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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 13

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1He took his stand on the seashore.

Then I saw a beast rising out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads; on the horns were ten diadems, and on each head was a blasphemous name. 2The beast I saw resembled a leopard, but its feet were like a bear's and its mouth like a lion's. The dragon conferred on it his own power, his throne, and great authority. 3One of the heads seemed to have been given a death blow, yet its mortal wound was healed. The whole world went after the beast in wondering admiration, 4and worshipped the dragon because he had conferred his authority on the beast; they worshipped the beast also. ‘Who is like the beast?’ they said. ‘Who can fight against it?’

5The beast was allowed to mouth bombast and blasphemy, and was granted permission to continue for forty-two months. 6It uttered blasphemies against God, reviling his name and his dwelling-place, that is, those who dwell in heaven. 7It was also allowed to wage war on God's people and to defeat them, and it was granted authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race. 8All the inhabitants of the earth will worship it, all whose names have not been written in the book of life of the Lamb, slain since the foundation of the world a 13:8 written … world: or written, since the foundation of the world, in the book of life of the slain Lamb. .

9You have ears, so hear! 10Whoever is to be made prisoner, to prison he shall go; whoever is to be slain by the sword b 13:10 whoever … slain by the sword: or whoever takes the sword to slay. , by the sword he must be slain. This calls for the endurance and faithfulness of God's people.

11Then I saw another beast; it came up out of the earth, and had two horns like a lamb's, but spoke like a dragon. 12It wielded all the authority of the first beast in its presence, and made the earth and its inhabitants worship this first beast, whose mortal wound had been healed. 13It worked great miracles, even making fire come down from heaven to earth, where people could see it. 14By the miracles it was allowed to perform in the presence of the beast it deluded the inhabitants of the earth, and persuaded them to erect an image in honour of the beast which had been wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15It was allowed to give breath to the image of the beast, so that it could even speak and cause all who would not worship the image to be put to death. 16It caused everyone, small and great, rich and poor, free man and slave, to have a mark put on his right hand or his forehead, 17and no one was allowed to buy or sell unless he bore this beast's mark, either name or number. 18(This calls for skill; let anyone who has intelligence work out the number of the beast, for the number represents a man's name, and the numerical value of its letters c 13:18 the numerical … letters: lit. his number. is six hundred and sixty-six.)

Notes:

a 13:8 written … world: or written, since the foundation of the world, in the book of life of the slain Lamb.

b 13:10 whoever … slain by the sword: or whoever takes the sword to slay.

c 13:18 the numerical … letters: lit. his number.

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