What does Revelation 13:8 mean?
ESV: and all who dwell on earth will worship it, everyone whose name has not been written before the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain.
NIV: All inhabitants of the earth will worship the beast—all whose names have not been written in the Lamb’s book of life, the Lamb who was slain from the creation of the world.
NASB: All who live on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written since the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been slaughtered.
CSB: All those who live on the earth will worship it, everyone whose name was not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who was slaughtered.
NLT: And all the people who belong to this world worshiped the beast. They are the ones whose names were not written in the Book of Life that belongs to the Lamb who was slaughtered before the world was made.
KJV: And all that dwell upon the earth shall worship him, whose names are not written in the book of life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
NKJV: All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.
Verse Commentary:
The Antichrist will become so powerful and arrogant that he will accept worship from the people of earth (Revelation 13:4). This "beast" (Revelation 13:1) receives almost universal worship. This praise is not entirely universal because believers will not revere him. Their names are written in the book of life of the Lamb who was slain. The Lamb, of course, is Jesus Christ, who freely offered Himself on the cross for our sins. Galatians 1:4 says he "gave himself for our sins to deliver us from the present evil age, according to the will of our God and Father." The truth of this verse is seen in the fact that believers refuse to be part of the evil age over which the beast reigns.

The Lamb's book of life will be opened at the great white throne judgment, and those whose names are not found written there will be cast into the lake of fire (Revelation 20:12,15). Believers' names were written in the Lamb's book of life "before the foundation of the world" (Revelation 13:8). The apostle Paul wrote in Ephesians 1:4 that God chose us in Christ before the foundation of the world. We cannot understand all that was involved in this divine selection, but we can marvel at the grace God has showered upon us.
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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