Revelation Chapter 12:3

Revelation 12:3 – And another sign appeared in heaven: behold, a great, fiery red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and seven diadems on his heads.

Source: Stellarium

John sees another sign appear in heaven in the form of a dragon. The Greek word for dragon is “drakón,” which can also be translated dragon or large serpent. The serpent bruised the heel of the seed of the woman, and her seed will ultimately crush the head of the serpent, but the woman had to go through the pain of childbirth first to deliver the seed, who is the Messiah (Genesis 3:15-16). As discussed in the last section, this picture of man’s redemption appears in the constellations of Leo the lion and Hydra the serpent, where the lion is ready to crush the head of the serpent. Leo represents Jesus Christ, the Messiah who is the “lion of the tribe of Judah” (Revelation 5:5). The serpent is Satan, the adversary against the seed of the woman, who is also pictured as a dragon:

“Great red dragon”: The woman’s mortal enemy is Satan, who appears as a dragon 13 times in this book (compare verses 9; 20:2). Red speaks of bloodshed (compare John 8:44).

We see here this “red dragon”.  This is the devil, and he is shown red all over to show his murderous and destructive personality. This is the only place in the New Testament that dragon is used. Here it is not a literal “dragon”, but a figure of Satan (see article “Satan”).

We see here “ten horns” which symbolize world power. Here too, we can assume these world powers oppose the Christians and Jesus’ church.

“Seven heads … ten horns … seven crowns”: Figurative language depicting Satan’s domination of 7 past worldly kingdoms and 10 future kingdoms (compare Dan. 7:7, 20, 24; see notes on 13:1; 17:9-10). Satan has and will rule the world until the seventh trumpet blows (11:15). He has inflicted relentless pain on Israel (Dan. 8:24), desiring to kill the woman before she could bring forth the child that would destroy him (see notes on Esther 3:6-15).

These seven are heads of evil governments. This world power, through these earthly kingdoms, comes from Satan himself. The seven crowned heads mean universal rule, and the ten horns mean world power to the utmost.

Five emperors had come and gone by the Apostle John’s time; one ruled during his time; and the seventh represents the Antichrist to come. We will get into more on this in a later chapter about the 6 empires that have come, which is most interesting.

His ten horns show Satan’s connection with the fourth beast of (Daniel 7:7, 24), and with the Beast from the sea (in Rev. chapter 13).

Revelation 12:9 – So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

The constellations Draco and Hercules, who represent the dragon and Christ also show the redemptive message, where Hercules is in position to crush the head of Draco the dragon, as shown to the right.

In the Old Testament Septuagint we find the Greek word “drakón” used for the Hebrew words “tannin,” which is a serpent or sea monster, and “livyathan,” transliterated “Leviathan” in English. Despite the common thought that many believe a dragon is a mythological reptile, the Bible shows that the Leviathan was a real formidable sea creature that has presumably become extinct:

Psalms 104:24-26 – O LORD, how manifold are Your works! In wisdom You have made them all. The earth is full of Your possessions – This great and wide sea, in which are innumerable teeming things, living things both small and great. There the ships sail about; there is that Leviathan which You have made to play there.

Job 41:1-10 – “Can you draw out Leviathan with a hook, or snare his tongue with a line which you lower? Can you put a reed through his nose, or pierce his jaw with a hook? Will he make many supplications to you? Will he speak softly to you? Will he make a covenant with you? Will you take him as a servant forever? Will you play with him as with a bird, or will you leash him for your maidens? Will your companions make a banquet of him? Will they apportion him among the merchants? Can you fill his skin with harpoons, or his head with fishing spears? Lay your hand on him; remember the battle – Never do it again! Indeed, any hope of overcoming him is false; shall one not be overwhelmed at the sight of him? No one is so fierce that he would dare stir him up. Who then is able to stand against Me?

God compared Pharaoh to the sea monster and a lion because of the havoc he caused to those around him:

Ezekiel 29:2-3 – “Son of man, set your face against Pharaoh king of Egypt, and prophesy against him, and against all Egypt. Speak, and say, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD: “Behold, I am against you, O Pharaoh king of Egypt, O great monster who lies in the midst of his rivers, Who has said, ‘My River is my own; I have made it for myself.'”

Ezekiel 32:2-3 – “Son of man, take up a lamentation for Pharaoh king of Egypt, and say to him: ‘You are like a young lion among the nations, and you are like a monster in the seas, bursting forth in your rivers, troubling the waters with your feet, and fouling their rivers.’ “Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘I will therefore spread My net over you with a company of many people, and they will draw you up in My net.

Likewise, Satan the great dragon and serpent of old is also compared to a lion who seeks to devour those around him:

1 Peter 5:8 – Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.

God will judge Satan the adversary like a Leviathan, which was a multi-headed sea dragon:

Isaiah 27:1 – In that day the LORD with His severe sword, great and strong, will punish Leviathan the fleeing serpent, Leviathan that twisted serpent; and He will slay the reptile that is in the sea.

Psalms 74:10-14 – O God, how long will the adversary reproach? Will the enemy blaspheme Your name forever? Why do You withdraw Your hand, even Your right hand? Take it out of Your bosom and destroy them. For God is my King from of old, working salvation in the midst of the earth. You divided the sea by Your strength; You broke the heads of the sea serpents in the waters. You broke the heads of Leviathan in pieces, and gave him as food to the people inhabiting the wilderness.

The dragon in the heavenly sign is a fiery red color and has seven diadems, or crowns on his seven heads. Incidentally, we find the constellation Draco the dragon, which is another picture of Satan in the heavens, near the seven-starred constellation Corona Borealis that represents a crown:

Draco the dragon

Source: Stellarium

Recall from Revelation 6:4, the color red in Scripture signifies sin and bloodshed (2 Kings 3:22-24, Isaiah 1:18, 63:2-3). Thus, the color red is befitting to the dragon, as he makes war against the saints and deceives people to sin:

Revelation 12:9 – So the great dragon was cast out, that serpent of old, called the Devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was cast to the earth, and his angels were cast out with him.

Revelation 12:17 – And the dragon was enraged with the woman, and he went to make warwith the rest of her offspring, who keep the commandments of God and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.

The seven heads of the dragon are seven mountains:

Revelation 17:7, 9 – But the angel said to me, “Why did you marvel? I will tell you the mystery of the woman and of the beast that carries her, which has the seven heads and the ten horns….” “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits.”

Recall from Zechariah 6:1, mountains in Scripture are kingdoms that God used to judge the earth (Jeremiah 51:24-25, Daniel 2:34-45). God is sovereign, but He has given the dragon Satan authority over all the kingdoms of the world until Christ returns:

Luke 4:5-6 – Then the devil, taking Him up on a high mountain, showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, “All this authority I will give You, and their glory; for this has been delivered to me, and I give it to whomever I wish.

Revelation 11:15 – Then the seventh angel sounded: And there were loud voices in heaven, saying, “The kingdoms of this world have become the kingdoms of our Lord and of His Christ, and He shall reign forever and ever!”

The crowns on each head of the dragon are diadems. This type of crown signifies kingship. In other words, the seven crowns represent a king over each of the seven kingdoms:

Revelation 17:9-10 – “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings….

There have certainly been more than seven kingdoms over the course of human history, and each has typically had more than one king that reigned over each kingdom, but the consensus among most scholars is that the dragon’s seven crowns on his seven heads represent seven specific kings over seven kingdoms who oppressed the nation Israel:


Kingdom Ruling King Oppression
1. Egypt Pharaoh Bondage
2. Assyria Sennacherib Exiled the northern kingdom and most of the southern kingdom except for Jerusalem.
3. Babylon Nebuchadnezzar Exiled Judah and destroyed the first temple.
4. Medo-Persia Darius Established a decree that anyone who prayed to any god or man besides him would be cast into the den of lions, which directly targeted the Jews.
5. Greece (Seleucid) Antiochus IV Epiphanes Persecuted and massacred many Jews, attacked Jerusalem, outlawed Judaism, and desecrated the second temple.
6. Rome Domitian Revived the “imperial cult,” which was the worship of the Roman emperor as a god, which led to the persecution of the Jews. He forced the Jews to pay taxes to continue to observe Judaism.
7. Future Kingdom Beast/Antichrist Will conquer Jerusalem, desecrate the third temple, and persecute and massacre most of the Jews.


At the time John wrote Revelation, Rome was in power but later fell, and the first five kingdoms shown in the chart above had already fallen, but a future kingdom is yet to come that will only last for a short time during the Tribulation:

Revelation 17:10 – There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time.

Recall from earier, that the dragon in the heavenly sign has ten horns. As discussed in Revelation 5:6, a horn represents kings and kingdoms and sometimes can describe both the king and the kingdom at the same time. We find four horns in Zechariah 1:18-21, which represent the four kingdoms responsible for scattering Judah into exile: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome. Therefore, the four horns are four of the seven kingdoms represented by the heads of the dragon, listed in the chart above, and are different from the ten horns in Revelation 12:3 and 17:7 discussed earlier. As we will see, the seventh head of the dragon bears the ten horns and is equal to the fourth horn in Zechariah:

Dragon's horns vs Zechariah's horns
Daniel saw Zechariah’s four horns as four beasts. The fourth beast has ten horns on its head like the dragon. These ten horns are ten kings:

Daniel 7:23-24 – “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom….‘”

Nebuchadnezzar saw Zechariah’s four horns as a statue made of four metals:

Daniel 2:31 – “You, O king, were watching; and behold, a great image! This great image, whose splendor was excellent, stood before you; and its form was awesome. This image’s head was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its belly and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.

The following graphic shows how the four horns correspond with the beasts in Daniel’s dream and the statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream:

4 horns who scattered Judah
The fourth kingdom is the Roman Empire, divided by the legs and the toes:

Daniel 2:41-42 – Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly fragile.

Divided Roman Empire

History shows that the Roman Empire became divided into western and eastern legs when it became too large to govern effectively, as pictured in the two legs of Nebuchadnezzar’s statue. Eventually, the two legs of the Roman Empire fell, but the two feet of the statue show that this empire will return in the future as a fragile kingdom made of clay and iron divided into ten kingdoms pictured in the ten toes. The ten toes correspond to the ten horns which are ten kings on the fourth beast in Daniel’s dream and on the dragon’s seventh head.

While the Roman Empire corresponds to the fourth kingdom in Daniel and the fourth horn in Zechariah, it represents the sixth and seventh heads of the dragon since the old kingdom fell and a new one will arise in the future. In other words, the four kingdoms in Daniel and Nebuchadnezzar’s dreams represent the last five heads of the dragon:

7 heads vs 4 Kingdoms
John will see another beast later that also has seven heads and ten horns like the fourth beast in Daniel’s dream and the dragon in Revelation:

Revelation 13:1-2 – Then I stood on the sand of the sea. And I saw a beast rising up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and on his horns ten crowns, and on his heads a blasphemous name. Now the beast which I saw was like a leopard, his feet were like the feet of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. The dragon gave him his power, his throne, and great authority.

The body of this beast has characteristics of the first three beasts in Daniel’s dream, having a body of a leopard, the feet of a bear, and a mouth like a lion, and has seven heads and ten horns like the dragon, but has ten crowns instead of seven crowns. Since crowns show kingship, the ten horns have authority over all the seven kingdoms, or heads of the dragon. In fact, the passage above shows that the dragon gives the beast “his power, his throne, and great authority.” Therefore, the seven heads and ten horns on the dragon and the beast both represent Satan’s authority over all the earthly kingdoms:

7 heads and 10 horns
As a recap, the ten kings will exercise authority from the dragon through the beast in the last Gentile kingdom, which is the seventh heads of the dragon and the beast. The following passages show that the seventh head of both the dragon and the beast from the sea correspond to the fourth beast of Daniel’s dream:

Revelation 17:9-13 – “Here is the mind which has wisdom: The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits. There are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, and the other has not yet come. And when he comes, he must continue a short time. The beast that was, and is not, is himself also the eighth, and is of the seven, and is going to perdition. “The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have received no kingdom as yet, but they receive authority for one hour as kings with the beast. These are of one mind, and they will give their power and authority to the beast.

Daniel 7:23-25 – “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces. The ten horns are ten kings who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; he shall be different from the first ones, and shall subdue three kings. He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, shall persecute the saints of the Most High, and shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.

Revelation 13:4-7 – So they worshiped the dragon who gave authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, “Who is like the beast? Who is able to make war with him?” And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months. Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven. It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

Recall from earlier that the fourth beast in Daniel’s vision has ten horns like the dragon and the beast in Revelation (Daniel 7:23-24). These ten horns are ten kings who rule over the world with the dragon’s authority. These ten kings later give their kingdom over to another king, known as “the beast” or antichrist, who then receives the power and authority of the dragon

As discussed in Revelation 10:6, the “time, times, and half a time” is reference to the last half of the Tribulation, which is equal to 42 months or 3 ½ years. This shows that Daniel’s fourth beast is the kingdom of the beast in Revelation, who has authority over all the kingdoms and the saints.

To summarize, the red dragon is Satan the adversary who seeks to destroy and deceive. The dragon’s seven heads represent seven Gentile kingdoms that oppressed the nation Israel. The crowns on the dragon’s seven heads show specific kings of the seven Gentile kingdoms. The last head of the dragon bears ten horns, which correspond to the ten horns on the last beast in Daniel’s dream. The last head of the dragon represents a future kingdom initially ruled by the ten horns, who are ten kings ruling under the dragon’s authority through the beast. This beast represents both a Gentile kingdom and a king who rules over the world during the last half of the Tribulation.

Kind courtesy: trackingbibleprohecy


Copyright Disclaimer under section 107 of the Copyright Act of 1976, allowance is made for “fair use” for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, education and research. Fair use is a use permitted by copyright statute that might otherwise be infringing..

image courtesy:

Revelation 12 – 3 Jellyfish Universe

We are now living in the absolute End Times as per biblical prophecy.

Our Lord Jesus Christ – King of Kings. 2nd Coming and return is IMMENENT!.

Please do not waist another a minute.

No matter what religion you serve, there is only one God.

If, you want to be assured that you will not have to endure the perilous times that will befall you.

Irrespective, of what sins you may have committed at any time of your life. If you humble yourself and ask for God’s forgiveness. He will forgive you and wash them all away and welcome you as his beloved son or daughter with open arms.

If you are not a child of Father God or have not asked Jesus Christ to come into your life yet?

I implore you to do this without delay.

Read this prayer of Salvation and ask God to forgive you now and accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Saviour and you will be assured of eternal life.

(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)

About The Author

You Might Be Interested In


Your email address will not be published.