Revelation 13:3 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Revelation 13:3, NIV: One of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast.

Revelation 13:3, ESV: One of its heads seemed to have a mortal wound, but its mortal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled as they followed the beast.

Revelation 13:3, KJV: And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Revelation 13:3, NASB: I saw one of his heads as if it had been fatally wounded, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;

Revelation 13:3, NLT: I saw that one of the heads of the beast seemed wounded beyond recovery--but the fatal wound was healed! The whole world marveled at this miracle and gave allegiance to the beast.

Revelation 13:3, CSB: One of its heads appeared to be fatally wounded, but its fatal wound was healed.The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast.

What does Revelation 13:3 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

This verse tells us the beast seemed to have a fatal wound, but it was healed. This has resulted in much speculation, since John's descriptions here are meant to be taken in such a symbolic fashion. Since the first beast is the end-times figure known as the Antichrist, this statement can mean more than one thing.

Perhaps this wound refers to the fall of the Roman Empire, and the healing refers to the Empire's revival. The Roman Empire had six forms of government: kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, tribunes, and emperors. The sixth form under the Caesars ended, but it will reappear in the tribulation and control roughly the same territory as it did prior to collapse. This would correspond to a highly symbolic "wounding" and subsequent healing.

Others see this as a reference to the Antichrist being physically stricken with a mortal wound and being raised from the dead by Satan. Some speculators even think a revived Judas will be this beast, though this is not a well-supported view. However, literally raising the dead seems to be a divine prerogative—this verse being the only hint that Satan might be allowed to perform such an act. If the Devil cannot raise the dead, he may be able to heal the beast who receives an otherwise mortal wound, saving him from death. This would certainly lead people to worship or follow this political leader.

However this plays out in the real world, the entire world will marvel at the revival of the Roman Empire or at the head of the empire.