Will he be killed and then resurrected from the dead?
The authors of the “Left Behind” series assert that the Antichrist will be assassinated and then be resurrected from the dead. There is a biblical basis for this assumption, but I do not believe it is valid. The assumption is based on Revelation 13:1-3 where John says he saw “a beast coming up out of the sea” (the Antichrist rising from among the Gentile nations). He then adds that the beast had ten horns with crowns and seven heads, and that one of his heads “had been slain,” and “the fatal wound had been healed.”
This is obviously symbolic imagery, and I believe it refers to kingdoms rather than a person. In Revelation 12:3 Satan is portrayed as a dragon with seven crowned heads and ten horns. In Revelation 13:1 the Antichrist is pictured as a beast with seven heads and ten crowned horns. Satan’s heads are crowned because they represent the seven great world empires which he has controlled. The Antichrist’s ten horns are crowned because they represent the ten kingdoms he will initially control.
A clue to the identity of the seven heads is located in Revelation 17:9-11 where the imagery of seven mountains is used to refer to the great kingdoms of the world. We are told that at the time John was writing (about 95 A.D.), “five had fallen, one is, the other has not yet come” (Revelation 17:10). That would mean that the kingdoms past, in order, would be Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. The current kingdom (“one is”) was Rome. The one yet to come is the kingdom of the Antichrist which will be based initially on control of ten kingdoms, but will expand into a world wide empire which will be the eighth and last of the Gentile world kingdoms (Revelation 17:11).
So, I believe the “head” referred to in Revelation 13:3 which is slain and then resurrected is the Roman Empire, and not an individual. We are witnessing that resurrection today in the emergence of the European Community.
Revelation Study Resources
- An Overview of Revelation multimedia training kit covers the book of Revelation verse by verse.
- Dr. Reagan’s book, Wrath and Glory, covers the book of Revelation chapter by chapter.
- Dr. Reagan’s video program, Revelation Revealed, presents a sweeping overview of the entire book of Revelation.