In Revelation 13 the apostle John records visions that he saw, including a sign of a dragon and a terrible beast that had “ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on its horns, and on each head a blasphemous name” (Revelation 12:1). As John watches, “one of the heads of the beast seemed to have had a fatal wound, but the fatal wound had been healed. The whole world was filled with wonder and followed the beast” (Revelation 13:3). The significance of the healing of the beast’s deadly wound is that, because of the healing, the world unites in following the beast.
This beast that had the deadly wound healed came up out of the sea as the dragon (who is identified as Satan in Revelation 20:2) watched from the seashore (Revelation 13:1). Just like the dragon, the beast had ten horns and seven heads. The beast was given the dragon’s authority (Revelation 13:2). The heads and horns represent kings who give their authority to the beast (Revelation 17:9–13).
John describes this beast further as a leopard, with feet like a bear and the mouth of a lion (Revelation 13:2). John’s description is reminiscent of other portrayals of world powers (e.g., Daniel 7), indicating that this beast would have elements of some of those former powers. But this beast will suffer a deadly wound on one of its heads (or kings and kingdoms). The deadly wound was healed, and the earth is amazed at this beast and its apparent resurrection power. The world will worship this beast (Revelation 13:3). Recognizing that Satan had given his authority to this beast, the world will also worship the dragon (Revelation 13:4). As John is describing these things, another beast appears. The second beast influences the whole earth to worship the ten-horned and seven-headed beast whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:12). This second beast does so by performing signs or miracles and putting the focus on the beast whose deadly wound was healed (Revelation 13:14).
The beast whose deadly wound was healed corresponds to the fourth beast described by Daniel (Daniel 7:7–8). That beast had a horn that made many blasphemous boasts. It seems that this horn would later have a deadly wound that is healed, yet the beast is ultimately killed and burned up by the fire (Daniel 7:11). Daniel understood that this fourth beast was different from the others he had seen and far more severe (Daniel 7:19). The beast would give rise to ten kings and another after those who would defeat three of the kings (Daniel 7:24). That more powerful king would attack the saints and have authority to rule for three and a half years, but after that his kingdom will be destroyed (Daniel 7:25). John’s revelation adds that this king will have a deadly wound that would be healed (Revelation 13:3). His power will be solidified by miraculous happenings. Jesus warned of this type of deceitful person when He said that many will come in His name claiming to be the Christ and seeking to mislead many (Matthew 24:5, 11). The particular beast whose deadly wound was healed will be the Antichrist of the end times, “the prince who is to come” (Daniel 9:26, NKJV). The apostle Paul calls him the man of lawlessness and the son of destruction (2 Thessalonians 2:3). This one will come in great power and deceive many—even with a counterfeit resurrection. The purpose of the Antichrist’s deception is to swindle many into believing that he is the savior and the one who should be worshiped. But, unlike the true Messiah, this beast’s deadly wound was only temporarily healed. He will later be killed and judged, while the true Christ will be victorious and establish His kingdom in righteousness.