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Revelation 13:11-18


13:11 Then 1  I saw another beast 2  coming up from the earth. He 3  had two horns like a lamb, 4  but 5  was speaking like a dragon. 13:12 He 6  exercised all the ruling authority 7  of the first beast on his behalf, 8  and made the earth and those who inhabit it worship the first beast, the one whose lethal wound had been healed. 13:13 He 9  performed momentous signs, even making fire come down from heaven in front of people 10  13:14 and, by the signs he was permitted to perform on behalf of the beast, he deceived those who live on the earth. He told 11  those who live on the earth to make an image to the beast who had been wounded by the sword, but still lived. 13:15 The second beast 12  was empowered 13  to give life 14  to the image of the first beast 15  so that it could speak, and could cause all those who did not worship the image of the beast to be killed. 13:16 He also caused 16  everyone (small and great, rich and poor, free and slave 17 ) to obtain a mark on their right hand or on their forehead. 13:17 Thus no one was allowed to buy 18  or sell things 19  unless he bore 20  the mark of the beast – that is, his name or his number. 21  13:18 This calls for wisdom: 22  Let the one who has insight calculate the beast’s number, for it is man’s number, 23  and his number is 666. 24 

1 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “then” to indicate the implied sequence within the narrative.

2 sn This second beast is identified in Rev 16:13 as “the false prophet.”

3 tn Grk “and it had,” a continuation of the preceding sentence. On the use of the pronoun “he” to refer to the second beast, see the note on the word “It” in 13:1.

4 tn Or perhaps, “like a ram.” Here L&N 4.25 states, “In the one context in the NT, namely, Re 13:11, in which ἀρνίον refers literally to a sheep, it is used in a phrase referring to the horns of an ἀρνίον. In such a context the reference is undoubtedly to a ‘ram,’ that is to say, the adult male of sheep.” In spite of this most translations render the word “lamb” here to maintain the connection between this false lamb and the true Lamb of the Book of Revelation, Jesus Christ.

5 tn Here καί (kai) has been translated as “but” to indicate the contrast present in this context.

6 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

7 tn For the translation “ruling authority” for ἐξουσία (exousia) see L&N 37.35.

8 tn For this meaning see BDAG 342 s.v. ἐνώπιον 4.b, “by the authority of, on behalf of Rv 13:12, 14; 19:20.”

9 tn Here καί (kai) has not been translated because of differences between Greek and English style.

10 tn This is a generic use of ἄνθρωπος (anqrwpo"), referring to both men and women.

11 tn Grk “earth, telling.” This is a continuation of the previous sentence in Greek.

sn He told followed by an infinitive (“to make an image…”) is sufficiently ambiguous in Greek that it could be taken as “he ordered” (so NIV) or “he persuaded” (so REB).

12 tn Grk “it”; the referent (the second beast) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

13 tn Grk “it was given [permitted] to it [the second beast].”

14 tn Grk “breath,” but in context the point is that the image of the first beast is made to come to life and speak.

15 tn Grk “of the beast”; the word “first” has been supplied to specify the referent.

16 tn Or “forced”; Grk “makes” (ποιεῖ, poiei).

17 tn See the note on the word “servants” in 1:1.

18 tn Grk “and that no one be able to buy or sell.” Because of the length and complexity of the Greek sentence, a new sentence was started here in the translation. Although the ἵνα (Jina) is left untranslated, the English conjunction “thus” is used to indicate that this is a result clause.

19 tn The word “things” is not in the Greek text, but is implied. Direct objects were frequently omitted in Greek when clear from the context. In the context of buying and selling, food could be primarily in view, but the more general “things” was used in the translation because the context is not specific.

20 tn Grk “except the one who had.”

21 tn Grk “his name or the number of his name.”

22 tn Grk “Here is wisdom.”

23 tn Grk “it is man’s number.” ExSyn 254 states “if ἀνθρώπου is generic, then the sense is, ‘It is [the] number of humankind.’ It is significant that this construction fits Apollonius’ Canon (i.e., both the head noun and the genitive are anarthrous), suggesting that if one of these nouns is definite, then the other is, too. Grammatically, those who contend that the sense is ‘it is [the] number of a man’ have the burden of proof on them (for they treat the head noun, ἀριθμός, as definite and the genitive, ἀνθρώπου, as indefinite – the rarest of all possibilities). In light of Johannine usage, we might also add Rev 16:18, where the Seer clearly uses the anarthrous ἄνθρωπος in a generic sense, meaning ‘humankind.’ The implications of this grammatical possibility, exegetically speaking, are simply that the number ‘666’ is the number that represents humankind. Of course, an individual is in view, but his number may be the number representing all of humankind. Thus the Seer might be suggesting here that the antichrist, who is the best representative of humanity without Christ (and the best counterfeit of a perfect man that his master, that old serpent, could muster), is still less than perfection (which would have been represented by the number seven).” See G. K. Beale, Revelation, [NIGTC], 723-24, who argues for the “generic” understanding of the noun; for an indefinite translation, see the ASV and ESV which both translate the clause as “it is the number of a man.”

sn The translation man’s number suggests that the beast’s number is symbolic of humanity in general, while the translation a man’s number suggests that it represents an individual.

24 tc A few mss (Ì115 C, along with a few mss known to Irenaeus {and two minuscule mss, 5 and 11, no longer extant}), read 616 here, and several other witnesses have other variations. Irenaeus’ mention of mss that have 616 is balanced by his rejection of such witnesses in this case. As intriguing as the reading 616 is (since the conversion of Nero Caesar’s name in Latin by way of gematria would come out to 616), it must remain suspect because such a reading seems motivated in that it conforms more neatly to Nero’s gematria.

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