Revelation 13:1 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 13:1, NIV: The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name.

Revelation 13:1, ESV: And I saw a beast rising out of the sea, with ten horns and seven heads, with ten diadems on its horns and blasphemous names on its heads.

Revelation 13:1, KJV: And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.

Revelation 13:1, NASB: And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads were blasphemous names.

Revelation 13:1, NLT: Then I saw a beast rising up out of the sea. It had seven heads and ten horns, with ten crowns on its horns. And written on each head were names that blasphemed God.

Revelation 13:1, CSB: And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads. On its horns were ten crowns, and on its heads were blasphemous names.

What does Revelation 13:1 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

John saw a beast rising from the sea: the sixth of seven major figures described in this part of Revelation. Bible geography would identify this as the Mediterranean Sea. Therefore, the beast rises from the region of the Mediterranean. The beast is literally human, but the term "beast" is used for good reason. The Greek word thērion conjures up characteristics such as violent, ferocious, savage, and wild.

The beast John saw had ten horns and seven heads with diadems on the horns. The picture recalls the description of ten kings represented by the toes on the image Daniel interpreted to Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:41). Revelation 17:12 tells us the ten horns are ten kings. The seven heads likely represent the seven hills of Rome.

The blasphemous names on the beast's heads are not identified, but they may indicate that the beast, the powerful ruler in the Mediterranean region, commits blasphemy. This blasphemy may be what 2 Thessalonians 2:4 ascribes to the man of lawlessness. He "opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God."

This first beast is the end-times figure often referred to as Antichrist, or "the" Antichrist. This is the political and social leader serving the interests of Satan during the events of the tribulation.