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Holman Bible Dictionary

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Additional Resources
• Baker's Evangelical Dictionary
Mark of the Beast
• Easton's Bible Dictionary
• Fausset's Bible Dictionary
• International Standard Bible Encyclopedia
Wild Beast
Greek - beast, beasts
Greek - beast, venomous beast, wild beast, beasts, wild beasts
Greek - slain beast
Greek - fourfooted beast
Greek - beast of burden
Greek - beast
Hebrew - swift beast
Hebrew - beast, beast's, beasts
Hebrew - fat beast, fed beast
Hebrew - beast, beasts
Hebrew - swift beast
Hebrew - beast, beasts, wild beast, wild beasts
Hebrew - beast, beasts
Hebrew - beast
Hebrew - beast
Hebrew - wild beast

Several Hebrew and Greek words and phrases are translated as “beast.” “Beast” may refer to any animal in distinction from people (Ecclesiastes 3:18-21), reptiles (Genesis 1:24), and sometimes cattle (Genesis 1:30). Beasts were divided into categories of clean and unclean (Leviticus 11:1-8), and wild and domesticated (Genesis 1:24; Genesis 2:20; Exodus 19:13; Exodus 22:10; Numbers 3:13; etc.). See Animals.

Apocalyptic literature such as Daniel and Revelation utilize beasts of various sorts in their symbolism (see Apocalyptic). The Old Testament used “beast” as a symbol for an enemy, and the writers of Daniel and Revelation may have built on that (Psalms 74:19; Jeremiah 12:9). Daniel saw four great beasts who represented four great kings arise out of the sea (Daniel 7:2-14). These four beasts would ncthreaten God's kingdom, but God's people would prevail over them (Daniel 7:18).

The Book of Revelation speaks of two beasts. The first beast arises out of the sea (Revelation 13:1), is seven headed, and derives its authority from the dragon (Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:4). This beast has several of the characteristics of the four beasts of Daniel 7:1. The second beast arises out of the earth (Revelation 13:11). It serves the first beast by seeking devotees for it and is referred to as the “false prophet” (Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10). Both the beast and the false prophet persecute the church but are finally judged by Christ (Revelation 19:20; see 2 Thessalonians 2:6-12). See Behemoth; Leviathan.

Copyright Statement
These dictionary topics are from the Holman Bible Dictionary, published by Broadman & Holman, 1991. All rights reserved. Used by permission of Broadman & Holman.

Bibliography Information
Butler, Trent C. Editor.. "Entry for 'BEAST'". "Holman Bible Dictionary".
<>. 1991.


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