Revelation 13:12

He exerciseth (poiei). Present active dramatic present of poiew. In his sight (enwpion autou). In the eye of the first beast who gets his authority from the dragon ( Matthew 13:2 ). The second beast carries on the succession of authority from the dragon and the first beast. It has been a common Protestant interpretation since the Reformation of Luther to see in the first beast Pagan Rome and in the second beast Papal Rome. There is undoubted verisimilitude in this interpretation, but it is more than doubtful if any such view comes within the horizon of the imagery here. Ramsay takes the first beast to be the power of imperial Rome and the second beast to be the provincial power which imitated Rome in the persecutions. To worship the first beast (ina proskunhsousin to qhrion to prwton). Sub-final clause with ina after poiei seen in John 11:37 ; Colossians 4:16 ; Revelation 3:9 , usually with the subjunctive, but here with the future indicative as in Revelation 3:9 . Note the accusative after proskunew as in verse Revelation 13:8 . Here the death-stroke of one of the heads (verse Revelation 3 ) is ascribed to the beast. Clearly the delegated authority of the provincial priests of the emperor-worship is rigorously enforced, if this is the correct interpretation.