The Two Beasts
1 I looked and saw a beast coming up from the sea. This one had ten horns and seven heads, and a crown was on each of its ten horns. On each of its heads were names that were an insult to God. 2 The beast I saw had the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The dragon handed over its own power and throne and great authority to this beast. 3 One of its heads seemed to have been fatally wounded, but now it was well. Everyone on earth marveled at this beast, 4 and they worshiped the dragon who had given its authority to the beast. They also worshiped the beast and said, “No one is like this beast! No one can fight against it.”
5 The beast was allowed to brag and claim to be God, and for 42 months it was allowed to rule. 6 The beast cursed God, and it cursed the name of God. It even cursed the place where God lives, as well as everyone who lives in heaven with God. 7 It was allowed to fight against God's people and defeat them. It was also given authority over the people of every tribe, nation, language, and race. 8 The beast was worshiped by everyone whose name wasn't written before the time of creation in the book of the Lamb who was killed.
9 If you have ears,
10 If you are doomed
to be captured,
you will be captured.
If you are doomed
to be killed by a sword,
you will be killed
by a sword.
This means God's people must learn to endure and be faithful!
11 I now saw another beast. This one came out of the ground. It had two horns like a lamb, but spoke like a dragon. 12 It worked for the beast whose fatal wound had been healed. And it used all its authority to force the earth and its people to worship that beast. 13 It worked mighty miracles, and while people watched, it even made fire come down from the sky.
14 This second beast fooled people on earth by working miracles for the first one. Then it talked them into making an idol in the form of the beast that did not die after being wounded by a sword. 15 It was allowed to put breath into the idol, so it could speak. Everyone who refused to worship the idol of the beast was put to death. 16 All people were forced to put a mark on their right hand or forehead. Whether they were powerful or weak, rich or poor, free people or slaves, 17 they all had to have this mark, or else they could not buy or sell anything. This mark stood for the name of the beast and for the number of its name.
18 You need wisdom to understand the number of the beast! But if you are smart enough, you can figure this out. Its number is 666, and it stands for a person.
© Contemporary English Version, Second Edition (CEV®) © 2006 American Bible Society. All rights reserved.