WHO OR WHAT are the seven heads on the Beast?
This week, we compare Revelation 17 and Daniel 7 to identify what the horns represent both past and future. There is a general consensus that the seven kingdoms are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and a future nation, possibly a revived Roman Empire, that is the global kingdom of Antichrist. As we noted last week, there are others who identify specific kings or rulers: Nimrod, Thutmose III (the pharaoh who oppressed Israel), Sennacherib, Nebuchadnezzar, Antiochus Ephiphanes, Nero, and Adolf Hitler, with the prophesied Antichrist to be the spirit who possessed one of the seven (or even a resurrected Nimrod).
Here’s where it gets more complicated: We believe the kings are supernatural—fallen angels, if you like. How do we identify them from among the pagan gods of the ancient world? That’s a great question, and it’s one we can’t answer. We can speculate, but then we are looking “through a glass darkly.”
We also note that the link in Revelation 17 between the seven heads on the Beast to “seven mountains” is not necessarily a geographic clue. Mountains in Second Temple Judaism sometimes represent angelic beings, as in 1 Enoch 21 (and probably the “stones of fire” in Ezekiel 28).