Beast with 7 Heads & 10 Horns
the book of Revelation, John describes a beast with 7 heads and 10 horns. Yes, it is possible to interpret what it
means! God isn't going to reveal
something that is impossible for us to understand. A careful examination of scriptures reveals the
interpretation. This descriptive
picture symbolizes a panoramic view of kingdoms that have ruled throughout
history. Let's compare the different descriptions
of this beast.
Revelation 12:3—The dragon
has 7 heads and 10 horns, on his heads were 7 diadems (crowns)
dragon is interpreted as Satan (12:9).
This represents Satan's dominion over the 7 world empires:
- Future Revived Roman Empire. The 10 horns are placed on this Empire,
based upon Daniel 7:23-25. The 10
horns are 10 kings which arise in the future (Dan. 7:24). This is the kingdom from which the
Antichrist will arise.
Rev. 13:3 tells us one of his heads was
wounded as if slain. Some have wrongly
interpreted this to mean the Antichrist will receive a head wound, appear to
have died, and then come back to life.
Notice it says "one" of his heads was wounded. Remember, the beast has 7 heads and only one
head is wounded. Rev. 13:14 says it was
wounded by a "sword."
The head that was wounded was the 6th
head, Rome, which was conquered by the sword, but will come back to life in the
future to become a Revived Roman Empire just before the Second Coming of
Revelation 13:1-3—The beast
has 7 heads and 10 horns, on his horns were 10 diadems, and on his heads were
2 describes the beast as a leopard, a bear, and a lion. These are the same beasts as described in
Daniel 7:4-6, except in reverse order.
Daniel was looking into the future to see these kingdoms, while the
apostle John looks back on them as fulfilled in history. In this description,
we get more details.
- Babylon (lion-Daniel 7:4)
- Medo-Persia (bear-Daniel 7:5)
- Greece (leopard-Daniel 7:6)
- Future Revived Roman Empire.
- Once again, we place the 10 horns on the 7th head
because of what we have already learned in Daniel 7:3-27.
- We notice that the 10 horns now have 10 diadems, meaning the Future
Revived Roman Empire will come to power and rule the world.
- The 7 heads have blasphemous names because they have not honored
beast, full of blasphemous names, have 7 heads and 10 horns.
17:9-10 tells us the 7 heads are 7 mountains and 7 kings. "Mountains"
in the Bible are symbolic of kingdoms or governments. (See Ps. 30:7, Jer.
51:24-25, Dan. 2:35,44).
Revelation 17:10-11—The 7 heads are 7 Kings
“Five have fallen”: At the time John was writing
Revelation, 5 kingdoms had already past:
“One is”: When John
was writing, Rome was ruling the world.
“The other is yet to come”:
This refers to a future Revived Roman Empire.
- Future Revived Roman Empire. The 10 horns are on the 7th
“The beast…is himself also an eighth”: Dan. 7:19-25 says Antichrist will rule this
- Antichrist takes over the Revived Roman Empire.
Revelation 17:12—The 10 horns are 10 Kings
is the difference between the 7 kings (represented by 7 heads) and the 10 kings
(represented by 10 horns)? Simply this:
The 7 kings (v.10) are successive kingdoms because they
rule one after another over centuries of time.
10 kings (v.12) are contemporaneous kings who rule at the same
time in history. This verse tells us
the 10 horns are 10 kings who "have not yet received a kingdom" when
Revelation was written in 96 A.D.
Because the 10 horns are on the 7th head, these 10
kings will come to power in the future Revived Roman Empire. Daniel 2:44 tells us "and in the days
of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be
destroyed…" That means when Jesus
returns to earth to set up His Millennial Kingdom, he will destroy the
Antichrist and the kingdom he rules.