Healing the Deadly Wound

19 Nov
Deadly Wound

from Google Images

There are many theories among scholars concerning the beast receiving a fatal wound to one of its heads and its subsequent, miraculous healing. Some, for example, believe Nero’s death was the deadly wound, and his resurrection as Antichrist would be its healing.[1] Others claim that Nero was killed and “rose” to life in the person of Domitian.[2] Still others see the fall of the Roman Empire as the deadly wound, and its healing occurred with the rise of Charlemagne.[3] Yet, none of these (nor similar interpretations that might be named) seem to fit the context of the Apocalypse, which seems to put its culmination or fulfillment in the first century AD. Moreover, if no one was able to open and understand the contents of the scroll with its seven seals (Revelation 5:1-3), what causes us to think we are able to understand this book without letting Jesus reveal it to us through his words found elsewhere in the Bible (Revelation 5:4-5; cf. 2Peter 1:20)?

In Revelation 13:3 John tells us that the beast received a deadly or fatal wound to one of its heads, but the wound was healed. Nevertheless, the text does not say which head was “wounded to death” or under what circumstances the wound was healed. The fact is: the Greek word, sphazo (G4969), actually means to butcher (an animal for food or sacrifice), or to slaughter. The word is translated “to kill, slay and wound.”[4] Of its seven other occurrences in the Apocalypse it is always translated slay or kill.[5] Therefore, since there is no reason in the immediate context of Revelation 13:3 to indicate the head was merely wounded, it is probably better to say the head was slain, which would cause one to wonder over the life of the beast. If this is true, then the wonder of the world over the beast’s survival is better founded.

In my three previous studies,[6] I argued that the beast of Revelation 13 was the rebellious Jewish state that existed from about 6 AD, when Archelaus was exiled, to its destruction in 70 AD. In its dragon form, it outlived three ancient empires: Babylon, Persia and Greece, but was greatly influenced by all three. Moreover, I mentioned that this influence is expressed in the body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and the mouth of a lion. The fourth empire, Rome, is represented in the beast’s heads and horns. We know Rome also had great influence upon apostatizing Israel, both in its dragon form and as the beast of Revelation 13. Notice:


The Beast of Revelation 13






Nero (suicide created the deadly wound)[7]

Vespasian (healed the wound by bringing peace to Rome)[8]


The first six heads were of the Julio-Claudio family of emperors. That family ended with Nero, who was given the deadly wound (i.e. he committed suicide without leaving an heir). Civil war erupted in Rome, while three men seized power one after another: Servius Galba, Marcus Otho, and Aulus Vitellius, before Flavius Vespasian finally seized power and stabilized the rule of the Empire. That year in the first century AD has become known as the year of four emperors. It appeared to some that Rome might fall in 69 AD, but peace was finally restored with Vespasian healing the wound, when he claimed the right to the office of Emperor of Rome. Had this not occurred, and if Rome self-destructed in 69 AD, the Jewish state would no longer have been ruled by Rome, and its war with Rome would have succeeded. The beast would have continued to exist, but in another form. Nevertheless, Vespasian succeeded in healing the wound and became the seventh head of the beast, only to destroy the beast, i.e. the rebellious Jewish state, one year later, in 70 AD, by conquering Jerusalem through the efforts of his son, Titus, and destroying its Temple and walls.


[1] See Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges.

[2] See Robertson’s Word Pictures.

[3] This theory seems to fall flat when one considers that Charlemagne’s kingdom also fell and had to be resurrected by Otto the Great, then Charles V etc. The text doesn’t mention more than one deadly would to one of its heads.

[4] See Thayer’s Greek Lexicon of New Testament Words

[5] See Revelation 5:6, 9, 12; 6:4, 9; 13:8; 18:24.

[6] The Birth of the Beast of Revelation 13; The Beast With Seven Heads and The Beast’s Great Power and Authority

[7] Although I do agree that Nero’s death provided the deadly wound of the beast of Revelation 13, he has no resurrection as the antichrist, nor did he return in the form of Domitian. Rather, I have the family of emperors changing from Julio-Claudio to Flavian with Vespasian coming to power. Thus, with the wound healed, Rome continued to exercise its power over the rebellious Jewish state.

[8] Compare Daniel 7:7-8. There were actually 10 emperors, but three were removed quite quickly. These were: Galba, Otho, and Vitellius. The little horn of Daniel I believe is the mouth of Revelation 13:5. This isn’t the same mouth mentioned in Revelation 13:2. That mouth was the mouth of the lion (Rome), but the mouth that was “given” the beast in Revelation 13:5 was a spokesman or a false prophet. It was before this man that three Caesars fell one after another in a single year.

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Posted by on November 19, 2019 in Apocalypse, Book of Revelation


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