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In Revelation 13:1 (KJV), we see a picture of

... 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.

Yet in vs 3, we find:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Since this beast has 7 Heads, which 'Head' was wounded unto death, and healed?

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    The text simply says 'one of its heads'. We don't have any more details to work from. – user2910 Oct 29 '17 at 21:46
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    @Pilgrim That is correct. However, depending on your hermeneutic, the question may be nonsense. Is it the text, which is clearly stated, or the hermeneutic, which may 'fit' other portions of the text, but not this one; so this text was 'ignored'. The text is clearly stated: therefore it deserves a clear answer, which one can give IF they have the proper hermeneutic. – Tau Oct 30 '17 at 14:03
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    @All IF: This question is Opinion Based, THEN: All questions concerning Revelations and the interpretations of the symbols of Revelations are Opinion Based. Since we haven't clearly seen the Hand of God in the sky saying, "This is Exactly what this means", and instead, are given symbols, which God apparently wanted us to interpret correctly, we use systems of interpretation called "Biblical Hermeneutics" to aid us in their interpretation. Not all systems are the same. – Tau Oct 30 '17 at 14:11
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    @All (Finally) Since the text itself does not suggest an opinion, how can we say "Any answer is an opinion"? If we cannot solve a math problem, is the answer "an opinion"? If we don't understand certain events or dealings of God in Scripture, is God merely confounding our understanding? Or perhaps our methodologies for interpreting are inadequate, and therefore, not God's fault, but ours? – Tau Oct 30 '17 at 14:20
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    @All I have an answer, and it is an answer based on the text-not theology. I actually answered this question a long time ago, and because I was a 'newbie', it was downvoted to oblivion. Yes, it "cuts through" well worn paths of many commentaries, for primarily 1 reason. I can explain my answer from sound hermeneutics, which will be recognized(perhaps not agreed with), but I will clearly state how I arrived at the answer. Then you can decide, This is NOT an opinion-the same hermeneutics we use to determine what words mean will be used. – Tau Oct 31 '17 at 3:58
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Simple Answer: The Greek Head.

How does one arrive at this answer, and what hermeneutic does one use to arrive at this answer?

Introduction

In order to understand the answer, we must review the hermeneutic associated with this answer as well as discuss why other hermeneutics fail, or are considered "Opinion Based". Let's first consider the authorial intent of the text:(Nestle GNT 1904)

καὶ μίαν ἐκ τῶν κεφαλῶν αὐτοῦ ὡς ἐσφαγμένην εἰς θάνατον, καὶ ἡ πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου αὐτοῦ ἐθεραπεύθη. καὶ ἐθαυμάσθη ὅλη ἡ γῆ ὀπίσω τοῦ θηρίου

Interlinear Translation: "And one of the heads of it as having been slain to death; and the wound of death of it was healed; and marveled all the earth after the beast."

In comparing translations, the TR Stephanus 1550 uses "εἶδον" between καὶ and μίαν but this is simply saying "I saw" or "noticed", or "observed", which is restating what vs 1 of the same chapter states; therefore the translators refrained from repeating the statement. The Siniaticus, Alexandrinian, and Vaticanus codexes all agree "καὶ μίαν ἐκ τῶν κεφαλῶν"(one of the heads) is the Original Intent of the text. Irenaeus of Lyons(d.202) affirms this in Adversus Haereses(Against Heresies) in Book V, Chapter 28:2,

"John has thus described in the Apocalypse: And the beast which I had seen was like a leopard, and his feet as of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion; and the dragon conferred his own power upon him, and his throne, and great might. And one of his heads was as it were slain unto death; and his deadly wound was healed, and all the world wondered after the beast."

Therefore, our conclusion is "one of the heads" is the Authorial Intent of this passage.

Which Hermeneutic System of Eschatology best describes the meaning of the text?

The 4 Main Systems of Eschatology are: Idealist, Preterist, Futurist/Dispensationalist and Historicist. It is in these systems of eschatology that the argument of "Opinion Based" is referenced, as 3 of these systems have little or specious support for an answer, or outrightly reject the Authorial Intent, though we have clearly established it.

The Idealist Interpretation is described by Cornelis Venema as:

The idealist approach differs from the first three approaches in its reluctance to identify any particular historical events, institutions, or people with the visions of the book of Revelation.

Furthermore, he explains,

"Idealism acknowledges that the book of Revelation was originally written to encourage the early church in its struggles under religious and political persecution."(Both sources taken from here).

An Idealist interpretation sees everything as symbolic or allegorical, with no corresponding basis in literal or historical events. An example of an Idealist interpretation of Rev. 13 can be found in Matthew Henry's Commentary on this passage,(Rev. 13:1-3)

The wounding the head may be the abolishing pagan idolatry; and the healing of the wound, introducing popish idolatry, the same in substance, only in a new dress, but which as effectually answers the devil's design.(Taken from here)

There is no attempt to describe this wound except to say "pagan idolatry", and then "popish idolatry" is introduced, though not explained, nor correlated with the text. This interpretation is entirely subjective, hence the accusation of this method of interpretation as being "Opinion Based" is well founded.

The next method of Eschatological Interpretation is the Preterist Interpretation. The Preterist Interpretation can be described as,

a Christian eschatological view that interprets some (partial preterism) or all (full preterism) prophecies of the Bible as events which have already happened. This school of thought interprets the Book of Daniel as referring to events that happened in the 2nd century BC, while seeing the prophecies of Revelation as events that happened in the first century AD. Preterism holds that Ancient Israel finds its continuation or fulfillment in the Christian church at the destruction of Jerusalem in AD 70.(from Wikipedia)

A Preterist Interpretation of this passage says,

"The Roman beast with its seven heads represents seven Caesars beginning with the first, Julius Caesar. The head of the beast that had a fatal wound in Revelation 13:3 is the sixth head of the beast and the sixth Caesar, Nero, who committed suicide by stabbing himself in the neck. After Nero’s death, the Roman Empire collapsed into civil war. Peace and order was not restored until the rise of the Flavian Dynasty one year later. Therefore, the Flavian Dynasty beginning with Caesar Vespasian is the beast whose wound had been healed in Revelation 13:3. The healing of the wounded head of the beast is a resurrection motif."(taken from here)

It's a moot point that Nero chickened out and had his aid stab him; the main issue with this system of interpretation is "the beast(Nero)" did in fact die; there was no resurrection. Substituting "Caesar" for "Nero" when your system of interpretation calls for an individual is disingenuous, and as a system of interpretation this pattern is repeated many times. To make "Revelations" fit their model, they must contort and distort the details; the main one being John's writing of Revelations occurred in 95AD, after the Fall of the Temple in Jerusalem. When it says these things will "shortly come to pass", and you use 95AD as your starting point, any previous explanation of events not specifically referred to in the past belong in the future. Therefore, the "Beast" that was, is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition(Rev. 17:8) cannot be Nero, nor Vespasian as both were deceased by the time Revelations was written. But Preterists remain undeterred, and so one can say very loud and arguably that their view is "Opinion Based".

Futurists and Dispensationalists

It is with this interpretive view that more clarity is needed to be focused, because there is an element of truth in waiting for future events to happen.

Futurism is defined as

a Christian eschatological view that interprets portions of the Book of Revelation and the Book of Daniel as future events in a literal, physical, apocalyptic, and global context.(Source Wikipedia)

Dispensationalists are Futurists with the distinction that

Biblical history as divided deliberately by God into defined periods or ages to each of which God has allotted distinctive administrative principles. According to dispensationalist interpretation, each age of the plan of God is thus administered in a certain way, and humanity is held responsible as a steward during that time.(Source Wikipedia )

The Main Point of difference between Futurists and Dispensationalists is the administration(dispensation) of Israel during the Millennial Reign. Since Dispensationalists see the Church Age as distinct from Christ's Literal Reign in Jerusalem, where the Law is fulfilled and Ezekiel's Temple becomes reality, the Church is "separate"; most dispensationalists believe in a pre-tribulation rapture, where the Church is caught up to Heaven, waiting for the Final Judgment, while Israel is alive and present during the Millennial Reign.

Noted Classic Dispensationalist Charles Ryrie has been frequently quoted as saying,

“A dispensationalist keeps Israel and the church distinct... This is probably the most basic theological test whether or not a man is a dispensationalist, and it is undoubtedly the most practical and conclusive. A man who fails to distinguish Israel and the Church will inevitably not hold to dispensational distinctions; and one who does, will."(Taken from here)

Since Dispensationalists hold to a Literal, Historical/Grammatical fulfillment of God's Promises to Israel, there can be no confusion as to God's administration of His Promises: the Church is "Raptured", while Israel administers the Final Chapter of God's Administration, with Christ Himself in Jerusalem, overseeing the effort.

Futurists and Dispensationalists have been vindicated in recent years, as a Literal Nation of Israel was reborn in 1948. The promises of God, particularly of Isa. 66:8,(KJV)

Who hath heard such a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her children.

In May 14, 1948, David Ben-Gurion announced to the world the nation of Israel, after the last British troops left. Even more miraculously, the 5 Arab armies which vowed to "wipe Israel off the map" were soundly defeated, though they outnumbered them significantly. The God of Israel clearly aided them in fighting their battles, as was prophesied in the Old Testament.

A Futurist/Dispensational view of the Rev. 13:3 text is rife with problems: John Walvoord writes on this passage,

"The identification of a head with the government over which he has authority is not a strange situation. The person is often the symbol of the government, and what is said of the government can be said of him. Although verse 3 will continue to be a subject of controversy, the theological reasons for resisting an actual resurrection of a historical character to head the revived Roman Empire are so great as to render it improbable even though such personages as Nero and Judas Iscariot will continue to attract the attention of modern students of the book of Revelation. The beast is both personal and the empire itself; so also is the head. The revival of the future empire is considered a miracle and a demonstration of the power of Satan."(from here)

While Walvoord concedes the "Head" is a kingdom, and not an individual, because of the "forced" literal(historical/grammatical) interpretation of the passage he has to treat the "severed head" like an individual. Other Dispensationalists are not so reluctant; they picture an individual with a massive head wound, who is pronounced dead, yet at the last minute is healed. The Only Problem with this, as Walvoord admits, is it is not the Authorial Intent of the text. There are 7 Heads, it is a 7 Headed Beast. Because Dispensationalists view the entire book of Revelations as "Progressive", they've concluded a "Revived Rome" as the Head, yet the "Beast" was, and is not"(Rev. 17:8). Rome IS, therefore by virtue of this passage it cannot be the "IS NOT". Rome is the 6th Head, there is another Head called "Revived Rome", or the "Holy Roman Empire", which I will explain further on. But it cannot be the "severed Head" by reasons I just described.

The Futurists offer a variety of opinions; generally centered around Rome being the severed Head, so I won't go into detail, but this text ties eschatological knots for Futurist/Dispensationalists so although it is mistakenly "dramatized" in the "Left Behind" series, and other renditions, there is no consensus as to it's meaning; consequently those of this view consider any answer as "Opinion Based".

Historicist Interpretation

The Final Eschatological viewpoint for our consideration is the Historicist one.

The Historicist view is described as:

a method of interpretation of Biblical prophecies, associates symbols with historical persons, nations or events. It can result in a view of progressive and continuous fulfillment of prophecy covering the period from Biblical times to the Second Coming.(Source Wikipedia)

Though this interpretive view has been widely used by numerous luminaries, including John Knox, Martin Luther, John Calvin, and others, it is the interpretive method seen as the most fraught with danger; it's main criticism is that there is no universal agreement as to the outline of church history. Therefore, there is no uniform schema to apply to historical events, and individuals have been free to conjecture whatever events best describe their viewpoint.

A classic example of this is Martin Luther's calling of Pope Leo X, the "Antichrist", in which the same 'compliment' was passed back to Martin Luther by Pope Leo X. Of course, neither individual fits the historical narrative, but that didn't prevent them from using a Historicist Viewpoint for some fancy ecclesial namecalling!

However, this viewpoint best answers the question, "The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass"(Rev. 1:1 KJV), in that it agrees with events as unfolding in history; not as having "already happened", unless the context of the event proves it already happened, nor waiting for future fulfillment, unless it is clear (Christ's Return) that it is a future event. It allows for the fulfillment of Revelations throughout the spectrum of history, not "bunching everything at the beginning"(Preterism), nor waiting for everything to happen in the end (Futurism/Dispensationalism), or worse, ignoring the events(Idealism). Rather, if properly applied within textual and hermeneutical considerations can give us valuable insight to the gradual revealing of Revelations.

Meanings of the Symbols

Historicism does share commonality with Futurism in that it sees the symbols used in the Book of Daniel to confer meaning in the Book of Revelations. In Dan. 7:2 it says,(KJV)

Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

From the Book of Daniel "great sea" is not described; therefore it could lend itself to any variations or bodies of water. Yet in the Book of Revelations we observe the "beast" arise out of the sea, and carries with it many of the descriptive elements seen in Dan. 7. Furthermore, in Rev. 17:15, the angel says,

The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues.(KJV)

We are told earlier in vs 7,

Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.(KJV)

so we realize that the woman(Great Harlot) is sitting on the beast which emerged from the sea in Rev. 13:1. The word in Rev. 17:15 used is "ὕδατα"(hydata), which from Thayers can mean

figuratively used of many peoples, Revelation 17:1, as the seer himself explains it in Revelation 17:15, cf. Nahum 2:8; of a quantity of water likened to a river.

Although this is not the same word (θαλάσσης-thalasses) used in Rev. 13:1, since the context is clearly figurative and it also describes the word "great sea" used by the LXX in Dan. 7:2. What's more important is the angel gives us the meaning, "peoples, multitudes, nations, tongues", so we are not left to conjecture the meaning within it's symbolic context, in both Daniel and Revelations.

From here we move on to the beasts of Daniel, and then to the Beast of Revelations.

The 1st beast of Daniel was a lion, which stands like a man, and a man's heart is given to it. The next beast is a bear, and the 3rd beast is a leopard. The 4th beast is "dreadful and terrible"; no animal is given to it, because although the 1st 3 beasts are representative of kingdoms, of which likewise is the 4th, no animal 'matches' the description of this beast.

From Dan. 2 we see Daniel describing to Nebuchadnezzar the succession of kingdoms, starting with his that will reign upon the earth. What is important to understand is it is within these specific kingdoms that we are to identify the future unfolding of prophetic history: there are many kingdoms, and there are many kings, each of them not without their significance and many of them also mentioned in the bible. But nations such as Egypt, Assyria, Libya, Ethiopia, etc., are not part of the prophetic revelation in Chapter 2; to place them there anyway is to void the intent of the passage and substitute one's particular understanding against the prophetic intention of the verses.

The order of prophetic revelation, as well as historical importance is Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome. These nations directly interact with Israel and it's future; as oppressor "captor" nations, but more importantly those nations who stand in opposition to the Kingdom of God, which was represented physically in Israel, yet spiritually by the church. This is no more evident than in Dan. 2:34, where it says

Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.(KJV)

The "Stone", the same "stone which the builders rejected" is Christ. These particular kingdoms are allowed to grow, taking their place in historical order until collectively the 'man' which is described reaches his height when the 10 "toe" nations are revealed. It isn't until the statute historically reaches it's zenith that the "stone" smashes the toes, and disintegrates the statue. Therefore, any interpretation that permits the statue to stand has failed to reconcile this event, and thereby can be dismissed.

Reconciling the Kingdoms of Dan. 2 and 7 to the Beasts of Revelations

Most Futurist and Historicist Commentaries agree with the succession of kingdoms in Dan. 2 and 7 as being Babylon, Mede-Persia, Greece, and Rome; in fact the main reason is that they historically succeed one another, and a futurist has no problem with events that have proven to have happened in the past.

In identifying the "Heads" and "Horns" of the Beast of Rev. 13 is where a Historicist and Futurist interpretation parts company; the Main Reason is that a Futurist interpretation must see the Book of Revelations as "successive"; therefore the narrative of Revelations must, in their view, follow a path that only a future interpretation can bring. Therefore, any event recorded in Revelations that appears "out of sequence" can only be interpreted as "waiting to be fulfilled", whereas a historicist can argue that the event occurred, and we must reconcile our understanding to the historical event that took place.

Futurism gets its label from its refusal to see unfulfilled passages as having been fulfilled by approximately similar events in the past. Hence, it holds that many of the events in the book of Revelation await future fulfillment:

The futurist generally believes that all of the visions from Revelation Rev. 4:1+ to the end of the book are yet to be fulfilled in the period immediately preceding and following the second advent of Christ. The reason for the view is found in the comparison of Revelation Rev. 1:1+, Rev. 1:19+ and Rev. 4:1.(Both sources taken from here).

Historical Interpretation of the Heads

In Rev. 12:5(KJV) it says,

"And she brought forth a man child, who was to rule all nations with a rod of iron: and her child was caught up unto God, and to his throne."

A Historicist interpretation* establishes the birth of Christ as the event occurring in Rev. 12:5; from this event we can work from this recognized point of history both backwards and forwards. As Historicism covers the broad spectrum of history, and is not isolated in finding meaning in the "beginning", or the "future", we can determine if events described in prophecy were fulfilled, or have yet to be fulfilled.

The beasts of Dan. 7 give us the clues to identify the beasts of Revelations. In Dan. 7, we have previously stated that the "beasts" began with Babylon, then Mede-Persia, then Greece, then Rome. We therefore can rule out Egypt and Assyria since no mention of either of them occurs in Daniel.

What has allowed commentators to include these kingdoms is when the heads are described in Rev. 17:9-11,(KJV)

And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Since we have identified Rome as the "Head That Is"(the 6th Head), what are the previous 5? Furthermore, what is the 7th Head, which precedes the "Horns" that rule in Rev. 13:1?

Before I get into the identities of these Heads, there are 2 caveats which need mentioning: 1) the Beast Was and Is Not-therefore Rome, as much as we would like to make it to be, cannot be the Beast. Rome is certainly represented in the Beast, and is an important part of it's progression. But we cannot make Rome the "Beast" because Scripture doesn't make her the Beast; no matter how much we see Catholicism, the Pope, past injustices and present apostasy. Many use the "woman that sits on 7 Mountains"(Rev. 17:9) as the basis; using the 7 Roman Hills. Istanbul also has 7 Hills and so does Seattle, Washington. Furthermore, we cannot use "Literal" Mountains to describe a "Figurative" Beast, or worse yet, a "Literal" woman(Rome/Roman Catholicism) who's butt covers 7 Hills. Many make the mistake of using Literal and Figurative Interpretation in the same passage; but Context is the key. If we are talking "Literal" Mountains, then we are talking a Literal "woman" and a Literal Beast. If we are talking "Figuratively", and the passage "also are seven kings...."(kings=mountains) means the Context is Figurative, we cannot change from Figurative to Literal whenever it suits our interpretation. To summarize-the Beast, nor the woman is Rome.

The 2nd caveat is it is still a "Beast with 7 Heads and 10 Horns", and not a "Beast with 8 Heads and 10 Horns". Some use the "Revived Roman Empire" to qualify as the "8th Head", but that is not what the passage is saying. The "Beast" revives, but if we remember, "it is not..." during the Roman Empire. We can't 'revive' what was dead in the 1st place.

The Most Important Word in Dan. 7

To truly grasp the meaning of the Beast, understand it's nature, and remove speculation about individuals, systems, countries, etc. that attempt to cloud our thinking concerning this topic we must understand 1 singularly important word: that word is Dominion. The word "וְשָׁלְטָ֖ן"(wə·šā·lə·ṭān), which is a derivative of שָׁלְטָן(sholtan), comes from the root word שָׁלַט(shalat), which the BDB says in it's verb form to "domineer, be master of".

The word "dominion" is used 7 times in Dan. 7; it is 1st used in vs 6, when describing the 3rd Beast(Greek Empire), then it is used in vss 12 and 24, when the kingdoms' dominion is taken away, then in vss 14 and 27, when it describes the Lord's dominion, who after destroying the dominion of the beast, will reign forever, and all nations will serve and obey Him.

To understand "dominion", as it's only mentioned in the Greek Kingdom, is to contrast that understanding with the Lord's dominion. Both dominions have rule over the entire earth, but it's much more than land mass, physical territory or a particular ruler imposing his will. The Lord's dominion is the Kingdom of God, with it's laws, statutes, truths, ceremonies, feasts, as well as recognizing it is the Lord who exercises authority over every aspect of His domain. The Greek Kingdom, through Alexander the Great, did much more than conquer territory; it influenced culture, language, architecture, drama, literature, science, government, philosophy, theology, law, learning....all in celebrating the triumph of man, and the advancement of mankind. This model of thinking continues today, our scientific progress, governmental systems, ethics and legal systems all had their origins in the Greek Ideal. The fact that the 4th Beast(Rome), ascended to power and defeated the Greeks doesn't diminish this fact, they merely copied the Greek Ideal, and their pantheon, and gave it Latin names. There are 2 dominions being contrasted in Daniel 7: the Greek dominion and the Kingdom of God dominion. One dominion has the Christ as King, the other dominion, the Antichrist. One is the religion of man, the other the religion of God. The Greek dominion will ultimately be destroyed, and Christ's dominion will reign over the entire earth.

The Heads of Rev. 13

Understanding the word "dominion" greatly assists us in understanding Rev. 13. Rev. 13:2 says,

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

Since the "leopard" kingdom is Greece, the nature, characteristics, culture, learning, laws, science, government are Greek. Therefore the identity of this Beast is Greek-it is the 8th Head, yet 1 of the seven. Since the "lion"(1st beast of Daniel) is mentioned, it has it's roots in the Babylonian system, of which "soared to greatness" until it's wings were 'clipped', and most importantly, stood on it's feet like a man-representing the Kingdom of Man, as opposed to the Kingdom of God. It is no accident that it has the "feet of a bear", because the 2nd beast of Daniel is the bear(Medes/Persians). It leaned to 1 side, meaning the Persian kingdom gained dominance. But neither the "mouth" or "feet" are heads, meaning neither Babylon or Mede/Persia can be counted as heads, for they are already described.

Vision of the 3rd Beast

After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.(Dan. 7:6)

The 1st 5 Heads of the 7 Headed Beast are the Leopard(Alexander the Great-Greek) and the 4 Heads that followed his empire, which were divided among his 4 generals. The 6th Head(which is, during the time of John as previously discussed) was Rome-the 4th Beast of Daniel, from which the horns, which had no crowns in Rev. 12:3 as they were still colonies. The 7th Head, which in the statue of Nebuchadnezzar followed the legs of iron(Rome), was the Holy Roman Empire. The height of it's reign was the 3rd Reich, but it only lasted 13 years.

The 1st Head was "severed unto death", yet lived. Alexander the Great, and the "greatness" of the Greek Kingdom collapsed at his death, as there was no heir. The rival generals fought each other and lost the territory(and influence) gained during his conquest. Rome was a "terrible" beast, crushing all that didn't succumb to it's influence, and unlike the Greeks, held it's rule for 1500 years, although greatly diminished after the Fall of Rome.

But something happened, which 'revived' the 1st Head. That "revival" was called the Renaissance, and it has been recognized by most scholars as the beginning of the Modern Age. The "Greek" Head, diminished and depleted, now surged forth with renewed strength, invading the church, then the world. The scientific progress, educational philosophy, art, drama, poetry, along with law and government were all dramatically influenced by this movement. The Humanist Philosophers(Voltaire, Rousseau, Kant, Pope) eventually saw the "death of God" and sought to eradicate His influence in government, education, art and literature, and their persistence led to the revolutionary changes we see today.

It must be noted that each "Head" is not a person, but a "kingdom". Alexander the Great represented the Greek Kingdom, his followers represented the division of that kingdom in the 4 Cardinal directions(N,S,E,W).

Summary

Therefore, the "Head severed unto death, yet lived" is the Greek Kingdom. The Historicist View allows one to "see" through the progression of history, it's life, death, and resurrection into our present age. The interpretive clues, along with understanding "Dominion" show it to be diametrically opposed to the Kingdom of God.

*Note: Dispensational and Preterism also agree with this view. Futurism challenges it because it isn't "progressive"(Rev. 12 'should' be in the middle of tribulation period), although most Futurists agree the "man-child" is representative of Christ.(A further discussion was originally given, but limited due to exceeding format length.)

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  • A common mistake is to equate the head that received the mortal wound with the beast. The head (king) that was killed is not the same as the beast (empire) which almost died. Unlike all the previous kings (Caesar's) of the Roman empire, when Nero was killed the entire empire almost fell. There is no question of reviving the dead head / Nero. That head was replaced, not revived. The Roman empire revived because of the next head / Caesar that pulled it back from its almost death. The death of Nero was a mortal wound to the beast as it almost destroyed the empire. It does not speak of the – Gina Nov 18 '17 at 15:28
  • revival of the dead head / king. Further, we have to equate the 4th kingdom as the one that existed when Christ ascended to the Father. That is critical. He ascended after His resurrection which occurred in the first century A.D. The vision of the ascension of Christ in Dan. 7 is the same vision Christ showed to John in Rev. 5:6 of the lamb slain that stood before the throne. In Dan. c 7 that ascension was still future. In Rev. 5 the vision was of a past event. It is a common mistake to think that all of Revelation was of a future account. We know that Rev. 12 opens with vision of ... – Gina Nov 18 '17 at 15:38
  • past events. Rev. is not in chronological order, but thematic. The time frame is of the promise of his judgment against those who rejected Him and persecuted His saints. Rev. 1:7 said that those who pierced Him would see His coming. If they have been dead for almost 2,000 years how are they going to do that? Please see the posts at my blog shreddingtheveil.org for It's Not The End of The World, parts I - X. – Gina Nov 18 '17 at 15:40
  • @Gina Hi Gina, my post isn't finished yet, but I will respond to your comments. The "Beast" is the 8th Head, and yet one of the seven. "And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."(Rev. 17:11) Even in your analysis you must call the Caesar's "Heads". Yet you can't call "Nero" the Head that was "Wounded Unto Death, Yet Healed", because plain and simply he died. To suddenly replace "Caesar's" with the "Roman Empire" is disingenuous- and furthermore Rome lasted far beyond 70AD. I won't go into the rest, but the vast majority of (con't) – Tau Nov 19 '17 at 4:24
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    @Gina Seeing the Lord come in the clouds with great honor and glory simply hasn't happened yet. The angel told the disciples, "this same Jesus, which is taken up from you into heaven, shall so come in like manner as ye have seen him go into heaven."(Acts 1:11). Even your own apologists concede that point. So, given that, the case you make for the rest is on pretty shaky ground. I admit it is a case, but like the other methodologies, requires a degree of faith in the methodology that goes beyond the textual understanding. My purpose is to reconcile the text 1st, then the methodology. – Tau Nov 19 '17 at 16:20
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The traditional explanation:

The seven heads are Babylon, Persia, Turkey, Thrace, Syria, Egypt, and Rome. The head wounded to death was Rome. Now let me explain.

Revelation:13.1

Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns...Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion... And [I saw] one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed.

This beast in the above passage is an aggregate beast or a Confederacy of the beasts mentioned in the following passage

Daniel 7:3-7

And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. [4] The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings.... [5] And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side.... [6] After this I beheld another, like a leopard... the beast had also four heads...[7] After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible....and it had great iron teeth (in verse 19 it also had claws of bronze): diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.

Note: According to the above passage, the ten horns will be on the same head in Revelation 13! The horns are not spread across the heads but are on the same head in both books of Daniel and Revelation

[ Four Beasts [1] This beast in Revelation has all the characteristics of the four beasts mentioned in Daniel 7 which are the

  1. Lion,

  2. Bear

  3. Leopard

  4. The terrible and dreadful Beast

    ON HEADS

Heads are usually used to reference the capital city of kingdoms and the person of kings according to: Isaiah:7.8

For the head of Syria is Damascus, And the head of Damascus is Rezin...... The head of Ephraim is Samaria, And the head of Samaria is Remaliah's son.

IDENTIFYING THE HEADS

a)First Head of the Beast

The Lion with eagles wings is the kingdom of Babylon. This is due to the following passages of Scripture:

Babylon as Lion- Jer 50:17, Jer 4:7, Jer 2:15.

Babylon as Eagle- Deut 28:49, Jer 4:13, Jer 48:40, Jer 49:22, Hab 1:8

b) Second Head of the Beast The Bear raised up on one side with three ribs in his mouth is the kingdom of medo-persia. The Persians were more powerful (raised up) than the medes. This is also repeated in Daniel 8 only that in this case the bear is a ram with two horns such that one is higher than the other. And the higher horn came up last(Persia)

c) Third, Fourth, Fifth and Sixth Head of the Beast The Leopard with four heads and four wings is the kingdom of Greece. The four heads are the four capitals over which Alexander's kingdom was split. The four wings are the four generals who divided that kingdom. In Daniel 8 the Leopard is the shaggy goat with a prominent horn(Alexander himself) which was later broken into four horns(the four generals who became kings)

  • Seleucus-took Syria,

  • Ptolemy took Egypt

  • Cassander took Thrace and

  • Lysimachus took Turkey.

d)Seventh Head of the Beast The last beast has teeth of bronze and nails of Iron. This corresponds to the 3rd and 4th metals/kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar's image in Daniel 2.

This beast also has ten horns which correspond with the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's image. It also had a little horn before whom 3 horns were uprooted. This beast is therefore the Greco-Roman empire and it's head is Rome.

The destruction of that beast led to its fragmentation into the ten toes of Daniel 2. These ten toes are the ten European tribes that continued the Roman empire albeit in a weaker state. (Iron mixed with clay.) When Rome fell it split exactly into 10 separate nations:

  1. The Saxons, originating the English nation.
  2. The Franks, originating the French nation.
  3. The Alamanni, originating the German nation.
  4. The Visigoths, originating the Spanish nation.
  5. The Suevi, originating the Portuguese nation.
  6. The Lombards, originating the Italian nation.
  7. The Burgundians, originating the Swiss nation.
  8. The Heruli, disappeared in 493 A.D.
  9. The Vandals, disappeared in 534 A.D.
  10. The Ostrogoths, disappeared in 538 A.D.

Daniel:7.11

"I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. "As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

Since the only beast to be killed is the terrible fourth beast. Then it is only its head that can be healed in Revelation 13. So it is the seventh and last head of the beast that was wounded unto death.

Note 1: The wounded head is the head that carries the ten horns and ten crowns!!!. Only the fourth beast in Daniel 7 had such a head!!!

Note 2: The beast with ten horns had a boastful horn in Daniel 7. The beast in Revelation 13 was given a great mouth and spoke pompous words. Hence the same head that carries the boastful horn in Daniel should be the same head that speaks with a great mouth in Revelation 13.

This means that Rome would be revived in future prior to the return of Messiah. "That is why the eyes of the Romans who pierced him will see him" at his return-Revelation 1:7

The More agreeable explanation. http://endtime.ichthus.info/04/chap07.html

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  • It's objectively not accurate to call this 'the traditional interpretation', since it is not common/traditional either historically or globally. – user2910 Nov 14 '17 at 0:14
  • @user20490 I'll give you a +1, as some of your answer is actually incorporated in my answer-although with an entirely different conclusion. FYI- I'm sure you're aware that your answer won't please many-what is taking me so much time to craft an answer is not the hermeneutics themselves, but the objections to them which I will attempt to respond to. That said......Thank you for your response! – Tau Nov 14 '17 at 0:19
  • It is the traditional interpretation since at the time of Daniel, the head of gold followed the arms of silver, belly of brass and the legs of iron. Hence the four great beasts have always been traditionally identified using Nebuchadnezzar's Image as the key. The fourth beast had teeth of iron and claws of brass which correspond with the Greek and Roman empires in Nebuchadnezzar's Image. – user20490 Nov 14 '17 at 0:20
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    @Bagpipes No the beast in Revelation 13 takes the characteristics of all the beasts that preceded it in Daniel 7. This is why it has seven heads and rules over all tribes, tongues, peoples etc. (it is a One World government). But the head of the fourth beast was revived. (only the fourth beast died in Daniel 7). – user20490 Dec 7 '17 at 12:53
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    @Bagpipes Heads like I pointed out represents both capital cities and Kings. This revived head has ten horns. The ten horns of the all conquering beast. The revival of this head creates wonder and causes the whole whole to follow this aggregate beast because of the head of the fourth beast. So we can infer that just as the fourth beast was dominant in Daniel 7, so will it's head (capital and kings) be dominant in the one world government. – user20490 Dec 7 '17 at 12:57
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In antiquity, one interpretation of this verse was that it referred to Rome.

The first complete commentary of Revelation (and a primary source for the Greek text of the book itself) was by Andrew of Caesarea (late 6th/early 7th c.). He writes:

A head as if wounded, it says, is either one of the rulers who will be put to death and who will appear to rise again by him through deceitful sorcery, as simon Magus had done who was reproached by the leader of the Apostles [Peter]1, or the kingdom of the Romans, having endured some kind of wound by division will seem to have been healed by the monarchy, after the model of Caesar Augustus.2

Regarding this last comment, Dr. Eugenia Constantinou writes:

Out of the divisions and civil war, such as occurred in Octavian's time, a new Augustus would arise who would unify the Empire. Octavian assumed more power, changed the Republic into an empire, and was proclaimed Augustus [Caesar]. Hippolytus (2nd/3rd c.) made a comparison to Augustus citing this verse with regard to his accumulation of power.3

Dr. Constantinou also writes of similar interpretation in antiquity involving Nero, by Victorinus (3rd/4th c.):

Victorinus identifies the head that was slain as Nero, who had slit his own throat. He will return in the future as leader with a different name whom the Jews will believe is the messiah, but he will actually have returned from hell. The mythology that Nero in fact had not died and would return was a well known legend in the Roman Empire.4


1. Commentary on the Apocalypse, translated from the Greek; in E. Constaninou, Andrew of Caesarea and the Apocalypse in the Ancient Church of the East: Studies and Translation (Ph.D. Thesis)
2. A reference from the apocryphal Acts of Peter
3. Constaninou, op. cit., p.141n.
4. Ibid.

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  • Thank you for your response! As previously noted, Nero didn't actually slit his own throat, he chickened out and had an aid do it for him. But the fact he didn't "revive", though mythologically one could argue he did, doesn't revive him; he's dead. Which means 1) the individual hasn't revived yet-although certainly one could wait expecting a miracle to happen; or 2) the "head" isn't an individual(how many 7 headed individuals do you know), but a kingdom in succession with the kingdoms of Daniel. If you concede that, then it can't be Rome. Who is it then? – Tau Dec 16 '17 at 16:05
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PREFACE:

If we begin with a faulty premise, then all of our conclusions will be wrong. Many people have been taught to believe that "the end" referenced in the Bible was speaking of the end of the physical world, and that the "last day" speaks of one day in which God would judge the entire world. For centuries they have reasoned that since the physical world is still here, and that since people are still being born, and still die, that since life continues on then that "last day" and "the end" has not happened yet.

The reason for the confusion is the unwillingness to abide in God's word. They take the prophesy of Daniel out of context, and do not pay attention to some very key details.

Daniel had been reading the books of Jeremiah, specifically Jer. chap. 25 and 29 which told of the time God would allow the remnant of Israel to return and to rebuild Jerusalem.

Jer. 25:9-11,

"9 Behold, I will send and take all the families of the north, saith the LORD, and Nebuchadrezzar the king of Babylon, my servant, and will bring them against this land, and against the inhabitants thereof, and against all these nations round about, and will utterly destroy them, and make them an astonishment, and an hissing, and perpetual desolations.

10 Moreover I will take from them the voice of mirth, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the sound of the millstones, and the light of the candle.

11 And this whole land shall be a desolation, and an astonishment; and these nations shall serve the king of Babylon seventy years." (KJV)

This land was Judea, which included the capital city of Jerusalem. Jer. 29:10,

"10 For thus saith the LORD, That after seventy years be accomplished at Babylon I will visit you, and perform my good word toward you, in causing you to return to this place." (KJV)

So, Daniel begins and sets the background in Dan. 9:1-2,

"1In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

2 In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem." (KJV)

We understand then that Cyrus has already defeated Babylon, and that Chaldea was already in the hands of the Medes. The first kingdom of Daniel's dream in chap. 7 had already passed. And in vs. 3 Daniel begins praying, repenting of not only his sins, but for the sins of his people Israel.

His prayers are for his people and the holy city that is called by God's name.

Dan. 9:17-19,

"17 Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

18 O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

19 O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name."

Thy city and thy people... Jerusalem and the Judeans (Jews).

Gabriel came to Daniel and began by telling him in vs. 23:

"At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision."

The context and subject matter of Daniel's prayer was for the time of the end of the desolations of Jerusalem. Daniel wanted to know when the seventy years would be finished, and when they would be allowed to return and to rebuild Jerusalem. The entire prayer was about the end of the desolations of Jerusalem.

Gabriel continues and lays it all out in vs. 24:

" Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy." (KJV)

The subject matter has not changed. The context is still speaking of "the end of the desolations of Jerusalem." Gabriel gave Daniel the time frame, literally seventy sevens of years. This was by way of correcting Daniel, because had asked a question he did not understand.

Daniel had thought he was asking about the return to rebuild Jerusalem at the end of 70 years as he understood from the books of Jeremiah. But, his question to God was phrased in the context of "the end of the desolations of Jerusalem."

Isn't that just like us, to ask a question in such a way that is not technically what we really wanted to know? God sent Gabriel with the answer to Daniel's exact question..."the end of the desolations" of Jerusalem. Even Daniel did not thoroughly understand what he had asked, but God still answered the question.

Not seventy years, Daniel, but seventy sevens of years. The time determined was 490 years for "the end"... the end of the desolations of Jerusalem.

Confirming this in the very same sentence Gabriel verifies the people of this prophesy - "...upon thy people and upon thy holy city..."

Thy people was Daniel's people, those of Judah and the remnant of Israel.

"Thy holy city" was Daniel's holy city...Jerusalem. The entire context of this prophesy from Dan. chap. 9 through chap. 12 concerned Daniel's people and Daniel's holy city.. the Jews and Jerusalem.

The context of this entire prophesy was about THE END OF THE DESOLATIONS OF JERUSALEM. It was not setting up an 'end of the world" scenario.

Everyone who has presumed in the posted replies to this question, just as in many commentaries that "judgment day" has not yet happened because life has continued on, has stepped out of context of this prophesy, and gone beyond the subject matter of the scriptures.

Daniel 7:7-8 prophesied of the 4th beast and its 10 horns, that they were cast down. The 10 horns belonged to the 4th beast, the 4th kingdom. In the time frame, Dan. 7:9 continues,

"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened."

When the Ancient of days - God - sat on His throne, judgment began. So, judgment was to begin when the 10 horns of the 4th beast was thrown down.

But we cannot stop there. Because in vs. 13-14.

"13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed." (KJV)

This was the prophesy of the ascension of Christ. It is confirmed in the explanation given to Daniel in the rest of the chapter where vs. 23-24 that the 10 horns of the 4th kingdom / beast were 10 kings of that kingdom, and in vs. 26,

"26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end." (KJV)

Judgment shall sit... judgment day was to come during that 4th kingdom, the same 4th kingdom when Christ would ascend to the Father. Christ fulfilled this during the 1st century AD at His ascension into the clouds in Acts. 1:9.

Christ's ascension in the 1st century A.D. assuredly pinpoints the time of that 4th kingdom. That 4th kingdom therefore was the world-power that ruled during the 1st century A.D. which was the old Roman empire. That this ties to the appearance of Christ (the Lamb) in Revelation 5:6 as though just slain also ties the prophesy of Revelation to the same time period - the first century A.D.

"The end" in Dan. 7:26 was when judgment would sit - that is begin, and was when the dominion of the world power of that 4th kingdom would become the dominion of Christ's kingdom. It is still the same time period.

After telling Daniel specifically what would happen within that 490 years unto the desolations of Jerusalem, Gabriel continues in chap. 10 confirming in vs. 14,

" Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days."

Again, "thy people" was Daniel's people - the Jews, and again it concerned what would happen to the Jews in the "latter days"... or "the end" which were still a long time off from Daniel's days.

In chap. 11, Gabriel tells of about 400 years of events that would transpire as his people rebuild Jerusalem during "troublesome" times while the kings of the north - the Seleucid dynasty from Alexandar's kindgom - and the kings of the south - the Ptolemaic dynasty march back and forth past Jerusalem in their attempts to conquer each other. They occasionally took time out to sack Jerusalem while they marched past it.

And in chap 12. still discussing the same subject - the end of the desolations of Jerusalem -the question in vs. 6,

"...How long shall it be to the end of these wonders?" (KJV)

The answer was in vs. 7,

"and when he shall have accomplished to scatter the power of the holy people, all these things shall be finished."

The holy people were the same people of the holy city of Dan. 9:24...the Jews.

Daniel did not understand and asked the question again in vs. 8. He was told in vs. 11-13,

"11 And from the time that the daily sacrifice shall be taken away, and the abomination that maketh desolate set up, there shall be a thousand two hundred and ninety days.

12 Blessed is he that waiteth, and cometh to the thousand three hundred and five and thirty days.

13 But go thou thy way till the end be: for thou shalt rest, and stand in thy lot at the end of the days." (KJV)

Again, many read the last verse and jump to a conclusion that is outside the subject matter. The prophesy was still concerning the end of the desolations of Jerusalem. Therefore, "the end of the days" were the end of the 490 years from Dan. 9:24, as the prophesy details the time of the coming of the Messiah and the end of the daily sacrifice in the temple at Jerusalem.

The end of the daily sacrifice in the temple at Jerusalem occurred during the 1st century A.D. The 1260 days was defined as "from the time that the daily sacrifice" was taken away, or stopped and to the time that "the abomination that maketh desolate" was set up.

Luke defined the abomination of desolation. Luke 21:20,

"And when ye shall see Jerusalem compassed with armies, then know that the desolation thereof is nigh." (KJV)

Luke c. 21 was the parallel of Matt. c. 24. The counterpart was Matt. 24 :15,

"When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)" (KJV)

Christ tied the armies that encompassed Jerusalem to the same abomination spoken of in Dan. 12:11 quoted above. The time frame is clear, and the abomination that made Jerusalem desolate, which was the subject of the Daniel's question.. the end of the desolations of Jerusalem... was the Roman army during the siege of A.D .70 when Jerusalem fell, and the temple was destroyed!

Therefore, "the end" of the desolations was the destruction of that temple in A.D. 70, and as Dan. 12:2 stated,

"And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."

Then, the judgment that sat in Dan. 7:26 was the very same judgment that Christ said He would bring back with Him in Matt. 25:31 - 46 when He separated the sheep from the goats, and is the very same judgment that began at His ascension to the Father in Rev. 5:6.

Do not be concerned at this, as the judgment that "shall sit" in Dan. 7:9, 26 has never stopped. It goes on every single hour of every single day of every single year, because Christ reins now at the right hand of the Father and is gathering His elect as we pass from this life to eternal life in heaven.

The misguided conception of men that have continually taught the "last day" was an end of time judgment day have not stayed within the scriptures which clearly teach that the "last days" were the end of the desolations of Jerusalem. Matt. 22:1-14 clearly links the judgment to the destruction of the city, which city was Jerusalem.

Desolation - complete destruction: Daniel chap. 9-12, Matt. 24:15, Mark 13:14, Luke 21:20.

"Behold, your house is left unto you desolate." Matt. 23:38

"And the ten horns which thou sawest upon the beast, these shall hate the whore, and shall make her desolate and naked, and shall eat her flesh, and burn her with fire." Rev. 17:16

"And they cast dust on their heads, and cried, weeping and wailing, saying, Alas, alas that great city, wherein were made rich all that had ships in the sea by reason of her costliness! for in one hour is she made desolate." Rev. 18:19

They were all discussing the end of the desolations of Jerusalem. The prophesies cannot be stretched past the first century A.D. The world views of both the historicist perspective and the futurist perspective are not keeping within the context of the prophesy for "the end".

WE GO ON

There are several key points that must be kept in mind when studying Revelation. The first are the time texts that point to the immdediacy of the prophesy.

Rev. 1:1,

"The Revelation of Jesus Christ, which God gave unto him, to shew unto his servants things which must shortly come to pass; and he sent and signified it by his angel unto his servant John:" (KJV)

The nearness and shortness of time is repeated throughout the book, and greatly emphasized 5 times in the last chap. 22.

Rev. 22:6,

"And he said unto me, These sayings are faithful and true: and the Lord God of the holy prophets sent his angel to shew unto his servants the things which must shortly be done." (KJV)

Rev. 22:7,

" Behold, I come quickly: blessed is he that keepeth the sayings of the prophecy of this book." (KJV)

Rev. 22:10,

" And he saith unto me, Seal not the sayings of the prophecy of this book: for the time is at hand." (KJV)

Rev. 22:12,

"And, behold, I come quickly; and my reward is with me, to give every man according as his work shall be." (KJV)

Rev. 22:20,

"He which testifieth these things saith, Surely I come quickly. Amen. Even so, come, Lord Jesus." (KJV)

None of these verses were speaking of how he would come, but WHEN he was coming. This is verified by the words "the time is at hand". The book opens and closes with "must shortly come to pass." That does not allow for centuries to expire before His promised return.

Christ had told the disciples that His time (crucifixion) was "at hand" before the last supper (Matt. 26:18). Within hours He was crucified. Paul told Timothy of his near death (2 Tim. 4:6), that it was "at hand". The words meant the very same as they had been used by Christ. Paul's death was close or near in time.

The words had the very same meaning in Revelation of close, soon, shortly to happen. So, employing the common sense usage of hermeneutics we must apply the clearest and plainest meaning of the words as they had been previously used. And, as both the first and last chapters of Revelation clearly expressed that ALL of the events Christ showed John in ALL of the chapters of the book were close, near, and shortly to happen; then we must look for those events shortly after the book was written.

The next hurdle we have to overcome is to determine when the book was written, and this work has been very carefully studied and determined by some very good scholars to have been before Jerusalem and the temple was destroyed in AD 70.

Robert Young, Young's Analytical Concordance, 1885:

"“It was written in Patmos about A.D. 68, whither John had been banished by Domitius Nero, as stated in the title of the Syria version of the book; and with this concurs the express statement of Irenaeus in A.D. 175, who says it happened in the reign of Domitianou – i.e., Domitius (Nero). Sulpicius, Orosius, etc., stupidly mistaking Domitianou for Domitianikos, supposed Irenaeus to refer to Domitian, A.D. 95, and most succeeding writers have fallen into the same blunder. The internal testimony is wholly in favor of the early date. The temple at Jerusalem was still standing (ch. 11.1-10); the exact duration of the siege is foretold, viz., 42 months, 3(-)1/2 years, or 1260 days; the two witnesses are to be slain in the city where our Lord was crucified; Nero was reigning at the time, for it is said of the seven kings of Rome; ‘five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come, and when he cometh, he must continue a short space.’ The five kings are Julius Caesar, Augustus, Tiberius, Caligula, Claudius. The ‘one who is ‘ is Nero; the one who ‘must continue for a short space’ is Galba, who reigned only seven months. Everywhere the events are ‘to come quickly,’ lit. ‘with haste,’ or speed (ch. 1.1; 2.16; 3.11; 11.14; 22.7, 12, 20). The escape of the Christian Jews from Jerusalem to Pella is undoubtedly referred to in ch. 7.1-8, compared with Mat. 24.30.’”

Greg Bahnsen (1984) from Historical Setting for the Dating of Revelation:

“When we combine the names (of the pre-20th century advocates of the early dating of the Apocalypse of John) with the yet outstanding stature of Schaff, Terry, Lightfoot, Westcott, and Hort, we can feel the severity of Beckwith’s understatement when, in 1919, he described the Neronian dating for Revelation as “a view held by many down to recent times.”

There are many more sources listed at my post "Signs of Revelation - Part I: The Time of His Coming" here. Dating The New Testament also provides the 1st century AD date as before the destruction of the temple here.

The express nearness of the time statements that Christ provided to John will not allow for a futurist / dispensationalist approach to the prophesy of Revelation.

They are in clear contrast to the command Gabriel gave to Daniel to close and seal the prophesy until the time of the end (Dan. 12:9). Sealing the prophesy until a "future" time for Daniel meant that it was still a long time ahead of him. Those events were not close or near to Daniel's time.

But, we notice that John was told not to seal up the prophesy of Revelation because the time was at hand (Rev. 22:10). That clearly indicated to John that he would see these events unfold shortly in his lifetime. And, as we know that Christ told the disciples that John would live to see His coming (John 21:22), then John fully expected these events to happen before he died.

God told Jeremiah that the seventy years of the Babylonian captivity would be a long time. Jer. 29:28 -

"...‘This captivity is long; build houses and dwell in them, and plant gardens and eat their fruit.’” (NKJV)

Therefore, the at hand nature of the prophesy of Revelation cannot even allow for seventy more years to have passed after the book was written!

Christ was manifested on earth during the 4th kingdom of Daniel's dream, when the "stone cut out without hands", that is Christ struck the feet of iron and clay (Dan. 2:31-35). As Christ was manifested during the first century AD, and as God had recorded that His manifestation would be during that 4th kingdom, then we have to abide by His record that the 4th kingdom existed at the time Christ appeared on earth. That 4th kingdom that ruled the known "world" during Christ's manifestation was the Roman empire.

Therefore, all of the events of the prophesy were directly concerned with the Jews, Palestine, the persecution and tribulation of the Christians under the Roman empire of the first century A.D.

The word “beast” in Rev. 13:1 is “therion” and means a wild beast, a predator that devours the young and the weak. God compared the ruling oppressors as beasts. Those who were supposed to be taking care of the people were instead feeding off of them as wild beasts hunt and eat prey.

Ezek. 34: 8-10,

"As I live, saith the Lord God, surely because my flock became a prey, and my flock became meat to every beast of the field, because there was no shepherd, neither did my shepherds search for my flock, but the shepherds fed themselves, and fed not my flock;

9 Therefore, O ye shepherds, hear the word of the Lord;

10 Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I am against the shepherds; and I will require my flock at their hand, and cause them to cease from feeding the flock; neither shall the shepherds feed themselves any more; for I will deliver my flock from their mouth, that they may not be meat for them." (KJV)

In prophetic language, beasts are those who feed off the people. Wild beasts are symbols of oppressive ruling authorities and governments.

Dan. 7:17,

" These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth." (KJV)

The OT pattern was repeated in Revelation. The beast rose up out of the sea.. that is the gentile nations across the great Mediterranean sea. The seven heads were seven kings / Caesars. The ten horns were the lesser ruling senatorial provinces that did not have the power or rule equal to Caesar. The power to wage war for 42 months was the war against Judea beginning in A.D. 66-67 and culminating in the destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

Its target, or prey was the newly born, young church of Christ, and His saints.

The blasphemies spoken against God were from the mouth of the pretending Caesars who claimed to be God, and who vowed to destroy all other claimants, and all the seed of David. Specifically, during the great tribulation, the persecution of the saints, it became centered in one man, Nero. (Rev. 13:18)

The symbol of the beast of the sea switches back and forth between the collective pagan empire of Rome, and the representative of that empire, Caesar. In general, it is a symbol of the pagan world power which was presented in the Roman empire of the first century A.D.

The "head" of the beast that was wounded during this time was the sixth "king" - that "one is" - a present tense verb indicating who was ruling (Rev. 17:10) at the time John received the prophesy. "One is" cannot be forced to be a future head or king when the very next words state the next king had not yet come.

The beast - the Roman empire - had a mortal wound and revived. Nero died with the help of his servant, and was immediately followed by Galba who ruled for 6 months (short space of Rev. 17:10). Then appeared Otho, and after Otho, Vitellius. The civil wars during this Year of Four Emperors almost destroyed Rome.

The beast - the Roman empire - was revived under Vespasian who broke off from the wars in Judea to gather his army and march back to Rome to restore order to the empire, while leaving his son Titus in charge of the campaign in Judea. It was under Vespasian that the "beast" revived.

The beast of the sea was the Roman empire which represented the amalgamation of all of the previous empires it had consumed / conquered. It was the very depiction of strength and weakness (mix of iron and clay) because they allowed their conquered territories to keep their religious laws and customs (religio licita) as long as they paid tribute to Rome. There was no union of common belief or customs among the conquered provinces.

As such, the Romans maintained rule with a scorched earth policy of destroying any of the provinces that rebelled. That is the approach they took with the rebellion in Judea during the Jewish - Roman wars of AD 66 - AD 70 which culminated in the destruction of that profane temple in Jerusalem. That was the depiction in Revelation of the blood running up to the horses bridles for 1600 furlongs, which was the width and breadth of Judea (Rev. 14:20), approx. 200 miles of destruction.

The wounded "head" was Nero, which almost resulted in the destruction of Rome, and the beast was revived under Vespasian.

For more detail see "The Beast of Revelation," "Daniel and The End Times", all 8 parts of "The Signs of Revelation", and others at my blog ShreddingTheVeil.

Other sources:

"Titus' Siege of Jerusalem" here

"Dating the Book of Revelation" here

"The Year of Four Emperors" here

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  • Thank you for your response! Unfortunately, none of these responses can offset Irenaeus's setting of John's writing of the Book of Revelations on the Isle of Patmos during Domitian's Reign(81-96AD), and church tradition through Tertullian who affirms the same time, However, I realize these points are hotly debated, and to those who espouse your view, consider as sacred dogma the view that "Domitianou" was Domitian. There are holes too numerous to plug; one of them is Irenaeus wrote in Latin, which was preserved. He also discreded "616" instead of "666". But again, Thank You! – Tau Nov 14 '17 at 14:56
  • Actually, Kenneth Gentry's book "Before Jerusalem Fell" discussed in detail how Irenaeus' supposed comment has been distorted and misreported for centuries. The evidence from within the scriptures is from the Holy Spirit and should be considered above that of fallible gossip of men. – Gina Nov 14 '17 at 15:02
  • Since you have based your answer on the timing due to the opening phrase ("things that must shortly come to pass"), Then your whole answer is deeply flawed as your short timing doesn't cover much of the events of Revelation. In Revelation we see so many prophecies from the old testament prophets being fulfilled e.g The coming of the dreadful day of the Lord, The fall of the cities of the nations after the great last shaking of heaven and earth, The disappearance of the mountains and hills, Great plagues against the whole earth, battle of gog and Magog, the new heaven and new earth etc. – user20490 Nov 14 '17 at 22:58
  • But you claim that the events cannot take centuries to be fulfilled because Jesus told John that those things must shortly come to pass. You forget other prophetic keys given in Scripture e.g "A day with the Lord is as a thousand years and a thousand years is as a day". In 2 pet 3, when he stirred our minds by reminding us about the coming destruction of the earth, he used that phrase. Since the earth is destroyed in Revelation, then we must use Peter's understanding of divine timing in order to understand what Jesus was saying to John (Peter's fellow disciple). Your answer is misleading!!! – user20490 Nov 14 '17 at 23:06
  • The book is prophesy, and the language is that of OT prophesy. Prophetic language is not a literal language, but hugely metaphorical and majestic poetry. It must be understood from its original use in the OT. Mountains and hills "melting" or falling was how God referred to bringing down nations / kingdoms. Stars falling from heaven were the downfall of political authorities. Shaking the "heavens" referred to shaking the kings / kingdoms and upsetting the existing political society. The western literal mindset does not know the OT prophetic language. I have detailed much of this code... – Gina Nov 15 '17 at 8:01
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Which Head was “Wounded Unto Death” and healed?

Revelation 13:3 (KJV)

And I saw one of his heads as it was wounded to death, and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

It was the seventh head, why?

The seven heads of this wild beast stand for six major world powers featured in Bible history up to John’s day​—Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome—​and a seventh world power prophesied to appear later.​ Although there were other world powers besides those mentioned in the scriptures, the seven mentioned are the ones which had influence over God's people or their land.

Revelation 17:9-10 (NASB)

9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while."

Conclusion.

When John saw his vision, Rome was the then world dominant power, the other five have fallen. The "one is", is Rome and which also has long ago disappeared from the world scene, therefore it was the seventh head or the seventh-word power which was "Wounded Unto Death and healed. The wounded beast is Joined by another beast from the earth which apparently comes to its aid and exercises all the authority of the first beast [i]in his presence. ( a dual power) John states:

Revelation 13:11-12

11 "Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast [i]in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed."

Notes:

There are remarkable similarities between the wild beast in Daniels prophesy 7:2-8,17 and Johns' vision. Revelation 13: 1-2

Revelation 13:1-2 (NASB)

1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the [a]seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.

Read Daniel 7:2-8

https://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Daniel+7%3A2-8%2C17&version=NASB;NET

Daniel 7:17

17 "These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth."

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Since this beast has 7 Heads, which 'Head' was wounded unto death, and healed?

Technically none because there was no death. It says "as it were" wounded unto death which means it would have become deadly but the wound was healed so death was avoided. Revelation also does not say which of the 7 heads this happened to. The most important thing is knowing the heads are mountains where kingdoms exist. The heads are not people.

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And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having 10 horns and 7 heads, and on his horns 10 diadems, and on his heads names of blasphemy...And 1 of his heads was as it were slain to death, and his death stroke was healed. And the whole earth marveled after the beast. Rv 13:1, 3.

Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of...the beast...who has the 7 heads and the 10 horns. The beast that you saw was and is not and is about to come up out of the abyss and go into perdition. And those who dwell on the earth, those whose name is not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life, will marvel when they see the beast, that he was and is not and will be present...The 7 heads are the 7 mountains where the woman sits and are 7 kings: 5 have fallen, 1 is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a short time. And the beast who was and is not, he himself is also the 8th and is out of the 7 and goes into perdition. And the 10 horns which you saw are 10 kings, who have not yet received a kingdom but receive authority as kings for one hour with the beast. 17:7-12.

Since this beast has 7 Heads, which 'Head' was wounded unto death, and healed?

The 7th head. He "has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain only a short time." He'd not yet come at John's time, nor has he come as the Roman ruler yet. To "remain only a short time" is to rule briefly before being "slain to death," that is, assassinated. "His death stroke was healed" equates to an inexact resurrection. Namely his human body revived with the soul and spirit of another "out of the 7." One who "was and is not and is about to come up out of the abyss and go into perdition." To constitute "the 8th." So which "of the 7" is this spirit?

Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man; and his number is six hundred sixty-six. 13:8.

Here the beast, the entire beast, is equated with a single human. Caesar Nero's title name in Hebrew and Greek calculates to that number. He was the 5th fallen (cf Judg 3:25) Roman king in the list, thusly defined: of Julius, not Augustus (Lk 2:1) since he died naturally, Tiberius (3:1), Caligula, Claudius (Ac 11:28; 18:2), Nero (25:8-12; Philip 4:22; 2 Tim 4:16-18), Domitian (cf Rv 1:9), and him who "has not yet come." It's in this way, finally, that the "8th" head subsumes, consummates, or comes to equal the entire beast.

...that you be not quickly shaken in mind nor alarmed, neither by a spirit nor by word nor by a letter as if by us, to the effect that the day of the Lord has come. Let no one deceive you in any way, because it will not come unless the apostasy comes first and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or an object of worship, so that he sits in the temple of God, setting himself forth, saying that he is God. Do you not remember that while I was still with you, I said these things to you? And now you know that which restrains, so that he might be revealed in his own time... 2 Thes 2:1-12.

...And there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron, inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters everything; and like iron that smashes all these, it will crush and smash. And in that you saw the feet and the toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom will be a confused mass; but there will be some of the firmness of iron in it, for you saw the iron mixed with the earthy clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be fragile. And in that you saw the iron mixed with the earthy clay, they will be mixed together through the seed of men, but they will not cleave to one another, even as iron does not mix with clay. And in the days of those kings the God of the heavens will raise up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and its reign will not be left to another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms; and it will stand forever... Dan 2.

Seventy weeks are apportioned for your people and for your holy city, to close the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make propitiation for iniquity, and to bring in the righteousness of the ages, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies. Know therefore and comprehend: From the issuing of the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the time of Messiah the Prince will be seven weeks and sixty-two weeks; it will be built again, with street and trench, even in distressful times. And after the sixty-two weeks Messiah will be cut off and will have nothing; and the people of the prince who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end of it will be with a flood, and even to the end there will be war; desolations are determined. And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week; and in the middle of the week he will cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease and will replace the sacrifice and the oblation with abominations of the desolator, even until the complete destruction that has been determined is poured out upon the desolator. 9:24-27.

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  • Thank you for your response! You referenced Gina's response, so my remarks to Gina would be the same as to you. My question to you simply is, "Are you a Partial Preterist, or Full Presterist?" – Tau Mar 22 at 13:33
  • I only agreed with Gina's one sentence: "When [the angel] told John that the sixth king of Rev. 17 "now is" He meant that the sixth "king" was ruling when the prophesy was given / spoken." Gina appears to identify the 6th king as Nero. I say he's Domitian. She also says Nero was "wounded," whereas I read that it's the 7th king who hasn't come yet, who will be "wounded to death." I concur with Victorinus only in part, that: "[Nero] will return in the future as leader with a different name...but he will actually have returned from hell." Thanks – Walter Smetana Mar 22 at 18:52

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