B. Text of Rev 13:11-18
11Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.
12And with all of the authority of the first beast, the beast of the earth worked on behalf of the beast of the sea. That beast of the earth made the earth and those who live in it in order that they would worship the first beast which had been healed of the plague of death. 13He was doing great signs, even so that he made fire come down from heaven to earth before the people. 14He deceived the people living on the earth by the signs which were given to him to do in the presence of the beast. He told the people living on the earth to make a statue of the beast who had a wound of the sword, but lived. 15The beast of the earth was given power to breathe life into the image of the beast of the sea. This was done so the statue of the beast would speak and make whoever refused to worship the statue of the beast to be killed.
16The beast of the earth made everyone—the young, the elderly, the rich, the poor, the free, and the slaves—be given a stamp on their right hand and on their forehead. 17This made it so that no one was able to buy or sell anything, except for the people who have the mark of the beast or his number. 18Wisdom is needed here. The one who has understanding must interpret the number of the beast, for it is the number of humankind and his number is 666. (Rev 13:11-18)
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Photo Credit: Bamberg Apocalypse
C. General Remarks about Rev 13:11-18
One of the first experiences that I remember of the number “666” was when I was in college at California State University, Stanislaus. There was a newspaper selling box near our mailbox and I remember walking buy and purchasing a copy. When opening it the feature on the front cover above the fold was the chronology of a bunch of different couples that wanted to get married on that day: June 6, 2006. In effect, it was 666 (06/06/2006). In my mind, the day was far from the number, 666, but it did highlight people’s infatuation with the number that started with this passage in Revelation 13: the mark of the beast of the earth which is the mark of mankind.
“Who is the satanic beast, symbolized by the number 666? Over the centuries a very great deal of ingenuity has been expended in attempting to answer this question.” Bruce Metzger, Breaking the Code, 76
“Chapter 13 is one of the great prophetic chapters of Scripture and is the only passage that presents in any detail the two principal evil characters of the end of the age who form with Satan an unholy trinity.” John Walvoord, Revelation, 215
“Using stunning miracles, signs, and wonders, the false prophet will convince the world that the Antichrist is the leader they’ve been looking for—the man with a plan—the man who can solve the world’s problems.” (Hitchcock, The End, 269)
QUESTION: WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS BEAST OF THE EARTH? WHAT HAVE YOU SEEN OR HEARD ABOUT THIS NUMBER, 666?
QUESTION: AS WE HAVE READ THROUGH THIS SECTION OF REVELATION 13, WHAT ARE THE DIFFERENCES BETWEEN THE BEAST OF THE SEA AND THE FALSE PROPHET? IN WHAT ARENAS DOES THEIR WORK OCCUR?
II. THE APPEARANCE OF THE BEAST OF THE EARTH (Rev 13:11)
Καὶ εἶδον ἄλλο θηρίον ἀναβαῖνον ἐκ τῆς γῆς, καὶ εἶχεν κέρατα δύο ὅμοια ἀρνίῳ καὶ ἐλάλει ὡς δράκων.
“Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth: He had two horns like a Lamb, but was speaking like a dragon.” (Rev 13:11)
The Greek word, αλλος, is used here. It can mean, “other, another, different.” The idea conveyed here is that this is another beast that is distinct from the first beast, but it can also be similar in appearance or form. However, some scholars say not to make too much of the distinction between αλλος and ἑτερος because “it is very difficult to make a clear distinction” (Buchsel, “ἄλλος” in Theological Dictionary of the New Testament, vol. 1, 264).
The true “Lamb” described in Rev 5:6 refers to Jesus and that Lamb has seven horns. The counterfeit lamb here in Rev 13:11 only has two horns, which I believe refers to its limited power and authority (Thomas, Revelation 8-22, 173) Continue Reading…