I was then given a stick that looked like a measuring rod, and was told, “Go and measure the temple of God and the altar, and count those who are worshipping in the temple. 2
But do not measure the outer courts, because they have been given to the heathen, who will trample on the Holy City for 42 months. 3I will send my two witnesses dressed in sackcloth, and they will proclaim God's message during those 1,260 days.”
The two witnesses are the two olive trees and the two lamps that stand before the Lord of the earth. 5If anyone tries to harm them, fire comes out of their mouths and destroys their enemies; and in this way, whoever tries to harm them will be killed. 6
They have authority to shut up the sky so that there will be no rain during the time they proclaim God's message. They have authority also over the springs of water, to turn them into blood; they have authority also to strike the earth with every kind of plague as often as they wish.
When they finish proclaiming their message, the beast that comes up out of the abyss will fight against them. He will defeat them and kill them, 8
and their bodies will lie in the street of the great city, where their Lord was crucified. The symbolic name of that city is Sodom, or Egypt. 9People from all nations, tribes, languages, and races will look at their bodies for three and a half days and will not allow them to be buried. 10The people of the earth will be happy because of the death of these two. They will celebrate and send presents to each other, because those two prophets brought much suffering upon the earth. 11
After three and a half days a life-giving breath came from God and entered them, and they stood up; and all who saw them were terrified. 12
Then the two prophets heard a loud voice say to them from heaven, “Come up here!” As their enemies watched, they went up into heaven in a cloud. 13
At that very moment there was a violent earthquake; a tenth of the city was destroyed, and 7,000 people were killed. The rest of the people were terrified and praised the greatness of the God of heaven.
14The second horror is over, but the third horror will come soon!
Then the seventh angel blew his trumpet, and there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The power to rule over the world belongs now to our Lord and his Messiah, and he will rule for ever and ever!” 16Then the 24 elders who sit on their thrones in front of God threw themselves face downwards and worshipped God, 17saying:
“Lord God Almighty, the one who is and who was!
We thank you that you have taken your great power
and have begun to rule!
The heathen were filled with rage,
because the time for your anger has come,
the time for the dead to be judged.
The time has come to reward your servants, the prophets,
and all your people, all who have reverence for you,
great and small alike.
The time has come to destroy those who destroy the earth!”
God's temple in heaven was opened, and the Covenant Box was seen there. Then there were flashes of lightning, rumblings and peals of thunder, an earthquake, and heavy hail.
121Then a great and mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a woman, whose dress was the sun and who had the moon under her feet and a crown of twelve stars on her head. 2She was soon to give birth, and the pains and suffering of childbirth made her cry out.
Another mysterious sight appeared in the sky. There was a huge red dragon with seven heads and ten horns and a crown on each of his heads. 4
With his tail he dragged a third of the stars out of the sky and threw them down to the earth. He stood in front of the woman, in order to eat her child as soon as it was born. 5
Then she gave birth to a son, who will rule over all nations with an iron rod. But the child was snatched away and taken to God and his throne. 6The woman fled to the desert, to a place God had prepared for her, where she will be taken care of for 1,260 days.
Then war broke out in heaven. Michael and his angels fought against the dragon, who fought back with his angels; 8but the dragon was defeated, and he and his angels were not allowed to stay in heaven any longer. 9
The huge dragon was thrown out — that ancient serpent, called the Devil, or Satan, that deceived the whole world. He was thrown down to earth, and all his angels with him.
Then I heard a loud voice in heaven saying, “Now God's salvation has come! Now God has shown his power as King! Now his Messiah has shown his authority! For the one who stood before our God and accused our brothers and sisters day and night has been thrown out of heaven. 11Our brothers and sisters won the victory over him by the blood of the Lamb and by the truth which they proclaimed; and they were willing to give up their lives and die. 12And so be glad, you heavens, and all you that live there! But how terrible for the earth and the sea! For the Devil has come down to you, and he is filled with rage, because he knows that he has only a little time left.”
13When the dragon realized that he had been thrown down to the earth, he began to pursue the woman who had given birth to the boy. 14
She was given the two wings of a large eagle in order to fly to her place in the desert, where she will be taken care of for three and a half years, safe from the dragon's attack. 15And then from his mouth the dragon poured out a flood of water after the woman, so that it would carry her away. 16But the earth helped the woman; it opened its mouth and swallowed the water that had come from the dragon's mouth. 17The dragon was furious with the woman and went off to fight against the rest of her descendants, all those who obey God's commandments and are faithful to the truth revealed by Jesus. 18And the dragon stood12.18 And the dragon stood; some manuscripts have And I stood, connecting this verse with what follows. on the seashore.
Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. It had ten horns and seven heads; on each of its horns there was a crown, and on each of its heads there was a name that was insulting to God. 2
The beast looked like a leopard, with feet like a bear's feet and a mouth like a lion's mouth. The dragon gave the beast his own power, his throne, and his vast authority. 3One of the heads of the beast seemed to have been fatally wounded, but the wound had healed. The whole earth was amazed and followed the beast. 4Everyone worshipped the dragon because he had given his authority to the beast. They worshipped the beast also, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who can fight against it?”
The beast was allowed to make proud claims which were insulting to God, and it was permitted to have authority for 42 months. 6It began to curse God, his name, the place where he lives, and all those who live in heaven. 7
It was allowed to fight against God's people and to defeat them, and it was given authority over every tribe, nation, language, and race. 8
All people living on earth will worship it, except those whose names were written before the creation of the world in the book of the living which belongs to the Lamb that was killed.
9“Listen, then, if you have ears! 10
Whoever is meant to be captured will surely be captured; whoever is meant to be killed by the sword will surely be killed by the sword. This calls for endurance and faith on the part of God's people.”
11Then I saw another beast, which came up out of the earth. It had two horns like a lamb's horns, and it spoke like a dragon. 12It used the vast authority of the first beast in its presence. It forced the earth and all who live on it to worship the first beast, whose wound had healed. 13This second beast performed great miracles; it made fire come down out of heaven to earth in the sight of everyone. 14And it deceived all the people living on earth by means of the miracles which it was allowed to perform in the presence of the first beast. The beast told them to build an image in honour of the beast that had been wounded by the sword and yet lived. 15The second beast was allowed to breathe life into the image of the first beast, so that the image could talk and put to death all those who would not worship it. 16The beast forced all the people, small and great, rich and poor, slave and free, to have a mark placed on their right hands or on their foreheads. 17No one could buy or sell without having this mark, that is, the beast's name or the number that stands for the name.
18This calls for wisdom. Whoever is intelligent can work out the meaning of the number of the beast, because the number stands for a human name. Its number is 666.