Revelation 11:7 introduces "a beast that comes up from the Abyss". This beast could be synonymous with the beast from the land (by some equated with Behemoth) or the beast from the sea (by many equated with Leviathan) spoken of in Revelation 13. Or it could collectively represent both. Or it could be a distinct enemy of the church and God.

What scholarship or Biblical analysis supports the position that this beast is a distinct and different being from the beasts of Revelation 13?

Also, if you know of scholarship that supports identifying it with one or both of those other beasts, can you cite it along with evidence or argument to contradict that scholarship?

  • There is some very good [recent] scholarly work that makes ‘sense’ of these passages. There are also both the ‘traditional’, and popular speculative thinking (including the ‘Behemoth/Leviathan ‘theories, these really do need to be seen ‘correctly’, not imaginatively.). Reference: Dr Douglas Hemp, Dr Michael Heiser.
    – Dave
    Oct 26, 2021 at 22:53

1 Answer 1


The "key" to understanding the beast from the abyss is to look at the key to the abyss.

  • Rev 9:1 - Then the fifth angel sounded his trumpet, and I saw a star that had fallen from heaven to earth, and it was given the key to the pit of the Abyss.
  • Rev 9:2 - He opened the shaft of the Abyss, and from the shaft rose smoke like the smoke of a great furnace, and the sun and the air were darkened with the smoke from the shaft.
  • Rev 9:11 - They were ruled by a king, the angel of the Abyss. His name in Hebrew is Abaddon, and in Greek it is Apollyon. [= "destruction"]
  • Rev 11:7 - When the two witnesses have finished their testimony, the beast that comes up from the Abyss will wage war with them, and will overpower and kill them.
  • Rev 17:8 - The beast that you saw—it was, and now is no more, but is about to come up out of the Abyss and go to its destruction. ...
  • Rev 20:1 - Then I saw an angel coming down from heaven with the key to the Abyss, holding in his hand a great chain.
  • Rev 20:3 - And he threw him into the Abyss, shut it, and sealed it over him, so that he could not deceive the nations until the thousand years were complete. After that, he must be released for a brief period of time.

Thus, it appears that the following are all different titles for the same entity:

  • the "star" that fell from heaven Rev 9:1, Luke 10:18, (Isa 14:12-15), Rev 12:9
  • the "angel" of the abyss (compare Rev 9:1, 11, with Rev 1:20)
  • the beast who comes up from the abyss (Rev 17:8, 9:2, 20:3)
  • the beast who is going to his destruction (Rev 9:11, 17:8)
  • the one who deceives the nations (Rev 20:3)

The beast from the abyss (who originally came from heaven) is one of the well-known "beast trinity" in Revelation consisting of:

  • the beast from the abyss described in Rev 12, also called, the great red dragon (Rev 12 & 17)
  • the beast from the sea described in Rev 13:1-10
  • the beast from the land described in Rev 13:11-17, also called the false prophet, Rev 19:19, 20, 20:10
  • Wonderful detail. I’ll wait another day in case another answer comes along before accepting this. Oct 26, 2021 at 23:16

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