Revelation 17:11 and the Beast who is the Eighth

(11)  And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition.

    For comments on “the beast that was, and is not,” see verses 8 and 10. It is important to see the distinction between the first seven and the eighth. The eighth is not a head! The head during the time of the eighth is the seventh head. Many miss this detail and make the eighth a reigning king, but he is not. He will operate as the beast under the authority of the seventh head. But this does not mean that he is separate from the kings, for he “is of the seven.” So, like the seven, he will have his time to rule, but the book of Revelation concludes with its subject matters before the eighth becomes the head of Rome. As discussed in the previous verse, Vespasian is the seventh, and under Vespasian the eighth (Titus) will rise and “goeth into perdition.” That has a double meaning if I’ve ever seen one! In the next chapter, we will see this beast completely destroy a great city, thus “goth into perdition” refers to his rise to go and make desolate. However, following that, chapter 19 will show the beast itself being thrown into “a lake of fire burning with brimstone.” So, the beast not only goes to destroy, but is also symbolized as being destroyed itself. This will all happen before Titus becomes head of Rome, but while he is “of the seven” (he was named Caesar when his father was given the name in 69 A.D.). The destruction of the beast, as we will see at the end of chapter 19, absolutely cannot be symbolic of the fall of the Roman Empire for significant reasons which will be addressed later, but one simply being that the beast only has seven heads when it is thrown into a lake of fire, and we know that their were many “heads” of Rome to come after Vespasian.

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