12.4. Nero as a Type of the Beast

If Nero is related to the Beast in any way, he is related similarly to Antiochus Epiphanes of the time of the Maccabees. His character serves as a biblical “type” foreshadowing the real Beast yet to come. Even then, Nero’s influence on history pales in significance to the final Beast to come.

Another striking character who has been singled out by those who believe that the Antichrist has already appeared and finished his course, is Nero. And here again there are, admittedly, many striking resemblances between the type and the antitype. In his office of emperor of the Romans; in his awful impiety; in his consuming egotism, in his bloodthirsty nature; and in his ferocious and fiendish persecution of the people of God, we discover some of the very lineaments which will be characteristic of the Wicked One. But again it will be found that this man of infamous memory, Nero, did nothing more than foreshadow that one who shall far exceed him in satanic malignity.1

The dominant thought in the Apocalyptist’s prophecy is not that Nero shall come again, but rather than Antichrist will come, the last and most terrible manifestation of the Beast, embodying a Nero reincarnate and demonized—Antichrist, of whom no more fiendish conception can be formed than that furnished by a Nero revived according to popular fancy, and invested with superhuman power.2

See The Beast.


1 Arthur Walkington Pink, The Antichrist (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, 1999, 1923), s.v. “intro.”

2 Isbon T. Beckwith, The Apocalypse of John (Eugene, OR: Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2001), 408.