What does Revelation 13:7 mean?
ESV: Also it was allowed to make war on the saints and to conquer them. And authority was given it over every tribe and people and language and nation,
NIV: It was given power to wage war against God's holy people and to conquer them. And it was given authority over every tribe, people, language and nation.
NASB: It was also given to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them, and authority was given to him over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
CSB: And it was permitted to wage war against the saints and to conquer them. It was also given authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation.
NLT: And the beast was allowed to wage war against God’s holy people and to conquer them. And he was given authority to rule over every tribe and people and language and nation.
KJV: And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.
Verse Commentary:
The Antichrist—the "beast" seen coming from the sea (Revelation 13:1)—becomes a worldwide power. The whole world will feel the impact of his rule. He will exercise his authority over tribe, people, language, and nation. No doubt, there will be no law but his law. No one will be able to disagree with him or fail to worship him without risking life and limb (Revelation 13:15).

A tyrant with that kind of power would certainly make it almost impossible for a country to offer asylum to anyone who opposes him. However, many who accept the message preached by the 144,000 will provide shelter and food for persecuted believers (Revelation 12:14; Matthew 25:31–40). The beast will make the saints—meaning those who are saved, God's people—his personal target. He will "conquer" the saints, meaning he will be able to oppress, kill, and abuse them. However, he will be unable to destroy their faith or fully exterminate them (Revelation 15:2). Today, many believers around the world are being martyred for their faith in Christ, but neither "tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or danger, or sword" or even "death" can separate believers "from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord" (Romans 8:35, 38–39).
Verse Context:
Revelation 13:5–10 further describes the actions of the figure most commonly called ''Antichrist:'' the first beast of this chapter and the sixth of seven major characters in this part of Revelation. This beast from the sea is both an empire and a ferocious ruler. He is also mentioned in Daniel 7:23–24 and Revelation 17:9–11. Matthew 4:8 demonstrates the fact that the Devil possesses the kingdoms and therefore can grant the final world empire to the beast from the sea. Daniel 2:36–41 predicts the beast's kingdom.
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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