Revelation 13:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 13:15, NIV: The second beast was given power to give breath to the image of the first beast, so that the image could speak and cause all who refused to worship the image to be killed.

Revelation 13:15, ESV: And it was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast might even speak and might cause those who would not worship the image of the beast to be slain.

Revelation 13:15, KJV: And he had power to give life unto the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause that as many as would not worship the image of the beast should be killed.

Revelation 13:15, NASB: And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause all who do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Revelation 13:15, NLT: He was then permitted to give life to this statue so that it could speak. Then the statue of the beast commanded that anyone refusing to worship it must die.

Revelation 13:15, CSB: It was permitted to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast could both speak and cause whoever would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

What does Revelation 13:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Prior verses noted that the second beast—typically known as the False Prophet of the end times—will be able to perform false miracles to deceive people (Revelation 13:13–14). This person also oversees construction of some kind of idol honoring the first beast, the person most often identified as the Antichrist.

The False Prophet is able to give breath to the idol and empowers it to speak. Decades ago, the idea that a person could fool others into thinking such a thing was real was unheard of. Today's technology allows for the possibility that the false miracles of this chapter might be just that: entirely faked. Perhaps the False Prophet will build or have others build a sophisticated robot within the idol. Or, this might be an actual, supernatural power granted by Satan.

Regardless of what the nature of this event is, the second beast puts under a mandatory death sentence those who refuse to worship the idol. Righteous Jews—and, presumably, saved Gentiles—will recall the commandment God gave to the Israelites in the wilderness: "You shall not make for yourself a carved image…You shall not bow down to them or serve them" (Exodus 20:4–5). Their refusal to disobey this commandment puts their lives in jeopardy.

The false prophet's ruling is like Nebuchadnezzar's ruling that whoever refused to bow down to and worship his image must be executed. At that time, Daniel's three friends refused to worship the image and were thrown into a white-hot furnace, but God delivered them (Daniel 3). Similarly, a remnant of faithful believers will refuse to bow down and worship the image the false prophet places in the holy of holies.