Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Revelation 13:2

    Revelation 13:2 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    And the beast which I saw was like to a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power and his seat and great authority.

    Webster's Revision

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

    World English Bible

    The beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

    Definitions for Revelation 13:2

    Dragon - Jackal; wild dog.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 13:2

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard - This similitude of the beast to a leopard appears to be an allusion to the third beast of Daniel, which is well known to represent the empire of the Greeks. The Latin empire greatly resembled the modern empire of the Greeks; for that the power of the Greeks was still said to be like a leopard, even after its subjugation by the Romans, is evident from Daniel 7:12 : "As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away; yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time." The Latin empire was, in the first place, like to its contemporary, because both adhered to an idolatrous system of worship, professedly Christian, but really antichristian; and it is well known that the Greek and Latin Churches abound in monstrous absurdities. Secondly, Both empires were similar in their opposition to the spread of pure Christianity; though it must be allowed that the Latins far outstripped the Greeks in this particular. Thirdly, Both empires were similar in respect to the civil authority being powerfully depressed by the ecclesiastical; though it must be granted the authority of the Latin Church was more strongly marked, and of much longer continuance. The excommunication of the Greek emperor by the Patriarch Arsenius, and the consequences of that excommunication, afford a remarkable example of the great power of the Greek clergy. But the beast of St. John, though in its general appearance it resembles a leopard, yet differs from it in having feet like those of a bear. The second beast of Daniel was likened to a bear, and there can be no doubt that the kingdom of the Medes and Persians was intended; and it is very properly likened to this animal, because it was one of the most inhuman governments that ever existed, and a bear is the well known Scripture emblem of cruelty. See 2 Samuel 17:8, and Hosea 13:8. Is not cruelty a striking characteristic of the papal Latin empire? Have not the subjects of this empire literally trampled to death all those in their power who would not obey their idolatrous requisitions? In Fox's Book of Martyrs, and other works which treat upon this subject, will be found a melancholy catalogue of the horrid tortures and most lingering deaths which they have obliged great numbers of Christians to suffer. In this sense the feet of the beast were as the feet of a bear. Another particular in which the beast differed from a leopard was, in having a mouth like a lion. "It is," says Dr. More, "like the Babylonish kingdom (the first beast of Daniel, which is likened to a lion) in its cruel decrees against such as will not obey their idolatrous edicts, nor worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar had set up. Their stubbornness must be punished by a hot fiery furnace; fire and fagot must be prepared for them that will not submit to this new Roman idolatry."

    And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority - It was said of the dragon, in Revelation 12:8, that his place was found no more in heaven; the dragon here cannot therefore be the heathen Roman empire, as this was abolished previously to the rising up of the beast. It must then allude to the restoration of one of the Draconic heads of the beast, as will be seen in the explanation of the following verse, and more fully in the notes on Revelation 17:1-18.

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 13:2

    And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard - For a description of the leopard, see the notes on Daniel 7:6. It is distinguished for bloodthirstiness and cruelty, and thus becomes an emblem of a fierce, tyrannical power. In its general character it resembles a lion and the lion and the leopard are often referred to together. In this description, it is observable that John has combined in one animal or monster, all those which Daniel brought successively on the scene of action as representing different empires. Thus in Daniel 7:2-7 the lion is introduced as the symbol of the Babylonian power; the bear, as the symbol of the Medo-Persian; the leopard, as the symbol of the Macedonian; and a nondescript animal, fierce, cruel, and mighty, with two horns as the symbol of the Roman. See the notes on that passage. In John there is one animal representing the Roman power, as if it were made up of all these: a leopard with the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion, with two horns, and with the general description of a fierce monster. There was an obvious propriety in this, in speaking of the Roman power, for it was, in fact, made up of the empires represented by the other symbols in Daniel, and "combined in itself all the elements of the terrible and the oppressive, which had existed in the aggregate in the other great empires that preceded it." At the same time there was an obvious propriety in the symbol itself; for the bloodthirstiness and cruelty of the leopard would well represent the ferocity and cruelty of the Roman power, especially as John saw it here as the great antagonistic power of the true church, sustaining the papal claim, and thirsting for blood.

    And his feet were as the feet of a bear - See the notes on Daniel 7:5. The idea here seems to be that of strength, as the strength of the bear resides much in its feet and claws. At the same time, there is the idea of a combination of fierce qualities - as if the bloodthirstiness, the cruelty, and the agility of the leopard were united with the strength of the bear.

    And his mouth as the mouth of a lion - See the notes on Daniel 7:4. The month of the lion is made to seize and hold its prey, and is indicative of the character of the animal as a beast of prey. John has thus brought together the qualities of activity, bloodthirstiness, strength, ferocity, all as symbolical of the power that was intended to be represented. It is hardly necessary to say that this description is one that would apply well, in all respects, to Rome; nor is it necessary to say, that if it be supposed that he meant to refer to Rome, this is such a description as he would have adopted.

    And the dragon - See the notes on Revelation 12:3.

    Gave him his power - Satan claimed, in the time of the Saviour, all power over the kingdoms of the world, and asserted that he could give them to whomsoever he pleased. See the notes on Matthew 4:8-9. How far the power of Satan in this respect may extend, it may not be possible to determine; but it cannot be doubted that the Roman power seemed to have such an origin, and that in the main it was such as, on that supposition, it would be. In its arrogance and haughtiness - in its thirst for dominion - in its persecutions - it had such characteristics as we may suppose Satan would originate. If, therefore, as the whole connection leads us to suppose, this refers to the Roman secular power, considered as the support of the papacy, there is the most evident propriety in the representation.

    And his seat - θρόνον thronon. Hence, our word "throne." The word properly means a seat; then a high seat; then a throne, as that on which a king sits. Here it refers to this power as exercising dominion on the earth.

    And great authority - The authority was great. It extended over a large part of the earth, and, alike in its extent and character, it was such as we may suppose Satan would set up in the world.