|Book||Book of Revelation|
|Christian Bible part||New Testament|
|Order in the Christian part||27|
Revelation 13 is the thirteenth chapter of the Book of Revelation or the Apocalypse of John in the New Testament of the Christian Bible. The book is traditionally attributed to John the Apostle, but the precise identity of the author remains a point of academic debate. The author records visions of two beasts or monsters which he saw while "standing on the seashore", the monster from the sea and the monster from the land.
The original text was written in Koine Greek. This chapter is divided into 18 verses.
Some early manuscripts containing the text of this chapter are, among others:[a]
The last verse (verse 18) of the previous chapter connects the appearance of the beast to the dragon who delegates to the beast what power it has.
Main article: The Beast (Revelation)
Some manuscript texts read ἐστάθην, estathēn, I stood, while others read ἐστάθη, estathē, he stood, referring to the dragon of Revelation 12:17.
The dominant violent characteristic of the beast is modelled on the vision of four beasts in the Book of Daniel, representing four great world empires (Daniel 7:1–8).
The language of verse 5 reflects Daniel 7:6, 8, 25. Although the beast's power is given by the dragon (verse 2), it can only be exercised by God's permission (verse 5).
This is the second beast, which also called the "false prophet" (Revelation 16:13; 19:20; 20:10), 'represents the priesthood of the imperial cult, which included prominent members of the elite of the cities'.
The mark of the beast seems to be 'a parody of God's seal of ownership on the foreheads of faithful Christians' (7:3; 14:1). The reference to "buying and selling" may reflect the fact that 'it was particularly in order to participate in the business life of the cities that Christians were tempted to compromise with idolatry'.
The reference that "the number of the beast" is the same as "the number of a person" leads to many interpretations, because the Greek or Hebrew letters also functioned as numbers, so it was possible to "add up the numerical value of a word"—a practice known as gematria. The Greek word for "beast" (therion) or "Nero(n) Caesar" when transliterated into Hebrew letters has the total value of 666, but the 'verbal link' to Revelation 17:9 indicates more significance of the number (which will be developed further in chapter 17). The number 666 is unusual for being a triangular number (that is, the sum of all numbers from 1 to 36), and also a doubly triangular number (because 36 is the sum of all numbers up to 8) and the eighth such number (in the series of 1, 6, 21, 55, 120, 231, 406, 666). Nero is also revealed to be "the eighth" in power. At least one manuscript reads 616.