Revelation 13:1 “I stood” versus “He stood”

Revelation 13
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13:1 And I stood (estathen) upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea (Rev 13:1) KJV

Deleting “n” in estathen changes the meaning from “I [John] stood” to “he [the Dragon] stood”:

12:18 He stood (estathe) on the sand of the sea.
13:1 And I saw a beast coming up out of the sea. (Rev. 12:18-13:1) CSB

Critics speculate a scribe added “n”, which means the Dragon and John stood on the beach like buddies watching the Beast rise from the sea.

Isn’t it more likely a scribe dropped the “n”?

Especially when its likely this verse alludes to the book of Daniel and his vision of beasts rising from a sea, which gives one the “interpretive key” to understanding what John wrote?

I believe the Holy Spirit purposely worded Revelation 13:1 to allude to Daniel 7:2 and the entire chapter which uses the same symbolism of Beasts rising from the Sea, because Daniel is the “interpretive key” necessary to properly interpret Revelation.

If you count all the heads in Daniel 7, they total Seven Heads. Daniel’s Final Beast with Ten Horns is John’s Beast that rises up in the End Time final 7 year “week”, with Ten Heads.

As the Beast’s in Revelation 13 rises in the end time at least some of the nations symbolized were yet future when John wrote, therefore it follows the symbolism can refer to different world powers. In Revelation the two horn (lamb) ram is the End Time False Prophet Leader of a Dual Nation World Power similar to the ancient Medes and Persians.

13:1 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. (Rev. 13:1 NKJ)

2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. (Dan. 7:2 NKJ)

It follows both were “on the sand of the sea” although only John says he was.

Satan tried to destroy this allusion by producing inferior Bible mss that read “He stood on the sand of the sea” so it means “The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. (Rev. 13:1 NIV).

It is claimed scribes added “n” to estathen so it reads “I [John] stood” rather than “he [the Dragon] stood”. The critical argument given for this change is unsound, its more likely a deletion occurred rather than an addition, especially when the context just spoke of the Dragon going away to make war against people like John, not stand with John like a tourist on the beach:

Then the dragon was enraged at the woman and went off to wage war against the rest of her offspring– those who keep God’s commands and hold fast their testimony about Jesus. The dragon stood on the shore of the sea. And I saw a beast coming out of the sea. I (Rev. 12:17-13:1 NIV)

Satan didn’t want the clear allusion to Daniel 7 and 8 as the interpretive key to understanding Revelation, be seen. So he produced corrupt texts which the early church realized were wrong and threw away. Unfortunately, that had the effect of preserving them because of non use, while the correct texts were worn out from use and had to be recopied. So the theory “older is better” is a non-sequitur.

I stick with the historic texts the church has always relied upon, the Byzantine family of mss. The Textus Receptus and “Majority Text” are in this family. Not one tiny bit of meaning (the figurative “Jot” or “Tittle” in Mt. 5:18) has been lost in any of these, even if they do sometimes use slightly different wording or word order or spelling.

There are additional reasons why the eclectic reading is unlikely.

John must be on the beach to see what is happening on the sea, he can’t still be in heaven (Rev. 10:1; Dan. 7:2-3)

The Dragon’s presence as a spectator is “meaningless”, the picture communicates nothing to the reader.

De Wette agrees:

And I (due to a change in the apocalyptic point of view, cf. Rev. 10:1. and in accordance with Dan. 8:2; 10:4. – from heaven he cannot see it) stepped (came to stand in of ecstasy) on the sand (on the shore) of the sea. After the other. LA. if the dragon had stepped to the seashore. Not possible! He just went there to start the war with the Christians. Incidentally, his standing on the seashore would be just as unrelated to the result. – he does nothing when the animal rises – then without a purpose.
See Rev. 13:2 He did not need to step here to give animals his power (Hofm.), All the less since the animal rises out of his realm. -De Wette, W. M. L. (1854). Brief explanation of the Revelation of John. (W. M. L. de Wette, Ed.) (Second edition, Vol. 3, pp. 124-125). Leipzig: S. Hirzel.

However, Lange argues against De Wette:

‘According to De Wette and many others, the reading ἐστάθη is exegetically impossible. In reality, however, the reading of the Recepta, ἐστάθην, for which there is less authority, is far less possible. See above. Since a demonic operation upon the sea of nations is in question, Satan takes his station upon the sandy shore, a place where the earth is flat and the sea shallow. A contemporaneous appearance of the Dragon, on the sand, and the Beast, above the waves of the ocean, is not declared; the Dragon vanishes as the Beast inspired by him makes his appearance.”-Lange, J. P., Schaff, P., Moore, E., Craven, E. R., & Woods, J. H. (2008). A Commentary On The Holy Scriptures: Revelation (p. 265). Bellingham, WA: Logos Bible Software.

Lange interprets “sea” as “sea of nations”, but De Wette “the realm of the Devil”: (Isa. 27:1; Dan. 7:2-3; Rev. 20:13; 21:1). The allusion to Daniel 7:2-3 supports De Wette. Demon spirits possess the Beast; hence they rise from the demonic realm. The demonic operation is on the animal not the sea. Hence the flatness of the beach or shallowness of the water are irrelevant and immaterial.


Footnote 2 Cf. also Vitr., Beng., Züll., Ewald, Bleek, Hengstenb., and Auberlen, all of whom expressly speak in favor of the Rec.-Düsterdieck, F. (1887). Critical and Exegetical Handbook to the Revelation of John. (H. E. Jacobs, Trans.). New York: Funk & Wagnalls.

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