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Revelation 17 – Complicated sequence of kings and beast

Schachmatt König


The extremely important book of Revelation contains some passages, especially in chapter 17, that can make many a head “overheat”. A complicated sequence of kings and animals describes the events from the future. Meanwhile, humanity is in the midst of this future and prophecy has become the present. The interpretation of prophecy is so clear that it is even massively opposed.

A strange-seeming sequence of kings

One of the more (supposedly) difficult passages in the Revelation of the Bible is chapter 17. At first glance, verses 9 to 11 seem directly confusing. A succession of kings, some of whom have already resigned, the others who are yet to come, but not remains for a long time. Then a mysterious animal plays a role. This was supposed to be the case, but then reappears as the number eight.

Symbolic language of prophecies

Bible prophecies use symbolic language

However, the symbolic language in the prophecies of the Book of Revelation leaves no room for great personal interpretation. Often laughed at, but still indisputable is the fact that the Bible itself explains the symbols used in other places. This is usually ridiculed with the argument of a supposed claim that “the Bible explains itself”.

When animals are spoken of in Revelation and also in the book of Daniel, then these are symbols for state or political powers. Women represent a church or religion. The sea or a lot of water represents many people, nations and languages, etc. (more info).

The “complicated” passage in Revelation 17

Kings in Revelation, on the other hand, are self-explanatory. They are rulers, i.e. thoroughly political powers. The animal is a political power, an empire or a state.

Following is the complicated passage in Revelation 17:9-11:
And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. 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. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

Maybe you have to try two or three times to get it mentally in the right order. In this case, knowledge of Daniel chapter 7 is not only helpful but necessary (Info). Chapter 7 describes a sequence of current and future world empires from the perspective of the time. Today we can look back at historical facts and clearly identify the political powers.

The kings and the beast in sequence

Checkmate King
Kings that appeared and disappeared

Verses 9 to 11 in Revelation 17 describe fallen kings and a beast. While kings are official rulers of a country or empire, the beast describes a political power, but not directly an obvious or official ruler. Therefore, the beast can also represent a very effective force in the background, which actually holds the scepter in its hand and also pulls the strings of the fate of this world.

Number Kings/Beast Empires/powers Status
1 Babylon fallen
2 Medo-Persia fallen
3 Greece fallen
4 Roman Empire fallen
5 Papacy fallen
6 Democracies more appearance than reality, still active (as of 2023)
7 UN / USA will come into force, for a very short time
8 Papacy will come into force finally

The beast in the background

The papacy as the political power between the years 538 and 1798 is a historical fact. Even with the “best of good will”, nothing can be changed. Pope Pius VI was dragged from his chambers in the Vatican by General Berthier on behalf of Napoleon and deposed. Pius ended up in exile in France and died shortly afterwards. The absolute political power of the papacy was broken, to the joy of many, many people. With Power No. 6, an era of democracies followed that had never existed before.

The number 7 power of the present

United Nations
The UN with the USA as ‘executor’ as the number 7 power

After the Second World War, the USA held a position of world power for the first time. The UN was founded on October 24, 1945 and on March 25, 1957 the founding states signed the treaties for the European Economic Community (Treaty of Rome, EEC) in Rome, under the statue of the Pope. A forerunner of today’s EU.

Since then, the UN, an organization with Roman laurel leaves in its coat of arms, has exerted global influence on countries. An institution with five nations as permanent veto power (permanent members of the Security Council). The USA, China, Russian Federation, France, United Kingdom. The political power number 7 in the sequence.

The beast that came out of the bottomless pit during the French Revolution (Revelation 11, Info).

By all indications, the “brief time” for power No. 7 described in Revelation 17:9-11 will soon be over. The coming power number 8, the beast working in the background and with it the papacy, will soon come to the surface and sit on the throne as the official, last power in earth’s history.

Another interpretation begins Egypt

Another interpretation of the sequence of kings, kingdoms, or major political powers described in Revelation 17:9-11 takes Egypt as the first power.

Number Kings/Beast Empires/powers Status
1 Egypt consists
2 Babylon fallen
3 Medo-Persia fallen
4 Greece fallen
5 Roman Empire fallen
6 Papacy fallen
7 Democracies / USA/UN still active (as of 2023)
8 Papacy will come into force soon

Egypt is lagging a bit

Egypt pyramids
Egypt never sank

The papacy as the final earthly great power is also described in this interpretation, but there are still various inconsistencies. Because the great power of Egypt, which undoubtedly represents the “original soup” of the post-Flood paganism of sun worship, has not really ceased to exist. There can be no question of a “fallen” because Egypt always existed parallel to Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and also the Roman Empire.

Although Egypt repeatedly had to wage military conflicts and was defeated, even up to the time of Napoleon, it neither fell nor was replaced. Whether Great Power No. 7 is actually the UN/USA, which actually exists in parallel, and a (still real) democracy may well be a controversial question.

The first variant is more conclusive

In any case, the first variant with Babylon starting as the first major power listed in the sequence is more conclusive. The main argument for the first interpretation variant is the book of Daniel, chapter 2 and chapter 7. The statue of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and also the first beast from the sea each describe Babylon as the first power in a sequence. The parallels of Daniel and Revelation in describing God’s great earthly adversary are captivating.

The prophecy given to John on Patmos was before the existence of the papacy, i.e. the fifth great power that had already fallen. But it is in the nature of prophecies to describe events in the future. Just as the book of Daniel will become better understood as time advances, especially at the time of the end, so too will the understanding of the interconnected prophecies in the book of Revelation grow. The book of Revelation in the New Testament can be described as a continuation of the book of Daniel in the Old Testament.

Daniel and Revelation are unpopular

Bible prophecies
Clear prophecies from the Bible are unpopular with the person being addressed

The books of Daniel and Revelation are among the most rejected and ignored books in the Bible today. So-called biblical scholars even declared the book of Daniel to be a forgery and placed the prophet Daniel in the time of the Greek Empire under Antiochus Epiphanes. Daniel (“acronym”) did not write down prophecies, but rather (falsified) history. Archeology has now refuted this “scientific hypothesis” based on extra-biblical finds, including the first-ever deciphering of ancient writings, and has confirmed the existence of Daniel at the time of the Babylonian Empire and also at the beginning of Medo-Persia.

The reason for the “unpopularity” of the two prophetic books is not difficult to guess. They unmistakably expose the papacy as the great enemy of God on this earth (Info).

Anyone who calls themselves a Christian and also claims to believe the words in the Gospel will at best take note of the calls of science, but will listen to the words of Jesus Christ.
Should Jesus Christ really have called for studying the writings of a “historical falsifier”? According to the “Bible Scholars”, yes.

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:)
Matthew 24:15

Bible verses from King James Version

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