Ah, yes. This is the passage that gets a lot of pseduo scholars salivating, isn’t it?
I can recall seeing the long horizontal charts with drawings of the monster and which countries or empires were represented by each. (Of course, the United States had to be in there somewhere, right? I mean, c’mon!) These verses can be a real jumping off point (and by that I mean–off the deep end) for those who miss John’s point. I love that he’s having to tell this wild and terrifying news, but his point is solemn and pragmatic. He’s reminding God’s people to be patient and to have faith. Sensible, sensible John. I’m sure he had no idea the stir his scenes were going to cause–to this very day–but his intent and his message remain unfaltering. Despite the seeming madness that’s ahead, God wants us to live and die well, to keep our hopes fixed on him and to have patience while he methodically works out every detail of his ultimate plan for good.