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And he (the DRAGON) stood on the sand of the sea.

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Then I saw a beast

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rising out of the sea;

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it had ten horns

and seven heads.

On its horns

it had ten royal crowns,

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and on its heads blasphemous names.


And he

(the GREAT DECEIVER) stood between life and death.

Then I saw a ferocious creature coming from the place of danger and death; it had complete legal power which it used ruthlessly, and it had unlimited authority to lead. To accompany this brutal power it had been granted complete authority to rule, and its legal authority had a reputation as being blasphemous against God.


1: “the sea”

Satan stands at the intersection of life and death in order to draw the living toward death. This clause appears in three different places in the manuscripts that have been discovered, here, at the end of Revelation 12:17 and as Revelation 12:18. It is repeated here so that any way you look for it, you will find it.


I have chosen to describe the “beast” in my paraphrase as a “ferocious creature” because it shows something of his nature or character, but it also reminds us that he too was created by God and is thus weaker than God.

3: “the sea”

The implication here is that the place of danger and death is his place, his realm; he belongs there. Therefore, it is not dangerous to him. This in turn seems to imply that he has control over danger and death, and that he rules that realm. We know that only God has control over life and death. But we also know that if you get too close to Satan and his cohorts it can cause spiritual death. That is the meaning intended by this phrase.

4: “On its horns it had ten royal crowns”

Crowns are not worn on horns, but on heads. Likewise, this beast had 10 horns and 7 heads, which, in real life, would result in a strange distribution of horns, no matter how one would arrange them. Revelation is full of illogical things, which must be imagery, which must be interpreted using the interpretive methods of the original audience, not those of modern times.