The Seven Heads are Daniel’s 4 beasts plus the 3 phases of the 11th horn.

PURPOSE OF THIS ARTICLE

There are three beasts in Revelation with seven heads each. The article on the Seven-Headed Beasts identifies them as follows:

    • The Dragon (12:3) is the Roman Empire.
    • The Sea Beast (13:1) is another symbol for the 11th horn that grows out of the Roman Empire.
    • The Scarlet Beast on which the harlot sits (17:3) is not a specific organization but symbolizes the political governments of the world in general. They are always dominated by false religion (symbolically, sat on by Babylon).

Another article concluded that these three beasts are three of the seven heads. (These two articles should be read before the current one.) The purpose of the current article is to identify all seven heads. 

The NASB translation of Revelation 17 explains the seven heads as seven consecutive kings:

“The seven heads are seven mountains
on which the woman sits,
and they are seven kings;
five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come;
and when he comes, he must remain a little while”
(Rev. 17:9-10).

SUMMARY OF THIS ARTICLE

FIVE FOUNDATIONAL PRINCIPLES

      1. Revelation 17:9-10, quoted above, explains the seven heads as seven “kings” that reign one after the other.
      2. In Daniel, and therefore in Revelation, a king represents a kingdom or even an entire empire.
      3. Since each of the three beasts has exactly seven heads and ten horns, the three beasts share the same seven heads.
      4. In reality, there is no beast.  Only the heads exist.  The beast is simply the sum of the heads. The seven heads are seven consecutive phases of Satan’s oppressive rule on earth.
      5. The heads of the beast must be limited to the beasts in Daniel. The first kingdom, therefore, must be the ancient Babylonian Empire, and not Assyria, as some interpreters suggest. 

FIRST FIVE HEADS

The comparison of the beasts in Daniel 7 and Daniel 8 identifies the four beasts of Daniel 7 as follows:

      • Babylonian Empire
      • Medo-Persian Empire
      • Greece
      • Roman Empire

Based on the principles above, these are the first four of the seven heads.

Great Red DragonPrevious articles in this series in another way confirm that the dragon is one of the heads. One article identifies the Dragon, WHEN it stands before the woman, ready to kill Jesus as soon as He is born, as the Roman Empire.  Another article concluded that the beasts of Revelation are three of the seven heads. It follows that the Roman Empire is one of the seven heads.

The article on the Seven-Headed Beasts identifies the Sea Beast as another symbol for the 11th horn that grows out of Daniel’s fourth kingdom, which has been identified as the Roman Empire.  This organization is the main anti-God power in both Daniel and Revelation. For that reason, we count the 11th horn as a fifth “kingdom” in Daniel 7. On that basis, the 11th horn is the fifth head. The first five heads, therefore, are:

      1. Babylonian Empire
      2. Medo-Persian Empire
      3. Greece
      4. Roman Empire
      5. The 11th horn that grows out of the Roman Empire

LAST TWO HEADS

According to Revelation 13:3-4, the fifth kingdom (the Sea Beast or 11th horn) goes through three phases :

1. ALIVE – It exists for a time.
2. DEAD – After receiving a deadly wound.
3. ALIVE – It recovers from the fatal wound).

Revelation 17:9 identifies that the DEAD period as the sixth head.  We, therefore, have the following seven heads/kingdoms:

      1. Babylonian Empires;
      2. Mede-Persian Empire;
      3. Greece;
      4. Roman Empire;
      5. 11th horn that arose from the Roman Empire;
      6. 11th horn mortally wounded (13:3) / In the abyss (17:8);
      7. 11th horn resurrected (13:4); This is when the False Prophet arises “out of the earth” (13:11).

 – END OF SUMMARY – 

SEVEN HILLS OF ROME

In the NASB translation quoted above, the seven heads are explained as seven mountains and as seven kings.  In the popular Preterist interpretation—generally the view of academics:

      • The seven heads are seven mountains, which are the Seven Hills of Rome.
      • The seven kings are not related to the seven mountains but symbolize seven literal Roman emperors. 

The KJV and NKJV translations do give the impression that the kings in verse 10 are different from the heads or mountains in verse 9, upon which the woman sits:

AND THERE are seven kings” (KJV);
THERE are ALSO seven kings” (NKJV).

However, the words “there” and “also” in the KJV and NKJV translations do not exist in the Greek.  The NASB translation, therefore, is to be preferred. In the NASB, the heads do not exist all at the same time, like the seven hills of Rome, but one after the other. 

MOUNTAINS ARE KINGDOMS

This conclusion can be supported by noting that the Bible often uses mountains as symbols for kingdoms and their kings (Isaiah 2:2-3; Jeremiah 17:3; 31:23; 51:24, 25; Ezekiel 17:22-23; Zech. 4:7).  In Habakkuk 3:6, the mountains are the nations that God scattered. 

The stone in Daniel 2 becomes a great mountain (Dan 2:34-35).  This is explained as “a kingdom which will never be destroyed” (Dan 2:44). Also:

In the last days the mountain of the house of the LORD will be established as the chief of the mountains, And will be raised above the hills, And all the nations will stream to it” (Isa 2:2 NASB). 

The seven heads, the seven mountains, and the seven kings, therefore, all refer to the same seven things.

PRINCIPLES TO IDENTIFY THE SEVEN HEADS

KINGS ARE EMPIRES.

As discussed in a previous article, in prophetic symbolism, the term “king” represents a “kingdom” or even a world empire, consisting of many kingdoms.

ONE AFTER THE OTHER

Revelation 17:10 (quoted above) explains the seven heads as seven kings (kingdoms) that reign one after the other.

THE SAME SEVEN EMPIRES

Since each of the three beasts has exactly seven heads and ten horns, the three beasts share the same seven heads, pointing to the same seven world empires

THE BEAST IS THE SUM OF THE SEVEN HEADS.

As also discussed in a previous article, apart from the seven heads, there is no beast.  It is only the heads that exist.  The beast is simply the sum of the headsConversely, the seven heads are seven consecutive phases of Satan’s oppressive rule. Everywhere that Revelation says that a beast does something, it is one of the heads (kings) that are doing it.   

ONLY FROM DANIEL

Many interpreters find heads by looking at empires that precede the ancient Babylonian Empire.  It is proposed here that such a procedure is inconsistent with the principle that Revelation is built on Daniel.  According to this principle, ONE SHOULD NOT LOOK OUTSIDE DANIEL for the interpretation of the heads. 

This approach is confirmed by the fact that the beasts of Revelation all have 7 heads and 10 horns, while the beasts in Daniel 7 also have, IN TOTAL, 7 heads and 10 horns. This implies a close relationship between the beasts of Daniel and Revelation. The beasts in Revelation are a continuation of the beasts in Daniel. 

That, however, does not mean that the seven heads of the beast in Revelation are the same as the seven heads in Daniel 7.  For example, Daniel’s third empire (Greece) had four heads (Dan 7:6).  If the seven heads of Revelation’s beast were the same as the seven heads of the beasts of Daniel 7, then the third to sixth heads would be the four Grecian empires, which existed simultaneously.  This would be inconsistent with Revelation 17:10 which indicates that the sixth head follows in time after the fifth.

FIRST FIVE HEADS

Based on the principle that we should identify the heads from the beasts in Daniel, the first kingdom must be the ancient Babylonian Empire and not Assyria.  Then, based on the principles above, the four beasts in Daniel 7 are the first four heads.  They are:

      • Babylonian Empire
      • Medo-Persian Empire
      • Greece
      • Roman Empire (See the article on Daniel 7)

DRAGON

Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon, which is one of the three beasts with seven heads (Rev. 12), as Satan. However, that is in the context of the war in heaven.  When it stands before the woman, ready to devour Christ as soon as He is born, it has seven heads (12:3-4).  That means that, in that context, it is an earthly power.  It then must be the Roman Empire, for that empire ruled when Jesus was born. 

Based on the principle that the beasts of Revelation are heads, this confirms that the Roman Empire is one of the seven heads.

SEA BEAST

The beast that comes out of the sea, with its seven heads (13:1) inherits its characteristics from four other animals:

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.  (Rev 13:2 NASB)

The leopard, bear, and lion are explicitly the first three animals in Daniel 7 (7:3-5).  Daniel 7 does not say what kind of animal the fourth is but describes it as “dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong” (Dan 7:7).  However, for the following reasons, Revelation’s “dragon” is the fourth beast in Daniel 7:

      • It is mentioned together with the first three beasts of Daniel 7.
      • The description of the fourth beast in Daniel 7 (“dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong”) sounds like a dragon. 

The Sea Beast, therefore, inherits something from each of the four beasts in Daniel.  For that reason, as argued in the article on The Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation, the Sea Beast is the same as the 11th horn that grows out of Daniel’s fourth empire (the Roman Empire).  These are two different symbols for the same power; the Antichrist. Since it is the main anti-God power in both Daniel and Revelation, and we must regard it as a separate kingdom.  Furthermore, since the beasts of Revelation are heads of the beast, the 11th horn (the sea beast) is the fifth head.

LAST OF THE SEVEN HEADS

Revelation 13 mentions something about the Sea Beast which Daniel does not say about the 11th horn, namely that this beast receives a deadly (13,3), but recovers from that wound to become Satan’s primary agent on earth.  It is the mark of this beast which people will receive in the end-time (13:16).  The deadly wound implies three phases:

1. ALIVE – It exists for a time before receiving the wound.
2. DEAD – After receiving the deadly wound.
3. ALIVE – After it recovers from the fatal wound.

Revelation 17 identifies the wound-period as the sixth head:

Revelation 17:8-10 explains both the seven heads and the beast in terms of the past, the present, and the future:

PAST PRESENT FUTURE
BEAST WAS IS NOT /
IN ABYSS
COME UP FROM ABYSS
HEADS FIVE WAS ONE IS OTHER HAS NOT YET COME

The sixth head is the ‘present’ head, but at ‘present’ the beast is in the Abyss, for it is “about to come up out of the abyss” (v8).  The Abyss-period is, therefore, the 6th head.

It is quite unusual for the powers that oppose God to go through a period of incapacity.  It is therefore likely that the period of incapacity in Revelation 13 (the period of death) is the same as the period of incapacity in Revelation 17 (the “is not” or Abyss-period).

We can prove this, for the following two verses describe what will happen AFTER the beast in Revelation 13 recovers from the deadly wound and after the beast in Revelation 17 comes out of the abyss:

All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life” (13:8).

Those who dwell on the earth, whose name has not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, will wonder when they see the beast” (17:8).

The similarity of these two verses implies that they refer to the same event, which means that the DEAD-period in Revelation 13 is the same as the Abyss-period in Revelation 17, which is the sixth head.  

CONCLUSION

The foregoing results in the following seven heads:

      1. Babylonian Empires
      2. Medo-Persian Empire
      3. Greece
      4. Roman Empire
      5. 11th horn arose from the Roman Empire
      6. 11th horn mortally wounded (13:3) / in abyss (17:8) / in wilderness (17:3)
      7. 11th horn resurrected in the end-time (13:4) — The time of the False Prophet and Image of the Beast

THE TIME PERSPECTIVE

In Revelation 17, the sixth head of the beast presently “is” (17:9-10). The conclusion above means that the ‘present time’ in Revelation 17 is a long time after Christ’s ascension. This creates a challenge because many commentaries hold that the explanations of the vision in Revelation are always given from the perspective of John’s time, which would require the sixth head (17:8) to be in John’s time.  

However, the article on the fifth seal has concluded that both the seven seals and the seven trumpets have a ‘present time’ with events in the past and events in the future, and in both this time perspective is much later than John’s time:

In the fifth seal, the souls under the altar receive their white robes after many Christians have already been slaughtered but before many more will be killed (Rev 6:9-11). This point in time, when they receive their robes, is much later than John’s time, for it is part of the fifth seal, and the starting point for the seals is Christ’s ascension.

In the trumpets, John has to eat the little book and “prophesy again” (Rev 10:11). This implies that he also prophesied before. Since this is part of the sixth trumpet, and because the trumpets also begin at the Cross, it means that the little book comes down out of heaven (Rev 10:1) much later than John’s time.

THE TIME OF THE END

The article on the fifth seal concluded further that the time perspective in both the seven seals and the seven trumpets is the beginning of Daniel’s “time of the end,” when Daniel’s prophecies will be understood (Dan 12:4). At that time, both the seal of God (Rev 7:1) and the little book (Rev 10:1) comes down out of heaven, causing the subsequent sealing (Rev 7:1-8), prophesying (Rev 10:11) and final persecution (Rev 6:11).

It is further proposed that the entire book of Revelation is presented to us from the time perspective of the beginning of “the time of the end.” This would also be the time perspective of Revelation 17, when the beast “is about to come up out of the abyss” (Rev 17:8).

AVAILABLE ARTICLES ON REVELATION

INTRODUCTORY
   Why is the title of this website Revelation BY Jesus Christ?
   Are events described in chronological sequence? 
   Is a consistently literal interpretation appropriate?
   Does Revelation present Jesus as God?
   God’s throne – the center of the universe.
BABYLON
   Babylon; the mother of harlots
   Babylon’s merchants are her false prophets.
   Babylon is not the reconstructed ancient city of Babylon.
   How does Babylon relate to the beast?
SEVEN-HEADED BEASTS
   The Seven-Headed Beasts of Revelation
   The three beasts are three of the seven heads.
   The Seven Heads Identified
REVELATION 13
    13:1-2 – The Beast relates to Daniel 7.
   13:3-4 – The fatal wound
   The identity of the beast
SEVEN SEALS
   Introduction to the Seven Seals – What book is this?
   Seven seals explained
   Does the seventh seal include the seven trumpets?
SEVEN PLAGUES
   The Plagues of Revelation – 16 articles

For further reading, Jon Paulien’s commentary is recommended. For general discussions of theology, I recommend Graham Maxwell, who you will find on the Pineknoll website.

 

 

 

 

6 Replies to “The Seven Heads are Daniel’s 4 beasts plus the 3 phases of the 11th horn.”

  1. I do not appreciate you uplifting a corrupted version of the bible above the authorized version, but I do appreciate your labour for Christ.

    1. I generally use the NASB, but I use e-Sword constantly, on which I have several versions available, including the KJV. Over the years I found the NASB to be reliable, with a few exceptions.

  2. Greetings from Papua New Guinea, may the good Lord bless your heart as we share together the Word of God to the people of PNG. We are thankful to God Almighty who made is possible to come to know your ministry which is great help to our local church. God bless, Reverend Varo T. Ghou

  3. Hi Andries, I really appreciate your views and interpretation of some of the prophecies. You have helped me clarify certain things like Babylon in Revelation, because as you, I believed Babylon went beyond simply the Roman Church and includes all pagan based religions.

    Anyway the purpose of this message is to just let you know that “and kings they are seven” in the Greek text does not exactly mean the same as “And they are seven kings”. It actually simply means that there are seven kings, which is a lot closer to “And there are seven kings” of the KJV.

    What I would also like to share is that most new Bible translations are not taken from the more reliable “Textus Receptus”. Believe me there are some major differences which have a serious impact on interpretation . And as per Matthew 4:4 we need to follow every Word of God and so we must make sure we have the best translated Word of God…

    One example – In the first lines of Revelations 22:14, in the KJV (as from Textus Receptus) it states “Blessed are they that do his commandments, …” whereas as the NASB states “Blessed are they who wash their robes, …”; these two texts have clearly different meanings. I have also checked this verse with an Italian “Diodati” Bible (the non-Catholic Bible) which is also translated from Textus Receptus, and it states exactly the same as the KJV.

    Write to me if you want to discuss more of the differences in texts.

    God Bless You
    Craig

  4. Shalom,
    NEED HELP, SOUGHT OUT.
    In my dream by the night, behold I heard a voice asking me questions and as well answering:
    You are in darkness; why?
    Because, I am living in a world of good and bad,
    Where is your seal, as to be the Christ like?
    Lost because of the wicked power and principalities of this wild wicked world,
    Where is your strength?
    Lost through illusion, for fear of the unseen, then I asked what next to do, O Lord, my God.
    Suddenly, Jesus Christ interceded, salvation and glory was given unto all mankind. Then I saw people passing through the gate of heaven in Jesus name, one after another, into the city made of all precious stones, at the gates there were two personalities, one at the eastern gate, the other at the western gate, and all the faithful ones are passing into the Lords holy kingdom, once in the kingdom they were instantly made whole and perfected to sing Hosanna along side with the Angels of the living God.
    But unfortunately some were left behind, again I asked the Lord, why? O Lord, that I was left behind, behold a voice said unto me that because I did not follow the way in which I was sent to, to go to, and out of fear you indulged yourself in the things of the world. I then beg for mercy and grace, behold the Lord, God of hosts, granted my request, and I was given the power to proclaim liberty unto Zion. The flaming fire of love, peace, joy and gladness was ignite within me, as to enlighten these who know his name, but had lost hope, and unto these who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, and refused to believed in the saving power of his blood, THE LAMB OF GOD: for the salvation of their souls.
    The miracle of love was so wonderfully and tremendously displayed beyond human perception, both with sign and wonders to the point of grace.
    After those sing and wonders, I was left behind alone, tattered, then the Lord booked me to a high place and showed me two cups, one of the cup is fill with red substance , and the other with white substance. And the seven golden candle stand, burning with flames before the ark of God, I was asked to bow before the ark of God, immediately I bowed down, I shouted blood of Jesus, suddenly my forehead gushed out with blood , and it flows down till it touches the soul of my feet, I was made whole and free, I saw a sword, it was the sword that will be used to cut off the cords, that connect the old earth and the new earth. A kingdom is established within, Jesus is Lord. I saw a new heart, with a cross upon it, and the flame of God burning round about it, and thousands and thousands of Angels cowed their harp and lyre in heaven, and upon the holy mountain of God in Zion. And the Lord God, in his holy homely home in Zion, with all elects, and all the chosen singing praises to the king of kings, and his mercy endured forever, hosanna, hosanna hallelujah, unto the lamb of GOD, so they sang.
    James Oakman.

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