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In Revelation 11v7 regarding the Two Witnesses we read:

Now when they have finished their testimony,the beast that comes up from the Abyss will attack them and overpower and kill them.

In 13v11 we read:

Then I saw another beast coming out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb but he spoke like a dragon.

Are the two horns on the beast a symbol in relation to the Two Witnesses being attacked, overpowered and killed?

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4 Answers 4

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In the Revelation, the sea represents the Gentile nations (for example, see Isaiah 57:20-21). The earth therefore represents the Promised Land. That is, the Promised Land is the place where the Promised Seed would sprout. Please click here to compare and contrast the individual Promised Seed (Messiah) and the collective Promised Seed (Jews) as God's "Tree of Life" in the Hebrew Bible.

Unlike the beast (which is both individual, "the antichrist," and is also collective, "the ten nation confederacy") that that will emerge from the sea (Revelation 13:1-10), the False Prophet emerges from the earth (Revelation 13:11), which is the Promised Land. This False Prophet will wear two "hats," which are represented by two horns (Revelation 13:11-13), which are both religious and political power.

In other words, Revelation 11:3-4 is a throwback to Zechariah 4:11-14. In the latter passage the two olive trees and lampstands represented Joshua the High Priest and Zerubabbel, who were the religious and political leaders in the Promised Land at that time, respectively.

Therefore, Moses and Elijah, who are still alive somewhere in heaven (please see 2 Kings 2:11 and then compare Jude 1:9 with Matthew 17:3) will appear in the Promised Land as the two olive trees and lampstands (Revelation 11:4), since they each represent the political and religious authority of God. They will oppose the False Prophet, who will possess both religious and political power in the Promised Land, which is the "earth." (The False Prophet will play the role of the "False Moses" and "False Elijah," since he is wearing two hats, and yet he will be opposed by the real Moses and the real Elijah.) Please click here to compare and contrast the roles of Elijah and Moses vis-à-vis the False Prophet.

Remember: the job of the False Prophet in the Bible is to announce and then to anoint the (anti) Christ. He will have both the political sway of Moses and the religious sway of Elijah in the Promised Land, and therefore he will stand opposite (and will oppose) Moses and Elijah as their counterfeit.

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Did this answer the question about correlation between the witnesses and the horns? It may have but I missed it. –  Mark Anthony Songer Sep 5 '13 at 20:31
    
@ Joseph,Jude 1:9 that you have inserted in your answer.Is it your opinion that the dispute over the body of Moses is about Moses being taken to Heaven at that moment in time.Why i ask is that you appear to be answering another one of my questions indirectly that i posted last week. –  Bagpipes Sep 5 '13 at 22:08
    
Yes - you are correct. My hermeneutical approach is not only corresponding events in the Bible but also providing the coherence in the most simple approach possible (thus the normative or plain understanding of the Scripture). –  Joseph Sep 5 '13 at 23:08
    
@Joseph,yes that is my opinion as well about the body of Moses.Regarding Moses and Elijah returning again to be the two witnesses,I feel that they are being used as symbols in relation to the events we are reading. –  Bagpipes Sep 6 '13 at 14:47

Short answer I know, but there is one semi-obvious possibility. Many understand the two witnesses as representing a valid testimony, or the bearers of truth, i.e. prophets. This can be taken representatively of an unknown number or literally as two individuals, depending on how one interprets revelation as a whole. If this be so, then the beast that has two horns like a Lamb but speaks like a Dragon could obviously represent 'by the horns' the opposite of the two witnesses, i.e. false prophets or lying teachers. The numbers seem to always mean something in Revelation. In other words what we have here is a potential struggle between apostate witnesses and true witnesses, where the witness is represented by the number two (ref Deuteronomy 19:15).

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@ Mike I have found plenty "Food For Thought in your Answer." I had missed Rev 5 where it speaks of the lamb with the seven horns. –  Bagpipes Sep 5 '13 at 13:41

The context is Covenantal. The "witness" here is a legal witness against the Covenant people, as it is in the Old Testament, ending with John the Baptist. The witness here is that of the apostolic church.

A minimum of two witnesses is required to make a legal judgment and carry out an execution of the law. This is why there were two angels at the Garden gate in Genesis 3, and two cherubim flanking the Law (the Ark) in the Most Holy.

The apostolic church was continuing the witness of Moses and Elijah (law and prophets) given to the disciples in the words of the Father. They were to hear the testimony of His beloved son, which united and superseded those witnesses. Hence, the two witnesses are presented as having the powers of Moses and Elijah.

Horns are not witnesses, but kingly authority to execute judgment. Instead of a witness of God's mercy (as a lamb like Abel), the judgment here is Cainite: kingdom usurping priesthood, exaltation before humility. The dragon desires to devour the "fruit" of the woman.

One beast comes from the abyss (the Gentile "Sea") and the other from the earth (more correctly, the "Land" of Israel). The Land Beast is supposed to be a sacrificial lamb, but its kingly power has not come from humility before God but from "intermarriage" (a false Covenant) with the Gentiles (Rome). The two horns might be the collusion of the High Priesthood and the Herodian dynasty.

We have seen a lamb with horns already in Revelation 5. He combines the three furnitures in the Holy Place: Lamb (table of showbread: Priest) with seven eyes (lampstand: King) and seven horns (incense altar: Prophetic elder). With true authority, through the witness of the saints, He sets the Gentiles onto the Herods, and the "Land" is again engulfed by the "Sea," as it was in the days of Noah, where the world was corrupted through godless intermarriage.

Whenever you see "earth" in the Revelation, substitute "Land." The book makes much more sense.

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@ Mike Bull, your above point "Horns are not Witnesses."Re: the beast.Two is Testimony and it say's that when the two witnesses have finished their, (Testimony).For example if it was 7 witnesses then we might read the beast had seven horns.The symbolism i feel points to the beast intent on killing the two witnesses,or (in other words) The Testimony. –  Bagpipes Sep 5 '13 at 9:53
    
Historically that was the case. Those who make Rome out to be the enemy are mistaken - it was the Jewish rulers who sold their brother to the Gentiles, and the did the same to "my brethren" (Matthew 25). When Jewish persecution failed (Acts), and false Judaizing doctrine failed (the epistles), the Jews called on Rome (the Revelation). In AD64, Herod's temple was finished (proving Jesus "wrong") and Nero blamed the torching of Rome on the Christians. I was a Jew-Gentile conspiracy against a Jew-Gentile church (a la Herod and Pilate's friendship). –  Mike Bull Sep 5 '13 at 23:27

Out of several commentaries, the only one I can find directly addressing the possibile symbolism of the horns of the second beast is in Warren W Wiersbe's commentary on Revelation:

"The image of the horns (13:11) suggests that the false prophet [the second beast] has authority but the absense of a crown indicates that his authority is not political."

While numerology plays a significant role in Revelation, I cannot find any substantive, consistent use of the number 2 that would directly link the horns to the witnesses.

There certainly is symbolism in the uses of the lamb and dragon images (perhaps suggesting that he may try to come off as the Lamb of God but in actuality is the dragon, "the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan") and to add the detail of two horns is certainly specific enough that it may have meaning as well. However, since the beast from the land is described in detail two chapters after the foretelling of the death of the witnesses at the hand of the beast, I am not sure there is a correlation between the horns and the witnesses.

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@ Mark Anthony Songer Horn's are usually a symbol of power and there being 2 horn's and two witnesses,would you say that is a link?one horn for the overpowering each witness? Notice the rest of the imagery and symbolism, "like a lamb" He appears to be gentle? Peaceful? But he spoke like a dragon.The dragon is satan and satan is a liar. –  Bagpipes Sep 4 '13 at 13:22
    
There certainly is symbolism in the uses of the lamb and dragon images (perhaps suggesting that he may try to come off as the Lamb of God but in actuality is the dragon, "the ancient serpent who is the devil and Satan") and to add the detail of two horns is certainly specific enough that it may have meaning as well. However, since the description of the death of the witnesses comes two chapters before the detail of two horns, I'm not sure there is enough meaning here to tie the number of horns directly to the number of witnesses. But that is my opinion and this is Revelation –  Mark Anthony Songer Sep 4 '13 at 13:42
    
@ Mark Anthony Songer I respect your opinion.I do not understand what you mean in the last three lines of comment? –  Bagpipes Sep 4 '13 at 15:40
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Just that since the beast from the land is described in detail two chapters after the foretelling of the death of the witnesses at the hand of the beast, I am not sure there is a correlation between the horns and the witnesses. –  Mark Anthony Songer Sep 4 '13 at 15:47

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