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Revelation 17:12



12 And [kai] the ten [deka] horns [keras] which [hos] thou sawest [eido] are [eisi] ten [deka] kings, [basileus] which [hostis] have received [lambano] no [oupo] kingdom [basileia] as yet; [oupo] but [alla] receive [lambano] power [exousia] as [hos] kings [basileus] one [mia] hour [hora] with [meta] the beast. [therion] KJV-Interlinear



12 "And the ten horns which you saw are ten kings, who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. NASB



The ten kings or leaders of countries are not identified other than they are said to not have received their kingdoms yet.

Recall from verse seven, that these ten horns are mentioned with the seven heads, which were the seven empires of history, and these horns being the ten components of that last empire (the anti-christs empire in the Tribulation).

This means a couple of things.

First, they are a part of the anti-christ's larger kingdom, and therefore will not receive their kingdom until the Tribulation. That means that we in our Church Age, will not know who they are.

Second, they are not identified so we cannot say with certainty that they will be a part of, or limited to, some European Union. The anti-christs rule will be worldwide, so this may very well be a reference to ten nations around the world that will contribute to the rule of the anti-christ.

Third, they are not the same kings that the anti-christ defeats initially when the Tribulation begins, Dan 7. Those kings will have had their power already, but immediately after the Rapture, the anti-christ will lead an overthrow of ten nations, with three opposing him but he will defeat them resoundingly and quickly.

Fourth, these kings probably will be the result of a dividing up of the world perhaps being divided up in ten parts, in order to subdue the world and secure their power and authority.

Fifth, they are said to receive their power, from the anti-christ. Therefore they will not have their power until after the anti-christ has his.

Our chapter context is defining the history of Satan's plan and now in the Tribulation, that plan contains a division of the world into ten parts. This may mean nothing to us today, but to those who will be living through this period, this will be just one more prophecy, confirming that what the Bible is saying, is truth and coming to pass. It may very well help people to come to faith in Christ by seeing these prophecies coming to pass right before their eyes.

As for the one hour of rule. This is an expression of brevity. Their rule is intended for one purpose only and that is to support the anti-christ in opposition of Christ, but their rule will be short lived. Whereas other time frames specify three- and-a-half-years, or forty-two months, or in other terms of time, this single hour further indicates not only the brevity of their rule, but most likely the timing of it, namely during the last half, if not less, of the Tribulation's seven period.

With Satan taking control of the anti-christ, it would not be unreasonable to assume that these ten leaders will also be indwelled, possessed, and controlled by demons. In his final attempt to destroy Jews, Christians, and finally all of humanity, Satan would not take any chances of failing in that effort. But of course he will fail.

Anyway, that purpose and objective is spelled out in the next verse.



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