The Time of the End
A Study About the Book of Revelation
Arlen L. Chitwood
The Beast — In the Types
Revelation chapter thirteen presents two beasts — one rising up out of the “sea” (vv. 1ff), and the other rising up out of the “earth [‘land’]” (vv. 11ff). The “sea,” is used referring to the Gentile nations in their lands; and the “land” is used referring to the only other entity that will be on earth at that time, the Jewish people in their land. Thus, it is apparent that the first beast will be a Gentile, arising from among the Gentile nations, in a Gentile land; and the second beast will be a Jew, arising from among the Jewish people, in the land of Israel.
(The words “earth” and “land” are translations of the same word in the Greek text, the word, ge. Thus, how ge is used in the text and/or context would determine whether the whole earth or a particular land or people upon the earth was being referenced.
The Gentile nations are being referenced by and through the use of the “sea” in v. 1. In this respect, the use of ge in v. 11 could not refer to the earth, for that would include the sea, the nations in their lands. Thus, the word in this verse could only refer to a people in a land separate from the nations. It could only refer to the Jewish people in the land of Israel.)
The first beast is revealed to be a political leader, previously seen as the rider on the white horse when the first seal of the seven-sealed scroll was broken, riding forth, “conquering and to conquer” (Revelation 6:1, 2). And in Revelation 13:1 he is seen three and one-half years later, having achieved his aspirations of worldwide dominion. He is seen here at the beginning of his reign, which would extend throughout the last three and one-half years of the Tribulation, bringing the Times of the Gentiles to a close.
The second beast will be a pseudo spiritual leader (v. 11), who will draw his power from the first beast, who, in turn, will draw his power from Satan (cf. vv. 2, 12). By and through various means (supernatural powers and signs [vv. 13-15]), this pseudo spiritual leader will direct attention to the first beast, causing those dwelling on the earth to worship him, to worship the one having previously sat in the rebuilt Temple on the Temple Mount, declaring himself to be God (vv. 8, 12; cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:4).
(The use of the word ge [land, or earth] in vv. 12ff, referring to those whose worship is directed toward the first beast, would, of necessity, refer to the earth rather than to the land of Israel, as in v. 11. Note that the Jewish people at the very beginning of the first beast’s reign will be uprooted from their land and, except for those who escape to a specially prepared place “in the wilderness,” or the remnant removed from the earth, they will either be killed or be driven back out among the nations. Thus, during the last half of the Tribulation, the Jewish people will no longer be in the land as a nation, which would preclude activities of the second beast centering on a Jewish presence in the land of Israel.)
The first beast alone is the one occupying the limelight from Revelation chapters six through twenty; and, aside from several places in the book (13:11ff; 16:13; 19:20; 20:10), he is seen alone and is referred to in a singular manner. And he is referred to in this singular manner when dealt with elsewhere in Scripture, in both the Old and New Testaments.
He is the one seen numerous places in Old Testament prophecy, referred to in different ways by different names. There is a tremendous amount of material in the Old Testament dealing with this man. And, because of this volume of material, he should be one of the best known political leaders to ever rise on the scene, long before he even makes his appearance.
But the opposite of that is true today and will be true when this man appears yet future. Mankind, in general, knows very little about this man, though that information has been readily available for millennia. Because of mankind’s lack of knowledge concerning this man, he will be able to rise on the scene and deceive the masses. And at the beginning of and during the first part of the Tribulation, the masses that he will deceive will even include many in Israel, many from among those who gave mankind the Book telling about this man.
Before dealing further with Revelation chapter thirteen, it would be best to go to the Old Testament and see how this man is introduced in Scripture, along with a number of the ways that he is subsequently dealt with. Then, when this man is seen from the perspective of the manner in which he is presented in the Old Testament — with a foundation of this nature — Revelation chapter thirteen can only become far easier to understand.
(This chapter and the three subsequent chapters in this book deal with the beast. This chapter deals with the beast, in the types; and the three subsequent chapters deal with the beast in the Psalms, in the Prophets, and in the book of Revelation. And it should go without saying, with only four chapters, the subject can only be far from exhaustive in any one of the areas. But enough is covered in each area to illustrate the point concerning how extensively this man is dealt with in Scripture, along with laying a proper foundation and providing information for further study.
The present chapter deals with three main Old Testament types — Nimrod in Genesis, the Assyrian pharaoh in Exodus, and Haman in Esther. And when these types are studied together, one can see a developing word picture surrounding the beast. Then, when this developing word picture is put together with that subsequently revealed about this man from other parts of the Old Testament — particularly from that which is covered in the Psalms and the Prophets — the beast can easily be quite well known, not only long before he appears but without even going to the New Testament.)
The First King of Babylon
The sons of Ham were Cush . . .
Cush begot Nimrod; he began to be a mighty one on the earth.
He was a mighty hunter before the LORD; therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod the mighty hunter before the LORD.”
And the beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar.
From that land he (Nimrod) went to Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth Ir, Calah,
and Resen between Nineveh and Calah (that is the principal city). (Genesis 10:6a, 8-12)
The future man of sin, the beast, the one often called the Antichrist, is introduced in Scripture during the first 2,000 years of human history, in Genesis chapter ten. He is introduced following seven chapters (chapters 3-9) that begin with teachings surrounding salvation by grace (chapters 3, 4) and continue with teachings concerning the rapture (chapter 5), the great Tribulation (chapters 6-8), and a new beginning (chapter 9, pointing to the Messianic Era that will follow the Tribulation).
Then chapter ten, beginning a new sequence of events, picks up during the Tribulation and introduces the Antichrist through the person of Nimrod, adding details to that which was previously presented in chapters six through nine.
(Ref. the author’s book, Seven, Ten Generations for information on the overall type in Genesis chapters 5-9, pages 241 and 242)
Nimrod was a grandson of Ham. In this respect, the beast is first seen in Scripture by and through one from a lineage that Noah had cursed, which had been relegated throughout Man’s Day to the position of “a servants of servants [the lowest of servants]” for the remainder of mankind — the descendants of Shem and Japheth (Genesis 9:24-27; ref. chapter 20 in this book).
And note that which Scripture has to say in Proverbs 30:21, 22a about a person from this lineage occupying a regal position during Man’s Day, as Nimrod occupied.
For three things the earth is perturbed [the earth quakes], Yes, for four it cannot bear up [under]:
For a servant when he reigns . . . .
Calling attention to these things is not to say that this future world ruler will be of Ham’s lineage. Rather, it is to point out a couple of interesting features about this man, drawn from the first type of him in Scripture.
First, he is seen typified by a man coming from a line that had been cursed, set in opposition to a line through which God’s blessings to all of mankind would flow, through Shem’s lineage (Genesis 9:26, 27). And those in this latter lineage (descendants of Shem through Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) will be the ones whom a man (the beast) typified by an individual from the former lineage (the lineage of Ham) will seek to destroy when he rises to power.
Then, with the man typifying this future world ruler coming from Ham’s lineage, negative regal implications would, of necessity, have to be seen in the type. Nimrod in the type ruled a kingdom in his day (Genesis 10:10), producing conditions seen in Proverbs 30:21. And the beast in the antitype will rule the world in his day, with the outcome of his rule producing similar conditions to those seen in the type.
Note Isaiah 14:15-17, which apparently looks beyond Satan to this future world ruler, to whom Satan will give his power, throne, and great authority (Revelation 13:2). Isaiah 14:4, 5 introduces this man (ref. vv. 2b, 3, 6), referring to him as “the king of Babylon.” Then, beginning with verse twelve, the text moves to Satan (past) but several verses later back to the beast, to the last king of Babylon yet future (vv. 15ff). Note the inseparable way Satan and the beast are presented in Revelation 12:3; 13:1, which fits perfectly with the picture presented in Isaiah chapter fourteen.
Nimrod was the first king of Babylon, and the man whom he foreshadows, who will bring it all crashing down, the beast, will be the last king of Babylon. Note how the verses referenced in Isaiah chapter fourteen read:
that you will take up this proverb against the king of Babylon, and say: “How the oppressor has ceased, the golden city ceased!
The LORD has broken the staff of the wicked, the scepter of the rulers; . . .
Yet you shall be brought down to Sheol, to the lowest depths of the Pit.
Those who see you will gaze at you, and consider you, saying: “Is this the man who made the earth tremble, who shook kingdoms,
who made the world as a wilderness and destroyed its cities, who did not open the house of his prisoners?” (Isaiah 14:4, 5, 15-17).
The name “Nimrod” in Genesis 10:8, 9 means rebel, seen from the meaning of the Hebrew verb nimrodh, which means, “to revolt.” And both his position as ruler (a servile person reigning) and the meaning of his name would necessitate viewing the things said about Nimrod in a negative rather than a positive way.
Two things are said about Nimrod’s activities as he is introduced. Nimrod “began to be a mighty one on the earth,” and “he was a mighty hunter before the LORD [something repeated in the verse, apparently for emphasis]” (vv. 8, 9). And these are the only things said about Nimrod prior to the subsequent record of this man building four cities, possessing a kingdom, then building four more cities (vv. 10-12).
The expression, “before the LORD” was previously used in Genesis 6:11 (KJV: “before God”) relative to wickedness in the earth preceding the Flood, during Noah’s day. And something similar is evidently in view by the use of the same expression relative to Nimrod’s activities, something not connected with a mere hunter in the field.
Many commentators, particularly those dealing with the Hebrew text, see Nimrod’s activities as being a mighty hunter of men. A Chaldean paraphrase of Genesis 10:8, introducing Nimrod, reads,
“Cush begat Nimrod who began to prevail in wickedness, for he slew innocent blood and rebelled against Jehovah.”
If the paraphrase is correct, this would lead into the thought of Nimrod hunting men rather than game in the field (v. 9).
The last king of Babylon, as the first, will likewise become “a mighty one on the earth,” and he will, as well, become “a mighty hunter before the LORD” in the same sense as is seen in the type (something clearly seen in the antitype that would appear to confirm the previously presented understanding of the type). He will begin his quest for power at the very first part of the Tribulation, as seen when the first seal of the scroll is broken in Revelation chapter six (vv. 1, 2); and he will have achieved this power three and one-half years later, as seen in chapters twelve and thirteen (12:3; 13:1).
Then the tower of Babel enters into the picture in Genesis chapter eleven, having to do with Nimrod and those in his kingdom seeking to make a name for themselves and attempting to keep the kingdom intact, producing a unified kingdom of that day (vv. 1-4). And this, of course, foreshadows the last king of Babylon doing the same thing, though not with a tower per se (Revelation 13:1-7).
The Lord came down and destroyed the kingdom in Nimrod’s day (Genesis 11:5-9), exactly as He will do when the final form of this kingdom appears yet future (Revelation 6:12-17; 8:1ff; 19:11ff).
Then that which is foreshadowed by events in the latter part of Genesis chapter eleven will occur. In this part of the chapter, Abraham was called out of the same area where Nimrod’s kingdom existed to go into another land and realize an inheritance therein (11:31-12:4).
And yet future, after God deals with the final form of this Babylonian kingdom, He will call the descendants of Abraham through Isaac and Jacob out of the same area where Antichrist’s kingdom existed (worldwide) to go into another land and realize an inheritance therein (Deuteronomy 30:1-5; Ezekiel 34:11-13; 36:16ff; 37:1ff; 39:21-29).
The Assyrian in Egypt
Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph.
And he said to his people, “Look, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we;
come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen, in the event of war, that they also join our enemies and fight against us, and so go up out of the land.”
Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens . . . .”
The book of Exodus opens with the Israelites residing in Egypt (a type of the world in Scripture) and a new king arising in the land, an Assyrian pharaoh (Isaiah 52:4; Acts 7:18). The Assyrians had previously conquered Egypt and were now ruling the land of Egypt. And the Assyrian pharaoh’s attention was turned toward the Israelites, whom he saw as a threat; and he sought to destroy them (Exodus 1:7ff).
In the antitype, the Antichrist is seen coming out of the boundaries of the old Assyrian Empire (Daniel 8:8, 9) and is referred to a number of places in Scripture as an Assyrian (Isaiah 10:5; 14:25; 23:13; 30:31; 31:8; Hosea 11:5; Micah 5:5, 6). As the Assyrian in the type conquered and ruled Egypt, the future Assyrian will conquer and rule the world. And, exactly as in the type, the future Assyrian’s attention will be turned toward the Jewish people, whom he will see as a threat; and he will seek to destroy them.
The threat in the type involved God’s firstborn son, Israel (Exodus 4:22, 23). And the threat was very real. Satan knew full-well that Israel was the nation destined to hold the scepter, and he used the Assyrian pharaoh to destroy Israel.
Exactly the same thing will occur during the reign of the latter-day Assyrian. He, following worldwide conquest, will exercise power from Satan’s throne and will do Satan’s bidding. Satan knows full-well, exactly as he knew before, during Moses’ day, that Israel is the nation destined to hold the scepter, the woman from Revelation 12:1 who is destined to wear a diadem of twelve stars. And, exactly as in the type, Satan will use the latter-day Assyrian in a final attempt to destroy Israel, enacting an intense, deadly effort without parallel in history (cf. Matthew 24:21, 22).
(“Sonship” is connected with rulership in God’s kingdom. It is sons who rule [e.g., ruling angels are all sons of God because of creation], and in the human realm it is firstborn sons who rule [ref. the author’s book, God’s Firstborn Sons].)
In the type, God raised up a deliverer, whom the Israelites had previously rejected but now received. God then reduced the Assyrian’s kingdom to a ruin, gave the Israelites the means to escape the decreed death of the firstborn (through paschal lambs dying in the stead of the firstborn, a vicarious death), delivered the Israelites from Egypt through the Red Sea, and destroyed the Assyrian pharaoh with his armed forces in the Sea.
In the antitype, exactly the same thing is seen. God will send the Deliverer, whom He has raised up, whom the Israelites previously rejected but in that future day will receive. God will then complete His work of reducing the Assyrian’s kingdom to a ruin, the Israelites will realize a vicarious death of the firstborn through applying the blood of the Paschal Lamb (whom they had previously slain), God will deliver the Israelites from their worldwide dispersion, and He will then destroy the Assyrian, along with his armed forces.
In the type, the Israelites were led out of Egypt and taken to Sinai to receive the Law, the Old Covenant. And from there they were led toward another land, a land previously covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, wherein they were to realize an inheritance within a theocracy.
In the antitype, exactly the same thing is seen. The Israelites will be led out from a worldwide dispersion and taken to a place (referred to as “the wilderness of the people” [Ezekiel 20:34-37], which could very well be the Sinai area again) where a New Covenant will be made with the house of Israel, replacing the Old Covenant. Then the Jewish people will be placed back in the land covenanted to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, wherein they will realize an inheritance within a theocracy.
This is what the entire book of Exodus is about, along with the three subsequent books of Moses and the book of Joshua. It all begins with the rise of the Assyrian in Egypt, and it ends with the Jewish people in their own land within a theocracy.
Thus, if a person wants to know about the man who is about to rise to power (the future Assyrian) and/or what the future holds for Israel, all he/she has to do is go back to these books and read about the matter. It’s all there, recorded almost 3,500 years ago.
After these things King Ahasuerus promoted Haman, the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, and advanced him and set his seat above all the princes who were with him.
And all the king's servants who were within the king’s gate bowed and paid homage to Haman, for so the king had commanded concerning him. But Mordecai would not bow or pay homage. . . .
When Haman saw that Mordecai did not bow or pay him homage, Haman was filled with wrath.
But he disdained to lay hands on Mordecai alone [he scorned the thought of laying hands on Mordecai alone], for they had told him of the people of Mordecai. Instead, Haman sought to destroy all the Jews who were throughout the whole kingdom of Ahasuerus-the people of Mordecai. (Esther 3:1, 2, 5, 6)
The opening two chapters of Esther deal with the complete, overall scope of the history of Israel — past, present, and future — as seen typically through the experiences of Ahasuerus (the king), Vashti (rejected as queen), and Esther (replacing Vashti as queen). Then the book takes eight more chapters (chapters 3-10) to provide details surrounding events during a minute part of this overall history, yet future.
Chapters three through ten deal centrally with Ahasuerus, Haman, Esther, and Mordecai. And, from a typical standpoint, events seen in these chapters have to do with God, the beast, and Israel during the last three and one-half years of the Times of the Gentiles, with events leading into the Millennium.
This section of the book opens with Haman being promoted to a position in the kingdom above all others, a position directly under the king (3:1).
This foreshadows the beast coming into power as world ruler in the middle of the Tribulation, with Satan giving to this man his power, throne, and great authority. And this will place the beast in exactly the same position seen in the type — a position directly under the King, under God, as the Lord’s anointed (cf. Ezekiel 28:14).
All in the kingdom were to bow and reverence Haman. But Mordecai, a Jew seated in the king’s gate (2:19, 21), refused to bow before or reverence him (3:2b).
(From the standpoint of the overall type, Mordecai, a Jew seated in the king’s gate, portends that which is seen in Genesis 22:17, 18 — the seed of Abraham possessing the gate of the enemy. The “gate” was the place where business or governmental affairs were conducted in a city or kingdom. And possessing the gate in the manner seen in Genesis 22:17, 18 is a manner that Scripture uses to signify governmental control.
Mordecai seated in the king’s gate in the type is another picture of the same thing seen in Revelation 12:1 — the woman wearing “a crown of twelve stars.” Both foreshadow Israel in waiting, destined to take the kingdom, possess the gate.)
And when Haman saw Mordecai seated in the King’s gate, refusing to bow and reverence him, he was enraged. As a result, Haman’s hatred for not only Mordecai but the whole of the Jewish people in the kingdom became such that his goal was seen to be the same as previously exhibited by the Assyrian in Egypt. Haman sought to destroy all the Jews throughout the kingdom (3:6).
And the remainder of this book is about Haman’s efforts to do away with the Jewish people, along with that which resulted from his efforts.
The more Haman turned his hand against the Jewish people, the worse conditions become for him. He was humiliated by having to publicly exalt Mordecai, whom he had planned to slay and impale on a gallows that he had built (5:14; 6:1-14). And then he himself was slain and impaled on the gallows that he had built for Mordecai (7:1-10), followed by his ten sons being slain and impaled on the same gallows as well (9:10-14).
These events were then followed by the king giving Esther all that had belonged to Haman (8:1, 7) and promoting Mordecai to the position that Haman had previously held (8:2; 10:2, 3).
The whole of the account, typically, has to do with the aspirations of the beast during the last half of the Tribulation, that which God will bring to pass concerning this man and his ten-kingdom federation as a result, and that which God will then bring to pass concerning the nation of Israel.
This account is simply another part of an overall word picture surrounding the beast and Israel, with the emphasis placed in a particular realm. And the account shows once again the working out of God’s unchangeable principles regarding Israel as set forth in Genesis 12:1-3.
(Ref. the author’s book, Esther, for a more detailed account of these events in the book of Esther.)