The leopard, the bear and the lion are all strong, fierce and dangerous wild animals. Their great size and strength make them especially powerful. Daniel saw beasts like these three animals in Daniel chapter 7, where they meant great and powerful nations.
Daniel then saw another beast (wild animal), which he does not compare to any other animal. It was frightening; a terrible animal, and very powerful. Its cruelty was very great, and it had ten horns (bony points on its head). That beast too meant a great country, which would rule the whole world. From it, a king would come who would fight against God and against his people (Daniel 7:19-26). Then God would defeat that king. That king is a reference to antichrist, Christís enemy who imitates Christ in order to oppose him (see my notes on Revelation 13:1).
Johnís description of the antichrist is slightly different. For him, his references to the leopard, bear and lion all express the terrible qualities of this cruel and evil ruler. It seems as if the antichrist has taken upon himself the character of every previous evil ruler of the world. The antichrist has taken absolute control over his own government too: Johnís description of this beast seems to mean both the antichrist personally and his government, as if there is no difference.
The reason why the antichrist is so powerful soon becomes clear to us. The dragon (which means the devil - Revelation 12:9) has given to the antichrist his own power and strength. The devil has also given to the antichrist his throne (royal seat), which means his authority as a ruler. Also, the devil has given the antichrist great authority to act on his (the devilís) behalf. So, the antichrist is serving the devil; he has given himself up completely to do the devilís work on earth.
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© 2016, Keith Simons.