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In Rev. 12:3 we see the crowns on the 'Heads', in Rev. 13:1 we see the crowns on the 'Horns'. Since this 'Beast' is Figurative-as those in the 'literalist' camp(J.N. Darby, John Walvoord) would concur, as any other translation would do 'violence' to the text, how do you explain the difference of where the crowns are?

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2 Answers 2

Awesome question! After a bit of research, I've found Leon Morris' answer to be best:

The beast has ten crowns on his horns, which is a curious place for them (Satan has them on the heads, 12:3). But it is a way of stressing that his dominion (diadeœmata are crowns of royalty; see note on 12:3) rests on force, while leaving the heads free for the blasphemous name.

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Thank you for your response! I am attempting to tread in waters that are figurative(some say speculative), but I believe a body of commentary is out there to help us discern these things. Irenaeus speculated the evenual fall of the Roman Empire-but of course he wasn't around to see it.] –  Tau Nov 6 '13 at 0:15

Rev. 12:3 describes a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven crowns upon his heads.

Rev. 13:1 describes '...a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns and upon his horns ten crowns and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.'

The beast described in the first instance appears to have undergone a metamorphosis when described in the second instance. The crowns have been removed from the heads and now sit on the horns.

We should not miss the significance of this change.

The beast is both spiritual and political. I say this because I note that it has the name of blasphemy on its heads - hence it is spiritual, and it is political because it is able to usurp the power/authority i.e.crown of a sovereign country and give it to political dissidents i.e.horns which are using violent methods to gain power.

Now where are we seeing exactly this happen in the world today? Could it be Syria, Egypt, Libya, Sudan, Afghanistan, Lebanon? (I'm Sorry but I can't predict the seventh) NB Lebanon and Syria have competing horns - Hezbollah and Hamas.

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@logic-Thank you for your response and welcome to BH! My guess is that you 'deduce' Islam to be the Antichist/Beast of Rev. 13:1. I think we both agree that the 'Beast' is figurative(the image described is representitive of another reality). Therefore, I would ask if you could examine the figurative 'characteristics' of the Beast and draw the same conclusion. Rev. 13:2 says,"It is like unto a leopard, with his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion.." Where have we seen "leopard", "bear", and "lion" before? In Dan. 7:4-6, the visions of Daniel are described –  Tau Feb 18 '14 at 13:28
(cont.) as a "lion", "bear", and "leopard", and they are understood as successive kingdoms(Babylon, Mede/Persia, Greece). But the "Beast" itself is "like unto a leopard" which is Greek. Greeks worshipped a polytheistic set of gods-resembling men, how can this be reconciled to a very 'monotheistic' system of belief who's "Heads" came before Islam? 'Greek' represents western culture and ideas, which are 'anathema' to Islam, how can the Greek Empire be the embodiment' of Islam? Your comments are appreciated. –  Tau Feb 18 '14 at 13:41
Welcome to Biblical Hermeneutics Stack Exchange! Be sure to take our site tour to learn more about us. We're a little different from other sites. Please don't post multiple answers to reply to comments on another. Edit the existing answer. –  Dan Feb 19 '14 at 2:27
@2479 re The Leopard Lion and Bear Dear user 2479 I must confess I am a bit confounded by the question you have put to me. Before I approach Daniel 7:4-6 I would like to point out that these same beasts are quoted in Hosea 13:7-9 'Therefore I will be unto them as a lion: as a leopard by the way will I observe them: I will meet them as a bear that is bereaved of her whelps, and will rend the caul of their heart, and there will I devour them like a lion: the wild beast shall tear them.' –  logic Mar 28 '14 at 10:52
I think that it may be simplistic to always interpret these beasts as the kingdoms of Babylon Mede/Persia and Greece. However if we do accept this interpretation then the conclusion we may draw from Hosea is that God is approaching Ephraim as these kingdoms. So then the question arises - is your understanding concerning these kingdoms relevant in all circumstances of Lion/Leopard/Bear quotes. –  logic Mar 28 '14 at 10:54

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