THE DRAGON – And the dragon stood on the shore of the sea. The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority. (Revelation 13:1a)
Enter the Dragon, First Person of the Unholy Trinity – As previously discussed, Revelation 12:9 identifies the dragon as Satan.(1) At one time the highest of God’s angels, he tried to usurp the throne of God and capture the worship that belongs only to God (Matthew 4:8–10). “I will be like the Most High” reveals his basic strategy, for he is an imitator (Isaiah 14:14; 2 Corinthians 11:13–15).(2) He aspires to the position of God the Father, the first person of the Trinity.
Stood on the Shore of the Sea – Literally upon the sand, using the same word that is used for the innumerable multitude in Revelation 20:8.(3) The phrase foreshadows what is about to come, the summoning and coronation by Satan of the beast from the sea, the anti-Christ.(4) At least one commentator insists that “stood on the shore of the sea” means across the ocean. The commentator connects this with the beast arising out of the sea (the nations, or more specifically nations arising from the geographic area comprising the ancient Roman Empire). Of course, only one nation is comprised of such nations and settled across the ocean – the United States.(5)
Power, Throne and Authority – The dragon will give the beast from the sea his power, throne and authority and he will work through this beast. Satan claimed that he had this power when he tempted Jesus (Matthew 4:9; Luke 4:6) and Christ called Satan the prince of this world (John 12:31; 14:30; 16:11).(6) Since the dragon bestowed his power on the beast, the beast will share many of the dragon’s characteristics.(7) This new world ruler will use his position to exercise “authority over every tribe, people, language and nation” (Revelation 13:7). He will be worshipped by all who do not belong to God (Revelation 13:8). Satan, who has always yearned for the worship and the place belonging to God alone, will seemingly achieve that goal on earth through the counterfeit Christ (anti-Christ) who will rule in his name.(8)
Up Next – The Beast from the sea.
- Walvoord, John F. (1985). Revelation. In J. F. Walvoord & R. B. Zuck (Eds.), The Bible Knowledge Commentary: An Exposition of the Scriptures (Vol. 2, p. 958). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Wiersbe, W. W. (1996). Be Comforted (p. 45). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.
- Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Re 12:18). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.
- Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 13:1–10). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Fraley, Bob, (1978), God Reveals the Identity of the Beast, Phoenix, AZ: Crane Publishing Company, Inc.
- Robertson, A. T. (1933). Word Pictures in the New Testament (Re 13:2). Nashville, TN: Broadman Press.
- Barry, J. D., Heiser, M. S., Custis, M., Mangum, D., & Whitehead, M. M. (2012). Faithlife Study Bible (Re 13:2). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.
- Richards, L., & Richards, L. O. (1987). The teacher’s commentary (p. 1081). Wheaton, IL: Victor Books.