be why it also mirrors the war machine and politics of today.

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What is to say

9Whoever has ears, let them hear.

10“If anyone is to go into captivity,

into captivity they will go.

If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword,

with the sword they will be killed.”[d]

isnt it like a formula upgrade? Saying one thing in way and repeating it in the exact understanding. It is very contrasting to what has just been stated above as an "interpretation". actually 9-10 is saying no interpretation is needed.

Could it be that John was in a spiritual state and has seen all of that and didnt need to or wasnt given a need to explain the details of that sight. Perhaps instead we shoud think how exactly someone can be in a state that he can not or will not fully explain its meanings. If he is given that sight why the further explanation is not given along with it directly.

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What is to say

9Whoever has ears, let them hear.

10“If anyone is to go into captivity,

into captivity they will go.

If anyone is to be killed[c] with the sword,

with the sword they will be killed.”[d]

isnt it like a formula upgrade? Saying one thing in way and repeating it in the exact understanding. It is very contrasting to what has just been stated above as an "interpretation". actually 9-10 is saying no interpretation is needed.

Could it be that John was in a spiritual state and has seen all of that and didnt need to or wasnt given a need to explain the details of that sight. Perhaps instead we shoud think how exactly someone can be in a state that he can not or will not fully explain its meanings. If he is given that sight why the further explanation is not given along with it directly.

Thanks for responding Thyra,

I believe that the passage is a quote from the Old Testament.

And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, ‘Thus says the Lord : “‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.’ (Jeremiah 15:2 ESV)

Jeremiah 15:2 was a statement toward the Jews because of what Mannasseh son of Hezekiah had done (how he sacrificed his firstborn, worshiped idols, committed injustice, and killed the prophets; especially Isaiah.)

But the passage in Revelation 13:10 is stated to be a call for faith and endurance of the saints. So the saints would be led captive and be killed by the sword. The Church in Smyrna was called to patiently endure, even unto death. So, its a dead give away that the mouth of the beast would persecute the saints. But Smyrna was called to endure only ten days. For Revelation 13:10, the saints aren't given a time frame, which leads me to believe that the persecution mentioned was going to go well beyond the mouth of the beast (Domitian.) And that is one reason I jump forward to Diocletian's tetrachy when interpreting the second beast.

Domitian ruled from 81 to 96. Diocletian ruled from 284 to 305. Domitian's persecution was said to last about 3 years, so that places us around 92 or 93 CE. The Diocletian persecution officially ended in 313 CE with the Edict of Milan. So you're talking about approximately 221 years of opposition toward Christians. Although typically sporadic in nature and dependent on location, the persecutions were persistent and consistent nonetheless.

Edited by Bluefinger

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A lot of OT poetry is like that -- make a statement and then say the same thing again in different or even the same words.

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Yes, I see that you understand them as historical facts. Could be. why not. god could also wish to talk about historical facts in a very covered manner. Still I would question the purpose. Instead of telling it openly, why this way? Thank you, I took your time.

Edited by thyra

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Yes, I see that you understand them as historical facts. Could be. why not. god could also wish to talk about historical facts in a very covered manner. Still I would question the purpose. Instead of telling it openly, why this way? Thank you, I took your time.

Freedom of speech wasn't an encouraged idea by those in power in those days. What was JC's official charge?

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Freedom of speech wasn't an encouraged idea by those in power in those days. What was JC's official charge?

makes sense. so they wanted to protect john by delivering the message in a covered manner?

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makes sense. so they wanted to protect john by delivering the message in a covered manner?

I think it's a fair assumption to think the author of Revelations (John of Patmos) was protecting the message, maybe even himself.

Without getting into the specifics of BlueFinger's breakdown, I always tend to lean more towards Revelations being a political satire more than a prophecy that would apply to our current or future times.

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I think you have a very interesting theory here. Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John? If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

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I think you have a very interesting theory here. Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John? If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

To keep a truth from falling victim to revisionist history. Some of those guys in that list were bat**** crazy.

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Ya know, sometimes I completely understand critics of Christianity: who would want to join a religion where the followers can barely understand their own sacred texts? Heck, they can't even agree on what it says after how many centuries? :unsure2:

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I think you have a very interesting theory here. Most of the timeline would be relevant to John, the supposed author of revelations but he would've been a very aged man by the time of Titus so I have always thought the author was someone other than John? If that is the case then this would be a very relevant timeline to the author but why write an apocalyptic book about historical events?

The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near. The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles. The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9. Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.) She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon. The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel. Perhaps that was the end that he said was near. The end of the times of the Jews.

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The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near. The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles. The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9. Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.) She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon. The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel. Perhaps that was the end that he said was near. The end of the times of the Jews.

I personally think these type of interpretations to be far more likely than the 'doom and gloom' scenarios. Not as popular, but far more likely.

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Ya know, sometimes I completely understand critics of Christianity: who would want to join a religion where the followers can barely understand their own sacred texts? Heck, they can't even agree on what it says after how many centuries? :unsure2:

I think many theologians find revelations to be a very enigmatic book and many have questioned why it was included in the

The book, I think, addresses the reason. because the end (an end to something) was near. The audience is also divided into two groups of people - Jews and Gentiles. The book addresses first the Jewish Nation from chapters 4-9. Then, in chapter 10, it begins talking about the mystery of God and then talks about John being commissioned to prophecy again, but this time about the Gentiles.

Revelation 12 alludes to this when it shows a woman with twelve stars clothed with the sun and having the moon beneath her feet, which is the ethnic Israel (see Genesis 37:9-10.) She ends up going to the wilderness where she isn't mentioned again for the rest of the book, leaving her offspring to deal with the dragon. The offspring, of course, are the Gentiles that believed the message of the apostles.

So perhaps John was the last of the sealed 144,000 mentioned in Revelation 7 and was turning everything over to the Gentiles that believed the message of the elect remnant of Israel. Perhaps that was the end that he said was near. The end of the times of the Jews.

I can see that. I think you have a pretty good theory but I am most definitely not a scholar of the bible and look forward to the more knowledgable than myself debate it with you.

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Ya know, sometimes I completely understand critics of Christianity: who would want to join a religion where the followers can barely understand their own sacred texts? Heck, they can't even agree on what it says after how many centuries? :unsure2:

If there is critic of an christianity in this regard, it only makes me think that they were too swift to make it and those who make the critic should also look at other holy books. They all have the same outlook. For some verses it is very difficult for large group of people to agree on a meaning and there might be rather controversial passages or passages with vague meaning. This is not a coincidence. It is a rather purposeful structure. it isnt like plain understanding or plain thirst. Such things will remain too weak for a spiritual understanding. Your cup of wishing to know god should be filled totally until you get to drink from it. You have to build on some real strong desire to acquire a pulling force towards such unimaginable "understandings" which is not an understanding of mind but more an experience of the soul.

Edited by thyra
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Congrats! You cracked the code of Revelation 13.

Here is something else for you to connect.

The Seven Hills of Rome (Italian: Sette colli di Roma, Latin: Septem montes Romae) east of

the river Tiber form the geographical heart of Rome, within the walls of the ancient city.

The seven hills are:

Aventine Hill (Latin, Aventinus; Italian, Aventino)

Caelian Hill (Caelius, Celio)

Capitoline Hill (Capitolium, Campidoglio)

Esquiline Hill (Esquilinus, Esquilino)

Palatine Hill (Palatinus, Palatino)

Quirinal Hill (Quirinalis, Quirinale)

Viminal Hill (Viminalis, Viminale)

The original city was held by tradition (mythology) to have been founded by Romulus on the

Palatine Hill.

Tradition holds that the seven hills were first occupied by small settlements and not grouped

or recognized as a city called Rome. The denizens of the seven hills began to participate in

a series of religious games, which started to bond the groups. The city of Rome, thus, came

into being as these separate settlements acted as a group, draining the marshy valleys

between them and turning them into markets (fora in Latin). Later, in the early 4th century

BCE, the seven hills were protected through the Servian Walls.

Of the seven hills of current Rome, five (Aventine, Caelian, Esquiline, Quirinal, and Viminal

hills) are populated with monuments, buildings, and parks. The Capitoline now hosts Rome's

city hall, and the Palatine Hill belongs to the main archaeological area.

The Vatican Hill (Latin Collis Vaticanus) lying northwest of the Tiber, the Pincian Hill

(Latin Mons Pincius), lying to the north, and the Janiculum Hill (Latin Ianiculum), lying to

the west, are not counted among the traditional Seven Hills.

I'll be rooting for you.

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If Revelation 13 were that complicated, no one will ever be able to understand.

When you hear or read something and it just fits like a piece of a puzzle in a way that settles the matter, eliminating all scripture that seem to contradict, then you have the truth.

Eventually it will be revealed what the 7 heads and 10 horns are on the beast (empire) that looks like a leopard with feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion; but right now it is not settled.

The thing that could be understood as Russia and Germany are the two symbols that are right there, the bear and the lion. The leopard, that's still unclear. Germany fits the description that one of his heads was wounded to death and the deadly wound was healed. After WWII Germany was so destroyed, it seemed to be dead forever to worldly influence and power. Today, to the astonishment of everyone who is old enough to remember just how poor and destroyed was Germany, it has come back to life. It is a real power in the European Union. The holocaust is evidence that the dragon (devil) did indeed give his power to Germany. It would seem the global strife in the economy will cause masses to worship this beast (empire) and say, "Who is like unto this empire" to come back from the verge of extinction and now is going to lead us and save us. Revelation says he will be given power for 42 months. So it is something forthcoming.

At the same time (verse 11), there is another beast (empire) that has 2 horns like a lamb but spoke like a dragon (devil) and endorses the first beast (Germany) that had the deadly wound and was healed. This second beast did not have a deadly wound to the head; but was also wounded by a sword but lived, (like to the body of the masses of people - not the head of the government like Germany). The Jews suffered immensely but it never looked like Jews as a people were dead. They were wounded but did live. This wound was not deadly and it was not to the head. This empire with one head but two horns like a lamb fits the description of the United States & Israel. What more represents the lamb in an empire than one with a lot in common with the Judeo/Christian background? This empire has all the power of the first beast.

This second beast (empire) brings fire down from heaven in the sight of men. The United States has already done that - - - the atomic bomb. Notice, this bomb did not come up from earth on a rocket. It came down from heaven from an airplane.

The number of this beast's (empire's) name is 666. UNITED=6 STATES=6 ISRAEL=6

There again, keep it simple. God didn't write Revelation so complicated that no one but a scholar could figure it out.

God bless us all is my prayer.

Edited by Copen
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Copen, the difficulties with your interpretation are:

- Why would John write about things that weren't relevant to the original audience?

- Why skip over Domitian and all the Roman emperors that persecuted the Christians in favor of Germany and Russia?

- Where in the rest of the book do you find justifications for your interpretations?

- It goes against the earliest commentary on the book of Revelation, such as Iranaeus', which have a higher dependability than interpretations that are 2,000 years removed from the original audience.

- It skips over the most relevant historical background of its time to favor something that can only be speculated.

- It supports futurism, which neglects the last two thousand years of Christian history in favor for a seven year period that will never come because futurists misinterpret Daniel 9:27.

It's too wild and there are too many holes. That's why I walked away from futurism. With futurism, anybody with wealth and money can be the antichrist. Anybody with German background can be the beast.

I agree with Green_dude, the reason why the symbols of the book were so hard to understand was so that nobody could add or take away from it so as to preserve its messages and to protect those who were caught with it in their possession by the Romans. But, now we can interpret the symbols, at least in this chapter.

Edited by Bluefinger
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Jesus told john to write 3 things. (1)things that John had seen (2)things which are (3)things which shall be hereafter.

Starting with Ch 4 is the future things that are after. So the beasts were future --- not remembering history so complicated and irrelevant to "things which must be hereafter. " must be hereafter --could not be things in the past.

Every time john is told by an angel "Come up here" he goes up to heaven like looking over a mountain to see what is coming.

Jesus told john to write 3 things. (1)things that John had seen (2)things which are (3)things which shall be hereafter.

Starting with Ch 4 is the future things that are after. So the beasts were future --- not remembering history so complicated and irrelevant to "things which must be hereafter. " must be hereafter --could not be things in the past.

Every time john is told by an angel "Come up here" he goes up to heaven like looking over a mountain to see what is coming.

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It's too wild and there are too many holes. That's why I walked away from futurism. With futurism, anybody with wealth and money can be the antichrist. Anybody with German background can be the beast.

Whats wrong with futurism? Isnt that how bible prophecy works anyhow? Why cant the past present and future be interconnected and therefore interchangeable? Therefore relevant of any era? To me that makes more sense. Nobody can be the antichrist except for the antichrist and that person is yet to be revealed for our times sake. Our woes are only beginning. God have mercy on our souls :innocent:

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Jesus told john to write 3 things. (1)things that John had seen (2)things which are (3)things which shall be hereafter.

Starting with Ch 4 is the future things that are after. So the beasts were future --- not remembering history so complicated and irrelevant to "things which must be hereafter. " must be hereafter --could not be things in the past.

I agree that John was told to write those things down. However, he wasn't told to write things that had been according to you, he was told to write things that he had seen. Chapters 4-9 cover that in regards to the war in Galilee, Judea and Jerusalem. Josephus wrote a very detailed description of what happened during that war.

The things that are were the messages to the seven churches who were experiencing the evolution from the times of the Jews to the times of the Gentiles.

Every time john is told by an angel "Come up here" he goes up to heaven like looking over a mountain to see what is coming.

Why is it, then, that in chapter 12 John sees a vision in heaven which actually begins in the past?

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Whats wrong with futurism? Isnt that how bible prophecy works anyhow? Why cant the past present and future be interconnected and therefore interchangeable? Therefore relevant of any era? To me that makes more sense.

I suppose. But I can't really be an authority on that. Nobody can, except maybe a bonafide prophet.

Nobody can be the antichrist except for the antichrist and that person is yet to be revealed for our times sake. Our woes are only beginning. God have mercy on our souls :innocent:

The problem with futurism is that futurists tend to anoint anybody as the antichrist. I've heard names from Clinton, to Obama, to Putin, to you-have-it. They don't realize it, but they are treading the fine line of prophecy interpretation and out-right slander (which we are told not to do.)

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In saying this, it's worth noting that I do not see myself an expert in various interpretations. I've read several views, but because of the ambiguity and alternative views I've not dedicated days and days to it. If events actually begin to resemble various interpretations I may begin to look again, but until then I prefer to take the overall theme that the author intended.

That is to say, above and beyond anything else, Revelation was written as an encouragement to believers. Whether about current affairs with Nero, or future affairs with the End Things, the author was writing to encourage those reading that God is still in control and will one day triumph, despite the hardships being confronted by believers. So remain faithful, remain strong - whatever its meaning, be encouraged by God.

That's the biggest thing I take from Revelation these days :yes:

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