In two previous blog posts I gave the evidence from Revelation that the beast was Nero Caesar. I’ll conclude here with two more clues which point to Nero.
1. His Death. Revelation 13:8 says those who aren’t Christians will worship the beast. As I mentioned in a previous post, Nero was one of the first Roman Emperors (along with Caligula) who claimed to have become a god while still alive. Then comes these two verses:
“If anyone has an ear, let him hear. If anyone is destined for captivity, to captivity he goes; if anyone kills with the sword, with the sword he must be killed. Here is the perseverance and the faith of the saints.”
Revelation 13:9-10. Sure enough, in 68 A.D., Nero died by the sword, his own; he committed suicide.
2. His Life. If there was ever a person worthy of being called a beast it was Nero Caesar. He was not content with merely murdering Christians, he actually tied them to poles and set them on fire to light his garden parties at the palace. Also, he murdered his own mother, killed his pregnant wife by kicking her to death and he liked to dress up like wild animals and then rape men and women. He had numerous political opponents and others killed. He was a cruel, bloody, tyrant. He was a beast.
I hope this helps as you read through Revelation. Understanding that the beast often generally refers to the Roman Empire, and then more specifically in certain chapters to Nero, will help Revelation make a lot more sense, just like it did to the first century Christians for whom it was intended. GS