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REVELATION Q&A: THE SECOND BEAST

Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr. —  Leave a comment
Second beast

Who is the Second Beast?

(1) According to commentators of all stripes (dispensational, reformed, liberal), the first Beast must be understood both generically and specifically. That is, as the Roman imperial government and as the particular emperor on the throne, much like the “body of Christ” can be either generic (the Church) or specific (Jesus himself). So the first beast is fulfilled in Nero Caesar as he exercises his imperial powers.

(2) The second beast is a subordinate of the first: (a) He exercise the authority of the first beast in his presence, and makes men worship the first beast (13:12). (b) He only has two horns (v10) rather than ten (v. 1), thus a more limited authority. (c) He arises from the “earth/land” (v11) and operates there; the first beast arises from the sea (v1) and has authority over all nations (v7).


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(3) The identity of this beast is not as clear cut as the first beast. But it would seem that it refers to the imperial authority of Rome exercised in the Land, i.e., the Procurator. In light of the circumstances of Revelation and the time-frame, this would appear to be Gessius Florus who cruelly oppressed the Jews and goaded them to revolt against Rome. This causes the historical judgments of Revelation.

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Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr.

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Ken is a Presbyterian pastor and the author or co-author of over thirty books, most on eschatology. He has been married since 1971, and has three children and several grandchildren. He is a graduate of Tennessee Temple University (B.A., 1973), Reformed Theological Seminary (M.Div., 1977), and Whitefield Theological Seminary (Th.M., 1986; Th.D., 1988). He currently pastors Living Hope Presbyterian Church (affiliated with the RPCGA) in Greer, SC. Much of his writing is in the field of eschatology, including his 600 page book, He Shall Have Dominion: A Postmillennial Eschatology and his 400 page, Before Jerusalem Fell: Dating the Book of Revelation (his Th.D. dissertation). He contributed chapters to two Zondervan CounterPoints books on eschatological issues: Three Views on the Millennium and Beyond (edited by Darrell L. Bock) and Four Views on the Book of Revelation (edited by C. Marvin Pate). He also debated Thomas D. Ice in Kregel's The Great Tribulation: Past or Future? His books have been published by American Vision, Baker, Zondervan, Kregel, P & R, Greenhaven Press, Nordskog, Wipf & Stock, and several other publishers. He has published scores of articles in such publications as Tabletalk, Westminster Theological Journal, Evangelical Theological Society Journal, Banner of Truth, Christianity Today, Antithesis, Contra Mundum, and others. He has spoken at over 100 conferences in America, the Caribbean, and Australia. He is a member of the Evangelical Theological Society and a Church Council Committee member of Coalition on Revival.

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