by Unveiling the Apocaplypse
3 October 2012
The symbolism behind the seven heads of the Dragon and Beast is one of the most enigmatic portions of the Apocalypse … lifted largely from … the Book of Daniel, and transposed onto the template of the seven-headed water dragon found in the mythology of the Ancient Near East. In the Ugaritic myths found in the Ras Shamra literature of the early 2nd millennium BC, this seven-headed creature was known as Lotan – which was equivalent to Levithan/Rahab in Hebrew cosmology, and also associated with Tiamat of Babylonian mythology.
The Book of Daniel … head count of the four beasts also gives seven (the leopard has four heads, which along with the heads of the other three beasts gives seven in total). The Apocalypse combines the four beasts of Daniel (into) the Beast from the sea … .
The four empires … the four beasts in the Book of Daniel … form a single, all-encompassing world empire. An empire which is at first controlled by the woman/Babylon (who rides the Beast …). But the woman/Babylon is then stripped of her authority by the ten kings … to hand over their power to the Beast itself (Rev 17:13, 17).
The Book of Revelation’s … Beast with seven heads was … a critique of the imperial cultus. Rome was famed in the ancient world as the city of the seven hills. … Vatican hill, situated across the Tiber, was not counted as one of these … …. The First Epistle of St. Peter, also uses the term “Babylon” as a cipher for ancient Rome … .
“Babylon” is “the great city that has dominion over the kings of the earth” (Rev 17:18) … . The identification of the Beast with Rome can also be ascertained from the ordering of the four beasts presented in the Book of Daniel.
The Apocalypse tells us that the seven heads of the Beast also represent seven kings – five who have fallen, one who is (at the time of St. John’s writing), and one who is to come. The Beast itself, who is an eighth king, and at the same time one of the seven, is associated by scholars with the Nero redivivus legend (Rev 17:6-18).
So the Beast of Revelation – the eighth king … is … a future Nero-type figure. Nero was the first persecutor of Christians and according to tradition, was responsible for the destruction of Rome by fire and the deaths of Ss. Peter and Paul – which reflects the deaths of the Two Witnesses at the hands of the Beast in Rev 11:7-8. … Nero’s name is the numerical equivalent of 666 once transliterated into Hebrew … . Following this pattern, the Beast to come will be the last persecutor of Christians, martyring the Two Witnesses … (then persecuting the Church for three and a half years) .
So the seven heads of the Beast certainly represents seven Roman emperors (or perhaps a worldwide line of kings leading to and including one or more Roman emperors and their progeny), one of whom is Nero – who foreshadows the Beast to come. …
(But) the relationship between the seven heads of the Beast with seven (earthly rulers) is only of secondary importance … . In Unveiling the Apocalypse (p170), I argue that the seven heads of the Beast may … also represent the seven planets or “wandering stars” known to the ancients – the Sun, Moon, Mercury, Venus, Mars, Jupiter and Saturn. In the book, I propose that the narrative of the struggle between the Red Dragon and the Woman Adorned with the Sun in Rev 12 is a dramatisation of the signs in the sky described at the opening of the sixth seal in Rev 6, and that this narrative points to actual astronomical phenomena that is observable in the heavens (See my The Dragon and the Manchild of 2040). So the astronomical phenomena described at the opening of the sixth seal is one and the same as the “great sign in heaven” in Rev 12, which heralds the moment when Satan is expelled from heaven and cast to earth at the end-time, upon which event he transfers his great power and authority to the Beast/Antichrist in Rev 13 … (Rev 6:12-13) (Rev 12:1-9) (Rev 13:1-3) … .
(The premise so far, I agree with, but from reading the blurb for his book, it looks as though his re-interpretation of the events of the apocalypse will be radically wrong, and very misleading. I will leave the reader with the option to continue with him by clicking on his book blurb, while I go on here to make a my own comments. For one thing, I believe the Two Witnesses described in Revelation will carry out their ministry during the reign of the antichrist and not before it. In my view, the reason it is important to reference the seven heads to planetary deities is that there has been a lineage of world rulers on earth that have been supported by and probably overshadowed by some kind of non-physical or quasi-physical or quasi-human entities. Perhaps the first of these was the beast described in Sumerian myth, which rose from the sea, giving them civilization. The biblical prophetic reference to a beast which rose from the sea is probably a reference to this pagan deity, which in my opinion is a historical figure – the first in a royal lineage that will culminate in the antichrist. It is very possible that these entities are seven in number and their existence is somehow entwined with the seven planets named above.)
“And there will be signs in sun and moon and stars, and on the earth distress of nations in perplexity because of the roaring of the sea and the waves…” (Luke 21:25)