Revelation 17: The Beast with 7 Heads and 10 Horns, The Final Kingdom is NOT Rome

As we discussed in the previous article, Revelation 12 gives us the keys to understanding who the Beast with 7 Heads and 10 horns will be.  The Beast is an identical match to the Dragon of Revelation 12. They both have 7 heads and 10 horns, and they are both red/scarlet.  Go back and read my previous post as it is foundational to this study before tackling this article.

Revelation 12:3 “And there appeared another wonder in heaven; and behold a great red dragon, having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Revelation 17:3 So he carried me away in the spirit into the wilderness: and I saw a woman sit upon a scarlet coloured beast, full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

So then, what is this Beast? What are the Heads and Horns?  For the answer to those questions, we must examine several scriptures that mirror this language and explain the symbology. Think of this study as putting together a jigsaw puzzle.  One piece at a time, until you get the whole picture.  We cannot just jam a piece into place if it doesn’t fit, right?  That would distort the whole thing. Although, this is much of what we see today in books, videos, and articles about this topic.

Before we get started:  The Bible tells us that there will be a total of 8 Kingdoms that will “persecute the woman”  from Rev 12, that is physical ISRAEL and her SEED.  They are not world kingdoms, but BIBLICAL kingdoms from the Middle East.  Keep in mind, the woman discussed in Revelation 17 is not the same woman as in Revelation 12.  In Revelation 17, the woman discussed is the HARLOT (aka Whore of Babylon).  There are wo different women , so since I will not be discussing the harlot in this article, put this woman out of your mind, at least for now.  We will come back to her in another article.

So, heads up, when you hear people talking about the Vatican, the NWO, the 10 world nations, and all of the rest of the unbiblical fairy tales out there, just remember that they are READING INTO THE SCRIPTURE, not pulling the meaning OUT OF the scripture and its context.  It sounds good.  It makes sense, sometimes,  in the way it is presented...but it is simply not in the TEXT.  

Ok, let’s move on….

Revelation 17:7-13 the key portion for this study: My notes and comments are in blue.

7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.

The Angel is going to tell John the mystery of the beast and the 7 heads and 10 horns. He is also going to tell about the woman riding this beast, but we are not concerned with that in this study.

8 The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

Stay with me!  This Beast that John sees:

  • WAS - in the past

  • IS NOT - is not present during the time of John's’ writing

  • and SHALL ascend - will be in the future, revived, come up from the dead.  It had to exist at some point in time to go into the bottomless pit  That is why John says -  WAS (before John), and IS NOT (not there during John) and yet IS (“yet is” because it existed in the past, died and went to the pit. So yet it is, just from a wounded and dead position)

This is why, I believe, John MARVELED at this beast.

9 And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth.

2 points of discussion for this verse:

  1. The woman in this passage is the HARLOT (aka the whore of Babylon)  and she is not the woman from Revelation 12 that represents Israel.  That is an important distinction to make. Revelation 13/17 both talk about the harlot who rides the beast and not the woman who is persecuted by the beast.

  1. This text tells us what the 7 heads are:  7 mountains. The word mountain is explained for us in other passages of scripture. Mountains represent KINGDOMS.

Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth.

Here Daniel is talking about when Jesus will break all the Kingdoms (same kingdoms referred to here in Revelation 17) and his Kingdom will fill the whole earth.

The noise of a multitude in the mountains, like as of a great people; a tumultuous noise of the kingdoms of nations gathered together: the Lord of hosts mustereth the host of the battle.

Again, mountains are used as a symbol of Kingdoms

Other references to this symbolism can be found here: Isaiah 17:13 , Jeremiah 51:25.  You can also do a word study for mountains here:  Online Mountain Word Study.

10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.

There are 7 Kings:
5 KINGS/KINGDOMS ARE FALLEN, have been in the past, fell.  So 5 of the Kingdoms have fallen (the beast that WAS from above explanation)  We know who the Kings/Kingdoms WERE from Dan 2, 4, and 7.
They were:
  1. Egypt
  2. Assyria    
  3. Babylon    
  4. Medo-Persia  
  5. Greece  

1 KING/KINGDOM IS - at the time of John’s writing of the book of Revelation, he was in ROME
     6.  Rome
1- KING/KINGDOM IS NOT YET COME - there will be one to follow ROME.  What empire overtook Rome? The Islamic Empire took over the Roman Empire.
     7.  Islamic Caliphate (some will call this the Ottoman empire)

11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

THE BEAST THAT WAS - the 5 kingdoms before ROME.

And IS NOT, because at the time of John’s writing, the Kingdom was ROME.  So ROME cannot be included in this Beast composite. It only includes the 5 listed above. This would include Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.  

EVEN HE IS THE 8th - This beast, composed of the KINGDOMS just listed, will be the 8th.  

And they ARE OF THE SEVEN original KINGDOMS.  This group will be revived. They will be OF THE  SEVEN, but will EXCLUDE ROME, because John says the beast IS NOT.

THEY WILL GO INTO PERDITION when Jesus returns to crush the Kingdoms and establish his Kingdom that will fill the whole earth at his coming.

The 8th and final world Kingdom will be a revival of the previous Kingdoms, and are of the 7 previous ones….   OF THE SEVEN….not of the SEVENTH.  This is why most writers say that it will be a revival of the islamic empire, which really is the same thing, since the land occupied by all of these empires are basically the same.  But it won't include Rome. And it won't be a revival of just one Kingdom, but of the first 5 kingdoms +the 7th Kingdom + the final Kingdom = 7 total heads.  It will still have 7 heads/kings because only one kingdom is missing ROME.

8 HEADS/KINGDOMS/KINGS -minus 1 excluded by JOHN- ROME = equals 7 TOTAL HEADS/KINGDOMS/KINGS.  These 7 heads are areas that will comprise the FINAL BEAST of Revelation.

This is my attempt to make an illustration, and as you can see I am not an artist.  But I think it will help you visualize what I wrote.
Remember, the beast that WAS, IS NOT and at the time John was writing that would be Rome. When John wrote, “is not”, that meant when John was writing ROME“is not”. This would necessarily exclude Rome, but not any of the others, since they were in the past or will be in the future.  The only one that “IS NOT” based on John's timing- is ROME.Mountains - Beast.png

12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beas

Next, the text discusses the 10 horns, that are clearly described as Kings also.  These Kings have received no KINGDOM at the time of John’s writing during the Roman Empire. 

THIS IS IMPORTANT and tells us that all 10 horns will be active during the FINAL BEAST reign TOGETHER.  They will receive power when the 8th KINGDOM (THE FINAL BEAST), the compilation of the first 5 and the 7th original Kingdoms revive. Together these 7 revived Kingdoms (Areas) will form the 7 final Beast heads and will include 10 kings.    

Daniel 4:44-45 tells us that this last Kingdom is made up successive Kingdoms that come back in the end times TOGETHER. The Revival of the Seleucid Empire.

44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and that kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
The Kingdoms above are described in Daniel 2 as brass, clay, silver, and gold were given an interpretation in the passage. They represented successive Kingdoms, and they included the ones we discussed earlier in this post.  But the point here, is that they are all broken at the same time.  

**Read this article for additonal infomation on Daniel's 4th Beast by P2ALM**

13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.

These 10 Kings will work together and give their power and strength to the FINAL BEAST. This final END TIME KINGDOM will be the area of the middle east, specifically the revival of the Old Seleucid Empire at the time of Alexander the Great.  I will discuss this in later posts.
The areas we should be watching are:  Iran (Medo-Persia), Iraq(Bablyon), Syria, Lebanon, South/West Turkey(Assyria).  

In conclusion, I consider this post to be an introduction to the study of the symbols used in Revelation 17.  The beast with 7 heads and 10 horns is a complex matter.  There is much, much more to the symbols used in scripture, but this fundamental understanding is a good foundation to build on.  Hope this helped you grasp some of the concepts.
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