1 Then I stood on the sand by the sea. I saw a wild animal come up out of the sea. The beast had seven heads and ten horns. On its horns were ten big crowns. On its heads it had names that did not respect God.
2 The beast I saw was like a leopard. It had feet like a bear and a mouth like a lion. The dragon gave it his own strength, his own throne, and great power.
3 One of its heads had a cut, bad enough to kill it. But the bad cut was healed. All the people on earth were much surprised and followed the beast.
4 They worshipped the dragon because he had given this power to the beast. And they worshipped the beast too. They said, Who is like this beast? Who can fight against it?
5 The beast was given a mouth that spoke proud words against God. It was given power to rule for forty-two months.
6 It opened its mouth to speak against God, to speak against his name and the place where he lives, and to speak against those who live in heaven.
7 It was also given power to fight against Gods people and to win the fight against them. It was given power to rule over every tribe, nation, language, and country.
8 Everyone on earth will worship the beast, if they do not have their names in the book of life. The book of life belongs to the Lamb who was killed. That was Gods plan since the world was made.
9 He who can hear should listen:
10 Anyone who puts people in prison will go to prison. Any one who kills others with a long knife or sword will be killed by a long knife or sword. This is why Gods people are patient and keep on believing.
11 Then I saw another beast come up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb but talked like a dragon.
12 It uses all the power of the first beast and stands with it. It makes all the earth and those who live on it worship the first beast. That was the beast whose bad cut was healed.
13 The second beast does wonderful things. It even makes fire fall from the sky to the earth for everyone to see.
14 It fools the people who live on earth by the wonderful things which it has been given power to do, while the first beast looks on. It tells the people on earth to make an idol like the first beast that was cut by the big knife but lived.
15 It was given power to make the idol of the beast live. The idol of the beast could speak and command all those who would not worship the idol to be killed.
16 It makes all the people take a mark on their right hands or on their foreheads. That means all people, those who are great and those who are not great, the poor, free men, and slaves.
17 No one could buy or sell anything if he did not have this mark. This mark is the name of the beast or the number of its name.
18 Here wisdom is needed. If a person understands, he should count the number of the beast. It is the number of a mans name. Its number is six hundred and sixty-six.