Revelation’s Dragon is the Roman Empire.

PURPOSE

This article identifies one of the main characters in the Book of Revelation; the Great Red Dragon, who gives power and authority to the Beast of Revelation. 

In the Book of Revelation, there are three beasts that each have seven heads and ten horns:

      • The Great Red Dragon (Rev 12:3),
      • The Beast that comes up from the Sea (the Sea Beast), (It is the mark of this Sea Beast that people will receive on their foreheads in the end-time. Rev 13:1, 16-17), and
      • The Scarlet Beast, on which the harlot sits (Rev 17:3).

Perhaps the Image of the Beast (Rev 13:15), since it is an image of the Sea Beast, also has seven heads and ten horns.

Given their strange appearances, they cannot be literal beasts. Since they all have seven heads and ten horns, they must be related. Since they are different beasts, they represent different things. This article series explains what these beasts are and how they relate. The purpose of the current article is specifically to identify the Dragon.

REVELATION EXPLAINS DANIEL

For the following reasons, Revelation’s seven-headed beasts are more detailed explanations of the series of animals in Daniel 7:

1. A General Principle

It is a general principle that later prophecies explain and expand on earlier prophecies.

Daniel 2 is the base prophecy. Daniel 7 explains it in more detail. Daniel 8 and Daniel 11 provide still further details. Since the Book of Revelation is grounded in Daniel’s prophecies, and given this general principle, Revelation’s beasts provide even further detail of the empires symbolized in Daniel. In other words, Revelation’s beasts are part of the empires in Daniel.

2. The same number of heads and horns

The animals in Daniel 7 have the same number of heads and horns as the beasts in Revelation. While the four animals in Daniel 7 have, in TOTAL, 7 heads and 10 horns, Revelation’s beasts EACH have 7 heads and 10 horns:

Daniel 7 uses four ferocious beasts as symbols for successive empires:

      • Lion (Dan 7:4)
      • Bear (Dan 7:5)
      • Leopard with four heads (Dan 7:6)
      • Dragonlike Beast, “dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong,” with 10 horns (Dan 7:7)

Horns – While the first three animals in Daniel 7 do not have horns, the fourth animal “had ten horns” (Dan 7:7). Revelation’s beasts also have 10 horns each.

The 10 horns in Daniel 7 is explained as that, “out of this kingdom ten kings will arise” (Dan 7:24). This is interpreted as that, while each of the first three empires will be replaced by one single empire, the fourth empire (identified in a previous article as the Roman Empire, see here) will fragment into “ten kings” (kingdoms). The number “ten” is possibly not exactly literal. (cf. Dan 1:20)

Heads – While the other three animals have one head each, Daniel’s third animal, the Leopard, has four heads (Dan 7:6). So, Daniel’s four animals have seven heads in total, equal to the number of heads of each of the beasts in Revelation.

Not the same heads and horns – This does not mean that the heads in Daniel symbolize the same things as the heads in Revelation. Neither are the horns in Revelation the same as the horns in Daniel. For example, Daniel’s fourth animal actually has 11 horns (Dan 7:8), and the 11th is the main character of Daniel. There is no such 11th horn in Revelation. See here for more differences between Daniel’s and Revelation’s heads and horns.

But the similarity does mean that Revelation’s beasts are:

      • Related to Daniel’s animals.
      • The same types of things as Daniel’s animals, namely kingdoms or nations (cf. Rev 17:9-12).
      • Part of the series of animals, heads, and horns in Daniel 7. 

3. Exist at the same time.

Both the animals in Daniel and the beasts in Revelation cover the entire Christan Age; from before Christ’s first advent until His Return.

Daniel 7 covers the entire Christian age. The animals cover the time from the ancient Babylonian to the Roman Empires:

Daniel 7 uses four ferocious beasts as symbols for successive empires, from the Babylonian to the Roman Empires (see here):

      • Lion (Dan 7:4) = Babylonian
      • Bear (Dan 7:5) = Medo-Persian
      • Leopard with four heads (Dan 7:6) = Grecian (Macedonian) Empire of Alexander the Great
      • Dragonlike Beast, “dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong” (Dan 7:7) = Roman Empire

The 11th horn, which grows out of the Roman Empire, then continues to exist until Christ returns (Dan 7:26-27).

The prophecy of Daniel 2 confirms that the 11th horn will exist until Christ returns (see here). While Daniel 7 describes the four animal-kingdoms as four separate entities, Daniel 2 combines them into a single symbol; the image of a man, containing four metals. Different body parts represent the successive kingdoms. The head of the man is the first (the Babylonian empire). The feet, described as a “divided kingdom” (Dan 2:41) are parallel to the horns that grow out of Daniel’s fourth animal, including the 11th horn. Then the entire ‘man’ is destroyed when Christ returns (Dan 2:44).

Revelation’s three seven-headed beasts exist at the same time as Daniel’s animals because they cover the period from before Christ’s birth (Rev 12:5) to His Return (Rev 19:11-20).

4. The Sea Beast looks like Daniel’s animals.

Revelation’s Sea Beast is described as having the appearance of a leopard, bear, and lion. These are the first three animals in Daniel 7. Furthermore, the Sea Beast receives its power, authority, and throne from a ‘dragon’, an apt description of Daniel’s fourth animal. This means that it inherited characteristics from each of those kingdoms.

Revelation’s Sea Beast “was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority” (Rev 13:2). These are the four beasts in Daniel 7.

Compared to Daniel 7, they are mentioned in reverse sequence, probably because the leopard (the Greek Empire) is the most recent ancestor of the Sea Beast.

This description means that the Sea Beast inherits something from each of the four beasts of Daniel 7, confirming the concept in Daniel 2 that these four kingdoms are different phases of the same thing.

Conclusion

For these reasons, Revelation’s seven-headed beasts provide further information about the empires and kingdoms in Daniel 7. Therefore, the articles on Daniel 7 (available here) form the foundation for interpreting Revelation’s seven-headed beasts.

THE DRAGON IS ROMAN

For the following reasons, Revelation’s Dragon symbolizes the Roman Empire:

1. It rules in the time of Jesus.

When it is first described, it waits for Jesus, ready to kill Him. But it fails, for Jesus was caught up to God (Rev 12:3-5). Since it symbolizes an earthly empire, and since Jesus walked this earth when the Romans reigned, it symbolizes the Roman Empire.

Great Red Dragon

When the Dragon is first described in Revelation, it stands before the woman, ready to devour her Child (that is, Jesus – see Rev 12:4) as soon as He is born. Here, it is described as having 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev 12:3). Since heads and horns represent “kings” (cf. Rev 17:9-10, 12) and since “kings” symbolize earthly kingdoms (Dan 7:17, 23), the Dragon symbolizes the earthly kingdoms through which Satan works. In the context of Jesus’ life on earth (Rev 12:5), the Dragon represents the specific earthly empire when Jesus walked this earth – the Roman Empire.

2. It is the fourth animal of Daniel 7.

A previous article identified Daniel’s fourth animal as the Roman Empire. This section shows that the Dragon is the same as that fourth animal. Therefore, it also symbolizes the Roman Empire:

The description of the birth of the Beast (Rev 13:1-2) reveals the Dragon as the fourth animal in Daniel 7:

It is part of the series of kingdoms in Daniel.

Firstly, the Dragon is part of the series of kingdoms in Daniel 7 because it has 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev 12:3), the same number of heads and horns as the animals of Daniel 7 have in total.

Specifically, it is equivalent to the fourth animal.

Secondly, more specifically, the Dragon is the fourth animal in Daniel 7 because:

(a) It is mentioned together with the first three animals of Daniel 7 (the lion, bear, and leopard):

The Sea Beast receives something from each of four animals (Rev 13:2). It receives its appearance from the first three of the four animals in Daniel 7, the lion, bear, and leopard (Rev 13:2; Dan 7:3, 5, 6) but receives “his power and his throne and great authority” from the Dragon (Rev 13:2).

(c) ‘Dragon’ is a good name for the fourth animal of Daniel 7:

Daniel 7 does not say what kind of animal the fourth animal is but describes it as “dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong, and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet” (Dan 7:7). Sounds like a dragon.

(d) Like Daniel’s fourth animal, it creates the Antichrist:

Both the 11th horn of Daniel 7 and Revelation’s Sea Beast are described as the Antichrist, God’s main enemy on earth, cursing God and persecuting His people (Dan 7:25; Rev 13:6-8). Furthermore, both will only be destroyed when Christ returns (Dan 7:26-27; Rev 19:20). Therefore, they are one and the same entity.

We further notice that both the Dragon and Daniel’s fourth beast create this Antichrist:

            • In Daniel, the 11th horn grows out of the fourth animal.
            • In Revelation, the Dragon gives the Sea Beast its throne, power, and authority.

Therefore, the Revelation’s Dragon and Daniel’s fourth animal are one and the same.

For that reason, since a previous article identified Daniel’s fourth animal as the Roman Empire (see here), the Dragon symbolizes the Roman Empire.

THE DRAGON IS SATAN.

In Revelation 12, in the context of the war in heaven, the Dragon is explicitly identified as Satan (Rev 12:7-9; cf. 20:2). That seems to contradict the conclusion above. But that is because Revelation 12 uses ‘Dragon’ as a symbol for Satan’s powers in a series of different wars with different participants.

The series of wars in Rev 12 begins before the birth of Christ and ends with the end-time persecution of God’s people. In every one of those wars, that chapter uses “dragon” as a symbol for Satan’s forces:

(A) First, the Dragon confronts the woman who is about to give birth to Christ (Rev 12:3-4). This woman here symbolizes God’s people before Christ’s birth.

(B) Once her Child is born, the Dragon attacks the Child but the Child is “caught up to God and to His throne” (Rev 12:5).

(C) After the Child has been caught up, war breaks out in heaven between the Dragon and his angels, and Michael and his angels (Rev 12:7).

(D) After the Dragon has been defeated in heaven and thrown down to earth, it again attacks the woman (Rev 12:13-14, 6). She now represents God’s New Testament people. (Verses 6 and 14 describe the same period; the “time and times and half a time”. See here.)

(E) After the Earth has helped the woman (Rev 12:16), the Dragon “went off to make war with the rest of her children” (Rev 12:17). This refers to the end-time war against God’s people.

Therefore, in Rev 12, ‘Dragon’ does not always signify the Roman Empire.

For example, during the “time and times and half a time” (Rev 12:14) referred to in (D) above, “Dragon” signifies Satan’s forces. However, the “time and times and half a time” is the same as the 42 months during which the Sea Beast has authority (Rev 13:5). In other words, during this period, “Dragon” serves as an alternative symbol for the Sea Beast and does not represent the Roman Empire.

Similarly, in the war in heaven, the Drogan cannot signify the Roman Empire.

While Revelation 12 describes a series of wars, always using ‘Dragon’ as the symbol for Satan’s forces, Revelation 13 describes some of those same wars in more detail, more specifically analyzing Satan’s forces between the Dragon, the Sea Beast, the Earth Beast (Rev 13:11), and the Image of the Beast (Rev 13:15).

Revelation 13:1-2, which describes the birth of the Sea Beast, distinguishes between the Dragon and the Beast so that the Dragon now specifically symbolizes the Roman Empire and the Beast the organization that continued the authority of the Roman Empire after it had fragmented into various nations. See – the next article.

But when the Dragon is described in Rev 12:3 as having 7 heads and 10 horns, it represents the earthly kingdoms through which Satan works.

In Revelation, as in Daniel, heads and horns, heads and horns symbolize the kingdoms of the world (Rev 17:9-12).


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FOOTNOTES

  • 1
    The Antichrist in Daniel, which is the same as the beast in Revelation, arises out of the Roman Empire; it is not Antiochus Epiphanes.
  • 2
    Discussion of the prophecy and the four main interpretations
  • 3
    Critical scholars teach that Daniel was written after the events it claims to predict.
  • 4
    The ultimate purpose of this website is to explain the mark of the beast.
  • 5
    Does Revelation describe events chronologically? Must it be interpreted literally? The temple in heaven, Christ’s Return, Hear/See Combinations, and the Numbers in Revelation
  • 6
    There was a book in heaven that not even Christ was able to read because it was sealed up with seven seals. But, by overcoming, He became worthy to break the seven seals and open the book.
  • 7
    This is the apex of Revelation, providing an overview of history from before Christ until the end-time, with emphasis on the end-time persecution.
  • 8
    These plagues will follow after the end-time Christian persecution and will be followed by Christ’s return. What is the purpose of these?
  • 9
    Revelation has three beasts with seven heads and ten horns each; a great red dragon, the beast from the sea, and a scarlet beast.
  • 10
    Babylon is mentioned only once in the first 15 chapters but the seventh and final plague targets her specifically. Then Revelation 17 and 18 explain who and what she is.
  • 11
    The conclusion that Jesus is ‘God’ forms the basis of the Trinity Doctrine.
  • 12
    The decision to adopt the Trinity doctrine was not taken by the church.
  • 13
    Including Modalism, Eastern Orthodoxy view of the Trinity, Elohim, and Eternal Generation
  • 14
    Discussions of the Atonement – How does God do away with sin?
  • 15
    How people are put right with God
  • 16
    Must Christians observe the Law of Moses?
  • 17
    Must Christians observe the Sabbath?
  • 18
    Are the dead still alive and aware?
  • 19
    Will the lost be tormented in hell for all eternity?
  • 20
    And why does God not make an end to all evil?
  • 21
    Key events that transformed the church into an independent religion
  • 22
    When? How? Has His return been delayed?
  • 23
    I do not have any formal theological qualifications and I am not part of any religious organization. These articles are the result of my studies over many years.

The Beast of Revelation is the eleventh horn of Daniel.

PURPOSE

The ultimate goal of this website is to identify the Mark of the Beast. For that purpose, it must first identify the Beast.

There are several beasts in Revelation (Rev 11:7; 13:1, 11; 17:3) There is also an Image of the Beast (Rev 13:14), which might also be a beast, and which is the real end-time persecutor of God’s people (Rev 13:15). So the question is, which of these beasts is ‘The Beast’? Revelation 13 shows that it is the Beast from the Sea (Rev 13:1). However, to understand this Beast fully, one must also understand how it relates to the other beasts in Revelation. 

This article identifies the Sea Beast by analyzing Rev 13:1-2.

It assumes the previous article, which identifies the Dragon as the Roman Empire, has been read (see here).

The Beast from the Sea.

Revelation 13:1-2 describes a beast coming out of the sea with seven heads and ten horns. It receives its appearance and power from four other animals; a leopard, a bear, a lion, and a dragon.

1. And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore.
Then I (John) saw a beast coming up out of the sea,
having ten horns and seven heads,
and on his horns were ten diadems,
and on his heads were blasphemous names.

2. And the beast which I saw was like a leopard,
and his feet were like those of a bear,
and his mouth like the mouth of a lion.
And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

John first describes the horns and heads and then the beast’s body. Perhaps, as the beast rose from the sea, John first saw the horns, then the heads, and then the body.

“Diadems” is an untranslated Greek word, meaning crowns of rulers, in contrast to the victory crowns of the Olympics [stephanoi], which is also used often in Revelation, for example, “the crown (stephanos) of life” (Rev 2:10).

The beast received its “power … throne and great authority” from the dragon (Rev 13:2). Another article identifies the Beast’s throne.

The Dragon stood on the sand.

According to some older translations, such as the King James, it is John who stood on the sand of the sea in verse 1, but the earliest manuscripts of Revelation and the context show it is the dragon. In Rev 12, the dragon suffered a series of defeats. In 13:1, it stands on the seashore, waiting for reinforcements. 

The earliest manuscripts of Revelation read “he,” which would refer to the dragon mentioned in the previous verse (Rev 12:17). Therefore, in modern translations, the dragon stood on the sand. Such a translation also fits the storyline better:

In Revelation 13, the Dragon, the Sea Beast, and the Land Beast work together (e.g., Rev 13:4; 13:11-12). If it is the Dragon who stood on the sand of the seashore, then it tells us how the three came together:

In Revelation 12, after the Earth had come to protect the woman against the Dragon, the Dragon “went off to make war with the rest of her children” (Rev 12:17). It goes to the seashore to secure reinforcements. From the vantage point of the “seashore,” it is first joined by the beast from the sea (Rev 13:1) and later by a beast from the earth (Rev 13:11).

DANIEL’S 11th HORN

The Sea Beast is Daniel’s 11th horn.

Using animals as symbols, Daniel 7 describes four successive ‘worldwide’ kingdoms. The fourth has been identified as the Roman Empire. (See – here) Out of it grows 10 horns. Then an 11th horn comes up that uproots three of the others and become the Antichrist, cursing God and persecuting His people. But it will be destroyed when Christ returns.

For the following reasons, Revelation’s Sea Beast and Daniel’s 11th horn symbolize the same world power.

The Strong Allusions

The strong allusions in the description of the Sea Beast to the animals of Daniel 7 imply that the Sea Beast is part of the series of kingdoms in Daniel 7:

1) Both the Sea Beast and the animals in Daniel 7 come up out of the sea (Dan 7:3).

2) In the description of the Sea Beast (Rev 13:2), four animals are mentioned. There are also four animals in Daniel 7.

3) The Sea Beast has characteristics of three animals (a lion, a bear, and a leopard) (Rev 13:2) and these are explicitly the first three animals in Daniel 7 (Dan 7:4-6).

4) The Sea Beast has the same number of heads and horns as the four animals of Daniel 7 have in total, namely, 7 heads and 10 horns (Rev 13:1). (See – here)

These allusions are perhaps the strongest allusions to the Old Testament one would find anywhere in the Book of Revelation. They are not a coincidence but imply that the Sea Beast is part of and provides additional information about the series of beast-kingdoms in Daniel.

Crowns on its horns.

While the crowns on the heads of the Dragon mean that it rules during the time of the heads of Daniel 7, the crowns on the horns of the Sea Beast indicate that it rules during the time of the horns.  

While the Dragon has diadems (ruler crowns) on its heads, the Sea Beast has diadems on its horns (Rev 12:3; 13:1). The allusions to Daniel 7, as listed above, require us to interpret these crowns in terms of Daniel 7. In that chapter, there first are four animals with seven heads in total. Then follows ten horns. Therefore:

The crowns on the heads of the Dragon imply that it rules during the time of the heads in Daniel 7. Since the seven heads are kingdoms and subdivisions of kingdoms, the Dragon exists during the time of the four kingdoms. More specifically, as already stated, the Dragon is Daniel’s fourth kingdom.

The crowns on the horns of the Sea Beast mean that it exists during the time of the horns of Daniel 7.

Succeeds the Roman Empire.

Both the Evil Horn of Daniel 7 and the Sea Beast succeed the Roman Empire, continue the power and authority of that Empire, and rule the whole world.

The Evil Horn – In Daniel 7, the fourth animal symbolizes the Roman Empire. (see here) The ten horns that grow out of it (Dan 7:7, 24) are the kingdoms into which the Roman Empire fragmented in the fifth and later centuries. The ten horn-kingdoms existed at the same time while the Roman Empire continued to exist. But then the 11th horn grows up out of the Roman Empire and uproots three of the others. It is the final fragment of the Roman Empire. Therefore, the Roman Empire existed until the final horn rose up. But after it rose up, the fourth animal (the Roman Empire) is no longer mentioned because it no longer exists. It is also the main successor for it becomes the undisputed ruler of the whole world. In summary, the 11th horn is the final and main remnant and continuation of the Roman Empire.

The Sea Beast – The same applies to the Sea Beast in Revelation. The Sea Beast receives its power and authority from the Dragon (Rev 13:2) and becomes the undisputed ruler of the whole world. Once the Sea Beast arises from the sea, the Dragon is no longer active. It is the Sea Beast that persecutes God’s people. A previous article identified the Dragon as the Roman Empire (see here). Therefore, like the 11th horn, the Sea Beast:

      • Is the successor of the Roman Empire,
      • Is the continuation of the power and authority of the Roman Empire in a new form,
      • Becomes the undisputed ruler of the whole world, and 
      • Rules after the demise of the Roman Empire.

The Antichrist

Both the 11th horn and the Sea Beast are God’s main enemies on earth and both exist until Christ returns.

In Daniel 7, the main character is the 11th horn. It grows and becomes larger than all the other horns (Dan 7:20, 24). It becomes God’s main enemy on Earth. It will become so important that a court will sit in heaven to judge between it and God’s people (Dan 7:26, 9-11, 14), and it will only be destroyed when Christ returns (Dan 7:26-27). The 11th horn, therefore, begins to exist when the Roman Empire fragments and continues to exist until Christ returns.

In Revelation, the Sea Beast is God’s main enemy. In the end-time crisis, the Mark of the Beast, which is the identifying mark of the Sea Beast, is put on the foreheads of God’s enemies. This mark is the name of the Sea Beast or the number of his name (Rev 13:16-17).

Therefore, both the 11th horn and the Sea Beast: 

      • Blaspheme God (Dan 7:8, 11, 20; Rev 13:5-6).
      • Overpower the saints (Dan 7:21, 25; Rev 13:7).
      • Persecute the saints for “a time, times, and half a time” (Dan 7:25; Rev 13:5). [As discussed elsewhere, the 42 months (Rev 13:5) is the same as the “time, times and a half.” (“A time, times, and half a time” = 3½ times or years = 42 months.)]
      • Exist during the end-time crisis.
      • Are destroyed when Christ returns (Dan 7:26-27, 11; Rev 19:11, 20).

These similarities identify them as one and the same entity.

Conclusions

The Sea Beast and Daniel’s 11th horn symbolize the same world power. Consistent with the general principle that Revelation is built on the foundation of the Book of Daniel and explains Daniel’s symbols in more detail, the Sea Beast is a fuller explanation of Daniel’s 11th horn. It is a human organization that was formed after the Roman Empire fragmented. It continued the power and authority of that Empire, but it is specifically the Antichrist, cursing God and persecuting His people.

A Human Organization

The beast comes out of the sea (Rev 13:1). The sea is equivalent to “the earth” (Dan 7:2, 17), symbolizing the people of the world. In other words, the animals in Daniel are organizations of the people of the world. By implication, the sea in Revelation 13:1 also represents the peoples of the world and the Sea Beast is another human organization.

Formed after the Roman Empire fragmented.

As stated, Daniel’s fourth animal is the Roman Empire (See Daniel’s animals). The 11 horns are the kingdoms into which the Roman Empire fragmented from the fifth century. The 11th was the last of the horns to come into existence. Since the Sea Beast is the 11th horn, it began to exist after the Roman Empire fragmented. Rev 13:1-2, describing the Sea Beast coming up out of the sea, is the beginning of its existence. 

Continued the Authority of the Roman Empire.

The Sea Beast is different from the other horns. Since the Dragon symbolizes the Roman Empire, and since the Dragon gave the Sea Beast its power and great authority (Rev 13:2), the Sea Beast is uniquely the continuation of the authority of the Roman Empire.

Is the Antichrist.

But the Sea Beast (and the 11th horn) are specifically the Antichrist, cursing God and persecuting His people. That implies it is a religious organization, for only a religious organization is able to identify and persecute God’s true people.

The Scarlet Beast

We have already seen that Revelation’s Dragon is Daniel’s fourth animal and that the Sea Beast is the 11th horn that grew out of Daniel’s fourth animal. The Scarlet Beast explains these beasts further.

Revelation has three beasts with seven heads and ten horns each; the Dragon, the Sea Beast, and the Scarlet Beast of Revelation 17. (See here.) All three of them are further explanations of the animals in Daniel. The Scarlet Beast does not symbolize a specific organization but provides an overview of the entire series of beast-kingdoms represented by the visions. It particularly shows that religious authorities (the harlot) always rule over the civil powers.

This is only a preliminary identification of the beast based on the first two verses of Revelation 13. The beast is identified more specifically in other articles in this series (see here).

HEADS AND HORNS

Not the same

A common mistake is the assumption that the seven heads and ten horns in Revelation are the same as the seven heads and ten horns in Daniel. They are not.

The horns are not the same.

There are several differences between the horns in Daniel and Revelation. For example, in Daniel, there are 11 horns, not 10, and the most important horn is the 11th horn. It becomes the Antichrist. There is no such 11th horn in Revelation. 

The following are further differences:

In Daniel, there first are 10 horns. Then an 11th comes up, and uproots three others (Dan 7:8), leaving 8 horns standing. In Revelation, the ten horns are united (Rev 17:12-13).

While the ten horns in Daniel 7 symbolize the kingdoms into which the Roman Empire fragmented, the ten horns in Revelation are limited to the end-time. They will, for example, make an end to the harlot (Rev 17:16), which symbolizes false religion or false Christianity.

The ten horns in Revelation are described in Revelation 17:12-17 and there is no similarity with the ten horns in Daniel 7.

The heads are not the same.

For example, in Revelation, the sixth head exists after five “have fallen” (Rev 17:10). In contrast, in Daniel, the sixth head exists at the same time as the previous three heads.

 To explain:

In Daniel, we first have the lion with one head, then the bear with one head, and then the leopard with four heads. The sixth head, therefore, is the fourth head of the leopard. But the four heads of the leopard symbolize the four parts of the Greek Empire, and they existed simultaneously. The last one does not exist after the others have fallen.

Revelation gives new meanings.

Revelation takes things from the Old Testament but gives them new and different meanings.

For example, in the Old Testament, the ancient city of Babylon was built on the banks of the river Euphrates. In Revelation, Babylon becomes the name for the Harlot and the Euphrates becomes “the waters which you saw where the harlot sits,” symbolizing “peoples and multitudes and nations and tongues” (Rev 17:15).

In the same way, the heads and horns in Daniel receive different meanings in the book of Revelation:

In Daniel 7, the Seven Heads represented specific kingdoms and parts of kingdoms. The Ten Horns are the various nations into which the Roman Empire fragmented. See, the Fall of Rome.

In Revelation, the heads and horns have lost their original literal meaning and become symbols:

The Seven Heads symbolize the seven phases of history from Babylon until Christ’s Return. (See here.)

The Ten Horns symbolize the end-time coalition of the world kingdoms (Rev 17:12-13). Contrary to the typical artist’s representation of these beasts, all ten horns are on the seventh and final head.


SUMMARY

The Beast is the eleventh Horn.

In Revelation 12, the Dragon suffered a series of defeats. In 13:1, it goes to the seashore, expecting reinforcements. The sea symbolizes the people of the world. A Beast comes up from the sea. It has seven heads and ten horns and receives its appearance and power from four animals; a leopard, a bear, a lion, and a dragon. These are the four animals of Daniel 7.

Using animals as symbols, Daniel 7 describes four successive ‘worldwide’ kingdoms. The fourth has been identified as the Roman Empire. Out of it grows 10 horns. They symbolize the kingdoms into which the Roman Empire fragmented. Then an 11th horn comes up, uproots three of the others, grows exceedingly strong, and becomes the Antichrist, cursing God and persecuting His people. It will only be destroyed when Christ returns.

For the following reasons, Revelation’s Sea Beast and Daniel’s 11th horn symbolize the same world power:

(A) The strong allusions in the description of the Sea Beast to the animals of Daniel 7 imply that the Sea Beast is part of the series of kingdoms in Daniel 7.

(B) While the crowns on the heads of the Dragon mean that it rules during the time of the heads of Daniel 7, the crowns on the horns of the Sea Beast indicate that it rules during the time of the horns of Daniel 7.

(C) Both the Evil Horn of Daniel 7 and the Sea Beast succeed the Roman Empire, continue the power and authority of the Roman Empire, and rule the whole world.

(D) Both the 11th horn and the Sea Beast are God’s main enemy on earth and both exist until Christ returns.

In conclusion, both the Sea Beast and the eleventh Horn symbolize the Antichrist. Consistent with the general principle that Revelation is built on the foundation of the Book of Daniel and explains Daniel’s symbols in more detail, the Sea Beast is a fuller explanation of Daniel’s 11th horn. It is a human organization that was formed after the Roman Empire fragmented. It continued the power and authority of that Empire, but it is specifically the Antichrist, cursing God and persecuting His people.

Heads and Horns

A common mistake is the assumption that the seven heads and ten horns in Revelation are the same as the seven heads and ten horns in Daniel. They are not:

There are several differences between the horns in Daniel and Revelation. For example, in Daniel, there are 11 horns, not 10, and the most important horn is the 11th horn. It becomes the Antichrist. There is no such 11th horn in Revelation. 

The heads are also not the same. For example, in Revelation, the sixth head exists after five “have fallen” (Rev 17:10). In contrast, in Daniel, the sixth head exists at the same time as the previous three heads.

Revelation takes things from the Old Testament but gives them new and different meanings. The Seven Heads symbolize the seven phases of history from Babylon until Christ’s Return. The Ten Horns symbolize the end-time coalition of the kingdoms of the world.


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