3 And [kai] there appeared [optanomai] another [allos] wonder [semeion] in [en] heaven; [ouranos] and [kai] behold [idou] a great [megas] red [purrhos] dragon, [drakon] having [echo] seven [hepta] heads [kephale] and [kai] ten [deka] horns, [keras] and [kai] seven [hepta] crowns [diadema] upon [epi] his [autos] heads. [kephale] KJV-Interlinear
another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven
heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. NASB
The first sign mentioned
by John is the sign of salvation or the plan for its accomplishment, but under
The reason for that
duress is now mentioned in the second sign, the red dragon, who is Satan, Rev. 20:2.
This is not describing a
cuddly cartoon character, but a deadly and evil creature that acts and behaves
no better than a lowly predatory animal, who kills not for food or survival,
but for the pure pleasure of killing. Jesus described Satan as a murderer from
the beginning, Jn. 8:44.
The color red represents
blood, and the dragon represents the ferocity of the animal in him, lacking
compassion, lacking conscience.
He is said to have seven
heads, ten horns and seven crowns.
The seven heads and
seven crowns go together, representing the seven empires that Satan was allowed
to rule the world through, from the early beginnings of history, namely Egypt,
Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome, and antichrist's future empire
typically referred to as the revived Roman empire, Rev. 17:9-10.
The ten horns represent
that seventh future empire, under the rule of the anti-christ.
Note that our Church Age
saw the end of the sixth empire, Rome, and from that time on no empires ruled
the entire known world for centuries on end, as they did in the ancient past,
and we will not see the last empire of the anti-christ though we will see the
components of its being assembled in the latter days of our dispensation. That
last empire will have its formal existence revealed after the Rapture.
The final kingdom, ruled
by the antichrist, will be a ten-nation confederacy, the ten horns representing
the kings who will rule under the antichrist, Rev. 17:12; 13:1; Dan 7:23-25.
The shifting of the crowns from the dragon's heads to the beast's horns, Rev. 13:1,
reveals the shift in power from the seven consecutive world empires to the final
Antichrist and Satan.
While the rulers of the
many empires of old and of the future, are many, the actual ruler, ‘his,’
referring to Satan, is singular. Satan is the one who is behind all world
problems, all world trouble, all world inequities.