What does Revelation 13:2 mean?
ESV: And the beast that I saw was like a leopard; its feet were like a bear’s, and its mouth was like a lion’s mouth. And to it the dragon gave his power and his throne and great authority.
NIV: The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.
NASB: And the beast that I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne, and great authority.
CSB: The beast I saw was like a leopard, its feet were like a bear's, and its mouth was like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave the beast his power, his throne, and great authority.
NLT: This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.
KJV: And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.
Verse Commentary:
John further described the beast from the sea as resembling a leopard with feet like a bear's feet and a mouth like a lion's mouth. It's important to remember that these descriptions are meant to be symbolic—the reader is meant to understand them that way, not as a literal depiction of a mythical animal.

Daniel 7:3–7 mentions three beasts, representative of certain empires, as rising from the sea. Daniel also mentions a fourth beast, a more powerful empire, meaning the Revived Roman Empire. The three empires represented by the lion, the bear, and the leopard are in order: Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. These three empires followed each other in history. The Medes and the Persians conquered the Babylonian Empire, and the Greeks conquered the Persian Empire.

The revived Roman empire will likely include the conquered territories once held by Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The beast from the sea, described in these verses, is therefore head of the Revived Roman Empire, and he receives his power from the dragon, the Devil. Also, the dragon gives him the authority to reign as a king from his throne. This political and social leader is the end-times figure most commonly called the Antichrist.
Verse Context:
Revelation 13:1–4 focuses on the rise of the first ''beast'' seen in this chapter. This one rises from the sea. Biblical geography suggests this refers to the Mediterranean Sea. This ''beast'' represents a powerful ruler in the Mediterranean region. The description of the beast here shares elements used in Daniel 7:23–24, which there belonged to the four beasts that appeared in Daniel's dream. The beast from the sea receives his power from the dragon, who is shown in Revelation 12 to persecute Israel and the righteous remnant. This first beast is the figure more popularly known as Antichrist.
Chapter Summary:
This chapter exposes two evil men, ''beasts'' who serve the Devil. The first beast arises from the sea, presumably the Mediterranean. The second beast arises from the land, possibly Israel. The first beast dominates the final form of the Roman Empire and sets himself up as a god to be worshiped. This first figure is the one most often labelled as ''Antichrist.'' The second beast acts as prophet, priest, and king in Israel. As such, he imitates Christ, but he is a False Prophet. This corrupted religious leader sets up an image of the first beast in the temple and commands everyone to worship it. The false prophet executes those who refuse to worship the image. Further, he causes everyone to receive the name or the number of the first beast on the right hand or on the forehead. Without this identifying mark, no one can buy or sell. The number of the beast is 666.
Chapter Context:
Revelation 13 introduces the last two major figures described in this extended section. Two ''beasts,'' which are actually evil, powerful men, corrupt Israel by forcing idolatry on everyone. While not explicitly given these names in the Bible, the two men mentioned here are most often referred to as the Antichrist and the False Prophet. Later, The Lord sends the northern aggressor into Israel to punish their idolatry. This text also mentions two other infamous concepts: the mark of the beast, and the number 666, which are mentioned in later verses as identifying those who have rejected God in favor of Satan. Related Scriptures are Exodus 20:1–6; Daniel 2:31–43; 7:1–8; and Revelation chapters 9 and 12.
Book Summary:
The word ''revelation'' means ''an unveiling or disclosure.'' This writing unveils future events such as the rapture, three series of judgments that will fall on the earth during the tribulation, the emergence of the Antichrist, the persecution of Israel and her amazing revival, as well as Jesus' second coming with His saints to the earth, the judgment of Satan and his followers, and finally, the eternal state. This content, combined with the original Greek term apokalypsis, is why we now refer to an end-of-the-world scenario as ''an apocalypse.''
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