The Beast of Revelation Was Zealot-Led Israel: Introduction and Outline

In Matthew 21:43-45 Jesus stunned the religious leaders of Israel by telling them that the kingdom of God would be taken out of their hands and given to another nation. His statement, however, didn’t come out of nowhere. Compare the words of Jesus to what is said in Daniel 2 and 7, where we read about the transition from the fourth kingdom to the everlasting kingdom of God. I’ve letter-coded and highlighted the parallels (A, B, C, D, and E):

Therefore I say to you, [A] the kingdom of God will be taken from you and [B] given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on [C] this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it [D] will grind him to powder. Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that [E] He was speaking of them” (Matthew 21:43-45).

You watched while [C] a stone was cut out without hands, which [D] struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were [D] crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And [C] the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth… And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up [A] a kingdom which shall never be destroyed … The fourth beast shall be [E] a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces… Then [A] the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be [B] given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom…” (Daniel 2:34-35, 44; 7:23, 27).

This chart also helps to show the parallels, and how Jesus confirmed the identity of Nebuchadnezzar’s fourth kingdom (Daniel 2), Daniel’s fourth beast (Daniel 7), and the beast of Revelation:

Daniel 2:34-35, 44 Daniel 7:23, 27 Matthew 21:43-45
A. “a kingdom” “the kingdom” “the kingdom”
B. “given to the people, the saints of the Most High” “given to a nation bearing the fruits of it”
C. “a stone”; “the stone” “this stone”
D. “struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them to pieces”; “crushed together” “ will grind him to powder”
E. “a fourth kingdom on earth” “He was speaking of them”

From the time I became a preterist in 2009 until about six months ago, I was convinced that the beast of the Book of Revelation was Nero and the Roman Empire. After all, the Greek philosopher Apollonius of Tyana (15-98 AD) explicitly referred to Nero as “a beast.” After all, a certain form of Nero’s name, “Nrwn Qsr,” when calculated using Hebrew gematria, is said to equal “666.” After all, Nero persecuted Christians…

At the same time, I was failing to reconcile the Rome/Nero model of the beast with certain passages in Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Revelation 19. Despite those issues, I never thought I would abandon the Roman model of the beast. This was true even in July 2016 when I made a case for viewing the 10 horns of Revelation 17 as the 10 Jewish generals named by Josephus in Wars 2.20.3-4. For about a week, I considered a reader’s suggestion that there were three beasts in the book of Revelation: [1] the sea beast with seven heads and 10 horns (Roman) [2] the land beast with two horns a.k.a. the false prophet (Jewish), and [3] the scarlet beast with seven heads and 10 horns (Jewish). Ultimately, that didn’t work either.

I decided it was time to restudy and reconsider “the beast.” I decided to not only pay attention to all 35 verses where a beast is mentioned in Revelation, but also to reconcile this study with what is said about the fourth beast/kingdom in Daniel 2 and 7. This study has revealed that the fourth beast – depicted first as iron, and later as iron and clay (Daniel 2:40-43) – was not Rome and Nero. It was Israel, and it was the Zealots who conquered that nation like kings and brought it to destruction.

If we take a close look at Daniel 2 and 7, and then compare it to what Jesus said in Matthew 21:43-45, isn’t it clear that Jesus identified Israel (and its leaders) as the “feet of iron and clay” that would soon be struck and crushed by the rock in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream? Didn’t Jesus portray Israel, not Rome, as the fourth kingdom which would lose the kingdom and be destroyed at the very time that it would be given into the hands of the saints? In this series, we will take a deeper look at all this and more in Daniel 2 and 7 before going on to examine various passages in Revelation 11, 13-17, and 19-20 which speak about the beast.

A Summary of Evidence that the Beast Was Israel, Not Rome

The following is some of the evidence that will be shown in this series for why the beast of Revelation was Israel and not Rome:

*Nebuchadnezzar saw a great image in his dream, and the legs and feet (Daniel 2:33, 40) were the fourth kingdom. Babylon was the head of that image (verse 38), and the feet were the final stage. When the feet were struck by the stone, they were broken into pieces and the entire statue was crushed (verses 34-35, 44-45). At that time, the kingdom of God was set up (verses 35, 44). At that time, Rome was neither crushed nor in its final stage, but Israel was crushed (see Matthew 21:43-44).

*The fourth beast of Daniel 7 was a fourth kingdom (verses 7, 17, 23). Daniel watched as the fourth “beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame” (verse 11). This did not happen to Rome, but it definitely happened to Israel.

*Revelation 11 says that the beast would kill the two witnesses, and that in that same hour an earthquake would kill 7000 people in Jerusalem. In Wars of the Jews Josephus describes an earthquake which took place in late February or early March 68 AD. That same night an army of Idumeans, working on behalf of the Zealots, killed those who tried to keep them out of the city. The next morning 8500 dead bodies were found. The Romans were not in Jerusalem from November 66 AD until early 70 AD, but the Jewish Zealots were there and they not only engaged in mass murder at that time but also prevented victims from being buried (Rev. 11:9).

*In Revelation 13:4 those who worshipped the beast said, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” In Jewish education, it’s taught that Judah Maccabee carried the following expression on his standard when he went to battle around 165 BC: “Who is like unto thee among the mighty, O Lord!” Apparently, a strikingly similar expression was attributed to the Zealots when they slaughtered Roman garrisons at Masada and Jerusalem, and surprisingly defeated the armies of Cestius Gallus in November 66 AD. This expression reflected the excited hope that the Zealots were about to obtain full independence for Judea the way the Maccabees did 200 years before that.

*Revelation 13 shows a second beast, later called “the false prophet,” working closely with and on behalf of the first beast, and even performing signs and wonders. Josephus repeatedly spoke of false prophets working closely with the Zealots (in fact, being hired by them), promoting the war agenda of the Zealots, and claiming to perform signs and wonders.

*The fifth bowl judgment (Revelation 16:10) was poured out “on the throne of the beast,” resulting in darkness, sores, and pain. In Leviticus 26:18-28 God repeatedly warned Israel that a time would come when they would be punished “seven times” for their sins, as God would execute the vengeance of His covenant (verse 25). It’s no coincidence that the covenant imagery of Mount Sinai (Exodus 19) appears in the opening of the seventh seal, the sounding of the seventh trumpet, and the pouring out of the seventh bowl. Those seven-fold judgments were reserved for Israel alone. They were not for Rome, so it follows that when the fifth bowl judgment was poured out “on the throne of the beast,” it was Israel, not Rome, which experienced that darkness and pain. It was Israel that hosted the kingdom of the beast.

*Revelation 16:13-14 describes the dragon, beast, and false prophet working together to gather a mass of people to a great battle. Josephus went to great lengths to describe how the Zealots and the false prophets worked together to compel the people of Israel to go to war, killing and torturing those who wouldn’t go along with their agenda.

*In Revelation 17:3 the beast was shown to be scarlet for a reason that was significant to first century Israel. According to both the Jerusalem Talmud and the Babylonian Talmud, on the Day of Atonement a scapegoat bearing the sins of the people would be released into the wilderness (see Leviticus 16). The scapegoat would wear a crimson (red/scarlet)-colored strap, and it would become white once it reached the wilderness, indicating that God had forgiven their sins. This miracle happened every year. However, says the Babylonian Talmud, “During the last forty years before the destruction of the Temple the lot ‘For the Lord’ did not come up in the right hand; nor did the crimson-colored strap become white.” Also according to the Jerusalem Talmud, “the crimson thread remained crimson.” This appears to be why the beast was seen as scarlet.

*In Revelation 17:16 John was told that the 10 horns of the beast would make the harlot desolate, eat her flesh, and burn her with fire. Josephus repeatedly blamed the Jewish Zealots for the destruction of Israel, Jerusalem, and the temple. He also repeatedly blamed the Zealots for the fire that consumed the temple. He even referred to the Zealots as a wild beast eating its own flesh.

*In Revelation 19:19-20, it’s said that the beast would be captured at the coming of Christ and cast into the lake of fire. This did not happen to Nero or Rome in the first century, but it happened to the Zealot leaders of Israel.

Paul, Peter, and Jude Referred to the Jewish Leaders as “Beasts”

In I Corinthians 15:32 Paul said that he had “fought with beasts at Ephesus.” There is no record that he wrestled with bears, mountain lions, or any other animal. He did, however, deal with Judaizers (Acts 19:8-9, Ephesians 6:12; I Timothy 1:3-4). Likewise, Peter referred to the false prophets (II Peter 2:1) of his day as “natural brute beasts made to be caught and destroyed” (verse 12).

Jude also said that there were “brute beasts” (Jude 10) among the saints, and that Enoch had prophesied about them that Christ would come “with ten thousands of His saints [or ‘angels’], to execute judgment on all” (Jude 14-15). This prophecy is found in Enoch 1:9, and Enoch specified that it would happen 70 generations after the time of Noah (Enoch 10:11-14). Luke confirmed that Jesus’ generation was that 70th generation (Luke 3:23-37).

Josephus Also Referred to the Jewish Leaders as “Beasts”

In early 68 AD Jesus, one of the former high priests, gave this description of the Jewish Zealots in his speech to the Idumeans who had been invited by the Zealots to make war on Jerusalem:

“You may, if you please, come into the city, though not in the way of war, and take a view of the marks still remaining of what I now say, and may see the houses that have been depopulated by their rapacious hands, with those wives and families that are in black, mourning for their slaughtered relations; as also you may hear their groans and lamentations all the city over; for there is nobody but hath tasted of the incursions of these profane wretches, who have proceeded to that degree of madness, as not only to have transferred their impudent robberies out of the country, and the remote cities, into this city, the very face and head of the whole nation, but out of the city into the temple also; for that is now made their receptacle and refuge, and the fountain-head whence their preparations are made against us. And this place, which is adored by the habitable world, and honored by such as only know it by report, as far as the ends of the earth, is trampled upon by these wild beasts born among ourselves” (Wars 4.4.3).

Josephus described Simon Bar Giora, a Zealot leader, in this way:

“This success of Simon excited the zealots afresh; and though they were afraid to fight him openly in a fair battle, yet did they lay ambushes in the passes, and seized upon his wife, with a considerable number of her attendants; whereupon they came back to the city rejoicing, as if they had taken Simon himself captive, and were in present expectation that he would lay down his arms, and make supplication to them for his wife; but instead of indulging any merciful affection, he grew very angry at them for seizing his beloved wife; so he came to the wall of Jerusalem, and, like wild beasts when they are wounded, and cannot overtake those that wounded them, he vented his spleen upon all persons that he met with. Accordingly, he caught all those that were come out of the city gates, either to gather herbs or sticks, who were unarmed and in years; he then tormented them and destroyed them, out of the immense rage he was in, and was almost ready to taste the very flesh of their dead bodies” (Wars 4.9.8).

Later he gave this description of the civil wars in Jerusalem:

“When therefore Titus had marched over that desert which lies between Egypt and Syria, in the manner forementioned, he came to Cesarea, having resolved to set his forces in order at that place, before he began the war. Nay, indeed, while he was assisting his father at Alexandria, in settling that government which had been newly conferred upon them by God, it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of Divine justice. Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased. But for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which, for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh” (Wars 5.1.1).

Other references to the Jews as “beasts” can be seen in Wars 3.8.6 and Wars 5.2.5.

Series Outline

1. A Comparison of Matthew 21:43-45 and Daniel 2:34-35, 44; 7:23, 27
2. A Summary of Evidence in Revelation that the Beast Was Israel, Not Rome
             a. Peter, Jude, and Josephus Referred to the Jewish Leaders as “Beasts”
             b. 35 Verses Which Speak of a “Beast” in Revelation

1. Daniel 2:31-45 (Daniel Interprets Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream)
2. Kingdom #1 (Gold / Head) to Kingdom #2 (Silver / Chest and Arms)
3. Kingdom #2 (Silver / Chest and Arms) to Kingdom #3 (Bronze / Belly and Thighs)
            a. Greece’s Rule Over Israel from 323 BC to 164 BC
            b. The Jewish Hammer
4. Kingdom #3 (Bronze/Belly & Thighs) to Kingdom #4 (Iron & Iron-Clay/Legs & Feet)
            a. The Jews Regain Their Independence
            b. The Judean Kingdom Divided
            c. They Will Not Adhere to One Another
5. Kingdom #4 (Iron & Iron-Clay/Legs & Feet) to the Everlasting Kingdom (God’s Mountain)

1. Daniel 7:2-8, 11-12, 16-27 (Daniel’s Vision of Four Beasts)
2. Overview of the Four Beasts
3. The Fourth Beast
            a. Devouring, Breaking, and Trampling (Daniel 7:7)
            b. Different from All Other Kingdoms (Daniel 7:7, 23)
            c. Ten Horns of the Beast (Daniel 7:7, 20, 24)
4. An 11th Horn, “A Little Horn”
            a. A Little Horn Coming Up Among the 10 Horns (Daniel 7:8, 20-21, 24-26)
            b. Three Horns Plucked Out by the Roots (Daniel 7:8, 20, 24)
            c. A Mouth Speaking Pompous Words (Daniel 7:8, 11, 20)
            d. The Body of the Fourth Beast Destroyed and Burned (Daniel 7:11)
            e. The Lives of the Other Beasts Were Prolonged (Daniel 7:12)
            f. The Kingdom Given to the Saints (Daniel 7:17-18, 21-22, 26-27)
            g. The Little Horn Would Change Times and Law (Daniel 7:25)
            h. The Saints Given Into the Hand of the Little Horn (Daniel 7:21, 25)
5. Were Christians in Jerusalem During the Jewish-Roman War?
            a. Nero’s Government Helped Protect the Christians in Pella

1. Gentiles in Revelation 11:1-2
2. The Two Witnesses and the Beast

1. Revelation 13:1-2
            a. The Beast’s 10 Horns
            b. The Dragon
2. Revelation 13:3
            a. Leaders of the Zealot Movement
            b. The Beast’s Seven Heads
            c. The Mortally Wounded Head Was Healed
3. Revelation 13:4 (Who Is Able to Make War with the Beast?)
4. Revelation 13:5-10
            a. Given Authority to Continue for 42 Months
            b. Making War with the Saints
5. Revelation 13:11-15
            a. The Second Beast from the Land
            b. False Prophets Working Closely with the Beast
6. Revelation 13:16-18 (The Mark and the Number ‘666’)

1. Revelation 14:9-11 (Consequences for Worshiping the Beast)
2. Revelation 15:2 (Those Who Have the Victory Over the Beast)
3. Revelation 16:2 (The First Bowl and Sores for Those Who Worshiped the Beast)
4. Revelation 16:10 (The Fifth Bowl Poured on the Throne and Kingdom of the Beast)
5. Revelation 16:13 (Unclean Spirits from the Mouths of the Dragon, Beast, False Prophet)

1. Revelation 17:3 (A Woman on a Scarlet Beast)
2. Revelation 17:7-11 (Seven Kings and an Eighth)
3. Revelation 17:12-17 (The Ten Horns)
             a. Making War with the Lamb
             b. Making the Harlot Desolate, Eating Her Flesh, and Burning Her with Fire

1. The Beast and His Armies Gathered To Make War
2. The Beast and the False Prophet Captured and Cast into the Lake of Fire

1. Satan Bound; Those Who Overcame the Beast Reigned with Christ
2. Satan Released; Gathers the Nations to another Battle
             a. Satan Joins the Beast and False Prophet in the Lake of Fire


35 Verses Which Speak of a “Beast” in Revelation

The beast is spoken of in 35 verses in the book of Revelation (NKJV) – directly in 29 verses, and by a pronoun (“he” or “him”) in six more. To be clear, nine of these verses (Revelation 13:11-16; 16:13; 19:20; and 20:10) speak of a second beast, later called “the false prophet.” I’ve highlighted the references to “the beast” in red, and the references to the second beast, a.k.a. “the false prophet,” in green. These are the passages that will be examined in this series, along with Daniel 2 and 7:

Verse or Passage Scripture Text

(Rev. 11:7)

7 “When they finish their testimony, the beast that ascends out of the bottomless pit will make war against them, overcome them, and kill them” (Revelation 11:7).

-This is a reference to the two witnesses being killed by the beast. See Rev. 11:3-13.


(Rev. 13:1-8)

1 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name.
2 Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.
3 And I saw one of his heads as if it had been mortally wounded, and his deadly wound was healed. And all the world marveled and followed the beast.
4 So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?”

-In verses 5-8 this beast is referred to by the pronouns “he” and “him”:

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for 42 months.
6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.
7 And it was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.
8 And all who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.


(Rev. 13:11-18)

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth, and he had two horns like a lamb and spoke like a dragon.
12 And he exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence, and causes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose deadly wound was healed.

13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down from heaven on the earth in the sight of men.

14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth by those signs which he was granted to do in the sight of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who was wounded by the sword and lived.
15 He was granted power to give breath to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak and cause as many as would not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

16 And he causes all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and slave, to receive a mark on their right hand or on their foreheads,

17 and that no one may buy or sell except one who has the mark or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.
18 Here is wisdom. Let him who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man: His number is 666.


(Rev. 14:9, 11)

9 Then a third angel followed them, saying with a loud voice, “If anyone worships the beast and his image, and receives his mark on his forehead or on his hand,
10 he himself shall also drink of the wine of the wrath of God, which is poured out full strength into the cup of His indignation. And he shall be tormented with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy angels and in the presence of the Lamb.
11 And the smoke of their torment ascends forever and ever; and they have no rest day or night, who worship the beast and his image, and whoever receives the mark of his name.”

(Rev. 15:2)

1 Then I saw another sign in heaven, great and marvelous: seven angels having the seven last plagues, for in them the wrath of God is complete.
2 And I saw something like a sea of glass mingled with fire, and those who have the victory over the beast, over his image and over his mark and over the number of his name, standing on the sea of glass, having harps of God.

(Rev. 16:2)

1 Then I heard a loud voice from the temple saying to the seven angels, “Go and pour out the bowls of the wrath of God on the earth.”
2 So the first went and poured out his bowl upon the earth, and a foul and loathsome sore came upon the men who had the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image.

(Rev. 16:10)

10 Then the fifth angel poured out his bowl on the throne of the beast, and his kingdom became full of darkness; and they gnawed their tongues because of the pain.

(Rev. 16:13)

12 Then the sixth angel poured out his bowl on the great river Euphrates, and its water was dried up, so that the way of the kings from the east might be prepared.
13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet.

(Rev. 17:3)

3 So he carried me away in the Spirit into the wilderness. And I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast which was full of names of blasphemy, having seven heads and ten horns.

(Rev. 17:7-8)

7 But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns.
8 The beast that you saw was, and is not, and will ascend out of the bottomless pit and go to perdition. And those who dwell on the earth will marvel, whose names are not written in the Book of Life from the foundation of the world, when they see the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

(Rev. 17:11-13)

11 And the beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition.
12 The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast.
13 These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.
14 These will make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, for He is Lord of lords and King of kings; and those who are with Him are called, chosen, and faithful.

(Rev. 17:16-17)

16 And the ten horns which you saw on the beast, these will hate the harlot, make her desolate and naked, eat her flesh and burn her with fire.
17 For God has put it into their hearts to fulfill His purpose, to be of one mind, and to give their kingdom to the beast, until the words of God are fulfilled.

(Rev. 19:19-20)

19 And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.
20 Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

(Rev. 20:4)

4 And I saw thrones, and they sat on them, and judgment was committed to them. Then I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for their witness to Jesus and for the word of God, who had not worshiped the beast or his image, and had not received his mark on their foreheads or on their hands. And they lived and reigned with Christ for a thousand years.

(Rev. 20:10)

10 The devil, who deceived them, was cast into the lake of fire and brimstone where the beast and the false prophet are. And they will be tormented day and night forever and ever.

The next post will begin to examine the four kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream (Daniel 2).

All of the posts in this series can be found at this page.

47 thoughts on “The Beast of Revelation Was Zealot-Led Israel: Introduction and Outline

  1. indeed, sad to say, your going down the road that i am on—-rev 18:4 is another “exodus” call
    come out of her my people—and i agree that this is the call to come out of babylon, the harlot and follow the salvation call of messiah—-come out of her harloteries, idolatries and political alliances and find your salvation in messiah—yes come out of the babylonian harlot, sad to say, it is indeed israel as opposed to the roman state—come to the new covenant, the old one to be put away and we must come to the new covenant under the kingship of our messiah—the stone kingdom truly has come

    good stuff but gut wrenching


    • Thanks, William. Yes, Revelation 18:4 is a key verse with a powerful message. And amen – the stone kingdom is here. Why is it sad and gut-wrenching to go down this road, though? Do you mean that it’s sad to realize that the beast was Israel and not Rome?


    • After reading this post, I went and read Revelation 13:11-18 and as a result of that reading, I am struggling to find any where the “beast” of the Zealots were able to make it so that everyone must get a mark from them or else they will not be able to buy or sell. I don’t find any history of the Zealots performing great signs and wonders. And what image did the Zealots animate?


      • Hi Mark,

        You’re struggling to find a connection between the Zealots (which were leaders of the THIRD Scarlet Judean Beast in Rev. 17:3) and these things you mentioned simply because no such connection exists. This “mark” imposed by the Beast from the Land on all who dwelled on the earth (tes ges – the land of Israel, not the world at large) was the Tyrian shekel with its pagan inscriptions and images which the high priest leadership (the SECOND Beast from the Land in Rev. 13:11) insisted that the money-changers for an exchange fee hand over to the Israelites in exchange for any foreign currency presented for their Temple transactions (the purchase and sale of any Temple sacrifices), and for the annual Temple tax paid by every adult male. These drachma coins were also worn on the headdress of married women to denote their marital status (as in the “lost coin” parable of Luke 15:8). This is the “in the right hand” and “in the forehead” feature of the mark imposed by the Judean Land Beast on its own people that gave indirect homage to the FIRST Beast from the Sea in Rev. 13:1 (which was connected with Rome at the time John was writing).

        It was after 19 BC when the priesthood leadership in Israel went to Rome to request the unusual privilege of minting their own Temple coins, since the silver content of the Tyrian shekel coins was being degraded at that time after the mint at Tyre had been shut down. Cheaper imported coins from the East had begun being produced, and the high priests wanted to be able to have a coin with the purest silver content being offered in the Temple.

        Rome granted this unusual privilege of one of their subjugated nations minting its own coinage, with the one stipulation that the pagan images of the demi-god Herakles and the inscription “Tyre the holy and inviolable” that were part of the original Tyrian shekel would continue to be stamped on the Jerusalem-produced coins. These were abominable images and inscriptions forbidden by God ever since Deuteronomy 7:25-26. However, for the sake of the massive profits they would accrue by the money-changers fees, the high priesthood ignored the forbidden abominable images in favor of the high silver content of their copy of the Tyrian shekel which they would insist upon the Israelites using for their Temple transactions.

        It was this type of high-handed treatment of its own people that gave the Israelites such “fear of the Jews” who had the power to cast them out of the synagogue if they did not comply. We have many examples of this “fear of the Jews” throughout the gospels. To be cast out of the synagogue was the equivalent of a death sentence, with your fellow-Israelites having to shun you and any business you were involved in (which would fulfill Rev. 13:15).

        As for those “signs and wonders” performed by the Beast from the Land in the very presence of (enopion – before the face of) the Beast from the Sea, the Rev. 13:13 verse goes on to describe what those signs and wonders actually were. Specifically, it would be to make fire come down from heaven on the earth, which was a description of the high priesthood role, which was to keep the fire of God burning perpetually on the altar. A fire which was originally kindled in the temple by God Himself, and which they were to continually keep burning. This sign was done visually “IN THE SIGHT OF” the Roman garrison-occupied Fortress of Antonia (connected with the Sea Beast headed by Rome at that time), which was directly in view of the Temple grounds itself (as Rev. 13:14 says).

        I wouldn’t get too hung up on the image of the Beast actually “speaking” a language verbally. This image of the Sea Beast in Rev. 13:15 “speaking” can be similar to scripture mentioning that the faith of Abel “BEING DEAD YET SPEAKETH” (Heb. 11:4 and 12:24), or the “voice” of the blood of Abel crying to God from the ground in Gen. 4:10. The image “speaking” in Rev. 13:15 probably has more to do with having great significance or exerting a powerful influence, rather than uttering an audible language.

        I do technically agree with Adam’s post title that the Beast of Revelation was Zealot-led Israel, but it’s specifically the *THIRD* SCARLET BEAST of Rev. 17 that the Zealots were connected with – not the FIRST Rev. 13:1 Roman-led Sea Beast, or the SECOND Rev. 13:11 Judean Beast from the Land that worked in cooperation with their Roman governance, in order to “preserve their place and their nation”, as Caiphas once expressed it. Scripture itself proves without a doubt that these three different Beasts existed – not just two of them. If these three Beasts are not correctly identified, it leads to all kinds of confusion when we interpret Revelation.


  2. I’m enjoying this study Adam, but I’m thinking the iron legs and the mixed feet seem to be separate. Daniel 2:32 as in different entities.


  3. Murray —agree, i think as well that they are different entities; and my present thought is that they are part of the roman empire and their association with other entities—for example rome and their alliance with the edomites–leading to the herodian and roman alliance and etc—thus we have strength mingled with clay ( minor entities(


  4. I believe that the iron legs represented the period of complete independence that Israel enjoyed from 142 BC until 63 BC, a period of 79 years. This was after the Maccabees defeated Antiochus Epiphanes in 164 BC, followed by 22 years of greater victories until the Kingdom of Judea nearly restored the borders that Israel had in Solomon’s day.

    I believe that the iron and clay feet represented the period when Israel was semi-autonomous from 63 BC until Jerusalem’s destruction during the Jewish-Roman War (66-73 AD). This change took place when Pompey the Great intervened in a Jewish civil war between the Hasmonean rulers, Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, two sons of Queen Alexandra Salome. The province of Syria was created at this time, and Judea was incorporated into the Roman republic.

    Judea remained autonomous, but lost some of its land, including parts of Samaria and Idumea. Other cities that had been under Judea became autonomous as well and formed the Decapolis. One of those cities was Pella. “The people of the Decapolis cities welcomed Pompey as a liberator from the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom that had ruled much of the area” (Wikipedia).

    In 37 BC Hasmonean (Maccabean) rule ended when Herod the Great, an Idumean (Edomite), captured Jerusalem and unseated Antigonus II Mattathias. This was 10 years before Rome transitioned from a republic to an empire. Daniel 2:43 and Jewish history agree that the Jewish and Roman shared authority structures never adhered to one another, as the time period from 63 BC to 66 AD was marked by revolts, struggles, and a lack of integration.


  5. adam remember that i got four grandkids in israel, my oldest kid is in the idf; for me it is somewhat heart breaking, sad that so much human suffering was experienced by the locals when it was totally unnecessary, just so heart wrenching, when so much promise was made available to the descendants of abraham and so little of Gods grace was realized—just hard for me to deal with—but it has got to be looked at and dealt with
    been in israel many times
    lol bill

    Liked by 1 person

    • I understand what you mean now. Thank you. The aim of all this is still to point out that although the nation of Israel failed and died, all of its types and shadows were realized and fulfilled in Christ, who is true Israel and lives forevermore. I’ve never been to Israel, but I would like to visit there one day.


  6. Adam–another quick thought—-the kingdoms of the dream were the kingdoms that israel was subjected too. so the iron toes mingled with clay cant be rome and israel jointly together—i think it was again another example like rome and the nabatians—-these were the governments that subjudicated israel

    in much of christian literature i dont see much about the other kingdoms of the natives plus the kingdoms of Ishmael, and Esau—i am convinced that they play a much more important part of israel history than what is written about in christian literature; hence my interest in the iron and clay mixture—-again i am thinking that it is rome plus the above tribes that railed against Israel——then the metals man giving way to the stone church

    been going thru daniel, ezekiel thru history to the stone kingdom—–thanks for your efforts—-lots of stuff to work thru


    • Which verse or passage do you believe says that “the kingdoms of the dream were the kingdoms that Israel was subjected to”? I’ve thought that too, but then I realized that I’m not aware of a verse that actually says that. While doing this study, I was very surprised to learn that after being subjected to Greece/Macedonia, Israel became fully independent almost a century before Rome entered their picture. Rome actually sent a letter of congratulations to Israel/Judea when they gained independence in 142 BC. So Israel was not continually ruled over from 586 BC to 70 AD as I previously thought they were. For nearly 80 years they weren’t subject to anyone, and then after that they were still semi-independent.


      • Adam, What does “Israel/Judea” mean in the above comment? Did they gain independence together or did they each gain independence separately or in this context they are the same or is Israel in Judea or ? Hope that is understandable 🙂


      • Hi Val. That’s a good question. Ancient Israel came to be known as “Judea,” and “Judea” was the name of the kingdom that became independent in 142 BC. “Israel” and “Judea” are names that seem to be used interchangeably for that kingdom.

        In 6 AD Judaea became a semi-autonomous part of the Roman province of Syria. The three main districts/nations were Judea, Samaria, and Idumea. So “Judea” was within “Judaea.” By that time, Judaea no longer had as much land as it had when independence was granted in 142 BC, when the borders were roughly the same as during the time of Solomon. More information can be seen at this link:


  7. Great Study
    Iam blessed.

    john 8:
    33 They answered him, “We are offspring of Abraham and have never been enslaved to anyone. How is it that you say, ‘You will become free’?”

    have never been enslaved to anyone ???


  8. Great work Adam. I myself have held this view for some time. I think Ed Stevens produced an article along these lines as well.


    • Thank you, David. I didn’t know this was your view. That’s great. Based on what I’ve seen from Ed, he pays more attention to the Zealots than most, but still cites Rome as the beast and says that Nero’s persecution fulfilled Revelation 13.


  9. Awesome, Adam! It makes so much more sense overall that God was dealing with Isreal through this whole redemptive story and not a nation that has nothing to do with it. Thanks for sharing your incredible insight with such clarity and for being so thorough.


  10. Adam, quick thoughts; do not have a specific verse that you requested; it is my postulation that the metals man, the vision of the four beasts, and ezekiels visions were all directed toward the civil governments that they (israel) would encounter until the stone kingdom was raised,—- and i am aware of the Maccabees period—so it is my supposition that the maccabean period, the zerubbabal temple the ezekiel vision of the replacement temple all speak to the same event; a failure to respond in repentence to God; ezekiels vision was one of great hope and expectation it unfortunately ended in the murder of himself, thus Gods blessing was shut off and Israel as a religious and political nation found their end in the first century etc etc

    highest regards


  11. THE BEAST is simply the “flesh” nature in fallen man that is “overcome” through the “Revelation of Jesus Christ.” This is the fulfillment of the first prophecy that the Father, zealous to redeem His image in fallen mankind, made immediately after the fall saying that His Seed (Christ) would “crush” the head (“The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace”, Rom. 8:6) of the serpents’ seed in us in Gen. 3:15.

    Notice the numerous verses that compare (fallen) man’s nature to a beast:

    Job 37:7 He seals the hand of every man that all men may know His work -then THE BEAST goes into its lair and remains in its den.
    Eccl 3:18 I said to myself concerning the sons of (fallen) men, “God has surely tested them in order for them to see that they are but beasts”.
    Eccl 3:19 For the fate of the sons of (fallen) man and the fate of beasts is the same. As one dies so dies the other, indeed they have all the same breath and there is no advantage for (fallen) man over beast, for all is vanity.
    Eccl 3:21 Who knows that the breath of man ascends upward and the breath of the beast descends downward to the earth.
    Ps 49:12 But (fallen) man in his pomp (pride) will not endure; He is like the beasts that perish.
    Ps 49:20 Man in his pomp, yet without understanding, is like the beasts that perish.
    Rev 13:18 This calls for wisdom (Solomon/Eccl), let the one who has understanding calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man, and his number is 666.
    Luke 1:74 Jesus comes…that we, being delivered from THE HAND of our enemies (our own fleshes beastly behavior), might serve Him without fear in holiness and righteousness before Him all our days.


  12. Good stuff. You’ve given me lots to think about. I just discovered preterism so it’s fun decoding prophecy and seeing all things fulfilled. This post specifically makes it kind of funny that one of Jesus’ disciples was a zealot

    Liked by 1 person

  13. Hi Adam,

    There is one reference to the two Judean Beasts which it appears you haven’t yet included in your tally of 35 texts that are related to a “beast” in Revelation. Have you considered adding the Revelation 6:8 (Interlinear) text to the list?

    “And I saw, and behold, a horse pale, and he sitting on it, name his [was] Death, and Hades follows with him; and was given to them authority to kill over the fourth of the earth with sword and with famine and with death, AND BY THE BEASTS OF THE EARTH”

    These “beasts (plural) of the earth” (ges – land of Israel) are the AGENTS by which Death and Hades plague the earth with sword, famine, and death. I believe this text is Revelation’s first mention of #1), the “Beast from the LAND” (which we encounter again in Revelation 13:11), and also #2), the scarlet-colored Beast in the WILDERNESS we find again in Revelation 17:3.

    However, I do not believe the Beast from the SEA in Revelation 13:1-8 is identified with either of these two Judean “Beasts of the EARTH” in Revelation 6:8. The SEA has been the predominant identifier throughout scripture of the pagan, Gentile world outside of the realm of Judaic concerns, and I believe John acknowledges that Hebraic method of segregating the two parties – up to a point. The distinction between these segregated parties is brought out in verses such as Revelation 12:12b, “…Woe to the inhabiters of the EARTH and of the SEA!…” Another text, Revelation 5:13, displays the same distinction between those who dwell in the EARTH and those that are in the SEA. “And every creature which is in heaven, and ON THE EARTH, AND SUCH AS ARE IN THE SEA, and all that are in them heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever.”

    This segregation between the two is part of Revelation’s narrative until John finally pronounces in Revelation 21:1 that “there is NO MORE SEA” in the New Heaven and New Earth reality (where the One New Man of no Jew or Gentile class distinctions is the only reality left standing).

    Therefore, I still maintain that John presents us with the “Beast from the SEA” as the Gentile, Roman empire feature (the iron element in Daniel’s statue), and with the two Revelation 6:8 Judean “BEASTS OF THE EARTH” (as the clay element in the feet of Daniel’s statue). If the Beast from the Sea in Revelation 13:1-8 is considered to be the same as the Beast in the Wilderness found in Revelation 17:3, that consequently reduces the entire Roman empire to a non-event in scripture, and eliminates the distinction John makes between EARTH and SEA in these passages.


  14. Hi Adam,
    So the Beast ultimately turns on the harlot (Jerusalem/Jewry) who had been riding upon it and destroys her. At first the Beast allows the harlot to ride upon it, but later hates her and destroys her. I cannot figure this out. Can you help please?


    • Hi Colin,

      Thanks for your question, and I understand the difficulty in seeing that. I think these quotes from Josephus may help:

      “…it so happened that the sedition at Jerusalem was revived, and parted into three factions, and that one faction fought against the other; which partition in such evil cases may be said to be a good thing, and the effect of Divine justice. Now as to the attack the zealots made upon the people, and which I esteem the beginning of the city’s destruction, it hath been already explained after an accurate manner; as also whence it arose, and to how great a mischief it was increased. But for the present sedition, one should not mistake if he called it a sedition begotten by another sedition, and to be like a wild beast grown mad, which, for want of food from abroad, fell now upon eating its own flesh (Wars 5.1.1)…

      And now, as the city was engaged in a war on all sides, from these treacherous crowds of wicked men, the people of the city, between them, were like a great body torn in pieces” (Wars 5.1.5)

      It was also one of the Zealot leaders who destroyed the food supply in Jerusalem during the siege, unnecessarily creating severe famine conditions. Over and over again in Wars of the Jews, Josephus made it clear that the Zealots treated the city and people of Jerusalem worse than the Romans ever did. At first many citizens of Jerusalem (and outsiders who came to join them) hoped that the Zealots would bring them independence and deliverance from the Romans, but the Zealots betrayed the people and the city in every way possible.

      I hope this explanation helps, but please let me know if it doesn’t.


  15. Your site is very good. I think the one beast that does the works of the first beast is the Messianic movement. They give there authority (name of Messiah) to the last Beast. Most Messianic’s follow Law and not Covenant. They will follow the new High Priest in doing a sacrifice for sin.
    The first beast with the deadly wound, happened when the Temple was taken away.

    Liked by 1 person

  16. Your identification of Israel as the Beast hinges on one idea: that these things have already been fulfilled. You have to remember that:
    a) Most of the church does not agree with you, and
    b) Prophecies are by definition mysterious.
    So if for any reason this prophecy has not been fulfilled, your analysis breaks down.
    Couple of questions.
    a) Why was it not God who destroyed Zealot Israel, but the people of Neron Kaiser?
    b) Why is Israel not a world empire, like Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome?
    c) Why is so much of the Bible and of Revelation pointed at the moment when this Beast will be defeated, if it was really such a minor conflict in historical terms?
    d) What about the prophecies yet to be fulfilled of the restoration of Israel? Do they not get a first and literal fulfillment, only a spiritual, allegorical one? I don’t understand preterism very well.
    e) What do you make of the observation that many of the same precursors to the fulfillment of that prophecy seem to be operating today in the larger world? Do you think these prophecies could be fulfilled twice?


  17. So if the Beast/Israel tramples the Harlot who rides on it, then who is the Harlot? And we also see that the Roman army tramples Jerusalem underfoot for 42 months.


  18. The Beast from the sea YES! is Judah re-emerging calling itself Israel! Why Beastly- because we demanded & got God’s Messiah Son’s Crucifixion/ murder from Rome & are unrepentant to date God allowing ALL that has befallen us since……Daniel 7: 1947 the Jews [mostly Russian] applied to the United Nations to annex part of Palestine for the Nation State of Israel. United Kingdom [Lion] & USA [eagles wings] were torn apart when against the Lions wishes the Eagles Wings[as one after their WW2 alliance] sided with the Bear[3 ribs torn out Latvia Lithuania &Estonia] to talk the 4 wings of the [Arabic] Leopard – Lebanon ,Syria, Jordan & Egypt into allowing it to happen. It was passed with one dissenting vote ; the Lion who was then made to ‘walk on its own two feet’ as policeman for the first 12mnths repeatedly being bombed by the Stern Gang forerunners of Mid East Terrorism, until nationhood 1948 ; Daniel7 explained. They tread down ALL around them i,e the 4 wings of the Leopard…..This BEAST is the re-emergance of the divided kingdom under Rome from which the Stone is cut i.e. Jesus Christ from Judah to the South & Israel to the North[not Rome itself] who were ruled by their own kings. Can not be divided Rome as it did not exist when the STONE was cut & it’s capitol does not sit on 7 mountains only hills -this honour of Harlotship with the Blood sacred ALL over it is ofcourse JERUSALEM.
    The 11th king [male P.M] is also the 8th head[3 repeat twice] ;7th head fatally wounded-Rabin . This one man who is known as ‘the little horn[son]= the Bibi[baby] son his name in OLD Heb. Gematria is 666 & he WAS 1996 WAS NOT 1999 subdues 3 kings & WAS AGAIN 2009 until June 2021 minus 1year as caretaker king before B,Ganz coalition making 14years in TOTAL. Dan 7;25 ‘they[ Israel] will be given into his hand[manof sin i.e Jesus opposite-Matt27;37] Time [Biblical hour-3.5yrs] Times [X 3.5yrs] & a half a time[+1.75yr] = 14years TOTAL -Prophecy fulfilled …..Now Binyamin Netanyahu has retuned 30th December 2022 for his final 42 month Authority so should be removed 30 June 2026. …
    Interestingly with 7year cycle from the renewal of the Mosaic Covenant in the Great Synagogue Rome between Bibi & Pope Francis[false prophet sadly] 17th January 2016 adding 7yrs ;17th January 2023 then 42mnth [1260days] Hebrew 30th June 2026- Convergence of Calendars- should we expect the Two Last Prophets for the 2nd Half of the Last Week THEN???……Baruch Hashem in Yeshu ha Moshiach…HE Lives HE Speaks & the servant listens….Shalom …old Messianic Jew.


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