Search the Bible
* powered by Bible Study Tools

Revelation 17:8

    Revelation 17:8 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    The beast that you saw was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    The beast which you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the great deep, and to go into destruction. And those who are on the earth, whose names have not been put in the book of life from the first, will be full of wonder when they see the beast, that he was, and is not, and still will be.

    Webster's Revision

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come.

    World English Bible

    The beast that you saw was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss and to go into destruction. Those who dwell on the earth and whose names have not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world will marvel when they see that the beast was, and is not, and shall be present.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and is about to come up out of the abyss, and to go into perdition. And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, they whose name hath not been written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast, how that he was, and is not, and shall come.

    Definitions for Revelation 17:8

    Perdition - Destruction.

    Clarke's Commentary on Revelation 17:8

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition - The beast is the Latin kingdom; (Ἡ Λατινη βασιλεια); consequently the beast was, that is, was in existence previously to the time of St. John; (for Latinus was the first king of the Latins, and Numitor the last); is not now, because the Latin nation has ceased long ago to be an independent power, and is now under the dominion of the Romans; but shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, that is, the Latin kingdom, the antichristian power, or that which ascendeth out of the abyss or bottomless pit, is yet in futurity. But it is added: -

    And they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names there not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is - By the earth is here meant the Latin world; therefore the meaning is, that all who dwell in the Latin world shall adhere to the idolatrous and blasphemous religion of the Latin Church, which is supported by the Latin empire, except those who abide by the sacred Scriptures, receiving them as the only rule of faith and practice. These believe in the true Sacrifice, and keep themselves unspotted from the corruption that is in the world. But the inhabitants of the Latin world, under the dominion of the Romish religion, shall wonder when they behold the beast, or Latin empire; that is, as Lord Napier remarks, "shall have in great admiration, reverence, and estimation, this great monarchie." They shall wonder at it, by considering it the most sacred empire in the world, that in which God peculiarly delights; but those that so wonder have not their names written in the book of life, but are such as prefer councils to Divine revelation, and take their religion from missals, rituals, and legends, instead of the sacred oracles: hence they are corrupt and idolatrous, and no idolater hath inheritance in the kingdom of God. In the preceding part of the verse the beast is considered in three states, as that which was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit; here a fourth is introduced, and yet is. This is added to show that, though the Latins were subjugated by the Romans, nevertheless the Romans themselves were Latins; for Romulus the founder of their monarchy, was a Latin; consequently that denominated in St. John's days the Roman empire was, in reality, the Latin kingdom; for the very language of the empire was the Latin, and the Greek writers, who lived in the time of the Roman empire, expressly tell us that those formerly called Latins are now named Romans. The meaning of the whole verse is therefore as follows: The corrupt part of mankind shall have in great admiration the Latin empire yet in futurity, which has already been, but is now extinct, the Romans having conquered it; and yet is still in being; for, though the Latin nation has been subjugated, its conquerors are themselves Latins. But it may be objected against the interpretation here given, that these phrases are spoken of the beast upon which the apostle saw the woman, or Latin Church, sit; for the angel says, The beast that Thou Sawest was, and is not, etc.; what reference, therefore, can the Latin empire, which supports the Latin Church, have to the Latin kingdom which subsisted before St. John's time, or to the Roman empire which might properly be so denominated! This objection has very great weight at first sight, and cannot be answered satisfactorily till the angel's explanation of the heads and horns of the beast have been examined; therefore it is added: -

    Barnes' Notes on Revelation 17:8

    The beast that thou sawest was, and is not - In the close of the verse it is added, "and yet is" - "the beast that was, and is not, and yet is." There are three things affirmed here: first, that there is a sense in which it might be said of the power here referred to, that it "was," or that, before this, it had an existence; second, that there was a sense in which it might be said that it is "not," that is, that it had become practically extinct; and third, that there is a sense in which that power would be so revived that it might be said that it "still is." The "beast" here referred to is the same that is mentioned in Revelation 17:3, and in Revelation 13:1, Revelation 13:3,Revelation 13:11-16. That is, there was one great formidable power, having essentially the same origin, though manifested under somewhat different modifications, to one and all of which might, in their different manifestations, be given the same name, "the beast."

    And shall ascend out of the bottomless pit - ἐκ τῆς ἀβύσσου ek tēs abussou. On the meaning of the word here used, see the notes on Revelation 9:1. The meaning here is, that this power would seem to come up from the nether world. It would appear at one time to be extinct, but would revive again as if coming from the world over which Satan presides, and would, in its revived character, be such as might be expected from such an origin.

    And go into perdition - That is, its end will be destruction. It will not be permanent, but will be overthrown and destroyed. The word perdition here is properly rendered by Prof. Stuart "destruction," but nothing is indicated by the word of the "nature" of the destruction that would come upon it.

    And they that dwell on the earth - The inhabitants of the earth generally; that is, the matter referred to will be so remarkable as to attract general attention.

    Shall wonder - It will be so contrary to the regular course of events, so difficult of explanation, so remarkable in itself, as to excite attention and surprise.

    Whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world - See this explained in the notes on Revelation 13:8. The idea seems to be, that those whose names are written in the book of life, or who are truly the friends of God, would not be drawn off in admiration of the beast, or in rendering homage to it.

    When they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is - That is, the power that once was mighty; that had declined to such a state that it became, as it were, extinct; and that was revived again with so much of its original strength, that it might be said that it still exists. The fact of its being revived in this manner, as well as the nature of the power itself, seemed suited to excite this admiration.

    Wesley's Notes on Revelation 17:8

    17:8 The beast which thou sawest (namely, verse 3) Rev 17:3 was, and c. - This is a very observable and punctual description of the beast, verse s 8, 10, 11. Rev 17:8,10,11 His whole duration is here divided into three periods, which are expressed in a fourfold manner. He,
    1. Was; 2 And is not;
    3. And will ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition. He,
    1. Was;
    2. And is not;
    3. And will be again. The seven heads are seven hills and seven kings:
    1. Five are fallen;
    2. One is;
    3. The other is not come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. He,
    1. Was;
    2. And is not; 3 Even he is the eighth, and is one of the seven, and goeth into perdition. The first of these three is described in the thirteenth chapter . Rev 13:1 - 18 This was past when the angel spoke to St. John. The second was then in its course; the third woe to come. And is not - The fifth phial brought darkness upon his kingdom: the woman took this advantage to seat herself upon him. Then it might be said, He is not. Yet shall he afterwards ascend out of the bottomless pit - Arise again with diabolical strength and fury. But he will not reign long: soon after his ascent he goeth into perdition for ever.