Who or what is this first Beast?
The beast is a fourth kingdom, which Daniel describes (Dan 2:40): And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron. Inasmuch as iron crushes and smashes all things, and as the iron that shatters all these, it will crush and shatter.. … And after this I was looking in the night visions. And, behold, the fourth beast was fearful and terrifying, and very strong! And to it were great iron teeth. It devoured, and crushed, and stamped what was left with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns (Dan 7:7). – Now we just have to decide which kingdom is the fourth kingdom. But that’s what a great deal of scientists agree on!: However, this is accompanied by an ambiguous interpretation question; The four kingdoms of Daniel have already come true. John’s vision is, however, about the future. Should we believe that the fourth kingdom of Daniel’s vision would resume in some form? Interpretation could go further, to the feet of the character.
The human-shaped figure depicted the different kingdoms and the fourth had the character’s legs. It depicts the Roman Empire divided in two. The figure’s legs were iron, but the feet were partly clay. Scientists have so far been unanimous about the first kingdoms and the fact that the feet depict the divided Roman Empire. What if we accepted the interpretation that the feet are Islamic confederation? What are the two legs (with or without feets) symbolizing? Islam’s two interpretations, Sunni and Shi’a?
About the Beast we know for sure that
- It is a fourth beast, it was fearful and terrifying, and very strong! And it had large iron teeth. It devoured, and crushed, and trampled down what was left with its feet. And it was different from all the beasts before it; and it had ten horns (Dan 7:7).
- … a huge red dragon with seven heads, ten horns, and seven royal crowns on its heads. (Rev 12:3).
- Seven heads are seven mountains and on the other hand they are also seven kings.
- And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings; they shall rise, and another shall rise after them. And he shall be different from the first, and he shall humble three kings (Dan 7:24).
- The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour all the earth, and shall trample it down and crush it. (Dan 7:23).
What does the Bible say about these seven and ten kings:
Rev 17:9 Here is the mind having wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains, where the woman sits on them.
17:10 Five of them have fallen, one is living, and the other has not yet come. When he comes, he must remain for a little while.
17:11 The beast that was and is no longer is the eighth king, but it belongs with the seven kings and goes to its destruction.
I understand from this that these kings are first referring to history, as five of them are found to have fallen (dead). One king exists. From the future it is said that the last i.e seventh has not yet come. The beast has been, but is no longer, is the eighth and is one of those seven heads/kings. Difficult phrase.
Ten kings (horns)
Rev 17:12 The ten horns that you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom. They will receive authority to rule as kings with the beast for one hour.
13 They have one purpose: to give their power and authority to the beast.
14 They will wage war against the lamb, but the lamb will conquer them because he is Lord of lords and King of kings. Those who are called, chosen, and faithful are with him.
The ten kings depict the future kingdom of the beast. The kings have not yet received power, but when they receive, they give their power to one of them, i.e. to the beast. Ten kings will fight the returning Lamb, Jesus Christ himself. This is the culmination of the end of the battle against the power of evil: The Lamb and his Saints (the called and the chosen and faithful) will win.
The Revelation and the Book of Daniel are the Bible’s most difficult books to explain. Luther was of the opinion that Revelation should not be included at all in the whole Bible. For years, the aim has been to explain the identity of the beast, the harlot and the antichrist to identify the identity or the name of the kingdom of the beast. I do not claim to know the whole truth. On the contrary, I’m very confused about this diversity of figurative expressions; therefore I present two alternatives. Firstly, a traditional interpretation that has long been a perception of most scientists. In addition, I will present an alternative interpretation from Stephen Allen and Hanoch Ben Keshet.
More in the following articles.