Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 13:2

And 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. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority.
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Lion;   Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Beast (the);   World-Empire;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Name;   War/weapons;   Worship;   Torrey's Topical Textbook - Bear, the;   Beasts;   Dragon, the;   Leopard;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Destroy, Destruction;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Order;   Easton Bible Dictionary - Leopard;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Leopard;   Satan;   Hastings' Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Antichrist ;   Beast;   Devil ;   Dragon ;   Leopard ;   Lion;   Numbers;   Serpent ;   Sin (2);   Throne ;   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Bear,;   Dragon,;   Leopard;   Lucifer ;   Prophets, the;   Roman Empire;   Throne;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   Smith Bible Dictionary - Leopard;   Wilson's Dictionary of Bible Types - Bear;   Dragon;   Leopard;   Lion;   Mouth;   Watson's Biblical & Theological Dictionary - Leopard;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Authority in Religion;   Bear;   Leopard;   Revelation of John:;   Seat;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

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 thrononHence, 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.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

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 dragons gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority.

Like a leopard ... bear ... lion ... The significance here is that this one beast is a composite of all those named by Daniel, and having the effect of requiring a historical view of what is here prophesied. "The application is not the Roman empire, namely, but the aggregate of the empires of the world as opposed to Christ and his kingdom."[37] "All that is so frightful about three of Daniel's beasts is combined in this one beast of Revelation."[38] Caird discerningly addressed the problem discussed under "The Christian View of the State" in the chapter introduction, pointing out that, "The beast is not actually government, but the abuse of government."[39] Therefore, we should say, not that the beast is Rome, but Rome captured by satanic forces and perverted as an instrumentality of the devil. "Only when the state acts within the limits of its God-given authority can the believer freely submit to its regulations."[40]

And the dragon gave him his throne and great authority ... From this, are we to conclude that even though Satan had been thrown out of heaven that he still had a throne and great authority? No. "Satan's authority goes only so far as men allow it. If he is called the god of this world (2 Corinthians 4:4), or the prince of this world (John 12:31), it is only because men are blind enough to acknowledge him as such."[41] Another excellent comment on this verse is that of Roberson:

The dragon (Satan) gave the beast his throne and power. He works through the beast as his agent; and it is to his interest that he disguises his working under the forms of the world. At present, he has actually persuaded many to deny his existence.[42]

[37] Alford as quoted by A. Plummer, op. cit., p. 331.

[38] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 392.

[39] G. B. Caird, op. cit., p. 164.

[40] Robert H. Mounce, op. cit., p. 252.

[41] G. R. Beasley-Murray, The Book of Revelation (Greenwood, South Carolina: The Attic Press, 1974), p. 209.

[42] Charles H. Roberson, op. cit., p. 92.

Copyright Statement
Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
Bibliographical Information
Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Coffman Commentaries on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bcc/revelation-13.html. Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. 1983-1999.

John Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible

And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard,.... To which the Grecian kingdom is compared in Daniel 7:6; because of that rapidity and swiftness with which Alexander overran the world, and set up this monarchy; and to which the Roman Papal monarchy bears some resemblance; for as the Grecian monarchy was divided into several parts, which the leopard's spots may also point out, so the Roman empire was divided into ten parts, and united under the pope, as the head of them; and may be, in this form, compared to a leopard for its swiftness, Habakkuk 1:8; because this beast, as soon as he arose and got power, quickly, and in a very short time, extended it over all emperors, kings, princes, bishops, and over all kingdoms and churches; and for its spots, Jeremiah 13:23, which may be expressive both of the spots of sin and immorality of every kind, and of errors and heresies, superstition and idolatry, with which antichrist and his followers abound; and for its insidiousness and cruelty, Jeremiah 5:6. It lies in wait for its prey, and suddenly falls upon it, and devours it; and is a lively picture of the cunning sleight of the antichristian party, who lie in wait to deceive, and of their blood thirstiness and barbarity. It is reportedF3Aelian. de Animal. l. 5. c. 40. of the leopard, that it is of a sweet smell, and by its odour it draws the fawns, does, &c. near it, and then makes a prey of them; so antichrist, by outward riches and preferments, by the external pomp and splendour of his religion, by his living wonders and miracles, and by his great pretensions to holiness and the like, allures multitudes unto him, and destroys them.

And his feet were as the feet of a bear; to which the Persian monarchy is compared, Daniel 7:5. And this, as some think, may denote the strength and stability of the kingdom of antichrist, it having already endured a great while, and will be thought to be very firm and stable when its ruin is near; or rather the wars and fightings of antichrist against the saints, the fore feet of the bear being what that creature lights with, and tears and destroys such as oppose it, or fall a prey to it; and may also, as before, express the voraciousness and cruelty of antichrist, with respect to the bodies and souls of men:

and his mouth, as the mouth of a lion: to which creature the Babylonian monarchy is compared, Daniel 7:4, uttering out blasphemies against God, threatening ruin and destruction to men, and injecting fear into them, as the roaring of a lion does, and seizing upon, and devouring their estates and possessions, as well as butchering their persons. This beast has all the properties of the several beasts in Daniel's prophecy, wherefore all the figures there made use of to describe them are put together, to point unto us this monster of iniquity.

And the dragon gave him his power: for the coming of antichrist is after the working of Satan, 2 Thessalonians 1:9; he gave him his cunning and subtlety, as the old serpent, and taught him his arts and tricks to deceive mankind; and gave him a power to do signs and lying wonders, as well as communicated his malice and cruelty to persecute and oppress the saints; or an "army" of ecclesiastics to fight under him, and for him:

and his seat; at Rome, for there Satan's seat was, Revelation 2:13, in the time of the Pagan Roman empire, which was quitted by Dioclesian and Maximian, when they resigned the government of it, the one being at Nicomedia, and the other at Milan; and when Constantine came to the throne, he removed to Byzantium, and rebuilt it, and called it after his name Constantinople, and had his residence there, as had all the eastern emperors afterwards; and as for the western emperors, they chiefly resided either at Milan or Ravenna, to which last place Odoacer, Theodoric, and other Gothic kings retired, when the government was in their hands; so that hereby this seat was empty, and way was made for antichrist to take it, as he did.

And great authority; over the Roman empire, and the kings and kingdoms in it; he gave him his authority as the god of this world; what Christ refused at the hands of Satan, that his pretended vicar took, even the kingdoms of this world, and the glory of them; yea, assumed to himself all power in heaven, earth, and hell, signified by his triple crown, at the instigation of the devil; so that it appears that he is not the vicar of Christ, but the vicar of the devil; and not the successor of Peter, but the successor of Satan; and that he holds his possessions, not by the donation of Constantine, but by the gift of the dragon.

Copyright Statement
The New John Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible Modernised and adapted for the computer by Larry Pierce of Online Bible. All Rights Reserved, Larry Pierce, Winterbourne, Ontario.
A printed copy of this work can be ordered from: The Baptist Standard Bearer, 1 Iron Oaks Dr, Paris, AR, 72855
Bibliographical Information
Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

And the beast which I saw was like 6 unto a leopard, and his feet were as [the feet] of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: 7 and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

(6) Swift as the leopard, easily grabbing all things, as the bear does with his foot, and tearing and devouring all things with the mouth as a lion does. {(7)} That is, he lent the same power to the beast to use, when he perceived that he could not escape, but must be taken by the hand of the angel, and cast into the bottomless pit; (Revelation 20:1-15) yet he did abandon the same power completely from himself, but that he might use it as long as he could.
Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

bear  …  lion — This beast unites in itself the God-opposed characteristics of the three preceding kingdoms, resembling respectively the leopard, bear, and lion. It rises up out of the sea, as Daniel‘s four beasts, and has ten horns, as Daniel‘s fourth beast, and seven heads, as Daniel‘s four beasts had in all, namely, one on the first, one on the second, four on the third, and one on the fourth. Thus it represents comprehensively in one figure the world power (which in Daniel is represented by four) of all times and places, not merely of one period and one locality, viewed as opposed to God; just as the woman is the Church of all ages. This view is favored also by the fact, that the beast is the vicarious representative of Satan, who similarly has seven heads and ten horns: a general description of his universal power in all ages and places of the world. Satan appears as a serpent, as being the archetype of the beast nature (Revelation 12:9). “If the seven heads meant merely seven Roman emperors, one cannot understand why they alone should be mentioned in the original image of Satan, whereas it is perfectly intelligible if we suppose them to represent Satan‘s power on earth viewed collectively” [Auberlen].

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition prepared from text scanned by Woodside Bible Fellowship.
This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfb/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Robertson's Word Pictures in the New Testament

Like unto a leopard (ομοιον παρδαλειhomoion pardalei). Associative-instrumental case of παρδαλιςpardalis old word for panther, leopard, here only in N.T. The leopard (λεο παρδleoως αρκουpard) was considered a cross between a panther and a lioness.

As the feet of a bear (αρκτοςhōs arkou). Old word, also spelled ως στομα λεοντοςarktos here only in N.T. From Daniel 7:4. No word in the Greek for “feet” before “bear.”

As the mouth of a lion (εδωκεν αυτωι ο δρακωνhōs stoma leontos). From Daniel 7:4. This beast combines features of the first three beasts in Daniel 7:2. The strength and brutality of the Babylonian, Median, and Persian empires appeared in the Roman Empire. The catlike vigilance of the leopard, the slow and crushing power of the bear, and the roar of the lion were all familiar features to the shepherds in Palestine (Swete).

The dragon gave him (διδωμιedōken autōi ho drakōn). First aorist active indicative of αυτωιdidōmi (to give) and dative case autōi (the beast). The dragon works through this beast. The beast is simply Satan‘s agent. Satan claimed this power to Christ (Matthew 4:9; Luke 4:6) and Christ called Satan the prince of this world (John 12:31; John 14:30; John 16:11). So the war is on.

Copyright Statement
The Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament. Copyright Broadman Press 1932,33, Renewal 1960. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman Press (Southern Baptist Sunday School Board)
Bibliographical Information
Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Robertson's Word Pictures of the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/rwp/revelation-13.html. Broadman Press 1932,33. Renewal 1960.

Vincent's Word Studies

A leopard ( παρδάλει )

The ancients do not seem to have distinguished between the leopard, the panther, and the ounce. The word stands for either. Leopard is leo-pard, the lion-pard, which was supposed to be a mongrel between a panther and a lioness. Compare Daniel 7:6.

Bear

Compare Daniel 7:5.

Lion

Compare Daniel 7:4.

Copyright Statement
The text of this work is public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Vincent's Word Studies in the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/vnt/revelation-13.html. Charles Schribner's Sons. New York, USA. 1887.

Abbott's Illustrated New Testament

This description seems intended simply to denote that in the form of the monster were combined all the marks and characteristics of savage ferocity.--The dragon; Satan.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-13.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

like unto a leopard

The three animals, leopard, bear, and lion, are found in Daniel 7:4-6 as symbols of the empires which preceded Rome, and whose characteristics all entered into the qualities of the Roman empire: Macedonian swiftness of conquest, Persian tenacity of purpose, Babylonish voracity.

Copyright Statement
These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
Bibliographical Information
Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 13:2". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-13.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

2 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.

Ver. 2. Like unto a leopard] Which is the female among the panthers, the property whereof is, as Pliny telleth us, with her sweet smell to allure the beasts unto her, hiding her terrible head, till she hath them within her reach, and then teareth them in pieces. Just so dealeth Rome with her unhappy proselytes. The Papacy is an alluring, tempting, bewitching religion. No sin past, but the pope can pardon it; none to come, but he can dispense with it, Etiamsi per impossibile, matrem Dei quis vitiasset, said Tecelius.

As the feet of a bear] Which stands firm on her hinder feet, and fights with her fore feet; so doth the Papacy with its canons, decrees, traditions, &c.

As the mouth of a lion] Wide, ravenous, roaring, and insatiable.

And the dragon gave him his power] This bargain was offered to Christ, Matthew 4:8-10, but he would none of it. The bramble in Jotham’s parable thought it a goodly thing to reign; so did not the vine and fig tree.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-13.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

St. John here proceeds in giving a farther description of this monstrous beast; it was in appearance like a leopard, spotted with divers kinds of idolatry, with variety of idol gods; with feet like a bear, denoting its strength and fierceness; its mouth like a lion, that is, cruel and ravenous.

Next an account is given from whom this beast receives its power and authority; the dragon, that is, the devil, by God's permission, gave unto this beast power and great authority, to deceive by strong delusions, and hurt the soul, as also to kill and destroy the body.

Note here, That when the dragon is said to give the beast his throne and power, his seat and great authority, we must not understand it as by right, for all power is from God, but as by usurpation, belonging to him. That authority, which is claimed to depose kings, to dispose of kingdoms, to dispense with the laws of God, all this is from the dragon, and in no wise from God. The dragon gave the beast his power, his seat, and great authority.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/wbc/revelation-13.html. 1700-1703.

Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 13:2. That the description of the form of the beast has been developed from Daniel 7:4 sqq., is at once manifest; but it must not be overlooked, that the Apocalyptic portrayal of it has an essentially distinct conception and purpose. Daniel portrays four worldly kingdoms succeeding one another (the Chaldaean, Medan, Persian, and Greek), and that, too, in such a way that the forms of beasts which symbolize the first three kingdoms are not only like a lion, a bear, and a leopard, but also bear within themselves other significative marks, while the fourth worldly kingdom is represented under the form of a monster, not specifically determined, as, on the one hand, by the great iron teeth, the power of this kingdom, devouring and crushing all, and on the other, however, by the ten horns, beneath which again a small horn comes forth corruptibly, it is symbolized how Antiochus Epiphanes finally rises as the blasphemous usurper of the Greek Empire ruled by the ten kings successively. John, however, describes not four or more, but in any case one kingdom; whether he have in mind the undivided idea of the world-power in general, which has attained form in many concrete empires,—from the Egyptian to the Roman of that time,(3250)—or, without definite reference to the earlier empires, refer only to the present Roman. At all events, it is incorrect to mangle the undivided form of the beast, and to explain perhaps with Wetst., who inverts the order: “The mouth of the lion designates the greed and avarice of Galba; the form of the leopard, the inconsiderate rashness and inchastity of Otho; the feet of the bear, the ferocity and torpor of Vitellius.” But it is no less incorrect when Andreas so interprets the combined form of the beast that he refers the leopard, etc., to that definite kingdom which he understands by the beast in Daniel 7, but in connection therewith attempts to preserve the unity of the idea by considering the antichrist, the coming ruler of the Roman Empire, as possessor at the same time of those three kingdoms;(3251) as it depends in general only upon an inaccurate combination with ch. 17, when in this passage the beast from the sea is regarded the antichrist himself, or his kingdom, in the sense that not the present Roman empire, but one not to be expected until the end of days, is to be understood;(3252) for the tendency of the entire statement of ch. 13(3253) pertains not to the pure future, as though an antichristian efficacy of Satan and the worldly power in his service, as it will have place only at the end of days, were to be described, but the world-power already present, ruling over all in blasphemous pride and oppressing believers,(3254) appears here in a way that undoubtedly makes us recognize its antichristian nature as to how it stands in the service of Satan himself. This antichristian world-power,—and that, too, in the definite appearance of the present Roman Empire,

John beholds in a form of a beast, whose threefold composition of the leopard, bear, and lion is to be explained as little in the sense of Daniel 7, as the ten horns of Revelation 13:1 are to be combined with the fourth beast, which in Daniel bears this number of horns.(3255) Just as the ten coroneted horns (and the seven heads) serve only to designate a particular individuality of the Roman Empire symbolized by the entire form of beast, entirely apart from the fact that in Daniel a fourth empire is symbolized by a monstrous beast with ten horns, so also the combination of the Apocalyptic beast does not have the sense that, in the empire signified by this beast, either the definite empire(3256) of Daniel, or all empires in general, inclusive of the present Roman and the still future,(3257) i.e., the Germano-Slavic,(3258) appear combined, and accordingly the beast out of the sea signifies the world-power only abstractly;(3259) but, on the contrary, the form of a beast which is compared as a whole to the leopard, which is as rapid in its movements as it is strong,(3260) is furnished with feet like the paws of a bear,(3261) while its mouth is like the jaws of a lion, so that thus the entire monstrous beast, which unites in itself the most dreadful weapons of the strongest beasts, informs us of the rapacity and power of the Roman Empire displayed in the same. The special interpretation of particular features reaches too far, and is, therefore, arbitrary, as in Beda: πάρδ., “on account of the variety of nations;”(3262) ἄρκ., “on account of spite and madness;” λέ., “on account of bravery of body and pride of tongue.”

καὶ ἔδωκεν, κ. τ. λ. Here is shown the reason why the dragon, who in Revelation 12:17 has entered into a conflict against believers, has come upon the shore of the sea (Rev. 12:18): he has called the beast from the sea in order to equip him with his own power, and thus to make him an instrument of his wrath. In what way the dragon accomplished this impartation, ἔδωκεν αὐτῷ, we dare not ask, since John does not declare it, for properly he does not attempt to state what is not made visible.

Worthy of notice is the inner relation of the three points, τὴν δύναμιν αὐτ., τ. θρόνον αὐτ., and ἐξουσίαν μεγάλην. The δύναμις imparted to the beast, which is expressly marked as diabolical ( δύν. αὐτού), is shown in his power over freedom and life (Revelation 13:10), and the entire business of men (Revelation 13:17). But the dragon also, by giving his throne to the beast, invests it with a βασιλεία, so that now a throne can be ascribed to the beast himself (Revelation 16:10): hence the more definite view of the worldly dominion of the beast is here presented. Finally, the ἐξουσία μεγάλη(3263) designates the great, yet always definite and limited, plenitude of power, in order by the medium of that δύνα΄ις to work within the entire sphere of nature and to serve the purpose of the dragon.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

Daniel, in his vision of the Chaldaic, Persian, Grecian, and Roman monarchies, by which the world was successively ruled from his time to St. John’s, and many years after, had the first represented to him by a lion, for its nobleness and fierceness; the second by a bear, for its cruelty; the third, by a leopard, for the smallness of its bulk, the swiftness of its conquests, its strength, &c.; the fourth, by a beast (not named) strong, and exceedingly terrible, that had great iron teeth, that devoured, and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue under its feet. This beast is certainly here described, which had several forms: John saw it at first under the representation of a red dragon, which signified that empire, while pagan, for three hundred years after Christ; in which time the old serpent could prevail nothing against the church. Then (after a rest to the church of a few years, which ended with Theodosius about the year 380 or 400) he saw it under the form of

a leopard, ruled by Arian emperors till near 600. This beast had

the feet of a bear and

the mouth of a lion. These emperors, with the Goths and Vandals that were Arians, were as cruel to true Christians as the pagan emperors had been. Gitimer, king of the Vandals, Anno 530, and the Goths under Totilas, 540, made miserable havoc amongst the Christians.

And the dragon gave him his power; these together inherited both the power of the heathen emperors, and their seat, and Rome, which was their seat, or throne, and exercised there

great authority. All this was done in the form of a leopard, not so terrible as that of a dragon; for the Arians disclaimed paganism, and the worship of pagan idols. All this while the papacy was creeping up, but till the year 552, or thereabouts, the Goths and Vandals, and other barbarous nations, were not driven out of Italy. Totilas (who took Rome Anno 547) was then killed, and Thejas succeeded him, who was the last king of the Goths in Italy, who about twenty years after was beaten by Narsetes, and driven out, after the Goths and. Vandals had reigned in Italy about seventy-seven years.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mpc/revelation-13.html. 1685.

Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture

подобен барсу Метафорическое описание Древней Греции, подчеркивает быстроту и ловкость греческих воинов во время их победных походов, особенно под руководством Александра Великого (ср. Дан. 7:6). Здесь барс и все последующие символы базируются на образах животного мира Палестины, с которыми знаком читатель Иоанна.

у медведя Метафорическое представление древней Мидо-Персидской империи, которое подчеркивает свирепую, необузданную силу этого царства в сочетании с большой жестокостью.

у льва Метафора для описания древней Вавилонской империи, которая показала свою свирепую, истребляющую власть при установлении царства (ср. Дан. 7:14).

и дал ему дракон силу свою См. пояснение к ст. 1. дракон См. пояснение к ст. 1; 12:9.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

Leopard-bear-lion; symbolic of his savage and cruel character, which unites in itself the properties of the three first beasts of Daniel’s vision. Daniel 7:4-6.

The dragon gave him his power-seat-authority; Satan, who had in past ages made use of pagan Rome as an instrument of persecuting God’s church, now transfers to him the same power and authority to be used against Christians.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible

‘And the wild beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth was as the mouth of a lion, and the monster gave him his power, and his throne and great authority.’

This description links the wild beast with those in Daniel chapter 7, with the idea that this wild beast combines in itself all the power, might and glory of those kingdoms. It is stressing his huge superiority. He represents all empires. This suggests he is parallel with the fourth beast, ‘terrible, powerful and exceedingly strong with great iron teeth’ (Daniel 7:7) which, at least initially, symbolises Rome, but in the end represents the mega-empire, summing up all empires of all ages. The source of his kingship is revealed by John to be Satanic (compare Revelation 2:13 see 1 Corinthians 10:20-21).

As chapter 17 will make clear there is another wild beast, a scarlet beast (known elsewhere as the beast of the abyss), which, while encompassing Rome, signifies more than Rome. It has a future after the destruction of Rome (see on chapter 17-19).

However, the seven heads representing ‘kings’ are Roman Emperors, for five are fallen, one is and one is coming. The seven heads are also the seven mountains on which Rome is established. But the ten kings and the beast are not limited to Rome. They are anti-Christ, as we shall see.

It was the great red monster of chapter twelve who initially had the seven heads and the ten horns. Satan is the one who controls the earthly kings and empires of the future following the resurrection and enthronement of Christ in Heaven. This wild beast in chapter 13 is also shown as having the seven heads and the ten horns. This links it specifically with the red monster. The wild beast is Satan’s tool. The wild beast from the abyss in chapter 17 has the same. Both beasts look back to the same source and there is a continuity in them based on their connection with Satan.

But the wild beast from the abyss is shown to have ceased, and to have begun again after being raised from the abyss, and it is then that the ten kings arise. So the wild beast primarily represents the bestial nature of earthly empire, summing up in itself all past empires. Significantly that earthly empire will know a cessation and a recommencement so that the final empire is not necessarily Rome although it was Rome in its commencement. Here then in chapter 13 we have the wild beast as Rome. In chapter 17 the wild beast is the empire and its ruler in the end times who experience more immediate Satanic possession.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Pett, Peter. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Peter Pett's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/pet/revelation-13.html. 2013.

Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation

2. Like a leopard . . . a bear . . . a lion--13:2. In moral and political character the emperor was featured as a composite monster after the likenesses of the ferocious beasts of prey, the leopard, the bear and the lion. The ten crowns, or diadems, on the ten horns symbolized the royalty and rank that belonged to the ten kings of the tributary kingdoms, and the great universal power of the ten-kingdom empire.

In addition to the ten-crowned horns, upon the heads of the beast the name of blasphemy was inscribed. This is a fitting description of Nero Caesar, in whom "the Neronic anti-Christ was incarnated," who assumed divine names and prerogatives, and commanded the worship of the emperor.

3. The dragon gave him great power, and his seat and his authority--13:2. The world power of the Roman empire could not have been more accurately described. The visions are not symbolic of the city of Rome. There is no allusion to "the eternal city." The visions of Revelation were not a history of Rome, but within their symbols were included the graphic representations of the emperor and the empire.

The Roman See--in Latin, a seat of power and authority-- was derived from the dragon, who gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. The dragon, therefore, was personified in the emperor of the Roman empire. Later, in verse 11, the second beast appeared on the land, as a satellite of the first beast, to execute his orders. The dragon gave the seat and the power and the authority to the first beast.

The second beast of the land was said, in verse 4, to have worshipped the beast of the sea, The land beast represented the Palestinian persecutors, which were subordinate to the Roman emperor, having no authority, except as derived from him. The distinction between land and sea, in these designations of the two beasts, is simply that the land in the vision stood for Palestine, and the sea for Rome, separated from Palestine by the sea, and symbolized as universal in sway.

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Foy E. Wallace's Commentary on the Book of Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/foy/revelation-13.html. 1966.

Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable

This beast possessed qualities of three animals, perhaps swiftness, agility, vigilance, craftiness, and fierce cruelty; brutality; and strength and majesty. In Daniel, these animals represented three kingdoms that previously ruled the world. These kingdoms are Greece ( Daniel 7:6), Medo-Persia ( Daniel 7:5), and Babylon ( Daniel 7:4). The fourth kingdom that Daniel described ( Daniel 7:23) includes Antichrist"s kingdom. The kingdom the beast rules and represents seems to reflect his personal qualities.

"The fact that the leopard of Greece, the bear of Medo-Persia, and the lion of old Babylon ( Daniel 7) are all seen in this Beast, shows how all-inclusive of human things will be his character; he sums up all the brilliancy (Greece), all of the massive ponderousness of power (Persia), all of the absolute autocratic royal dominion (Babylon), that the Gentiles have ever known." [Note: Newell, p184.]

Antichrist will derive his power and position from Satan (cf. 2 Thessalonians 2:9). Similarly Jesus Christ receives these things from His Father.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Expository Notes of Dr. Thomas Constable". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/dcc/revelation-13.html. 2012.

Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament

Revelation 13:2. The description of the ‘beast’ is continued. The three animals, the leopard, the bear, and the lion, some of whose parts it possessed, are the first three ‘great beasts’ of Daniel 7:4-6, although they are here introduced in a different order, and are combined into one. The qualities represented are the most offensive of their kind, the swift cruel spring of the leopard, the brutish relentlessness of the bear, and the devouring power of the lion.

And the dragon gave him his power, and his throne, and great authority. Three things are mentioned; first, the power itself; secondly, the position from which it is exercised; and thirdly, the right to use it. They are the things which Christ had been offered by the dragon, but which He had refused (Matthew 4:9). They are now accepted by the beast at the expense of becoming the dragon’s slave and sharing its fate. It is probable that St. John has the Temptation in the wilderness as described by the earlier Evangelists in his eye.

The question as to the precise meaning of the first beast has perplexed inquirers, and very various opinions in regard to it have been entertained. There is indeed an almost general agreement that it is a symbol of worldly anti-christian power. But by some this power is supposed to be that of heathen Rome, in which case the seven heads become the seven hills upon which Rome was built, or seven of its emperors. Others add the idea of Papal to that of heathen Rome, in which case the seven heads become seven forms of Roman government—Kings, Consuls, Decemvirs, Tribunes, Dictators, Emperors, Popes: while others again understand by the seven heads seven kingdoms which, either in the Bible or in Christian history, oppress and persecute the Church of God,—the Egyptian, Assyrian, Babylonian, Medo-Persian, Greek, Roman, together with the Germanic-Sclavonic kingdoms by which the downfall of Rome was followed. The point is of great importance, especially for the interpretation of chap. 17; and the following remarks may be made:—

1. The numbers seven and ten must, as elsewhere, be regarded as symbolical, as expressing the idea of fulness or completeness rather than the mere value belonging to them in the numerical scale. We are not, therefore, entitled to make an arbitrary selection from the worldly powers opposed to the Church of God, and to use it as simply illustrative of the nature of these powers in general. Our selection, if made at all, must be made in such a manner that it shall embody the idea of completeness. 2. The rule symbolized by the power of the beast must be a rule over the whole world. The dragon of chap. 12 rules it all, and not merely a part of it (chap. Revelation 12:9): his vicegerent the beast must do the same. We learn from Revelation 13:7 of this chapter, and from its fourfold division of ‘tribe and people and tongue and nation,’ that he actually does so. It is to be remembered, too, that the description given us of the power of the beast is a mocking caricature of the power of Christ, and His rule is universal. 3. The objects represented by the heads of the beast must be kingdoms, not personal kings like the Emperors of Rome. Such is the sense in which the word ‘kings’ is used both in the Book of Daniel and in the Apocalypse, where there is nothing in the context to compel us to think of personality (comp. Daniel 7:17; Daniel 7:23; Revelation 17:2; Revelation 18:3), and the seven heads are said in chap. Revelation 17:10 to be seven ‘kings,’ Apart from this it may be observed that no seven Emperors of Rome can be a fitting representation of the whole world-power. They might represent the power of Rome, but that is not enough to meet the necessities of the case with which we deal. 4. It will hardly be denied that the seven heads must severally and individually bear a similar relation to the Church of God, for it is in relation to that Church that the beast is viewed; but no seven Emperors of Rome did so. They were not all persecutors: under some of them the Church enjoyed peace. 5. We may conclude from analogy that the objects, whatever they may be, lying at the bottom of the series of seven are taken either from what was before the Seer at the moment, or from his acquaintance with the past. 6. But, if so, chap. Revelation 17:10 at once affords us the point from which to start. There we are informed that five are fallen and ‘one is,’ i.e ‘is’ at the time when St. John lived and wrote. This can be no other than the Roman power; and, counting backwards from it, we have the Greek, the Medo-Persian, and the Chaldean for three of the five. The two earlier, still counting backwards, are the Assyrian and the Egyptian. These two last-mentioned powers are often named together in the Old Testament as enemies of God’s people, ‘I will bring them again also out of the land of Egypt, and gather them out of Assyria’ (Zechariah 10:10); ‘and it shall come to pass in that day, that they shall come which were ready to perish in the land of Assyria, and the outcasts in the land of Egypt, and shall worship the Lord in the holy mount at Jerusalem’ (Isaiah 27:13). We have thus six of the ‘heads,’—Egypt, Assyria, Chaldaea, Persia, Greece, Rome,—all of which had successively been opponents and persecutors of the Church of God. The seventh, resolvable into the ten horns, is no one definite kingdom. It had not yet arisen: but St. John saw that the wicked Roman Empire was tottering to its fall, and that it would be dissolved in other and final world-powers represented in their totality by the number ten. The ‘beast’ before us is thus the symbol of the world-power in its absoluteness and universality. Yet it is not identical with the world-power in any one of its seven single and successive forms. It is rather the essence of that power as it appears to a certain extent in each form. In this respect it is really the ‘Little Horn’ of Daniel 7:8, before which ‘there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots,’ in order that it might take their place. This characteristic, however, is not yet brought out; it will meet us in chap. Revelation 17:11. Finally, we may remark that, in so far as the power of Rome enters into the description, it can only be that of Pagan, not Christian, Rome. Even in her darkest days Christian Rome could not have been fitly represented by one of the heads of the beast.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Schaff's Popular Commentary on the New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/scn/revelation-13.html. 1879-90.

George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

. Bossuet, bishop of Meaux, observes in the emperors Maximian Herculeus, Galerius Maximin, and Dioclesian, the distinguishing characters of these three animals. The leopard represents Maximian, a changeable, restless and cruel prince. The bear figures Galerius Maximin, a man from the north of cruel and brutal disposition, terrible mein, and gigantic stature. Lactantius moreover informs us, that he took a pleasure in feeding bears, which bore so great a resemblance to him in size and brutality. The lion, in fine, is the symbol of Dioclesian, who was cruel and vehement against Christians. (Calmet) --- The whole of this is by Pastorini applied to the empire of Rome, which was composed of the territories of the three preceding empires, which are represented by Daniel under the figure of these animals. And as the body of the beast was like to a leopard, the centre and capital of the Roman empire, under antichrist will be the Grecian empire, denoted by the leopard, of which Constantinople became the capital. Various interpreters explain the whole of this vision by different ways. (Haydock)

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-13.html. 1859.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

unto = to.

leopard. Greek. pardalis. Only here. In Septuagint it occurs Jeremiah 5:6; Jeremiah 13:23. Hosea 13:7. Habakkuk 1:8.

lion. See Daniel 7:4, Daniel 7:5, Daniel 7:6, and esp. Revelation 13:7 and Note.

dragon. See Revelation 12:3.

him. The being from the abyss (Revelation 17:8); the "another"

power. App-172.1; Revelation 176:1. Compare Daniel 8:24. 2 Thessalonians 2:9.

seat = throne.

authority. App-172. Its source will not he recognized by the peoples at the outset.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "E.W. Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bul/revelation-13.html. 1909-1922.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged

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.

Leopard ... bear ... lion. This beast unites in itself the God-opposed characteristics of the three preceding. It rises up out of the sea, as Daniel's four, and has ten horns, as Daniel's fourth beast, and seven heads, as Daniel's four beasts had in all-namely, one on the first, one on the second, four on the third, and one on the fourth. Thus it represents the world-power (represented by four) of all times and places, as opposed to God: just as the woman is the Church of all ages. The beast is vicar of Satan, who similarly has seven heads and ten horns: implying his universal power in all ages. Satan as a serpent is archetype of beast nature (Revelation 12:9): his seven heads represent 'Satan's power on earth collectively' (Auberlen). The third kingdom, the leopard (Daniel 7:4-6), here first, including the former two, the bear and lion in reverse order, was the parent of Antiochus' blasphemy. Christianity gave its idolatry the deadly wound: and in it were the seven churches of Asia, to which Revelation is addressed. Its apostasy to picture-worship, mariolatry, and adoration of the eucharist, healed the wound. Daniel 8:1-27; Daniel 11:1-45 imply, from it shall come Israel's Antichrist.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible - Unabridged". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jfu/revelation-13.html. 1871-8.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers

(2) And the beast . . .—The wild beast combined the features of three wild animals: the leopard, the bear, the lion. In Daniel’s vision (Daniel 7:4) the kingdoms were described: the first, like a lion; the second, like a bear; the third, like a leopard or panther. Here all these features are combined, because the wild beast is a representative of all forms of world-power, which have been swift to shed blood: like a leopard leaping on the prey, tenacious and relentless as a bear, and all devouring (their throat is an open sepulchre) as a lion. The reader will remember the wild beasts which in vision hindered Dante when he sought to ascend the “pleasant mount”—the “cause and source of all delight.” The leopard, the lion, the wolf were symbols of luxuriousness, cruel ambition, and hungry and heartless avarice, which oppose men and nations when they seek the Holy Hill, where the light of God ever rests. (Comp. Inferno, i. 10-74)

And the dragon.—Read, And the dragon gave him his power and his throne (not his “seat,” as in the English version; it is the royal seat, the throne, which is meant). (See Notes on Revelation 11:16 and Revelation 4:4.)

And great authority.—It is through this succession of world-powers that the dragon carries on his war. The wild beast becomes the vicegerent, so to speak, of the prince of this world.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

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.
was like
Jeremiah 5:6; 13:23; Daniel 7:6,7; Hosea 13:7; Habakkuk 1:8
and his feet
1 Samuel 17:34-37; 2 Kings 2:24; Proverbs 17:12; 28:15; Daniel 7:4,5; Hosea 13:8; Amos 5:19
and his mouth
Psalms 22:21; Isaiah 5:29; Hosea 11:10; Amos 3:12; 2 Timothy 4:17; 1 Peter 5:8
dragon
12:3,4,9,13,15
gave
16:10; 17:12; 19:20; 20:2
Reciprocal: Job 21:7 - mighty;  Job 41:34 - he is;  Psalm 44:19 - in the;  Isaiah 27:1 - the dragon;  Ezekiel 29:3 - the great;  Luke 4:6 - and to;  2 Corinthians 11:15 - his;  Revelation 2:10 - the devil;  Revelation 13:3 - one;  Revelation 13:4 - And they

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-13.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE DRAGON AND THE BEAST.

2. — "And the dragon gave to him his power, and his throne and great authority." The Beast, in whom are combined the distinguishing features and characteristics of its predecessors, as well as their sovereignty, is thus a fitting instrument through which the dragon can work. Thus not only is the Beast the inheritor of the worldwide dominion directly bestowed upon Nebuchadnezzar, but he also represents the dragon in cruelty and brute force in the world. The subtlety of the serpent is expressed in the second Beast (v. 11). Satanic power from the abyss, Satan's own throne{*"Seat" read throne; also In Revelation 4:1-11 read thrones, not "seats." Royal position is in view in both passages. Seats suppose a private station in life, thrones a royal one.} in the midst of a God-defying scene, and unlimited authority on the earth make up the awful picture here presented. Christ refused the sovereignty of the world from Satan (Luke 4:5; Luke 4:8); here is one who accepts it. It only remains to add that the period referred to when the dragon gives his throne and authority to the Beast is the time and occasion when the Beast ascends out of the abyss (Revelation 17:8), consequent upon Satan's expulsion from Heaven.

The satanic character and history of the empire covers the most interesting and solemn crisis in the world's future — the three years and a half preceding the Lord's Advent in glory. At the close of this period, the seventieth week of Daniel, the Beast and his coadjutor in evil go "into perdition," i.e., the lake of fire. The two Beasts of our chapter are in the end seen to be two devil-inspired men. These chiefs of the apostasies in the closing days are consigned alive to their eternal doom (Revelation 19:20).

Copyright Statement
These files are a derivative of an electronic edition available at BibleSupport.com. Public Domain.
Bibliographical Information
Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/sor/revelation-13.html.

E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament

There are some distinctive characteristics between a leopard, bear and lion, but they all have in common that of fierce destructiveness. Such a symbolism would be appropriate to represent the attitude of Pagan Rome against Christianity. The dragon (Satan, Revelation 12:9) gave him his power means the devil used his influence in favor of the beast of Rome. Satan has always been interested in supporting any institution that is an enemy of God.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". E.M. Zerr's Commentary on Selected Books of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/znt/revelation-13.html. 1952.

Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation

Revelation 13:2

Revelation 13:2 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.

Here we have the description of the beast which rose out of the sea.

First,

like unto a leopard

the leopard is a swift creature, { Habakkuk 1:8} and a beast of prey, { Jeremiah 5:6} and so is this beast of the seventh and eighth head, { Revelation 17:10-11} see the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 17:10 See KNOLLYS: Revelation 17:11

Secondly,

his feet were as the feet of a bear

rending and tearing in pieces all that he takes for his prey. { Daniel 7:19-23} Thirdly,

and his mouth as the mouth of a lion

which is the strongest and most devouring beast of prey. So are the Popes in the exercise of their anti-Christian power and dominion over all in their kingdom.

And the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority.

By the dragon, we are to understand that old serpent, called the devil and Satan, Revelation 12:9 and Revelation 20:2. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 20:2 The throne of the beast, is the kingdom of the world, especially the ten crowned kingdoms before mentioned, whereof Great Britain is first, and shall be the last. The power of the beast, is his poli-ecclesiastical jurisdiction in all causes, and over all persons, civil, military, maritime, and ecclesiastical; and therefore, here called

great authority,

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-13.html.

Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms

Revelation 13:2. And the beast which I saw, was like a panther, and his feet 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. The description of the beast's form rests on Daniel, Daniel 7; and Daniel again has respect to Jeremiah 5:6, "Wherefore a lion out of the forest shall slay them, and a wolf out of the deserts shall spoil them; and a panther shall watch upon their cities; every one that goeth out thence shall be torn in pieces; because their transgressions are many, and they are hardened in their disobedience." Daniel only so far differs from Jeremiah, that in his representation of the earthly powers, that should desolate the people of God, by means of wild beasts, he substitutes the bear for the wolf. The form of the beast here is compounded of the different beasts in Daniel; quite naturally so, since the beast here images the ungodly power of the world as a whole, while in Daniel the different phases of this power are represented. A return is in some degree made to the simplicity of the fundamental passage in Jeremiah, where the lion, the wolf, and the panther, are also employed to represent the power of the world as a whole, and form, so to speak, a composite animal. Of the four beasts of Daniel, only the three first enter into the composition of the beast before us. For, the common supposition, that the ten horns here may belong to the fourth beast, is hardly tenable. The ten horns are not introduced here into the description of the beast's form, which only begins with this verse; and in Daniel the ten horns stand in so loose and outward a relation to the fourth beast, that they cannot be regarded as a distinguishing characteristic of it—the less so, since in the Revelation they are not ascribed to the sixth head, which corresponds to the fourth beast in Daniel, but are set upon the seventh head, so that the connexion, already of a loose nature in Daniel, is completely dissolved by John. Several have sought to explain the fact of John's confining himself to the three first beasts, on the supposition, that even in Daniel the fourth beast is composed of the peculiar features of the three first; so that the beast in John would thus be an exact image of the fourth beast in Daniel. But this is an entirely groundless assumption. Not the smallest trace is to be found in Daniel of the fourth beast having been compounded of the three first. We must rather, therefore, seek the reason of the fact referred to in the circumstance, that only the three first beasts in Daniel have a definite form attributed to them. The fourth beast could not form part of the representation here, because nothing farther is said of it in Daniel, than that it was indescribably dreadful.

The order in which the beasts succeed each other, is here exactly reversed: in Daniel the lion, the bear, the panther—here the panther, the bear, the lion. If we could be justified in taking into account the ten horns, we might think of it as an explanation of the arrangement adopted here, that now Daniel's fourth beast had come into the foreground, now the beast bore the woman, Rome, on its back—see ch. Revelation 17:7. But, as we must exclude all consideration of the ten horns, there remains but one way of explaining the deviation from the order in Daniel; which is, that if it had been retained, one would very naturally have supposed that the particular elements in the composite beast, like the different beasts in Daniel, indicated definite phases of the power of the world in the order here mentioned. Since the order, however, is reversed, no one can fail to see that nothing depends on it—that the object of the description is merely to portray the nature of the ungodly power of the world—that panther, lion, bear, equally belong to Egypt, Babylon, Rome. The different phases also could not be denoted here by the particular animals entering into the composition of the beast, because John has enlarged the sphere; does not, like Daniel, begin with Babylon, the ungodly power in existence at the time the prophet lived, but goes back to Egypt; so that the bestial forms in Daniel were found insufficient for him, when he was going to apply them to the same purpose.

In the case of all the three beasts, we have only to take into consideration their property as creatures of a savage and blood-thirsty disposition. The panther cannot, as Vitringa supposes, denote "nations of different languages and manners," on account of its spotted appearance; nor can it, as Bossuet conceives, be "the symbol of instability;" for everywhere in Scripture, when the panther is spoken of, respect is had only to its terrible and savage energy—see Habakkuk 1:8; Hosea 13:7; Isaiah 11:6. The bear cannot denote "steadfastness in purposes and undertakings;" for in Daniel the call is addressed to the bear, "Arise, devour much flesh." (Jerome on Hosea 13:8, "Those who have written on the natures of animals say, that among all wild beasts, none are more savage than the bear, when it is hungry.") Of each beast, that part is taken which more especially manifests its mischievous and frightful nature. In its main bulk, in all excepting the head and feet, the beast resembles a panther. The dark-spotted body of this animal, from which it has its name in Hebrew ( נמר, in Arabic, to be spotted), is an emblem of spiritual staining. We have the interpretation in Jeremiah 13:23,"Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the leopard (panther) his spots? then may ye also do good, that are accustomed to do evil;"on which Hitzig remarks: "the swarthy complexion of the Ethiopian, and the spots of the panther, are the emblems of sinfulness, and of blemishes of a moral kind." The beast has the feet of the bear. These have also been particularly referred to in Daniel: "The other beast was like a bear, and stood upon one side;" Hävernick: "It stood higher upon the one side than the other, manifestly the posture of assault." In attacking, the bear uses especially his fore-paws; while with the lion it is the mouth which especially inspires terror.

To the beast formed after this manner the dragon gives his power, and his throne, and great authority. The dragon is a name applied to Satan, only when the Old Testament description of the earthly world-power is transferred to him. The dragon is not Satan generally, but Satan in a particular relation, as the prince of this world—see on ch. Revelation 12:3. Accordingly, the throne of the dragon is only his dominion upon earth. The throne of the dragon is, at the same time, the throne of the beast in ch. Revelation 16:10; for the dragon exercises his dominion on earth by means of the beast. It could not, indeed, have been put in this form: Satan gave him. For, Satan has never given up to the beast his whole power, dominion, and authority. The power is the natural power, consisting in the great number of retainers, fulness of earthly resources, and such like; the throne is worldly supremacy; and the authority is its assumed right to command whatever it might please. A remarkable coincidence exists between these words and what is written both in the gospel of St John and the earlier gospels. They have this in common with "John's gospel, that Satan bears a distinct name as the animating principle of the ungodly power of the world—there the prince of this world, here the dragon. In Matthew 4:8-9, the devil takes Christ along with him to a very high mountain, and shews him all the kingdoms of the world, and the glory of them, and says to him: "All these will I give thee, if thou wilt fall down and worship me." What Satan here gives to the beast, he there promises to Christ. And this, even apart from the passage before us, cannot be understood otherwise than as importing that Satan only promised what he was able in certain circumstances to secure. For, if we were to explain the promise of Satan as an empty boast, the temptation of Christ would be a thing unworthy of him. The addition made to the words of the devil in the evangelist Luke (Luke 4:6), are remarkable: "All this power will I give thee and the glory of them; for that is delivered to me, and to whomsoever I will, I give it." Olshausen observes: "The expression, ‘it is delivered to me,' contains a striking note of contrariety to the doctrine of an independent principle of evil; the prince of this world has received all from God, to whom alone belongs the glory as the eternal and universal Ruler." In the passage before us also the power and authority which is given by Satan, is not an independent, but a derived one,—one that comes from hell, but, at the same time, descends from heaven ; as the angel of the abyss in ch. Revelation 9:11, is identical with the star from heaven. The gift of Satan is subject to divine direction, and not merely to divine permission. Satan here also is but a servant of God. Not only is the sovereign power itself of God, but its abuse also is of him, when turned to lawless conquest or to the cruel persecution of the church, which requires to be chastised for her sins, exercised under the cross, perfected through sufferings, and prepared for her destiny.

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-13.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

2. The orthography of the name should be the orthography of good authority and use. If the name be made out by mutilations, by giving false letters, or abstracting true ones, almost any name can be made to fit. Lateinos, all scholars allow to be unexceptionable in this respect. But the name of Mohammed, in the Greek form, as Moametis, given by some commentators, has no authority, and, after a thorough investigation by scholars, is shown to be spurious.

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-13.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 13:2. The empire gathered up all the obnoxious qualities of Israel’s former oppressors: craft, lust of blood, and vicious energy. Hence the combination of traits from Daniel’s four beasts: general appearance that of a fierce panther, feet like a bear’s (i.e., plantigrade), jaws like a lion’s (of devouring strength)—a Palestinian (Hosea 13:7-8) picture of a perfect beast of prey, raging and ravening, before whom the church, like Dryden’s milk-white Hind, “was often forced to fly, And doom’d to death, though fated not to die”.— . . ., connecting the empire with the dragon of 12 and stamping it as Satanic (cf. Lueken, 22 f.; Weinel, 11–12), as a weird and wild messiah of the devil on earth.

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of BibleSupport.com. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-13.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

2. The beast I saw. Three well known animals are mentioned here: each symbolic of swiftness, crushing power, eagerness to destroy. The dragon gave the beast his own power. Those in nations and governments who persecute the church of Christ, receive their power and their motivation from the dragon, Satan. [Note that the same Roman government could serve both God and Satan. We see Rome symbolized in the “seven heads and ten horns.” Yet read what Paul says in Romans 13:1-7.]

 

 

 

Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Bibliographical Information
Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:2". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.