Verse-by-Verse Bible Commentary

Revelation 13:3

I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast;
New American Standard Version

Bible Study Resources

Concordances:
Nave's Topical Bible - Vision;   Scofield Reference Index - Beast (the);   Rome;   The Topic Concordance - Empires/world Powers;   Name;   War/weapons;   Worship;  
Dictionaries:
American Tract Society Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Bridgeway Bible Dictionary - Apocalyptic literature;   Baker Evangelical Dictionary of Biblical Theology - Animals;   Charles Buck Theological Dictionary - Antichrist;   Order;   Fausset Bible Dictionary - Antichrist;   Hastings' Dictionary of the New Testament - Antichrist ;   Apocalypse;   Beast;   Domitian;   Plague;   Titus (Emperor);   Morrish Bible Dictionary - Lucifer ;   Prophets, the;   Roman Empire;   People's Dictionary of the Bible - Antichrist;   World;  
Encyclopedias:
International Standard Bible Encyclopedia - Deadly;   Eschatology of the New Testament;   Number;   Revelation of John:;  

Adam Clarke Commentary

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death - This is the second and last place where the heads of the beast are mentioned with any description; and therefore the meaning here must be forms of government, as these were noticed last in the angel's double explanation. The head that was wounded to death can be no other than the seventh draconic head, which was the sixth head of the beast, viz., the imperial power; for "this head," as Bishop Newton observes, "was, as it were, wounded to death when the Roman empire was overturned by the northern nations, and an end was put to the very name of emperor in Momyllus Augustulus." It was so wounded that it was wholly improbable that it could ever rise again to considerable power, for the western empire came into the possession of several barbarous nations of independent interests.

And his deadly wound was healed - This was effected by Charlemagne, who with his successors assumed all the marks of the ancient emperors of the west, with the titles of Semper Augustus, Sacred Majesty, First Prince of the Christian World, Temporal Chief of the Christian People, and Rector or Temporal Chief of the Faithful in Germany; Mod. Universal History, vol. xxxii., p. 79. But it is said in Revelation 13:2; that the dragon gave the beast his power, δυναμιν, his armies or military strength; i.e., he employed all his imperial power in defense of the Latin empire, which supported the Latin Church. He also gave his seat, θρονον, literally his throne, to him: that is, his whole empire formed an integral part of the Latin empire, by its conversion to the Roman Catholic faith. He also gave him great authority. This is literally true of the Roman empire of Germany, which, by its great power and influence in the politics of Europe, extended the religion of the empire over the various states and monarchies of Europe, thus incorporating them as it were in one vast empire, by uniting them in one common faith.

And all the world wondered after the beast - Ὁλη ἡ γη· All the earth. As the original word signifies earth, and not world as in our translation, the Latin world, which is the earth of the beast, is here intended; and the meaning of the passage consequently is, that the whole body of the Roman Catholics were affected with great astonishment at the mighty sway of the Latin empire, considering it as a great and holy power.

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Clarke, Adam. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "The Adam Clarke Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/acc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Albert Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible

And I saw one of his heads, as it were wounded to death - The phrase “wounded to death” means properly that it received a mortal wound, that is, the wound would have been mortal if it had not been healed. A blow was struck that would be naturally fatal, but there was something that prevented the fatal result. John does not say, however, by whom the wound was inflicted, nor does he describe further the nature of the wound. He says that “one of the heads” - that is, one of the seven heads - was thus wounded. In Revelation 17:9, he says that “the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sitteth.” In Revelation 17:10, he says, “there are seven kings.” And this would lead us to suppose that there were “seven” administrations, or forms of dominion, or dynasties, that were presented to the eye of John; and that while the number “seven,” as applied to the “heads,” so far identified the power as to fix its location on the seven “hills” Revelation 17:9, in another respect also the number “seven” suggested forms of administration of dynasties, Revelation 17:10. What is meant by saying that one of these heads was wounded to death has been among the most perplexing of all the inquiries pertaining to the Book of Revelation. The use of the word “seven,” and the explanation in Revelation 17:9, make it morally certain that Rome, in some form of its administration, is referred to. Of this there can be no doubt, and in this all are agreed. It is not, however, the papal power as such that is here referred to; for:

(a)the papal power is designated under the image of the second beast;

(b)the descriptions pertaining to the first beast are all applicable to a secular power and,

(c)there was no form of the papal spiritual dominion which would properly correspond with what is said in Revelation 17:10.

The reference in this place is, therefore, to Rome considered as a civil or secular power, yet Rome regarded as giving support to the second beast - the papal power. The general idea here is, that a state of things would exist in regard to that power, at the time referred to, as if one of the seven heads of the monster should receive a wound which would be fatal, if it were not healed in some way. That is, its power would be weakened; its dominion would be curtailed, and that portion of its power would have come to an end, if there had not been something which would, as it were, restore it, and save it from the wrath that was impending. The great point of difficulty relates to the particular application of this; to the facts in history that would correspond with the symbol.

On this there have been almost as many opinions as there have been interpreters of the Apocalypse, and there is no impropriety in saying that none of the solutions are wholly free from objection. The main difficulty, so far as the interpretation proposed above is concerned, is, in the fact that “one” of the seven heads is referred to as wounded unto death; as if one-seventh part of the power was endangered. I confess I am not able wholly to solve this difficulty; but, after all, is it certain that the meaning is that just one-seventh part of the power was in peril; that the blow affected just such a portion that it might be described as the one-seventh part? Is not the number seven so used in the Scriptures as to denote a considerable portion - a portion quite material and important? And may not all that is intended here be, that John saw a wound inflicted on that mighty power which would have been fatal if it had not been marvelously healed? And was it not true that the Roman civil and secular power was so waning and decaying, that it might properly be represented as if one of the seven heads of the monster had received a fatal wound, until its power was restored by the influence of the spiritual domination of the church of Rome? If this be the correct exposition, then what is implied here may be thus stated:

(a)The general subject of the representation is the Roman power, as seen at first in its vigor and strength;

(b)then that power is said to be greatly weakened, as if one of its heads were smitten with a deadly wound;

(c)then the wound was healed - this power was restored - by being brought into alliance with the papacy; that is, the whole Roman power over the world would have died away, if it had not been restored and perpetuated by means of this new and mighty influence, Revelation 13:12.

Under this new form, Rome had all the power which it had ever had, and was guilty of all the atrocities of which it had ever been guilty: it was Rome still. Every wound that was inflicted on that power by the incursion of barbarians, and by the dividing off of parts of the empire, was healed by the papacy, and under this form its dominion became as wide and as formidable as under its ancient mode of administration. If a more particular application of this is sought for, I see no reason to doubt that it may be found in the quite common interpretation of the passage given by Protestants, that the reference is to the forms of administration under which this power appeared in the world. The number of distinct forms of government which the Roman power assumed from first to last was the following: kings, consuls, dictators, decemvirs, military tribunes, emperors. These seven forms of administration were, at least, sufficiently prominent and marked to be represented by this symbol, or to attract the attention of one contemplating this formidable power - for it was under these forms that its conquests had been achieved, and its dominion set up over the earth. In the time of John, and the time contemplated in this vision, all these had passed away but the imperial. That, too, was soon to be smitten with a deadly wound by the invasion of the Northern hordes; and that would have wholly and forever ceased if it had not been restored - the deadly wound being healed - by the influence of the papal power, giving Rome its former ascendency. See the notes at the close of Revelation 13:15.

And his deadly wound was healed - That is, as explained above, the waning Roman secular power was restored by its connection with the spiritual power - the papacy. This was:

(a)asimple matter of fact, that the waning secular power of Rome was thus restored by connecting itself with the spiritual or ecclesiastical power, thus prolonging what might properly be called the Roman domination far beyond what it would otherwise have been; and,

(b)this would be properly represented by just the symbol employed here - the fatal wound inflicted on the head, and the healing of that wound, or preventing what would naturally be the effects. On the fulfillment of this, see the notes on Revelation 13:15, at the close.

And all the world wondered after the beast - The word used here - θαυμαζω thaumazō- means, properly, to be astonished; to be amazed; then to wonder at; then to admire and follow (Robinson, Lexicon). In Revelation 13:4, it is said that the world “worshipped” the beast; and the general idea is, that the beast received such universal reverence, or inspired such universal awe, as to be properly called worship or adoration. There can be no doubt of the propriety of this, considered as applicable to that secular Roman power which sustained the papacy. The homage was as wide as the limits of the Roman empire had ever been, and might be said to embrace “all the world.”

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Barnes, Albert. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Barnes' Notes on the Whole Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/bnb/revelation-13.html. 1870.

Coffman Commentaries on the Bible

And I saw one of his heads as though it had been smitten unto death; and his death-stroke was healed: and the whole earth wondered after the beast;

Smitten unto death, and his death-stroke was healed ... See in the chapter introduction under "The Fatal Wound that Did Not Kill," for a complete discussion of this. As Lenski said:

The fact that only one of the heads suffered the death-stroke must not mislead us. Thereby the beast itself was slain.[43]

These seven heads were seven successive world dominions, and the death of any one of them would have been the death of the beast. Pagan Rome perished in 476 A.D.; and that is when the death-stroke fell upon the sixth head of the sea-beast. The "healing of this" occurred when the land-beast, the religious beast with the two lamb's horns (closely resembling Christianity) succeeded the sixth head which was killed, restored all the old forms, and went right on exercising the worldwide persecuting power that pertained to the beast prior to the mortal wound sustained by the sixth head of it.

It is almost universally agreed among commentators that the Roman empire must be understood in one way or another as the sea-beast; but the thing that defies all comprehension is how so many of them report Nero's suicide as the "fatal blow"! "The mortal wound is evidently an allusion to the myth that Nero, who died of a wound in his throat, would return to life to plague the empire."[44] Ridiculous! Was Nero the only emperor that died? How could the mere death of any emperor, or a dozen emperors in succession, be viewed as a fatal blow to the Roman empire? The scholars are simply not thinking in their acceptance of such nonsense. As for the so-called myth that Nero would rise from the dead, there is no evidence that any such myth ever existed; but even if it existed (which we deny), no apostle of Jesus Christ would ever have paid the slightest attention to it. "The Roman empire (not one of its scores of emperors) was smitten to death; but it is the resurrection state of it with which the world still has to deal."[45] Supporters of the notion that the death of Nero is meant here try to make it out that the seven heads are "seven kings," which, of course, they are in Revelation 17:9; but that is a different vision. John used the same symbols for different things in different visions.

And the whole world wondered after the beast ... "The grand sweep through history of this "resurrected beast" is inherent in a statement like this.

[43] R. C. H. Lenski, op. cit., p. 393.

[44] Martin Rist, op. cit., p. 461.

[45] Frank L. Cox. op. cit.. p. 85.

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Coffman Commentaries reproduced by permission of Abilene Christian University Press, Abilene, Texas, USA. All other rights reserved.
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Coffman, James Burton. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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 I saw one of his heads,.... Not the Capitoline mountain, or the Capitol, the temple of Jupiter, built on that hill, which was burnt by lightning in the times of Titus, and magnificently rebuilt by Domitian, which was a thing past, and of no such moment as to be taken notice of here; nor anyone of the Roman emperors particularly, as Julius Caesar, at whose death the empire received a wound, upon its first erection in him, but was healed by the settlement of Augustus in it; nor Nero, at whose death the family of the Caesars ceased, when the empire was threatened with ruin in the following reigns, but was restored and reestablished in Vespasian, for these were before the times of John: but this is to be understood of the sixth head, or form of government, which obtained in the empire; namely, that of emperors, and of the destruction of Rome itself, the head of the empire, and which was built on seven mountains, designed by the seven heads of this beast: and this head was

as it were wounded to death; when the Roman empire was like a burning mountain cast into the sea; when Rome itself was taken, sacked, and burnt, more than once, particularly by Totilas; when Augustulus, the last of the emperors, was obliged to abdicate the throne; when Odoacer called himself, not emperor of Rome, but king of Italy, and retired from Rome to Ravenna; and when Adolphus, another Gothic king, thought to have changed the name of Rome, and given it that of Gothia: this seemed to be a deadly wound to Rome, to the empire and emperors.

And his deadly wound was healed; by the setting up of ten kingdoms in it, the kings of which gave them to the beast, to antichrist, the pope of Rome, and so the empire came to have an head again, a governor, though of another kind: some choose to understand this of the wound which antichrist received at the Reformation, by Luther, Calvin, and others, which has since been healing, Popery recovering itself again in some countries where it was driven out, and which, it is thought, will be entirely healed before his destruction:

and all the world wondered after the beast; which expresses the large extent of antichrist's dominion, which reached to all the Roman empire, Luke 2:1; yea, to all kindreds, tongues, and nations, Revelation 13:7; so that the universality the Papists boast of, as a note of the true church, is manifestly a mark of the beast, or of antichrist; and also the great esteem he is had in by his followers, who admire his power and authority, his grandeur, pomp, and riches, his signs and lying wonders, his pretended infallibility and holiness, his stock of merits and unwritten traditions, his skill to interpret Scripture, and his power to forgive sins, and the like: they went after him, obeyed him, embraced his doctrines, attended his religion and worship with wonder and amazement.

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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.
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Gill, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "The New John Gill Exposition of the Entire Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/geb/revelation-13.html. 1999.

Geneva Study Bible

8 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

(8) This is the other place that pertains to the description of the beast of Rome: that besides that natural dignity, and breadth of the Roman Empire, which was eluded to in the two former verses, there was added this also as miraculous, that one head was wounded as it were to death, and was healed again as from heaven, in the sight of all men. This head was Nero the Emperor, in whom the race of the Caesars fell from imperial dignity, and the government of the commonwealth was translated to others: in whose hands the Empire was so cured and recovered to health, as he seemed to all so much the more deeply rooted and grounded fast, than ever before. Hence follows those effects, which are next spoken of: First an admiration of certain power, as it were, sacred and divine, sustaining the Empire and governing it: Secondly, the obedience and submission of the whole earth, in this verse: Thirdly, the adoration of the dragon, and most wicked worshipping of devils confirmed by the Roman Emperors: Lastly, the adoration of the beast himself, who grew into so great estimation, as that both the name and worship of a God was given to him, (Revelation 13:4). Now there were two causes which brought in the minds of men this religion: the show of excellency, which brings with it reverence: and the show of power invincible, which brings fear. Who is like (say they) to the beast? Who shall be able to fight with him?
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Beza, Theodore. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "The 1599 Geneva Study Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/gsb/revelation-13.html. 1599-1645.

Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible

One of — literally, “from among.”

wounded  …  healed — twice again repeated emphatically (Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:14); compare Revelation 17:8, Revelation 17:11, “the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit” (compare Revelation 13:11); the Germanic empire, the seventh head (revived in the eighth), as yet future in John‘s time (Revelation 17:10). Contrast the change whereby Nebuchadnezzar, being humbled from his self-deifying pride, was converted from his beast-like form and character to MAN‘S form and true position towards God; symbolized by his eagle wings being plucked, and himself made to stand upon his feet as a man (Daniel 7:4). Here, on the contrary, the beast‘s head is not changed into a human head, but receives a deadly wound, that is, the world kingdom which this head represents does not truly turn to God, but for a time its God-opposed character remains paralyzed (“as it were slain”; the very words marking the beast‘s outward resemblance to the Lamb, “as it were slain,” see on Revelation 5:6. Compare also the second beast‘s resemblance to the Lamb, Revelation 13:11). Though seemingly slain (Greek for “wounded”), it remains the beast still, to rise again in another form (Revelation 13:11). The first six heads were heathenish, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; the new seventh world power (the pagan German hordes pouring down on Christianized Rome), whereby Satan had hoped to stifle Christianity (Revelation 11:15, Revelation 11:16), became itself Christianized (answering to the beast‘s, as it were, deadly wound: it was slain, and it is not, Revelation 17:11). Its ascent out of the bottomless pit answers to the healing of its deadly wound (Revelation 17:8). No essential change is noticed in Daniel as effected by Christianity upon the fourth kingdom; it remains essentially God-opposed to the last. The beast, healed of its temporary and external wound, now returns, not only from the sea, but from the bottomless pit, whence it draws new Antichristian strength of hell (Revelation 13:3, Revelation 13:11, Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:14; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8). Compare the seven evil spirits taken into the temporarily dispossessed, and the last state worse than the first, Matthew 12:43-45. A new and worse heathenism breaks in upon the Christianized world, more devilish than the old one of the first heads of the beast. The latter was an apostasy only from the general revelation of God in nature and conscience; but this new one is from God‘s revelation of love in His Son. It culminates in Antichrist, the man of sin, the son of perdition (compare Revelation 17:11); 2 Thessalonians 2:3; compare 2 Timothy 3:1-4, the very characteristics of old heathenism (Romans 1:29-32) [Auberlen]. More than one wound seems to me to be meant, for example, that under Constantine (when the pagan worship of the emperor‘s image gave way to Christianity), followed by the healing, when image worship and the other papal errors were introduced into the Church; again, that at the Reformation, followed by the lethargic form of godliness without the power, and about to end in the last great apostasy, which I identify with the second beast (Revelation 13:11), Antichrist, the same seventh world power in another form.

wondered after — followed with wondering gaze.

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This expanded edition of the Jameison-Faussett-Brown Commentary is in the public domain and may be freely used and distributed.
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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

And I saw (καιkai). No verb (ειδονeidon) in the old MSS., but clearly understood from Revelation 13:2.

As though it had been smitten (ως εσπαγμενηνhōs esphagmenēn). Perfect passive participle of σπαζωsphazō as in Revelation 5:6, accusative singular agreeing with μιανmian (one of the heads), object of ειδονeidon understood, “as though slain” (so the word means in seven other instances in the book). There is a reference to the death and new life of the Lamb in Revelation 5:6.

And his death-stroke was healed (και η πληγη αυτου ετεραπευτηkai hē plēgē autou etherapeuthē). First aorist passive indicative of τεραπευωtherapeuō “The stroke of death” (that led to death). Apparently refers to the death of Nero in June 68 a.d. by his own hand. But after his death pretenders arose claiming to be Nero redivivus even as late as 89 (Tacitus, Hist. i. 78, ii. 8, etc.). John seems to regard Domitian as Nero over again in the persecutions carried on by him. The distinction is not always preserved between the beast (Roman Empire) and the seven heads (emperors), but in Revelation 17:10 the beast survives the loss of five heads. Here it is the death-stroke of one head, while in Revelation 13:12, Revelation 13:14 the beast himself receives a mortal wound.

Wondered after the beast (εταυμαστη οπισω του τηριουethaumasthē opisō tou thēriou). First aorist passive (deponent) indicative of ταυμαζωthaumazō to wonder at, to admire, as in Revelation 17:8. For this pregnant use of οπισωopisō see John 12:9; Acts 5:37; Acts 20:30; 1 Timothy 5:15. “All the earth wondered at and followed after the beast,” that is Antichrist as represented by Domitian as Nero redivivus. But Charles champions the view that Caligula, not Nero, is the head that received the death-stroke and recovered and set up statues of himself for worship, even trying to do it in Jerusalem.

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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)
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Robertson, A.T. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

I saw ( εἶδον )

Omitted in the best texts.

Wounded ( ἐφαγμένην )

Lit., slain. See on Revelation 5:6. The Rev. smitten is questionable. The word occurs eight times in Revelation, and in seven of these it must be rendered slain or slaughtered. Professor Milligan rightly observes that the statement is the counterpart of that in Revelation 5:6, where we read of the lamb as though it had been slaughtered. In both cases there had been actual death, and in both revival. The one is a mocking counterpart of the other.

Deadly wound ( πληγὴ τοῦ θανάτου )

Lit., stroke of death. Rev., death-stroke.

After the beast ( ὀπίσω τοῦ θηρίου )

A pregnant construction for wondered at and followed after.

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Vincent, Marvin R. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

Wondered after the beast; worshipped and honored him.

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Abbott, John S. C. & Abbott, Jacob. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Abbott's Illustrated New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ain/revelation-13.html. 1878.

Scofield's Reference Notes

wounded to death

Fragments of the ancient Roman empire have never ceased to exist as separate kingdoms. It was the imperial form of government which ceased; the one head wounded to death. What we have prophetically in Revelation 13:3 is the restoration of the imperial form as such, though over a federated empire of ten kingdoms; the "head" is "healed," i.e. restored; there is an emperor again--the Beast.

world

ge = earth. John 7:7, (See Scofield "Revelation 13:8").

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These files are considered public domain and are a derivative of an electronic edition that is available in the Online Bible Software Library.
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Scofield, C. I. "Scofield Reference Notes on Revelation 13:3". "Scofield Reference Notes (1917 Edition)". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/srn/revelation-13.html. 1917.

John Trapp Complete Commentary

3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

Ver. 3. One of his heads as it were wounded] Either by the invasion of the Goths; or by that fatal schism in the Church of Rome, A.D. 1378, when there sat three popes at once for 40 years together: or by the falling away of the Protestants from the Popedom, from the days of Wycliffe, John Huss, the Waldenses, Luther, to this present. Bellarmine bewails the business, that ever since we began to count and call the pope Antichrist, his kingdom hath greatly decreased. (Lib. iii. de Papa Rom. cap. 21.) And Cotton the Jesuit confesses, that the authority of the pope is incomparably less than it was; and that now the Christian Church is but adminutive.

And his deadly wound was healed] By that false prophet, Revelation 13:11, that is, by the Sorbonists, Jesuits, Trent fathers, and other Popish surgeons. The Jesuits give out that the devil sent out Luther, and God raised up them to resist him; but great is the truth, and will prevail, when all falsehood shall fall to the ground. It is but a palliate cure we here read of.

And all the world] sc. Of Roman Catholics.

Wondered] Or had wondered till the beast was wounded.

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Trapp, John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". John Trapp Complete Commentary. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jtc/revelation-13.html. 1865-1868.

Expository Notes with Practical Observations on the New Testament

Here St. John farther declares what he saw concerning this beast; namely, 1. That one of its heads was wounded; by which head many understand the fall of the ancient imperial power, the decay of its wonted glory, and that ample jurisdiction which Rome heretofore had under the Pagan emperors: and by the wounding of this head, they understand the abolishing of Paganism and idolatry, and putting a stop to persecution, by the Christian emperors.

2. It is asserted, That his deadly wound was healed; namely, when idolatry, the same for substance with the Pagan and old Heathenish idolatry, but in a new dress, was gradually restored by the Papal powers.

3. Here is the effect of this healing, all the earth wondered after the beast, that followed him in blind devotion.

Where, 1. Observe, Who the admirers of the beast are, the earth, the men of the world: no wonder to see them seduced!

2. This admiration is general, the whole earth wondered after the beast; how false is it then, that multitude is a note of the true church! Behold the several instances of the world's wondering after the beast at Rome; they receive their doctrine and worship from him, they make all their appeals to him, all church officers receive their ordination from him, and are installed by him.

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Burkitt, William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". 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 13:3. καὶ μίαν έκ τ. κεφ. With the accus., an express εἷδον is, indeed, not placed,(3264) but its idea results(3265) from the connection, since the εἷδον, Revelation 13:1, which is repeated besides in Revelation 13:2, continues to be effective.

ὡς ἐσφαγ. The ὡς stands just as in Revelation 5:6, only that in this passage the circumstance which explains how that one head bore the marks of an actual mortal wound, and yet could be represented like the rest in all the vigor of life, is expressly designated: καὶ πλ. τ. θαν. αὐτ. ἐθεραπεύθη.

The more significant that is, which is said in Revelation 13:3 a., and the more this special feature of the entire image of the beast from the sea is adapted thereto, in order to adjust and test the correct interpretation of the whole, the more certain, on the other hand, to become helpless here, is every exposition that misunderstands the image of the beast as a whole. Hengstenb., Ebrard, Auberlen, etc., who regard the θηρίον an image of the world-power in general, infer from Revelation 17:10, with entire impropriety, that the head wounded unto death, and again healed, is the sixth, i.e., that whereby the Roman form of the world-power is symbolized. But although Hengstenb. further interprets that “by Christ’s atonement” a mortal wound is inflicted upon Roman worldly affairs and heathenism,—a wound which, therefore, could appear as again healed, because the outward condition of the Roman Empire still continued, as John himself must have felt this ungodly power in his banishment to Patmos,

Ebrard and Auberlen prefer an interpretation expressly rejected by Hengstenb. They observe, that by the migration of nations the mortal wound was given the Roman Empire; but that this wound was healed, because a new “Roman Empire” had arisen, whose chief strength rests just in the Germanic nations. This Holy Roman Empire, however, appears as the sixth head of the beast, healed of its mortal wound, because its Christianity is secularized, ay, in all Christian appearance, often of a directly antichristian activity; viz., in the Papacy. But the Christian aspect of this form of the world-power is positively expressed in the fact that the head of the beast ( ὡς ἐσφαγμ.) bears in itself a certain resemblance to the Lamb ( ὡς ἐσφαγ΄., Revelation 5:6). The mode of exposition thus reverts in essentials to the old Protestant; only that this was the more correct, so far as it did not acknowledge the vague significance of the θηρίον of the world-power in the abstract, but understood it as a definite reference to Rome. Thus Calov., in dependence on Luther, explains “ ‘the beast wounded,’ most correctly, of the Roman Empire, harassed by the invasions of the barbarians, who for more than three centuries wounded, devastated, and held Rome, so that, during that whole time, there was no Western emperor. It was also healed by the medical aid of Charlemagne and Leo III.” Coccejus understood the head as the Grecian part of the Roman Empire: “In this part the beast received a fatal wound when Julian restored the worship of the gods.” The ἐθεραπεύθη is interpreted: “Julian was removed, and Jovian, the Catholic, succeeded him.” Phil. Nicolai referred the wounding to the dominion of seven hundred years by the Moors in Spain; the healing, to the expulsion of the enemy by King Ferdinand. Most consistently Vitringa explains that the mortal wound is the humiliation of Pope Alexander 13 by the Emperor Frederick in the year 1160, and that the healing is the humiliation of the Emperor by the Pope in the year 1177:(3266) on the other hand, Bengel, with his far-reaching interpretation,(3267) stands already nearer the moderns, as Ebrard and Auberlen. But the former, as well as the latter, interpretation is rejected both by the connection of ch. 12(3268) and by the particular points in Revelation 13:1-2 The θηρίον is just as certainly not the abstract world-power, as the seven heads are not particular “phases of the world-power,” but kings, and that, too, Roman kings. Besides this, the quid pro quo which is ascribed to the writer of the Apocalypse, by representing him as describing the Holy Roman Empire as the empire of heathen Rome which has been again revived, is compatible neither with historical truth nor with a sound conception of biblical prophecy. In both respects, it is impossible to regard an historical development, which is dependent upon the Christian element, and which—in all its unchristian and antichristian deterioration—yet remains in its entire course Christian, and has produced truly holy fruit, as a head of this beast of the dragon. The only indication in the text, which apparently supports such a misconception, Auberlen, etc., have found in the expression ὡς ἐσφαγ΄., as, from the comparison of Revelation 5:6, they have inferred that thereby there is ascribed to the healed head a Christian, i.e., an apparently Christian, life and nature. But supposing, what does not necessarily lie in the expression, that a significant contrast were intended between the Lamb standing there as slain, and the head of the beast wounded, as it were, to death: is it, then, not much more correct to explain, as Victorin. already has done,(3269) viz., that the person represented by the head wounded and again healed is to be regarded as a pretended Christ in whom the sufferings and resurrection of the Lord appear to be imitated?

If we turn from such explanations as do not need a special refutation,(3270) that of Victorin. is first presented, which, being brought again to notice by Corrodi(3271) and Eichhorn, has been of late resolutely defended by Lücke, De Wette, Bleek, Baur, Volkmar, Hilgenf., E. Renan, etc(3272) The Roman historians of the report bruited shortly after Nero’s death, that he was still living, and would again appear,(3273) are quoted. This opinion, which was current especially in Asia,(3274) is recognized by the writer of the Apoc.; and two circumstances concur, which seem to greatly urge the explanation from that fancy of the enigmatical discourse concerning the head of the beast wounded to death, and again healed. On the one hand, it has penetrated Christian literature, viz., the Apocalyptic:(3275) on the other hand, it appears to give a definite explanation of Revelation 17:8, and the one best harmonizing with Revelation 13:3, viz., that Nero, slain by his own hand, appears returning from the abyss of hell, and working again as the living antichrist.

But against this mode of exposition it is to be remarked: (1) The writer of the Apocalypse in no way betrays such impurity and limitation of faith and Christian culture, that without injustice a superstition dare be ascribed to him which the Roman authors already had derided.(3276) In any case, if John subscribed to that illusion, nothing more could any longer be said concerning a truly prophetical character of the Apoc., dependent upon inspiration, and concerning its canonical authority.(3277) (2) In reference to Revelation 17:8,(3278) it must be mentioned already here, how difficult it is by the θηρίον which is there described, to understand Nero alone, who is symbolized, just as in ch. 13, by one of the seven heads of the beast. (3) But it is also in the highest degree doubtful whether the Nero-myth were current already at the close of the first century, as they try to find it in John: on the contrary, unmistakable traces indicate that the original Nero-myth received the form in which it is now by an anachronism, regarded as utilized in the Apoc. only by combining with it misunderstood passages like Revelation 13:3; Revelation 17:8, and 2 Thessalonians 2:3 sqq. Sueton., Tacit., and Dio Chryst. by no means say that it was their opinion that the actually dead Nero had returned from the lower regions to life; but they report(3279) that it was not properly known in what way Nero had died, and that, therefore,(3280) the report originated that he was not at all dead, but had escaped to the Parthians, and would return to take vengeance on his enemies. So it stands in the sibylline books, where Nero appears as a fugitive,(3281) who is to return from the ends of the earth, his temporary place of refuge.(3282) That this Nero-myth was diffused among Christians by the authority of the sibylline books, is attested by Lactantius, who explains it not only as madness, but also indicates its natural origin:(3283) “Cast down, therefore, from the head of the government, and fallen from its summit, the impotent tyrant suddenly was nowhere present, so that a place not even of burial might appear on earth for so wicked a beast. Whence some madmen believe that he has been translated and reserved alive, the sibyl saying that the fugitive matricide shall come from the ends of the earth,” etc. Therefore Lactantius also knows nothing, as yet, of a resurrection and return of the dead Nero, but he has in view the faith of some madmen, supported by the sibylline books, that the still living Nero had found a refuge somewhere at the ends of the earth, whence he will return as a precursor of the antichrist.(3284) But this superstition, still diffused at his time, Lact. regards so senseless, because thereby a life a century long must be presupposed to Nero; while the entire fable could be explained without difficulty, from the fact that the grave of Nero was unknown,—an explanation which is proved to be right, inasmuch as Nero was actually buried with the greatest silence.(3285) In Lactantius, therefore, the Nero-myth, designated as senseless, does not have the form in which they want to find it presented by the writer of the Apoc.

Augustine is the first to testify to the existence of the expectation that Nero would arise from the dead, and return as antichrist, since he expressly remarks that this form of the myth, by the side of the older, has resulted from an interpretation of 2 Thessalonians 2:3 sqq. that is as bold as it is perverted:(3286) “Some think that this(3287) was said of the Roman Empire,—as his declaration, ‘The mystery of iniquity doth already work,’ he wanted to be understood of Nero, whose deeds seemed as though of antichrist. Whence some suspect that he will rise again, and be the antichrist. But others think that he was not slain, but rather had withdrawn so as to be regarded slain, and was concealed alive in the vigor of the age, in which he was when he was believed to have died, until he would be revealed at his own time, and be restored to the government. But to me such presumption of those thinking these things is very wonderful.” In this connection, also, Augustine does not mention the Apoc.(3288) This is done by Sulp. Severus,(3289) who, however, does not combine the myth of the revivification of the dead Nero with Revelation 13:3, but under the presumption that Nero had actually committed suicide(3290) records the entirely peculiar turn to the matter: It is believed that the wound which Nero inflicted upon himself was healed, and that he still lives, and at the end of the world will return as antichrist. The complete form of the myth is given first by Victorin., who expressly says that the actually deceased Nero would be again raised by God, and be sent as the pseudo-Messiah for judgment upon the ungodly; but Victorin.’s own words(3291) betray the origin of the myth thus fashioned, in the same way as Augustine(3292) testifies to the origin of another application of the myth from 2 Thessalonians 2. It cannot, therefore, in any way be asserted upon an historical basis, that the writer of the Apocalypse, when he represents one of the heads of the beast as wounded to death and again healed, depends upon an idea current at his time, concerning the return of Nero raised from the dead,—for such an idea does not belong as yet to his time,—but it must be asserted that the writer of the Apoc. has himself fashioned this manner of expressing the Nero-myth. No one, however, has ventured this.

ἒθεραπ.: “For the same Vespasian restored the Capitol, who also restored the Roman Empire, and, indeed, with great pomp of idolatry.” Züllig, who in Revelation 13:18 finds the name of Balaam: “Balaam, slain as anti-Moses, now has returned to life, with seven heads, as the anti-Messiah, as the one for whom he will now be regarded returned from death to life.”

Any other explanation of Revelation 13:3 is therefore hardly possible, than that indicated already in the Introduction.(3293) By a combination with Revelation 17:8-11, the result is attained that the mortal wound cannot be referred to the sixth,(3294) but must be referred to the fifth, head of the beast. This is correctly acknowledged by Ewald, Lücke, De Wette, etc., as they are further right in accounting Nero as the last of the fallen kings. But to proceed from this to the interpretation of Revelation 13:3, advocated by Ewald, Lücke, etc.,—which is proved to be just as untenable,—is not only not demanded by Revelation 17:8-11, but is prohibited, because it is not said there that the fifth fallen king, i.e., Nero, would return as the eighth, but that the future eighth would be the personified beast himself. But of this nothing whatever is said in ch. 13; it is not once to be perceived from ch. 13 that an eighth king is at all to be expected, so that this point (Revelation 17:11) is not in any way to be introduced into Revelation 13:3. The healing of the mortal wound certainly cannot, therefore, refer to one of the heads of the beast (the fifth), as it is neither said in ch. 17, nor agrees with the statement in Revelation 13:3, that the fifth fallen (deceased) king will return as the eighth. On the contrary, the healing of the mortal wound on the fifth head of the beast must correspond to that which is stated in ch. 17, so that the beast is not, and yet is; viz., it is in so far as the sixth king is. The existence of the sixth king is the healing of the mortal wound on the fifth head, whose infliction caused the beast not to be, and whose healing again caused the beast, nevertheless, to be. Thus ch. 17 gives the riddle, and ch. Revelation 13:3 the clew whereby the riddle is solved. The mortal wound is inflicted upon the (fifth) head of the beast, and the interregnum immediately succeeding. It is to be observed, that it is not at all said that the coroneted horn on the (fifth) head was stricken off, and grew again,—this would attach the idea expressly to the person of Nero, and correspond with the opinion of Ewald, Lücke, De Wette, and Volkm.,—but that, in accordance with the distinction between the heads and the horns (cf. Revelation 13:1), the idea of the Roman Empire, so far as it was under the Emperor Nero, is expressed(3295) This empire, designated by the fifth head of the beast, received a mortal wound when Nero, the bearer of the empire, and the last of the race of the Caesars which had founded the empire, committed suicide, and that, too, under the compulsion of the rebellion of a usurper (Galba), who, as little as his two successors (Otho, Vitellius), could in any way be regarded the restorer of the empire which was destroyed with Nero. The healing of that mortal wound did not ensue until Vespasian, the founder of a new dynasty, restored the empire, as its actual possessor, to its ancient strength and vitality. Thus, at the foundation of the prophetical enigmatical discourse of the writer of the Apoc. concerning the beast wounded to death and again restored, concerning the three coroneted horns which, nevertheless, do not stand upon particular heads (Revelation 13:1), and concerning the beast which is not and yet is, there lies the same historical view which is declared by the Roman historians, in their representation of the threefold regency between the death of Nero and the accession of Vespasian, only as a sad interregnum.(3296)

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Meyer, Heinrich. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". Heinrich Meyer's Critical and Exegetical Commentary on the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hmc/revelation-13.html. 1832.

Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament

Revelation 13:3. καὶ μίαν) Thus all the most ancient remains: two or three copies insert εἶδον.(144) I agree with Wolf, that μίαν, when you destroy εἶδον, does not refer to the verb ἔδωκε, which immediately precedes it. although there appears to be a gloss, as noticed in the Apparatus, which refers μίαν to it. But if εἶδον is to be understood, it ought to be repeated from Revelation 13:1, just as Pliny uses the verb of seeing by Hyperbaton, H. N. Book VIII. c. 6: Italy first saw elephants in the war with king Pyrrhus, and called them Lucanian oxen; but (it saw them) at Rome(145) in a triumph, etc. But the connection of the discourse is equally good, ἔχον μίαν, κ. τ. λ.: comp. Revelation 13:14 : and the Latin translator, whereas long ago he did not read I saw, seems thus to have construed the passage: and I saw a beast having seven headsand (having) one of HIS [SUIS, not ejus] heads as it were slain to death. There is here, Revelation 13:1-3, that mixture of cases, which we have seen more than once, and shall see somewhat below: and the connection is easy between the seven heads and one of the heads. One head is mentioned for the first: for εἷς, one, even without the article, means the first, ch. Revelation 6:1, twice; Ezekiel 32:1, especially in the LXX., etc. The accusative μίαν, which, as we lately noticed, depends by Hyperbaton on ἔχον, Revelation 13:1, most closely connects together the ascent of the beast out of the sea and the wound. Wherefore also he says, κεφαλὴν ἐσφαγμένην, not σφαττομένην, as ἀστέρα πεπτωκότα, in the preterite, ch. Revelation 9:1. The first head of the beast is the Pope in the Lateran, on the Cælian Mount, from Gregory VII. to Innocent III., or beyond him. During that space of time many adversities befel the Pope, through his contention with the Emperor; but he recovered from all.— ὡς ἐσφαγμένηνἐθεραπεύθη, as it were slain [“wounded to death”]—was healed) You may see paroxysms both of the wound and of the healing in the history of Gregory VII., Paschal II., Calixtus II., Alexander III., and others. Whatever adversity then happened, belongs to the wound: whatever prosperity, belongs to the healing.— καὶ ἐθαύμασεν ὅλη γῆ ὀπίσω τοῦ θηρίου, and all the earth wondered after the beast) that is, went after the beast with admiration. An abbreviated expression, as Acts 15:23, writing and sending by their hands. All followed the beast with their feet, or eyes, or inclination; for instance, in the Crusades.

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Bengel, Johann Albrecht. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". Johann Albrecht Bengel's Gnomon of the New Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/jab/revelation-13.html. 1897.

Matthew Poole's English Annotations on the Holy Bible

And I saw one of his heads; that is, the leopard’s head.

As it were wounded to death: the seven heads of this beast are interpreted by the Spirit of God himself, to be

seven kings, Revelation 17:10, i.e. seven forms of sovereign government in the Roman state, and these successive one to another; for it is said there:

Five are fallen, and one is, and the other is yet to come: so that this head must be either that then in being, or that to come; it cannot be that to come, because that does not receive its fatal blow and deadly wound till the final dissolution of the Roman (as the fourth metal) monarchy; therefore it must be that head then in being, viz. that of the pagan emperors: and the wounding of this head to death, is the conquering the pagan emperors, and the abolishing of paganism and idolatry, and putting a stop to persecution by the Christian emperors;

and his deadly wound was healed; and consequently this wound was healed when idolatry (for substance the same with the heathenish, though in a new dress) and persecution was restored (gradually) by the doctrine and practice of the Romish Church.

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Poole, Matthew, "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". 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

егосмертельная рана исцелела Это выражение может иметь отношение к одному из царств, которое было разрушено, но возродилось (т.е. Римская Империя). Но скорее всего, это относится к притворной смерти и воскресению, инсценированным антихристом, что является частью его обмана (ср. ст. 12, 14; 17:8, 11; 2Фес. 2:9).

дивиласьземля Люди на земле будут поражены и восхищены, когда антихрист появится и восстанет из мертвых. Благодаря его обаянию, необычайно сильной харизме, великолепию, обманчиво привлекательным чертам мир последует за ним в слепом повиновении (ст. 14; 2Фес. 2:8-12).

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MacLaren, Alexander. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". Alexander MacLaren's Expositions of Holy Scripture. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/mac/revelation-13.html.

Justin Edwards' Family Bible New Testament

One of his heads as it were wounded to death; smitten with a mortal wound. Of the various interpretations proposed for this difficult passage, that seems most probable which refers it to the extinction of the old Roman empire under the imperial form in the latter part of the fifth century, and its revival again under Charlemagne, who was, at the close of the eighth century, crowned by the Roman pontiff as emperor of Rome under the title of Caesar and Augustus. See further in notes to verses Revelation 13:14-15; chapter Revelation 17:10-11.

Wondered after the beast; followed him with wonder and homage, as explained in the following verses. Persecutors, when overthrown in one form, often rise in another, and continue, under the instigation and by the aid of Satan, that accuser of the brethren and murderer from the beginning, to prosecute their work of death.

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Edwards, Justin. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Family Bible New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/fam/revelation-13.html. American Tract Society. 1851.

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

(2) The wounded head of the beast--13:3-4.

1. And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast--13:3. The wound inflicted was not in one of the horns of the beast, which represented the satellite kingdoms, but in one of the heads--in the seat of the empire itself. This wound, which was nearly a death stroke to the empire, appears to be the result of the help the earth gave to the woman in the civil wars which had threatened the power of the empire, and which resulted in temporary victory for the woman, the church. But it was not for long.

The wound was healed by the power of the emperor conquering the rebellions and bringing to an end the civil wars, and the power of the empire was augmented to such an extent that all the world wondered after the beast--the whole Roman world marvelled at the universal power of the empire.

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Wallace, Foy E. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

Since the beast"s heads represent nations ( Revelation 13:1), Revelation 13:3 seems to be saying that one of the nations under Satan"s authority perished, but then it revived. Another possibility is that the beast himself died and then experienced resurrection. [Note: Gregory H. Harris, "The Wound of the Beast in the Tribulation," Bibliotheca Sacra156:624 (October-December1999):459-68; et al.]

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Constable, Thomas. DD. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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 13:3. And I saw one of his heads as though it had been slain unto death; and his death-stroke was healed. The rendering alike in the Authorised and Revised Versions of the Greek word which we have translated ‘slain’ (in the one ‘wounded,’ in the other ‘smitten’) is peculiarly unfortunate and objectionable. The word occurs eight times in the Apocalypse. In seven of these it must be translated ‘slain,’ or ‘slaughtered,’ or ‘killed.’ How can it be otherwise translated here? The statement in the verse is the counterpart of that in chap. Revelation 5:6, where we read of the ‘Lamb as though it had been slaughtered.’ In both cases there had been actual death, although in both there had also been a revival, a resurrection, to life. The one is a mocking counterpart of the other. The Seer does not tell us to which of the seven heads he specially refers, but a comparison of the words now used by him with those of chap. Revelation 17:8-11 seems clearly to show that the sixth head, or the Roman power, was in his eye.

The language before us, it will be observed, is thus utterly inconsistent with the idea entertained by so many in modern times, that the sixth head, instead of being the Roman power in general, is the Emperor Nero himself, regarding whom the rumour is said to have prevailed, that after his death he would return to life and revive all the horrors of his former reign. It is extremely doubtful whether such a rumour was in existence at the time when the Apostle wrote. The thought would seem rather to have arisen long afterwards, when the misinterpretation of this passage gave it birth. Even Renan admits that ‘the general opinion was that the monster (Nero), healed by a Satanic power, kept himself concealed somewhere and would return’ (LAntechrist, p. 350). The form which the belief assumed was not that Nero had died, but that he had hidden himself in the wilds of Parthia, from which he would come again to strike terror into the world. This being the case, there are at least two important points on which the statement of the passage before us is directly at variance with that rumour. In the first place, the head of the beast spoken of had not simply disappeared from view: it had been actually slain. A death-stroke had been inflicted. It had died as really as the Lamb of God had died on Calvary, and the Seer saw that it had done so. The words ‘as though’ before ‘it had been slain’ no more imply that there had not been a real death than they imply this in chap. Revelation 5:6, where they are used of the slain Lamb. In the second place, this head was not to revive at some future day. It had already revived, and its death-stroke had been already healed. In order, therefore, to make the story of Nero’s disappearance and reappearance constitute the foundation of the passage before us, it is necessary to suppose that the prevalent rumour was that that monster of iniquity had both died and risen from the dead; and neither particular was embraced by it. What is spoken of is the world-power in the form of its sixth head. That power received a mortal stroke by the work of Christ. The world was then ideally and really overcome. It revived, and resumed its working.

And the whole earth wondered after the beast. The words ‘the whole earth’ cannot be understood to mean only the Roman people. They must be allowed their full force, and thus they afford a further proof that in the ‘beast’ we have a representative of the general world-power. See a fuller discussion of the Nero hypothesis in note on Revelation 13:18.

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Schaff, Philip. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

One of his heads, &c. Some understand this of the mortal wound which the idolatry of the Roman empire (signified by the sixth head) received from Constantine; which was as it were healed again by Julian the apostate. (Challoner)

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Haydock, George Leo. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "George Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hcc/revelation-13.html. 1859.

Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books

At the close of chapter 12, Satan had turned from trying to destroy the church and to the persecution of its individual members. Roman persecution was intense under Nero and went dormant for a time after his death. It was then revived and intensified under Domitian. It may be this is a picture of those events. Some suggest Jesus" death, resurrection and ascension to this throne stunned Rome until the church had time to gain strength. Coffman suggests the death of the Roman Empire came in 476 A. D. and it was revived and worshiped by the world in the form of the Roman Catholic church. There are almost as many theories as there are commentators. Suffice it to say, Satan"s allies look all the more invisible because they can live through a death stroke.

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Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Gary Hampton Commentary on Selected Books". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghc/revelation-13.html. 2014.

E.W. Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

I saw. Texts omit.

one of = one

wounded = slain. Same word in Revelation 6:6.

deadly wound = death-stroke.

wound. Greek. plege. See Revelation 9:20.

healed. Greek. therapeuo. Only here, and Revelation 13:12, in Rev.

world. App-129.

after. Read, "(and followed) after".

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Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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 I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

One of - `from among.'

Wounded ... healed. Thrice emphatically (Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:14): cf. Revelation 17:8; Revelation 17:11, "the beast that was, and is not, and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit" (Revelation 13:11 below): the Germanic empire, the seventh head (revived in Antichrist the eighth), future in John's time (Revelation 17:10). Contrast Nebuchadnezzar, humbled from self-deifying pride, and converted from beastlike character to MAN'S form and true position toward God: symbolized by his eagle-wings plucked, and himself made stand upon his feet as a man (Daniel 7:4). Here, the beast's head is not changed into human, but receives a deadly wound - i:e., the world-kingdom does not turn to God, but for a time its God-opposed character remains paralyzed ('as it were slain:' marking the beast's outward resemblance to the Lamb 'as it were slain,' notes, Revelation 5:6 : cf. the second beast's resemblance to the Lamb, Revelation 13:11). Though seemingly slain [ esfagmeneen (Greek #4969), 'wounded'], it remains the beast still, to rise again in another form (Revelation 13:11).

The six first heads were pagan-Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome; the seventh world-power (the German hordes pouring on Christianized Rome, including the Greek third empire, and so the two former), whereby Satan hoped to stifle Christianity (Revelation 11:15-16), became Christianized (the beast's, as it were, deadly wound: slain, and it is not, Revelation 17:11). Its ascent out of the bottomless pit answers to the healing of its deadly wound (Revelation 17:8). No change is noticed in Daniel as effected by Christianity upon the fourth kingdom. The beast, healed of its wound, returns from, not only the sea, but the bottomless pit, whence it draws new strength of hell (Revelation 13:3; Revelation 13:11-12; Revelation 13:14; Revelation 11:7; Revelation 17:8). [It was antitheos: it now is antichristos (Greek #500).] Compare the seven evil spirits taken into the temporarily dispossessed, and the last state worse than the first, Matthew 12:43-45. A worse paganism breaks in upon the Christianized world, more devilish than that of the first beast's heads. The latter was apostasy only from the revelation of God in nature and conscience; this is from God's revelation of love in His Son. It culminates in Antichrist, the man of sin, son of perdition (cf. Revelation 17:11): 2 Thessalonians 2:3 : cf. 2 Timothy 3:1-4, the characteristics of old paganism (Romans 1:29-32) (Auberlen). More than one wound is meant: e.g., that under Constantine (when the worship of the emperor's image fell before Christianity), followed by healing, when image-worship and the Romish and Greek Catholic errors were introduced (Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:11; Daniel 7:24-25; 1 Timothy 4:1-3); again, that at the Reformation, followed by the form of godliness without the power, to end in the last apostasy, the second beast (Revelation 13:11), Antichrist (the willful king of the third kingdom, Daniel 8:11-12; Daniel 11:36), the same seventh world-power in another form (2 Timothy 3:1-9).

Wondered after - followed with wondering gaze.

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Jamieson, Robert, D.D.; Fausset, A. R.; Brown, David. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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

(3) And I saw . . .—Translate, And (I saw) one from among his heads as if having been slain [the expression is the same as that applied to the Lamb in Revelation 5:6 : the wound marks are there when the vision rises] unto death; and the stroke of his death was healed. When the wild beast rose from the sea, the seer saw the deadly wound on the head: the wound was really unto death; the beast which had waged war against the true kingdom of righteousness and faith has received his death-blow. This is the historical point from which the vision starts. This being so, the death-blow is that which has just been dealt: the seed of the woman has bruised the serpent’s head. The blow which casts down the dragon inflicts a deadly wound upon the wild beast, which is his agent. When Christ overthrew the wicked one He gave the death-blow to the world-power—to all systems founded on passion, or self-sufficiency, or inhumanity. But the death-blow is apparently healed. What is this but telling the Church of Christ that the fruits of Christ’s victory will not be seen without delay? The world-power is smitten unto death; but the actual death does not follow immediately. The power of evil, contrary to all expectation, rises with new vigour. This revived power showed itself, with more or less force, in the way in which the spirit of the wild beast broke forth when Christianity seemed to have put fetters on the Roman empire.

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Ellicott, Charles John. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ebc/revelation-13.html. 1905.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.
one
1,2,14; 17:10
wounded
Gr. slain. and his.
Ezekiel 30:24
all
17:6,8,13,17; Luke 2:1; John 12:19; Acts 8:10,11,13; 2 Thessalonians 2:9-12
Reciprocal: Job 34:30 - GeneralPsalm 37:7 - the man;  Psalm 49:18 - praise;  Proverbs 17:4 - GeneralDaniel 3:7 - all the people;  Daniel 8:24 - but;  Matthew 12:44 - he findeth;  Luke 6:26 - when;  Luke 9:54 - fire;  Acts 4:19 - to hearken;  Acts 19:27 - whom;  2 Timothy 2:16 - for;  Revelation 12:3 - seven heads;  Revelation 13:8 - all;  Revelation 13:12 - causeth;  Revelation 14:9 - If;  Revelation 16:14 - the whole

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Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/tsk/revelation-13.html.

Walter Scott's Commentary on Revelation

THE DEATH AND RESURRECTION OF THE BEAST A UNIVERSAL WONDER.

Revelation 13:3. — "And one of his heads (was) as slain to death, and his wound of death had been healed; and the whole earth wondered after the beast." Here we have the political death and resurrection of the Beast. The wounded head and the Beast are evidently identified. It was the Beast in its imperial head that was slain. The empire ceased to exist A.D. 476. The world-wide dominion of the Caesars has lain in the iron grip of political death from that date till now. But God in His providence will call the empire again into being, out of a scene of revolutionary passion and conflict, like that out of which the empire of the first Napoleon arose — out of the sea (v. 1). "His wound of death had been healed." The Seer views it as an accomplished fact, referring, we take it, to the statement in verse 1. But his resurrection, as also his presentation to the world, is connected with his satanic revival in the midst of the week (Daniel 9:27). The historical rise and continuance of the Beast precedes, or at least is coincident with, the seven years' treaty with Judah. The satanic revival (Revelation 13:2; Revelation 17:8) is in the last half of that prophetic week of seven years. "The whole earth wondered after the beast." The Beast will present a picture hitherto unknown and unseen, one unexampled in the history of the race. A human power endowed with satanic energy, openly defying God, and invested with the royal power and world-wide authority of Satan will engage the rapt gaze of the whole earth. It will marvel at the sight. We see no reason to limit the phrase "the whole earth." The revival of the empire must be a matter of interest to all embraced within its range and influence. The authority of the dragon and his far-reaching influence go beyond the geographical limits of the ten kingdoms. The Beast to whom Satan delegates his authority exercises a commanding influence all over the earth, reaching even to the limits of heathendom.

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Scott, Walter. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "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 is much uncertainly among the commentators that I have consulted concerning the interpretation of this verse. The question is raised whether it means one of the ten horns, or that some part of the city was weakened, or that some one of the prominent emperors is meant. With such a state of variation among the able historians and commentators, I will otter only what I am sure will at least not conflict with the facts of history. In some way the government of Rome received a stroke that threatened to be ‘fatal, until something was done that closed the breach and the threatened disaster was avoided. It must have been rather unusual for all the world wondered at the recovery from the wound.

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Zerr, E.M. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". 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 13:3

Revelation 13:3 And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast.

This was the Roman papal head, the Pope, who is the eighth head, and is of the seven, as { Revelation 17:10-11} The beast that John saw rise out of the sea, had seven heads and ten horns as well as the dragon, only the principal distinction between them is this, the dragons heads were crowned, and the beasts horns were crowned, (as hath been shewed in the exposition of chapter12, verse3See KNOLLYS: Revelation 12:3 and this13th chapter, verse1.) See KNOLLYS: Revelation 13:1

By

one of the beasts heads,

we are to understand the last head of the Roman pagan dragon; viz. his seventh head, and the first head of the Roman papal beast, was wounded (as it were) unto death, that Isaiah, had a deadly wound given him by the great Barbarian armies, (before mentioned) by whom Rome was sacked, and the Pope of Rome made to fly from thence to Vienna, (as historians testify)

And his deadly wound was healed;

that Isaiah, by the beast that came up out of the earth. { Revelation 13:11-12} See the exposition thereof. See KNOLLYS: Revelation 13:11 and See KNOLLYS: Revelation 13:12

And all the world wondered after the beast

by the world here, we are to understand all the then inhabiters of the earth, whose names are not written in the lamb's book of life. { Revelation 13:8} By

wondering after the beast,

we may understand their admiring of him, as { Revelation 13:4} And they worshipped the beast, saying, who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And their adoring of him above all that is called God, or that is worshipped. { 2 Thessalonians 2:4}

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Knollys, Hanserd. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Hanserd Knollys' Commentary on Revelation". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/hkc/revelation-13.html.

D.S. Clark's Commentary on Revelation

V:3. "And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed." This further serves to identify the beast with Rome; and also to locate in time some of these important events.

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

Revelation 13:3. And (I saw) one of his heads as[Note: We must read ὡ ς, and not ὡ σεί with Tischenforf. The latter never occurs in the Apoc.; see on ch. 1:14.] killed to death, and the stroke of his death was healed. And the whole earth wondered after the beast. The verb, I saw, is but feebly supported, and has manifestly been of late introduction. The accusative depends on the "I saw" of Revelation 13:1, as is the case also in ch. Revelation 4:4, Revelation 7:9. But the omission of the "I saw" here, is both intentional and significant. It indicates, that the beast even when it rose into view (not in a historical, but a symbolical or visionary respect—two appearances which are here again confounded with each other by Bengel), bore on it the marks of the wound. Had the wounding and the healing belonged to the period after its rising, the "I saw" could not have been omitted.

The head, as it appeared to John, had already been restored: he did not see first the wounding, and then the healing. It is only thus that he could see the head as wounded to death; that is, with the scar of a perfectly mortal wound. That the as must be understood in this manner, is evident from the corresponding expression in ch. Revelation 5:6, "a lamb as it had been slain." One might perceive, he had once been slain, since he bore upon him the scar of a perfectly mortal wound, such as a mark going round the throat, plainly indicating that the head had been cut off.

The wound here spoken of is a wound, which had really brought death—not, as the embarrassment of interpreters has led them to suppose, merely of a dangerous, though not actually mortal wound. The expression plainly imports what we understand by it. It signifies, not wounded, but killed. By killing is always denoted a violent death—comp. 1 John 3:12; Revelation 5:9; Revelation 6:4; Revelation 6:9; Revelation 18:24, and Revelation 13:8 of this chapter. Neither in Scripture nor elsewhere is it used of wounding. Further, the stroke[Note: The word πληγή, which occurs with great frequency in the Apocalypse, is always stroke, plague, not wound. The simple πληγή here corresponds to πληγή τῆ ς μαχαὶ ρας in Revelation 13:14. What is meant is the stroke of his death, which Michael gave him with his sharp sword; see ch. 12:7.] of his death can only be the stroke, which had death for its result. The supposition, that the stroke of his death stands for his deadly stroke, as a Hebraistic mode of expression, is not confirmed by any certain analogy in the New Testament. That the head was actually killed, is clear from ch. Revelation 17:8, by which the beast again rises out of the abyss, hell, which it could only have done if it had already been sent thither. It also appears, from ch. Revelation 17:11, which says, that the beast was and is not. The representation in Revelation 13:14, too, of its having become alive again, confirms the view of an actual death having taken place. And the parallelism with the once slain, and again resuscitated lamb, points to the same conclusion, that the head, and along with it the beast had really been killed.

The answer to the question, which head it was that John saw slain to death, and again healed, is furnished by ch. Revelation 17:10. According to that passage, the head, which the beast bore in the time of Christ and John, was the sixth, or the Roman empire. Since the deadly stroke, as the following investigation will shew, was inflicted on the beast through the atonement of Christ, this is the only head that can be thought of.

Whence comes the stroke? According to the immediately preceding context the beast stands in the nearest connection with the dragon. It is this dragon that gives him his power, and his throne, and his authority; he is the vice-dragon, the deputy of the prince of this world. Whatever, therefore, brings destruction to the dragon, or to Satan in his relation to the world, whatever injures his dominion, must also inflict on the beast a deadly wound. Now, we read in ch. 12 (to which in the first instance we turn, as the epochs of the beast must correspond to those of the dragon), of a great and severe discomfiture which Satan, as the possessor of this world's power, received through Christ and his atonement. It was there already remarked regarding the overthrow described in Revelation 13:9, "The great dragon stands at the head, even before the old serpent, because Satan comes here into view precisely as the prince of this world, as the animating principle of the ungodly world-power, which in the Old Testament is represented under the symbol of the dragon." To this fact in the history of the dragon, there must be a corresponding one to be set along with it in the history of the beast. It is too essential and important a matter to be omitted in the history of the beast. From what the prince of this world experienced, we must explain what befel his instrument; the rather so, because, otherwise, the latter would possess a quite abrupt and enigmatical character, and we should be thrown upon mere conjecture respecting it—to which we never can be left in the Apocalypse, and in reality never are so. Where this seems to be the case, the fault always lies in the misapprehension of the expositor. We are led also to the same result by the close connection which, according to Revelation 13:4, the dragon and the beast hold to each other. Men worship the dragon, because he gives his power to the beast. Hence, whatever destroys the power of the dragon, must also be fatal to the beast. Further, we learn from what quarter the wound comes, when we are told, that the beast, after his deadly wound was healed, magnifies himself in deeds of blasphemy and violence against Christ and his church. Whither the revenge displays itself, from thence has the injury been received, The assault, renewed after fresh strength had been obtained, can only be directed against him, from whom the discomfiture had proceeded. In ch. Revelation 12:12, sq. also the dragon continues to make war on him, who had overcome him. Still farther, when we regard Christ as the author of the deadly wound, we come to see, how this wound, which is here ascribed to a single head, is in Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:14, and even in our verse itself,[Note: The ἀ υτοῦ, which refers, not to the head, but to the beast, shows that the deadly stroke had affected the whole beast, as well as the head; and, as already stated, the beast has always but one active head at a time.] ascribed to the whole beast; and how, in ch. Revelation 17:8, the beast can be said to have ceased to exist. The victory of Christ affected the ungodly power of Rome not as such, but only as a part of the ungodly power of the world in general. All other discomfitures but this bore only a partial character; they could but affect a single head of the beast, and not the beast as a whole. It is the one event in the world's history, by which the whole beast was smitten in the one head; whereas, in former times, the overthrow of one head was immediately followed by the rising up of another. From what has been said, the beast must already have existed at the time of our Lord's death. For, by means of the atonement then effected, one of his heads was wounded to death. This alone serves for a refutation of those, who would understand by the beast a power, that did not arise till a much later period—the Papacy. The healing of the beast, though but apparent and temporary, lay as a dreadful burden upon John himself. The Lord had said, "Be of good cheer, I have overcome the world;" and "Now is the judgment of this world, now shall the prince of this world be cast out." Yet still Antipas had been killed, where Satan had his seat, and John was in the isle of Patmos for the word of God and the testimony of Jesus Christ. Those also, to whom he wrote, were companions in the tribulation of Jesus Christ. So that it seemed as if nothing whatever had happened. Truly it was a time for the Seer to stand upon his watch-tower, to see what the Lord should say to him, and what he should answer to his reproof.

What follows the expression, "was healed," does not refer to the beast in general, but has especial respect to the time, when the head of the beast was healed, after he had received the deadly wound. This appears not only from the natural progress of the narration, but also and more especially from the circumstance, that in Revelation 13:8 the future is substituted for the preterite; while in ch. Revelation 17:8 it is "they that dwell on the earth shall wonder," here the corresponding expression is, "they that dwell on the earth wondered"—a proof that transactions are referred to, which were even then in the course of taking place. The practical conclusion in Revelation 13:9-10, points also to the same result.

The wondering astonishment (comp. ch. Revelation 17:8) with which the earth follows the beast, comes not merely in spite of the death, but also on account of the healing—see on Revelation 13:12; Revelation 13:14. A sad presentiment, that it was over with the ungodly power of this world, accompanied the preaching of Christ's gospel even through the heathen world. From this feeling alone can we explain the rage of persecution. "Nothing," says Züllig, "awoke more astonishment and greater faith, in respect to the Messiah, than his resurrection after he had been killed." Nor was it otherwise in the case of the beast, the earthly power of heathendom. The new life which it displayed, the success that attended its persecutions, the helpless prostration of the church, were all contrary to the expectations of its own adherents, who had not merely heard the external report of Christ's victory, but had also felt the truth of it in their consciences.

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Hengstenberg, Ernst. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". Ernst Hengstenberg on John, Revelation, Ecclesiastes, Ezekiel & Psalms. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/heg/revelation-13.html.

Whedon's Commentary on the Bible

3. The proposed name must be not in the Saxon, Latin, or Hebrew language, but in the Greek. Says E.B. Elliott, (vol. iii, p. 205,) “There is the highest probability of the language and number of the word being Greek, and not Hebrew, because the apocalypse was intended for the use of the Gentiles, to whom Hebrew was scarcely known; because the first and last letters of the Greek alphabet are expressly selected by Christ in the apocalypse, and not those of the Hebrew, to express his eternity. ‘I am and , saith the Lord,’ (Revelation 1:8,) because the numerals in which the enigma is expressed are Greek numerals, and because Irenaeus directly asserts, and all the other early fathers imply, by making their solutions in Greek, that that was understood by them to be the language intended by the Divine Spirit.” This again excludes Prof. Benary’s Hebrew Nero Cesar, the Hebrew, , Romanus; and such names as Luther, Calvin, and others, adduced, as retort, by the papists.

These principles, if valid, effectually exclude all the plausibly proposed names except the one furnished by Irenaeus, namely, Lateinos. And the distinctive name of the Romish communion is THE LATIN CHURCH. Says Dr. Henry Moore: “They Latinize every thing. Mass, prayers, hymns, litanies, canons, decretals, bulls, are conceived in Latin. The papal councils speak in Latin. Women themselves pray in Latin. The Scriptures are read in no other language than the Latin. In short all things are Latin.”

The most formidable rival, however, in spite of the several points of exclusion, is the Hebrew name, Nero Cesar. This name seems to have dawned upon the minds of four eminent scholars almost simultaneously, in 1836; namely, Fritzsche, in Rostock; Hitzig, in Zurich; Benary, in Berlin; and Reuss, in Strasburg. With a certain class of thinkers it seemed to carry all before it.

An almost conclusive proof of this name being the true solution, arose from a very peculiar coincidence. Irenaeus tells us that there were in the then extant manuscripts two different readings of the numbers; the older and more accurate was 666, but a later 616. Now there were also two forms of the name Nero, both used in Hebrew; one, after the Greek, was Neron, the other, after the Latin, was Nero, and the former of these made the 666, and the latter exactly 616! Should not that settle the question?

To this one might reply that Irenaeus tells us that the 616 was found only in later manuscripts, and so they could not have come from John. And how could copyists have adjusted their codices to Nero’s name, and Irenaeus never have heard of that name as a candidate? Indeed, Irenaeus’s omission of that name in discussing the candidates is a powerful argument against its claims.

But the French Professor Godet (in his Studies of the New Testament) denies that 666 is the true number of the Hebrew name Nero Cesar. Its true number is really 676, according to the spelling in St. John’s day. The number 666 is spelled with the three Hebrew consonants, K, S, R; the needed E of the first syllable being supplied by a vowel point; whereas the true orthography of the word Cesar, as identified by contemporary record, has four letters; requiring the E to be, not a vowel point, but a full letter, thereby increasing the number by a ten, making 676. This would entirely destroy the identification of the number with Nero. It is, indeed, given up by such rationalistic scholars as De Wette, Lucke, Bunsen, and Dusterdieck. We consider the Neronian solution of this name, like the Neronian date of the apocalypse, a very plausible, yet entirely preposterous, fable.

But there are some points of peculiar significance, both in the figures 666 and in the combination of the Greek letters that form the number, as they present themselves to the eye.

First, as to the significance of the 666. As seven is the perfect number, 7, 7, 7, thus trinally taken, would be the symbol of divine perfection, the Trinity. Three half sevens would be the reverse of perfection, the directly bad. Three sixes are an attempt to attain or display the divine perfection, but are a failure, a falling short, and that, perhaps, by a divinely-imposed limitation. And thus in this 666 is numerically figured the would-be Christ—the antichrist.

And as to the combination of Greek letters that form the number 666, they are in John’s Greek text, , that is, chi, xi, and st. But, striking out the middle letter, the remaining two, , are the customary abbreviation in the manuscripts of the name Christ. Now let the serpentine crawl in between these two letters, and what have we in ? A central serpent wearing the externals of Christ; a serpent-Christ; an anti-Christ! Nor, says Godet, must this be promptly dismissed as a puerility. The Orientals were thus accustomed to express conceptions in figured forms to the eye, as even in our modern west we have the coat of arms, and in our America the “stars and stripes.” An ingenious, reflective people, before books are printed, are inclined to shape a momentous thought into an impressive mnemonic form. Thereby we get coin stamps, monograms, signet rings, abraxases, symbols pregnant with impressive import.

There is certainly presented here a curious combination of agreements.

They are a numerical name, Lateinos, that points to Rome; a trinal number, 666, that suggests the pseudo-divine; and a monogrammic triplet of letters, , that imports a Satanic Christ. It has taken centuries of thought to develop this combination, indicating that has, indeed, been exerted here in large amount. We leave the reader to decide whether the combination was really planned by the of John.

 

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Whedon, Daniel. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "Whedon's Commentary on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/whe/revelation-13.html. 1874-1909.

The Expositor's Greek Testament

Revelation 13:3. The prophet sees in the empire an extraordinary vitality which adds to its fascination. Disasters which would suffice to ruin an ordinary state, leave Rome as strong as ever, thanks to her marvellous recuperative power. The allusion is not to the murder of Cæsar (so e.g., Bruston, Gunkel, Porter), nor to the illness of Caligula (Spitta), but (so Düsterdieck, O. Holtzmann, B. Weiss, etc.) to the terrible convulsions which in 69 A.D. shook the empire to its foundations (Tac. Hist. i. 11). Nero’s death, with the bloody interregnum after it, was a wound to the State, from which it only recovered under Vespasian. It fulfilled the tradition of the wounded head (Daniel 8:8). Song of Solomon 4 Esd. 12:18 (where the same crisis is noted) “post tempus regni illius [i.e., Nero’s] nascentur contentiones non modicae et periclitabitur ut cadat et non cadet tunc, sed iterum constituetur in suum initium”; also Suet. Vesp. 1 and Joseph. Bell. iv. 11, 5, Revelation 7:4; Revelation 7:2 (Rome unexpectedly rescued from ruin by Vespasian’s accession). The vitality of the pagan empire, shown in this power of righting itself after the revolution, only added to its prestige. The infatuation of loyalty, expressing itself in the worship of the emperor as the personal embodiment of the empire, grew worse and worse. A comparison of 3 a with 12 (cf. Revelation 13:18) shows, however, a further allusion, viz., to the Nero redivivus belief (cf. Introd. § 5). This is not developed until 17, but already the beast is evidently identified in a sense with one of its heads, who is a travesty (3 a = Revelation 5:6) of the Lamb, i.e., an antichrist. The context would certainly read quite naturally without 3 a, but it is implied in 12 (and 18), and none of the numerous attempts to analyse the chapter into source and revision is of any weight, in view of the general style and characteristics. These indicate the author’s own hand. Even the translation-hypothesis (e.g., Bruston, Gunkel) leads to arbitrary handling. See Introd. § 6.

 

 

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Nicol, W. Robertson, M.A., L.L.D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". The Expositor's Greek Testament. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/egt/revelation-13.html. 1897-1910.

The Bible Study New Testament

3. But the fatal wound had healed. Remember this was directed to the believers in John’s day. The seven heads represent seven empires that follow each other in history (Revelation 17:10). [Old Babylon; Assyria; New Babylon; Medo-Persia; Macedonia; Rome; etc.] The beast symbolizes all anti-christian empires. The head that seemed to have been killed, but had healed, must mean that one of these empires which had been fiercely persecuting the church, had stopped doing this, but after a time, had started the persecution again. Rome fits this pattern. Emperor Nero nailed Christians to posts, poured oil on them and burned them as torches to amuse the mob. But in 68 A.D., Nero killed himself. For a few years, Rome was “dead” as a persecuting power. But then in the last years of the first century, Domitian began the persecution again (Revelation 1:9).

 

 

 

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Ice, Rhoderick D. "Commentary on Revelation 13:3". "The Bible Study New Testament". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ice/revelation-13.html. College Press, Joplin, MO. 1974.