Revelation 13: Who Is the Beast of the Sea?

Revelation 13

I’ve seen a lot of questions about Bible prophecy on Quora. One of the topics that comes up frequently concerns the beast of the sea described in Revelation 13. I will answer who is the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 in this article.

Daniel 7 & Revelation 13

We need to consider Daniel 7 to understand the beast of the sea in Revelation 13. Daniel 7 describes four beasts that emerge from the sea:

“(3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. (4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. (5) And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. (6) After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. (7) After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” (Daniel 7:3-7)

The first three beasts in Daniel 7 represent different kingdoms that arose in the past. Here is what they represent:

  • First Beast (Dan 7:4): Babylon
  • Second Beast (Dan 7:5): Persia
  • Third Beast (Dan 7:6): Seleucid-Greece

The fourth beast of Daniel 7 represents the empire of the Antichrist. We can see this by looking at how Daniel 7 describes the fourth beast. The fourth beast represents a kingdom that will have a leader who will blasphemy God, make war with the saints for 3.5 years (time and times and the dividing time), and have an empire that will have a sphere of influence that dominates the world:

“(23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. (26) But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.” (Daniel 7:23-26)

The Beast of Revelation 13

The beast of the sea in Revelation 13 strongly parallels the beasts of Daniel 7. Look how Revelation 13 describes the beast from the sea:

“(1) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy. (2) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.” (Revelation 13:1-2)

Like a leopard, a lion, and a bear-where have we seen this before? We saw this depiction before in Daniel 7 with the first three beasts from the sea. The imagery in verses 1-2 suggest that the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 also shares qualities that the three beasts of Daniel 7 possess:

  • Bear Feet: It’ll beat down its victims
  • Lion Head: It’ll instill fear in people
  • Leopard Body: It’ll emerge quickly like a leopard

Like the fourth beast of Daniel 7, the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 will blasphemy God, make war with the saints for 3.5 years (or 42 months), and have a sphere of influence that dominates the world:


Revelation 13 & Daniel 7’s Beasts

  • Blasphemy God
  • War With the Saints
  • Dominate the World

“(5) And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months. (6) And he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his tabernacle, and them that dwell in heaven. (7) And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.” (Revelation 13:5-7)

“(23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. (25) And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.” (Daniel 7:23-25)


Also, the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 each have ten horns (which represent kings (according to Daniel 7:24):

“(23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. (24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” (Daniel 7:23-24)

(1) And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.” (Revelation 13:1)

The Beast’s Identity

Given the parallels between Daniel 7 and Revelation 13, we can conclude that the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 represents the fourth beast of Daniel 7. We saw earlier that the fourth beast of Daniel 7 represents the empire of the Antichrist. Therefore, we can also conclude that the beast of the sea in Revelation 13 is kingdom of the Antichrist. More specifically, the beast emerging out of the sea in Revelation 13 represents the arrival of the Antichrist’s empire at the midpoint of the seventieth week of Daniel (or tribulation). It will be in power for 42 months or 3.5 years.

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