Leading up to chapter 13, we read about the prophet John, who was given a vision of the end times, see the dragon or Satan be hurled down to earth. Keeping in mind that chapter breaks are artificial, it’s important to note that some Bible translations include the last sentence from Revelation chapter 12 as part of the first verse of chapter 13. That sentence reads, “And he stood on the sand of the sea.” Some have translated the “he” as Satan who at this point begins the summoning of his two witnesses on earth for the final push for the Satanic kingdom. Others have simply referenced this as the prophet John who in his vision was placed on the seashore to watch what was about to happen. Either way, the two arms of the unholy trinity is about to be unveiled.
“And I saw a beast rising out of the sea…”
The term “beast” in the Greek is theœrion which is used 46 times in the Bible describing “a beast, wild animal, a brute, brutish man.” This beast is commonly understood to be the antichrist, the man of sin, the man of lawlessness, the little horn, the prince that shall come. There are many commentators who have interpreted the beast as a mere kingdom. While this is partially true, it seems evident that it was actually speaking of an individual who will possess authority over the end times kingdom. Without getting too far ahead of ourselves, consider this passage in Revelation 19:20 where the beast and the false prophet are described as individuals who are “captured” and thrown into the lake of fire.
Rev. 19:20 And the beast was captured, and with it the false prophet who in its presence had done the signs by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped its image. These two were thrown alive into the lake of fire that burns with sulfur.
There are many reasons why this first beast is associated with the various titles mentioned a moment ago. Let’s briefly touch on a couple of these aspects as we dig into this verse.
The antichrist is the common title for the end times leader of the final kingdom. The word “antichrist” is actually only used in the Bible five times (1 John 2:18 [x2], 1 John 2:22. 1 John 4:3, 2 John 7). 1 John 2:18 is a great example of how this title of “antichrist” represents not only the end times beast but also anyone who denies that Jesus came in the flesh.
1John 2:18 Children, it is the last hour, and as you have heard that antichrist is coming, so now many antichrists have come. Therefore we know that it is the last hour.
This verse is indicative of the fact that while the end times antichrist will be a single person, anyone who denies that Jesus Christ came in the flesh is also considered “antichrist”. It’s important to remember that the word “antichrist” does not mean “against Christ,” but rather “instead of Christ,” showing that this end times beast personality will himself be looked upon by the world as it’s unique savior. But given the broad definition of antichrist, we can look back through history and see the many individual leaders and kings who could be labeled as a type of antichrist figure.
2Th. 2:3 Let no one deceive you in any way. For that day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of destruction,
Here, the Apostle Paul warns the church of Thessalonica by saying that the day of the Lord will not come until the man of lawlessness is revealed. This is consistent with the idea of the antichrist mentioned in 1 and 2 John possessing a deceptive quality. This idea is again reinforced by Jesus in Matthew 24.
Matt 24:23-24 Then if anyone says to you, ‘Look, here is the Christ!’ or ‘There he is!’ do not believe it. For false christs and false prophets will arise and perform great signs and wonders, so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect.
The other titles mentioned previously (the little horn, the prince that shall come) are both referenced in the book of Daniel which we will look at when we get into the horns, heads, and diadems.
The sea from which the beast rises has been interpreted in various ways, although the general consensus seem to be shared. John Brown, in his commentary on the sea in Revelation 13 said, “Usually the sea referred to in scripture is the Mediterranean…Therefore it is commonly assumed that this beast-man will come from one of the lands surrounding this great sea.” David Guzik commented that, “…Jewish people in Biblical times regarded the sea as a wild, untamed, frightening place.” The book of Daniel, mirrors this imagery of the beasts rising out of the sea.
Dan. 7:3 And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another.
Later in this chapter in Daniel, an angel tells Daniel that these four beasts seen in his vision who “came up out of the sea,” are in fact, four kings that come from the earth. While this might seem like a contradiction between the beast rising from the sea in Daniel 7:3 and the explanation of the angel who tells Daniel that the four beasts are kings that come from the earth in Daniel 7:17, we can properly assume that the use of the word “sea” in Daniel 7:3 is a metaphor. Likewise, we can assume that this is the case with Revelation 13:1.
The phrase “the sea” is used nearly 300 times in the Bible, and most of it is in context to speaking about the literal sea. However, the few times they do suggest a metaphorical interpretation allows us to speculate about what the “sea” in Revelation 13 is referring to.
Mic. 7:19 He will again have compassion on us; he will tread our iniquities underfoot. You will cast all our sins into the depths of the sea.
In this passage of Micah 7:19, it is fascinating to consider the proposition that God will cast our sins into “the depths of the sea,” perhaps indicating that it is from our deepest human culmination of sin where the first beast will rise from. This idea of sin being cast into “the sea” is reinforced in the story of Jesus commanding demons named Legion to exit a man who was possessed by them, and enter into a flock of pigs. This account is recorded in both Matthew 8, and Mark 5.
Matt. 8:32 And he said to them, “Go.” So they came out and went into the pigs, and behold, the whole herd rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the waters.
Mark 5:13 So he gave them permission. And the unclean spirits came out and entered the pigs; and the herd, numbering about two thousand, rushed down the steep bank into the sea and drowned in the sea.
While this account describes the literal sea, perhaps it was Jesus’ way of showing us the bridge between the metaphorical and literal understanding of the sea as a place of sin where demons are sent.
There is another possibility as to how we might understand the significance of using the sea as the place where the first beast rises from.
Rev. 11:7 And when they have finished their testimony, the beast that rises from the bottomless pit will make war on them and conquer them and kill them,
If the beast here is described as rising out of the bottomless pit, then we can speculate that the sea mentioned in Revelation 13:1, and the bottomless pit in Revelation 11:7 are synonymous. This is fascinating when we consider the various occult prophecies of entities such a Thoth of the ancient Egyptian pantheon speaking about descending to the underworld for a time before rising again in the future. Here is an example of such line of thinking from The Prophecies of Hermes Trismegistus, who is the Greek version of the deity Thoth, an alleged divine being from the pre-flood world of Atlantis.
“Cease from your unbelief, O my brother, and follow the path and know you are right. Then shall men cease from their striving, brother against brother and father against son. Then shall the ancient home of my people rise from its place ‘neath the dark ocean waves. Then shall the Age of Lights be unfolded with all men seeking the Light of the goal. Then shall the Brothers of Light rule the people. Banished shall be the darkness of night. Aye, the children of men shall progress onward and upward to the great goal. Children of Light shall they become.”
While we don’t put any stock into these occult prophecies, it’s fascinating to see the deliberate contrasting illustrations made by God in the Bible. Such an example if found in Jude verse 13.
Jude 13 …wild waves of the sea, casting up the foam of their own shame; wandering stars, for whom the gloom of utter darkness has been reserved forever.
This passage is quite powerful in illustrating the metaphorical “sea” since from its wild waves emerges “the foam of their own shame.” What is even more fascinating is the mention of the “wandering stars,” which could be associated with the fallen angels from Genesis 6 described to be reserved in chains of darkness. And again, we can speculate that while the occult prophecies of Hermes Trismegistus speak of children of light coming from “beneath the dark ocean waves”, the Bible says in opposition, that these so called “light bringers” are in fact fallen divine angelic beings.
Before we look at one last interpretation of the “sea” in Revelation 13:1, it’s important to note that this phrase is used several times in the book of Revelation leading up to Chapter 13. The first three verses in which the sea is mentioned seems to be referencing the literal sea. However, the following uses of “the sea”, especially in Revelation 10 seem to be somewhat ambiguous since John describes a mighty angel standing with one foot in the sea and the other on land, perhaps as some kind of indicator or foreshadow of Revelation 13.
Rev. 10:2 He had a little scroll open in his hand. And he set his right foot on the sea, and his left foot on the land,
Rev. 10:5-6 And the angel whom I saw standing on the sea and on the land raised his right hand to heaven and swore by him who lives forever and ever, who created heaven and what is in it, the earth and what is in it, and the sea and what is in it, that there would be no more delay,
Rev. 10:8 Then the voice that I had heard from heaven spoke to me again, saying, “Go, take the scroll that is open in the hand of the angel who is standing on the sea and on the land.”
Most traditional commentaries on Revelation 10 as it pertains to the the angel with his right foot in the sea, left foot on the land, a scroll in one hand, and his right hand raised to the heavens suggest that this is indicative of the world wide magnitude of the events that are about to unfold. This is quite possible as it relates to this last interpretation of “the sea” mentioned in Revelation 13:1.
In Revelation 17 the woman who rides the beast, or “the great prostitute” commonly known as Mystery Babylon is said to sit on “many waters.”
Rev. 17:1 Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgment of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters,
The identity of the “many waters” is later shown in verse 15.
Rev. 17:15 And the angel said to me, “The waters that you saw, where the prostitute is seated, are peoples and multitudes and nations and languages.
While “the sea” is used as in a single body of water, and “many waters” refers to plurality, we can still speculate that this interpretation of “the sea” is fairly accurate, especially when referencing back to Revelation 10 which we were looking at a moment ago. Specifically in Revelation 10:11, after John eats the scroll that was in the hand of the angel whose right foot was in the sea it states,
Rev. 10:11 And I was told, “You must again prophesy about many peoples and nations and languages and kings.”
The overlapping elements between this account and Revelation 17:15 are “peoples,” “nations” and “languages.” Thus, when we combine all of the elements we’ve looked at concerning the place from which the first beast rises, we can safely assume that “the sea” in Revelation 13:1 is alluding to a pinnacle time of sinful humanity influenced heavily by the demonic powers and principalities whose rightful place of residence is the bottomless pit. But luckily for us, God tells us His ultimate victory over this beast who rises from the sea:
Is. 27:1 In that day the LORD with his hard and great and strong sword will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan the twisting serpent, and he will slay the dragon that is in the sea.
JESUS AUTHORITY OVER THE SEA
The power that Jesus displayed over the seas during His ministry might also serve both as literal and of metaphorical significance. There are several passages that are fascinating to consider when looking at Jesus and His interaction with the sea. First off, in the book of Mark chapter 4, we are told of a great storm that Jesus simply speaks to calmness.
Mark 4:39 And he awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, “Peace! Be still!” And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm.
Mark 4:41 And they were filled with great fear and said to one another, “Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey him?”
Even more powerful is when Jesus walks on water.
Matt. 14:25-26 And in the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. But when the disciples saw him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” and they cried out in fear.
Mark 6:47-49 And when evening came, the boat was out on the sea, and he was alone on the land. And he saw that they were making headway painfully, for the wind was against them. And about the fourth watch of the night he came to them, walking on the sea. He meant to pass by them, but when they saw him walking on the sea they thought it was a ghost, and cried out,
This event is often mentioned as a story of not only Jesus’ display of power over nature, but also the test of faith of Peter who is described later in the Matthew account as also walking on water but begin to sink as he became afraid of the wind. But perhaps there is another gem of truth found here in light of our study thus far about the sea. In essence, it’s possible that Jesus walking on the sea was in demonstration of His superiority and ultimate authority over the bottomless pit, or the abyss just as much as it was of His display of power over nature. And if that weren’t enough, It’s interesting to note that Jesus descends down into what is called “the lower regions” of the earth upon his death as a means to proclaim his victory over the darkness.
Eph. 4:9 (In saying, “He ascended,” what does it mean but that he had also descended into the lower regions, the earth? He who descended is the one who also ascended far above all the heavens, that he might fill all things.)
While we only touched on the first half of Revelation 13:1, we will next look at the second half of verse 1 as well as verse 2 and the characteristics of this beast.
 qhri÷on http://biblesuite.com/greek/2342.htm
 1 John 2:18
 2 Thessalonians 2:3
 2 Thessalonians 2:8
 Daniel 7:8,11,20 and 8:9
 Daniel 9:26
 Daniel 7:17
 2 Peter 2:4, Jude 1:6
 Revelation 5:13, 7:3, 8:8
 Matthew 14:30