The Beasts of the Apocalypse and Their Generic Meaning

By: Ranilo Abando (Manila, December 17, 2020) ****

The surreal Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation has attracted many interpretations, mostly in the perspective of people with particular religious sectarian beliefs, which likely tainted their interpretations with personal or sectarian pre-conceptions.  Many of their interpretations relate to a future end of days scenario for the world where their particular religious grouping comes to a final apocalyptic conflict with their perceived or imagined enemies.  That is a dramatic scenario indeed, but we are genuine truth seekers, so we only want to know what are the true hidden messages there and nothing more.

The first beast mentioned in this chapter of the Revelation is easy to interpret because I have discussed it thoroughly already in many of my previous posts, so by now the reader should be able to interpret it at first look.  The dragon is also easy because I have also mentioned it several times in past posts.  The more difficult one is the second beast.  My higher mind worked overtime to process it.  I tried to connect it to other ancient writings where it might have a corresponding concept.  It has two hits: the concept of the Bull of Heaven in the Epic of Gilgamesh of ancient Mesopotamia and the concept of the goddess Sekhmet in the ancient Egyptian knowledge system.

The following is written in Chapter 13 of the Book of Revelation:

The First Beast

1. Then I saw a beast come out of the sea with ten horns and seven heads; on its horns were ten diadems, and on its heads blasphemous names.

Discussion:  This first beast represents the“beast” aspect of the lower mind of a human being that contains the programs or algorithms that produce such unbridled lower desires and dark passions as greed, lust, gluttony, vanity, pride, anger, sorrow, fear, arrogance, and jealousy.  The “sea” where it came out from refers to the large chaos matter composition of the lower mind, which originally came from the “abyss” or the surrounding “ocean of chaos”.  The seven heads refer to those passions enumerated above, with the number seven meaning “complete”.  The ten horns with ten diadems represent the different kinds of higher knowledge that a passion-driven person can possess and which he will use to for his own selfish purposes.  The blasphemous names on its heads correspond to the foul, abusive, and slanderous words commonly spoken by a person who is motivated by uncontrolled passion.

2. The beast I saw was like a leopard, but it had feet like a bear’s, and its mouth was like the mouth of a lion.  To it the dragon gave its own power and throne, along with great authority.

Discussion:  This first beast is a metaphorical hybrid monster whose power of motivation (i.e., like a lion) comes from the “dragon” which symbolizes the lower mind itself.  The serpentine attribute of the dragon represents the high chaos matter content of the lower mind.  This “authority” or power that energizes the lower mind comes from the proverbial “river from Eden” or the spiritual lifeline nourishing it from high up the mind column.

3.  I saw that one of its heads seemed to have been mortally wounded, but this mortal wound was healed. Fascinated, the whole world followed after the beast.

Discussion:  This verse confirms my interpretation because the “mortal wound that healed” is similar in meaning to the mythical Hydra of Greek mythology that represents the “beast’ aspect of the lower mind as discussed in a previous post of mine.  The healing of the wound of the beast is similar to the capability of the Hydra to grow two heads to replace one that is cut off by a person. It simply means that a passion or desire can be temporarily suppressed, but it will just reappear later.  Instead, a person needs to “burn” his passions, meaning bearing and suffering the pain of the consequences of acting on a passion or desire so that the latter eventually loses its power over the person.

4. They worshiped the dragon because it gave its authority to the beast; they also worshiped the beast and said, “Who can compare with the beast or who can fight against it?”

Discussion:  This verse is telling us that most people desire the pleasures being offered by this virtual physical world which is built by the lower mind (symbolized by the dragon).  And the lower mind is what hosts and empowers the dark desires and passions to which most people also yield to.  Most people know no other alternative purpose in life than to pursue worldly desires, and they are mostly powerless anyway to resist them.

5. The beast was given a mouth uttering proud boasts and blasphemies, and it was given authority to act for forty-two months.

Discussion:  A passion-driven person is given the power to utter abusive and foul language, and his desires and passions are empowered by the lower mind to generally control his actions throughout his lifetime.

6. It opened its mouth to utter blasphemies against God, blaspheming his name and his dwelling and those who dwell in heaven.

Discussion:  The foul and abusive language spoken by a person with uncontrolled passion respects no authority or sanctity.

7. It was also allowed to wage war against the holy ones and conquer them, and it was granted authority over every tribe, people, tongue, and nation.

Discussion:  An important knowledge is contained here.  The verse is telling us that the “beast” aspect is also strong in the reactivated lower minds of the advanced beings (“holy ones”) from high up the mind column who were born on earth to teach humanity.  Many of those advanced beings suffered the karmic consequences of their succumbing to the dark desires and passions manifested by their lower nature. And worse, the strong power of the thinking minds of those beings allowed their expressed dark desires and passions to adversely affect many tribes, kingdoms, and large linguistic groupings of people.

8. All the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, all whose names were not written from the foundation of the world in the book of life, which belongs to the Lamb who was slain.

Discussion:  This verse is telling us that all spirits that were not yet human spirits when this present evolutionary mega-cycle on earth started are expected to pursue their desires and passions (because they are still lowly evolved and they still need basic desires in order to survive in the absence of reliable thinking minds).

9. Whoever has ears ought to hear these words.

Discussion:  The verse is telling us that those who have thinking minds that are developed enough to understand the knowledge being relayed here, should read this message.

10.  Anyone destined for captivity goes into captivity.  Anyone destined to be slain by the sword shall be slain by the sword. Such is the faithful endurance of the holy ones.

Discussion:  A person who has done a bad action in the past is expected to be done the same action in the future, whether in this cycle or in the next one.  This is in accordance with the Law of Balance, which is more commonly called the Law of Karma.  The advanced beings (holy ones) who teach humans from time to time do understand this law very well, so they simply endure the consequences of their actions while on earth.

The Second Beast

11. Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth; it had two horns like a lamb’s but spoke like a dragon.

Discussion:  This metaphorical second beast is sort of a hybrid between a lofty spiritual concept (lamb) and a low chaos-matter-related concept (dragon).  It represents misguided idealism.  Examples of ideologies that purportedly have the welfare of the people as their lofty goal, but actually ending up causing the death, starvation, and suffering of millions of people are many: Nazism, Stalinism, aggressive nationalism, religious radicalism, suicidal doomsday cults, etc.  

12. It wielded all the authority of the first beast in its sight and made the earth and its inhabitants worship the first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed.

Discussion:  Energized from the same source of spiritual will, this second beast is as motivated as the “beast” passion and desire programs of the lower mind, and it convinced the people to more strongly support and pursue their hate, pride, intolerance and blood-lust passions.

13. It performed great signs, even making fire come down from heaven to earth in the sight of everyone.

Discussion:  “Fire coming from heaven” represents the energizing spiritual influences coming from above, high up the mind column, through that proverbial “river from Eden”, that this second beast receives.

14. It deceived the inhabitants of the earth with the signs it was allowed to perform in the sight of the first beast, telling them to make an image for the beast who had been wounded by the sword and revived.

Discussion:  In this verse, the second beast represents a ruler or ruling party wielding political power that is based on dark passions like hate, greed, vanity, pride, and misguided idealism, such as Hitler or the Nazis, whose power is based on hate for Jews, racial pride, and aggressive nationalism.  The Nazis “performed signs” by conducting big marching parades and public rallies with pomp. They also issued “images”, meaning physical representations of their misguided political power, such as flags and money bearing their party symbol — the swastika which they appropriated for their political party.

15. It was then permitted to breathe life into the beast’s image, so that the beast’s image could speak and [could] have anyone who did not worship it put to death.

Discussion:  As an example, the aggressive nationalism and misguided ideology of the Nazis deceived the German people into giving consent and power into Hitler’s “images” such as the swastika, Nazi flags, and issued banknotes, so that the latter symbols and money “speak” – meaning they wield power and coercive authority.  Those who did not obey or respect the Nazi authority and commands could have been put to death.

16. It forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to be given a stamped image on their right hands or their foreheads,

Discussion:  “Forehead” represents thoughts while “right hand” represents actions. A ruling dictatorship based on hate, pride, or misguided ideology brainwashes or re-educates (“stamps the image”) the people to give value, power and authority to its symbols of political power, so that the thoughts and actions of the people will conform with the distorted world view and political power of the ruling dictatorship.

17.  so that no one could buy or sell except one who had the stamped image of the beast’s name or the number that stood for its name.

Discussion:  The ruler or ruling party of a dictatorship makes sure that only those people who obey and respect the authority of the dictatorship will reap the economic benefits in society.  For example, during the time of Emperor Nero, only the Romans who believe in the value of the Roman coins bearing the stamped image of Nero and his name will be able to buy or sell anything.


18. Wisdom is needed here; one who understands can calculate the number of the beast, for it is a number that stands for a person. His number is six hundred and sixty-six.

Discussion:  Some people interpreted that the second beast’s name is that of the Roman Emperor Nero whose Greek name equivalent, when calculated using the Hebrew numbering system for the alphabet, corresponds to the number 666.  Others interpret the number 6 as to mean “incomplete” because it failed to reach 7, the symbol of completeness in ancient writings.  Therefore, they say 666 means “very incomplete”.  Both are probably right.  However, many other possible combinations of letters will add up to 666, and many candidate names can actually qualify for this infamous number.  So, that is a problem for such particular interpretation.  Anyhow, Nero personifies the emperors who viciously ruled the Roman people, and falls within my generic interpretation of the second beast.  The “very incomplete” attribute of the second beast also falls within my generic interpretation because misguided idealism is incomplete when it comes to a lofty goal, and it is also incomplete when it comes to a malevolent goal.  It lies in between — a hybrid.  Unfortunately, we all know that a little knowledge is a dangerous thing.

(Thanks to for the topmost depiction of a sea beast and to Creative Commons for the other photos with attribution below them.

Published by rabando

I am a Filipino and a geologist by profession but I have also been an ardent searcher for answers to the fundamental questions of human existence ever since 42 years ago. It has been a long, lonely and difficult journey. Why are we here? Where did we come from? What on earth is this world where I found my self in? Surprisingly, I found out that the answers are right there under our noses. There just need to be some adjustments in the way people think.

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