Revelation 13 is known as the chapter about the Beast whose number is 666. However, the chapter actually describes two beasts. There are several Old Testament passages from which the descriptions of these beasts may derive. While people are familiar with the number 666, and that this number is also the name of the Beast (antichrist). The idea of “bearing the name” has a secure Old Testament context, one that largely goes unnoticed in the theorizing about the number of the Beast.
The imagery of Revelation 12 is familiar to many Bible readers. A woman with twelve stars around her head gives birth to the messiah child, after which that child is caught up to God and his throne, the response to which by Satan (the Dragon) is a spiritual war. The astronomical elements of the vision were addressed earlier on this podcast in Episode 138. In this episode, we focus on the relationship of various images, metaphors, and numbers to Revelation 11 along with the Old Testament contexts for all of those elements. Who is the woman? How should we understand the numbers? How does this relate to the persecution of believers described earlier in Revelation? How will these events play out?
Revelation 11 is well known for two major items: the two witnesses and the reference to the temple court. Both are controversial. Who are the two witnesses? Are they individual people? Old Testament prophets who did not die (Enoch, Elijah)? Are they symbolic? Does the temple reference in Rev 11:1 mean the temple was still standing when Revelation was written, thereby suggesting the book’s events were fulfilled in or by 70 A.D.? What are the meaning of the numbers John uses (1,260 days, 42 months), and how do those numbers relate to similar or identical language in the book of Daniel? How did Jews of Jesus’s day understand all these items? In this episode of the podcast, we work through Revelation 11 to contextualize the content in light of the Old Testament and Second Temple Judaism.