Rev 17:11 – “And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.”
In several portions of the book of Revelation, we have seen “the beast” (a.k.a. the beast from the sea, the scarlet colored beast, etc) being talked about.
Keep in mind this beast is said to have seven heads. These seven heads represent the seven great world powers that have existed from the Tower of Babel to the Second Coming of Christ. These seven world powers include:
- Egypt, 2. Assyria, 3. Babylon, 4. Medo-Persia, 5 Greece, 6 Rome,
- and the various world powers that strive for, but never achieve, the status of world empire.
We are told in our text that, the beast… even he is the EIGHTH. What is this “eighth” power power? What does this part of our verse mean?
To find the answer to our questions, we need to look back at our text. We are told that this eighth world power is said to be “the beast”, “of the seven”, and “goeth into perdition”.
- The title “the beast” tells us the entire beast, which makes up all the nations of the world, will make up this eighth kingdom.
- The statement “it is of the seven” tells us it is made up of all the nations that made up the seven world empires (previously listed above).
- The statement “goeth into perdition”, reveals its sinful nature, its opposition to Christ, and the eternal wrath of God that awaits those who are contained in it.
This “eighth” world empire will be formed immediately prior to Christ’s second coming. This eighth will include all the nations of the world combined to go to war against Christ. This is spoken of in detail in Revelation 19:17-21…
“And I saw an angel standing in the sun; and he cried with a loud voice, saying to all the fowls that fly in the midst of heaven, Come and gather yourselves together unto the supper of the great God; That ye may eat the flesh of kings, and the flesh of captains, and the flesh of mighty men, and the flesh of horses, and of them that sit on them, and the flesh of all men, both free and bond, both small and great.
And I saw the beast, and the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against him that sat on the horse, and against his army.
And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.
And the remnant were slain with the sword of him that sat upon the horse, which sword proceeded out of his mouth: and all the fowls were filled with their flesh.”
Understanding that there is coming a day all nations of the world will unite in rebellion against the Lord helps to give us a glimpse into why the gradual unification of the nations is taking place around us. Over the years the nation of the world have been becoming more reliant upon one another and interwoven with each other. May the Lord bless us as we eagerly await His coming!
For an in depth look at these sections of the Revelation: