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Bible 2015: 22 December Daily Bible Reading

Context and Comment:

The dragon takes his stand on the sand of the sea, and a beast rises out of the sea. The beast has ten horns and seven heads with ten diadems on its horns. The symbolism of the heads and horns is the same as with the dragon. The beast has great power, authority, and strength. The beast’s appearance is like a leopard with feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. Further, the dragon gave his power, throne, and great authority to the beast. The beast is symbolic of Roman political and religious power.

The imagery is the same as Daniel 7. Daniel 7:3 shows four great beasts coming up out of the sea, the first three being a lion, bear, and leopard, the same three animals that make up the beast in Revelation 13. The fourth beast (daniel 7:7) is not like the other beasts and it has ten horns, just like the beast in Revelation 13. Daniel 2:37-38 tells us that we begin with the Babylonian Empire. Therefore the Babylonian Empire is the first beast. The second beast is the empire that conquered the Babylonians, which was the Persian Empire (or Medo-Persian Empire). The third beast is the empire that conquered the Persians which was the Grecian Empire. The fourth beast is the empire that conquered the Greeks and that was the Roman Empire. The fourth terrifying beast that Daniel prophesied about and about which Revelation 13 is referring to is the Roman Empire which ruled from around 44 BC to 476 AD.

Zechariah 2-3
2 I lifted up my eyes, and saw, and behold, a man with a measuring line in his hand. 2 Then I asked, “Where are you going?”
He said to me, “To measure Jerusalem, to see what is its width and what is its length.”
3 Behold, the angel who talked with me went out, and another angel went out to meet him, 4 and said to him, “Run, speak to this young man, saying, ‘Jerusalem will be inhabited as villages without walls, because of the multitude of men and livestock in it. 5 For I,’ says Yahweh, ‘will be to her a wall of fire around it, and I will be the glory in the middle of her. 6 Come! Come! Flee from the land of the north,’ says Yahweh; ‘for I have spread you abroad as the four winds of the sky,’ says Yahweh. 7 ‘Come, Zion! Escape, you who dwell with the daughter of Babylon.’ 8 For Yahweh of Armies says: ‘For honor he has sent me to the nations which plundered you; for he who touches you touches the apple of his eye. 9 For, behold, I will shake my hand over them, and they will be a plunder to those who served them; and you will know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me. 10 Sing and rejoice, daughter of Zion; for, behold, I come, and I will dwell within you,’ says Yahweh. 11 Many nations shall join themselves to Yahweh in that day, and shall be my people; and I will dwell among you, and you shall know that Yahweh of Armies has sent me to you. 12 Yahweh will inherit Judah as his portion in the holy land, and will again choose Jerusalem. 13 Be silent, all flesh, before Yahweh; for he has roused himself from his holy habitation!”
3 He showed me Joshua the high priest standing before Yahweh’s angel, and Satan standing at his right hand to be his adversary. 2 Yahweh said to Satan, “Yahweh rebuke you, Satan! Yes, Yahweh who has chosen Jerusalem rebuke you! Isn’t this a burning stick plucked out of the fire?”
3 Now Joshua was clothed with filthy garments, and was standing before the angel. 4 He answered and spoke to those who stood before him, saying, “Take the filthy garments off of him.” To him he said, “Behold, I have caused your iniquity to pass from you, and I will clothe you with rich clothing.”
5 I said, “Let them set a clean turban on his head.”
So they set a clean turban on his head, and clothed him; and Yahweh’s angel was standing by. 6 Yahweh’s angel protested to Joshua, saying, 7 “Yahweh of Armies says: ‘If you will walk in my ways, and if you will follow my instructions, then you also shall judge my house, and shall also keep my courts, and I will give you a place of access among these who stand by. 8 Hear now, Joshua the high priest, you and your fellows who sit before you; for they are men who are a sign: for, behold, I will bring out my servant, the Branch. 9 For, behold, the stone that I have set before Joshua; on one stone are seven eyes: behold, I will engrave its engraving,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘and I will remove the iniquity of that land in one day. 10 In that day,’ says Yahweh of Armies, ‘you will invite every man his neighbor under the vine and under the fig tree.’”

Revelation 13
13 Then I stood on the sand of the sea. I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads. On his horns were ten crowns, and on his heads, blasphemous names. 2 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. 3 One of his heads looked like it had been wounded fatally. His fatal wound was healed, and the whole earth marveled at the beast. 4 They worshiped the dragon, because he gave his authority to the beast, and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” 5 A mouth speaking great things and blasphemy was given to him. Authority to make war for forty-two months was given to him. 6 He opened his mouth for blasphemy against God, to blaspheme his name, and his dwelling, those who dwell in heaven. 7 It was given to him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them. Authority over every tribe, people, language, and nation was given to him. 8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, everyone whose name has not been written from the foundation of the world in the book of life of the Lamb who has been killed. 9 If anyone has an ear, let him hear. 10 If anyone is to go into captivity, he will go into captivity. If anyone is to be killed with the sword, he must be killed. Here is the endurance and the faith of the saints.
11 I saw another beast coming up out of the earth. He had two horns like a lamb, and he spoke like a dragon. 12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. He makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed. 13 He performs great signs, even making fire come down out of the sky to the earth in the sight of people. 14 He deceives my own people who dwell on the earth because of the signs he was granted to do in front of the beast; saying to those who dwell on the earth, that they should make an image to the beast who had the sword wound and lived. 15 It was given to him to give breath to it, to the image of the beast, that the image of the beast should both speak, and cause as many as wouldn’t worship the image of the beast to be killed. 16 He causes all, the small and the great, the rich and the poor, and the free and the slave, to be given marks on their right hands, or on their foreheads; 17 and that no one would be able to buy or to sell, unless he has that mark, the name of the beast or the number of his name. 18 Here is wisdom. He who has understanding, let him calculate the number of the beast, for it is the number of a man. His number is six hundred sixty-six.

Psalm 141
141 Yahweh, I have called on you.
Come to me quickly!
Listen to my voice when I call to you.
2 Let my prayer be set before you like incense;
the lifting up of my hands like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a watch, Yahweh, before my mouth.
Keep the door of my lips.
4 Don’t incline my heart to any evil thing,
to practice deeds of wickedness with men who work iniquity.
Don’t let me eat of their delicacies.
5 Let the righteous strike me, it is kindness;
let him reprove me, it is like oil on the head;
don’t let my head refuse it;
Yet my prayer is always against evil deeds.
6 Their judges are thrown down by the sides of the rock.
They will hear my words, for they are well spoken.
7 “As when one plows and breaks up the earth,
our bones are scattered at the mouth of Sheol.”
8 For my eyes are on you, Yahweh, the Lord.
In you, I take refuge.
Don’t leave my soul destitute.
9 Keep me from the snare which they have laid for me,
from the traps of the workers of iniquity.
10 Let the wicked fall together into their own nets,
while I pass by.
Proverbs 30:18-20
18 “There are three things which are too amazing for me,
four which I don’t understand:
19 The way of an eagle in the air;
the way of a serpent on a rock;
the way of a ship in the middle of the sea;
and the way of a man with a maiden.
20 “So is the way of an adulterous woman:
she eats and wipes her mouth,
and says, ‘I have done nothing wrong.’

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