3/30/10 The first part of v. 1 belongs with the last chapter. Some translate it, “And I stood on the sand of the sea,” but many scholars agree that it’s the dragon who stood on the sand of the sea.
John watched as up out of the sea arose a beast with some interesting similarities to the dragon: seven heads, ten horns, blasphemous names, and crowns, though the crowns were on his horns instead of his heads as the dragons’s were. That is because when compared with Daniel’s vision of the beasts with a total of seven heads and ten horns, the dragon ruled during the time when the four powers were ruling. In Daniel’s vision the scene moves from an emphasis on the heads of the four beasts to the horns of the fourth beast. This is when the beast from the sea began its reign. So the focus shifts from the heads to the horns, the crowns shift from the heads to the horns.
These are diadems, royal crowns, not stefanos crowns or wreaths of victory. This power is ruling by force of authority and power. It’s also a religious power for it is claiming equality with God.
This beast is a composite of Daniel’s beasts–looked like a leopard, feet like a bear, mouth like a lion, and horns like the beast. So this new beast from the sea has these powers in its history even though it arises after them.
When this beast comes out of the sea the dragon gives it his power, throne, and great authority–just as the Father gave Jesus his power, throne, and great authority.