Part 029 – The Beast – as seen in the Psalms and in the Prophets

The Book of REVELATION

A Study

Part 029

The Beast – as seen in the Psalms and in the Prophets

The Beast – as seen in the Psalms

The Beast is never named in the Psalms, but in a number of Psalms he is seen as Israel’s final and most horrific persecutor, appearing on the scene during Daniel’s Seventieth Week, at the end of the Times of the Gentiles. About 2600 years ago, because of sin, God drove the Jewish people out among the nations to effect repentance through Gentile persecution. All through these years, they have undergone untold periods of Gentile persecution, but repentance on Israel’s part has yet to occur. But the man who is about to appear, described so vividly in the Psalms, will bring the persecution of the Jewish people to a level without parallel in history (Matt.24:21, 22), a level which will result in the Jewish people being left without a place to turn other than to the God of their fathers. And it will be in that day, that Israel will be brought to the place of repentance and then the beast will be overthrown. Then, following Israel’s national conversion, God will place the Jewish people back in their own land, within a theocracy, with all the nations being blessed through Israel.

Note some of the ways in which he is described in different psalms. Psa.5:6 presents this man as “the bloody and deceitful man.” Psa.7:4 presents this man as an individual who was at peace with Israel, but now has become their enemy (which could only be an allusion to his making and then breaking of the covenant in Dan.9:27). Psa.10:2-11 describes this man as – he is filled with pride, boastful, giving heed to that which God abhors, and giving no thought to God’s ways at all. His mouth is filled with cursing and deceit, he lies in wait to murder, to draw any and all into his net, and he will say in his heart that God has turned the other way and forgotten. In other Psalms we can find Israel’s cry for deliverance and/or God’s deliverance of His people from this man (Psa.17:8-13; 37:7ff; 43:1; 71:4; 74:8-10; 140:1, 4, 8).

The Beast – as seen in the second and eighty-third Psalms

The second and eighty-third Psalms deal with exactly the same thing ― the Gentile powers, forming the armies under the command of the Beast, coming into the land of Israel during the days immediately following the Tribulation, with a common goal. At that time, God’s Son will be seated on the throne in Jerusalem (Psa.2:6, 7; Joel 2:27ff; Luke 1:32, 33) and the Jewish people will have been gathered back in their land (Psa.83:4). One part of the goal of the Gentile powers coming into the land will be to do away with the restraining and authoritative power of the Father and the Son (Psa.2:4) and the other part of their goal will be to do away with the Jewish people (Psa.83:4). Though the Gentile armies of the earth will willingly and defiantly march into the land of Israel as seen in these two Psalms, they will have no other choice, because God will put hooks in their jaws and bring them into His land (Ezek.38:4, 16; Joel 3:2). When the Beast with his armed forces marches into the land, He that sits in the heavens shall laugh: the Lord shall have them in derision (Psa.2:4). This laughter will be a mocking type laughter exhibited toward them, who are attempting to do something but are unable to do anything. As He laughs, God’s fury is going to come up in His face to vex them producing dismay, panic and terror (Psa.2:5; 83:9-18), and subsequently, the Gentile world power will be completely destroyed (Rev.14:14-20; 19:17-21). Then the Jewish people will be elevated to a position above all other nations and all the nations will be ruled by and blessed by God through Israel.

The Beast – as seen in the Prophets

Isaiah

Verses in a number of chapters deal with the Beast. He is seen throughout much of the fourteenth chapter as the last king of Babylon and as the Assyrian (Isa.14:4, 25). This chapter deals principally with how this man will reign, the end of his reign, and the subsequent reign of Christ. Typical of the way Scripture is often structured, revelation in this chapter moves back and forth from the Beast’s reign to Christ’s reign. The verses, 1-3 and 7-8 give a picture of millennial conditions and verses, 4-6 and 9-11 give a picture of conditions immediately preceding the millennium. And the remainder of the chapter is structured after the same fashion. In v.4 he is seen as an oppressor, in v.5 he is one with other rulers exercising in his ten-kingdom confederacy, and in v.6 he is seen as one who will smite the people continually in an unrestrained manner. Then in verses 16 and 17, he is seen as a man who will make the earth to tremble and shake the kingdoms, and make the world as a wilderness, destroy cities and imprison individuals in an unmerciful manner. But he is also seen as overthrown and trodden under foot in the land of Israel, exactly as the Lord has decreed (verses 24 and 25). Then, he is seen in the place of the dead, in Sheol, no better than all the other dead ones, seen with maggots beneath him and worms covering him (verses 9-11).

In Isa.10:5, 6, this man from Assyria is seen as the rod of God’s anger, sent against the people of God’s wrath to tread them down like the mire of the streets. In Isa.16:1-5, this man is presented in connection with the Jewish people as a spoiler, an extortioner, and an oppressor. And particular reference is made to those Jews who will escape his wrath by fleeing to a specially prepared place in Moab, which lies southeast of the Dead Sea (v.4). Then, once this man is overthrown (v.4b), the Messianic Era will follow (v.5). The same sequence of events is presented again in Isa.24:21-23; 26:8, 13, 14 and also in Isa.28:14-18. Thus, Isaiah, in different places, presents the same overall picture of the Beast from a number of different facets.

Jeremiah

Apart from various other sections, many verses in chapters four and six deal with the Beast and shed light on his actions in relation to Israel. Chapter four begins with the reason for that which God is about to allow the Beast to persecute the Jewish people. It will be because of “abominations” which the people have committed in God’s sight (Jer.1:1, 14). God will use the Beast as His instrument, in a climatic respect, to carry out His promised warnings to Israel in Lev.26:14ff and Deut.28:15ff. The Beast is referred to in Jer.4:7 as “the destroyer,” who will move against Israel, making their land “desolate” and laying their cities “waste, without an inhabitant.” In chapter six this man is referred to as the “spoiler” placed as “a tower and a fortress” among the Jewish people, to “know and try their way” (vv.26, 27). God will raise up the Beast, exactly as He raised up all of Israel’s persecutors over centuries of time (Exo.9:16; Rom.9:17; Isa.10:5, 6). The havoc and destruction the Beast will be allowed to bring to pass upon the Jewish people and their land, following that time when he breaks his covenant with them and turns against them, is described in Jeremiah chapter four: “Destruction upon destruction is cried for the land is spoiled… for My people… are wise to do evil… the mountains trembled… all the hills moved… the fruitful place was a wilderness… all the cities thereof were broken down at the presence of the Lord, and by His fierce anger …yet will I not make a full end …I have purposed it, and will not repent, neither will I turn back from it” (Jer.4:20-28). Then the chapter ends with Israel in travail, experiencing birth-pangs, about to realize a national birth following being brought to the place of repentance (Isa.66:7, 8; Matt.24:8; Rev.12:2). Thus God will raise up and use the Beast to bring His plans and purposes regarding Israel and the nations to pass. Finally, God will judge and destroy this man, for the unchangeable principles of Gen.12:1-3 cannot be violated.

Ezekiel

In Ezek.21:25-27, the Beast is seen as the “profane, wicked prince of Israel” who is about to be replaced by Another, “whose right it is” to rule and reign. The “turban/mitre” (v.26) has to do with the headdress of Israel’s high priest and the “crown” denotes a ruler. This man who had previously sat in the temple of God, “showing himself that he is God” (2Thess.2:4) will be Satan’s counterfeit of the true Christ, the King-Priest in relation to Israel. In chapters 38 and 39, the kings ruling under the Beast are mentioned. The word “prince” (38:2) refers to a king or a leader. This is another picture of the same thing seen in the second and eighty-third Psalms, with the prince leading them (Ezek.38:2, 3; Psa.2:1-3) and the princes of the earth and their armies destroyed upon the mountains and plains of Israel and left for the ravenous birds and animals to feed upon (Ezek.39:17, 18a; Psa.83:9-18).

The Minor Prophets

This man, the Beast, is mentioned throughout a number of the Minor Prophets.

In Joel 2:20, he is seen heading “the northern army,” pictured in Ezekiel chapters thirty-eight and thirty-nine.

In Amos 3:11, he is seen as “an adversary” who will plunder the Jewish people and their land.

In Micah 5:5, 6, he is seen as “the Assyrian” who will come into the land and tread it down.

In Nahum 1:11-15, the Beast is seen as “a wicked counselor” set in opposition to the “Wonderful Counselor.” This “wicked counselor” “who will come forth plotting evil against the Lord” afflicting the Jewish people. The Lord will deliver His people and “utterly cut off” the Beast.

In Zech.11:16, 17, the Beast is seen as “a foolish shepherd” and “the worthless shepherd” who will conduct affairs in an opposite manner to that of the true Shepherd.