The Wild Animals of Revelation
info This commentary was written by a volunteer for our Bible translation project. It’s not an official view of our project; we are not a religious denomination and we do not establish doctrine. These commentaries reflect a variety of views and some disagree with each other.
The ‘wild animals’ of Revelation appear to picture human governments in ‘the Lord’s Day.’ As proof of this, notice what Revelation 17:10-12 says:
‘And there are seven kings.
Five have fallen (Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece), one is (Rome), and the other (England and/or the United States?) hasn’t arrived yet.
But when he gets here, he will only be allowed to stay for a little while.
However, the wild animal that was but isn’t is an eighth king that comes from the seven, and it goes off into destruction.’
So there are three different government types mentioned in the Revelation.
1. The seven-headed ten-horned wild animal than comes ‘out of the sea’ (Revelation 13:1). The 7 heads and 10 horns (since the numbers 7 and 10 indicate ‘completeness’ in prophecy) appear to represent a composite of all worldly governments that are under the control of the Slanderer and his messengers.
2. The two-horned wild animal that comes ‘out of the earth’ (Revelation 13:11) which is also identified as ‘the False Prophet’ at Revelation 16:13, appears to be the last world power. The two horns seem to indicate that it is a combination of two countries.
3. The ‘image’ of the wild animal is described as, ‘the wild animal that was but isn’t, is an eighth king that comes from the seven’ (Revelation 17:8.). This could depict the League of Nations (that once ‘was’), but then went out of existence during WWII (when it ‘wasn’t’), and was thereafter revived as the United Nations. Notice that the Bible describes this wild animal as ‘an eighth king,’ and that it’s end will come at the battle of ‘Armageddon.’
So, what is ‘the mark of the wild animal’ that condemns those that have it?
It doesn’t appear to be a literal mark. But rather, it seems to refer to the support that people give to these ‘animalistic’ worldly governments.
For more information, see the commentary, The Mark of the Beast.