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What the Bible says about Predator Imagery
(From Forerunner Commentary)

Revelation 14:9-11

No person alive looks forward with any kind of wonderful anticipation to going through what these verses show.

Its clear from the context of Revelation 13 and 14 that "beast" is being used in the sense of a wild, adversarial animal. There are a couple of reasons for this. One is because of the use of leopard, bear, lion, and dragon. These are not domesticated animals, but rather they are animals that we would make every effort to avoid. We do not want to cross their paths if we find any indication that they are around. We make a great big circle to get out of their way.

Then, of course, there is the contrast with a lamb—a domesticated animal. Cattle, sheep, and goats are beasts, but they hardly qualify as being animals that strike terror in people.

The Beast being described here would cause our hair to stand on end. It exudes malevolence. It is interested in eating us for food or destroying us for crossing its path—it is a beast that is violent and aggressive and simply wants to perpetuate itself.

"Beast" is being used as a symbol, and the context is not really talking about an actual animal. The beast represents a governmental system, the personality of a system, and that system's philosophy of life. The context is showing us that from the system's point of view, people have no value other than for its purpose, and its purpose is simply to maintain and to extend its existence and power through the use of terror, fear—things that any wild animal would naturally exercise. In the "beast's" eyes, we are fodder or chattel.

John W. Ritenbaugh
The Spiritual Mark of the Beast

Revelation 18:2

In God's description of Babylon's evil qualities, He links demons with birds—not just any birds but unclean and hated birds, ones that display in their natural characteristics activities humans find disgusting and revolting.

America's national symbol, the bald eagle, is beautiful to behold and majestic in flight, but it is also a carrion eater, feeding on the dead, and a vicious killer, relentlessly and ruthlessly seeking to devour. Then there is the vulture, ugly to behold, which strips the flesh of anything, including unburied human dead. Other birds, like certain types of owls, have somewhat similar characteristics, yet are nocturnal in their habits, seeking to attack and kill under the cover of the darkness of night. They also seem to seek out ruins of buildings as their habitats, places that men perceive to be cursed.

God paints Babylon as a dangerous place inhabited by predators, as if it were the very generator and purveyor of all evil on earth. Babylon has spread its influence over the whole earth, but in another sense, its heart and core are in one place: the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:1-3).

John W. Ritenbaugh
Communication and Leaving Babylon (Part One)


 




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