Revelation 13:13

13 He 1performs great signs, so that he even makes 2fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.

Revelation 13:13 Meaning and Commentary

Revelation 13:13

And he doeth great wonders
Or miracles; not real, but pretended ones, lying wonders, which the Popish legends are full of the accounts of, as done by the priests, or by this or the other saint:

so that he maketh fire come down from heaven on the earth in the
sight of men;
in imitation of Elijah, ( 2 Kings 1:9-14 ) ; and this single instance is put instead of all others, it being usual with the Jews to express all wonderful and miraculous operations by this miracle of Elijah's: and this may be understood mystically, of the pretensions of the Papacy to confer the Holy Ghost, and his gifts upon men, by breathing on them, which on the day of Pentecost were represented by cloven tongues, as of fire, coming down from heaven; or of their anathemas, curses, and excommunications, at which time burning torches and candles are cast up, and fall down, as emblems of divine wrath, which is called cursing men with bell, book, and candle; or else of the fire of persecution: "from heaven"; the secular powers of the empire: "upon the earth"; the common people: or this may be understood literally; so they tell us, that Pope Zachary, once on a journey to Ravenna, had in the daytime a cloud to protect him from the heat, and in the night time armies of fire appeared in the clouds to go before him; and as Pope Innocent was at Mass, a golden crown was seen, and on it a dove, and under it a smoking censer, and hard by them two burning firebrands: and it is reported of Pope Hildebrand, that, whenever he pleased, he could shake his sleeves, and sparks of fire would come out; and by these miracles deluded the eyes of the simple with a show of holiness, which, with other instances, are taken notice of by Napier, Brightman, and other writers: and so here this is said to be done "in the sight of men"; to their apprehension, seemingly, in their view; they being cheated and deluded with an appearance and show of things which were not real.

Revelation 13:13 In-Context

11 Then I saw another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb and he spoke as a dragon.
12 He exercises all the authority of the first beast in his presence. And he makes the earth and those who dwell in it to worship the first beast, whose fatal wound was healed.
13 He performs great signs, so that he even makes fire come down out of heaven to the earth in the presence of men.
14 And he deceives those who dwell on the earth because of the signs which it was given him to perform in the presence of the beast, telling those who dwell on the earth to make an image to the beast who had the wound of the sword and has come to life.
15 And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship the image of the beast to be killed.

Cross References 2

  • 1. Matthew 24:24; Revelation 16:14; Revelation 19:20
  • 2. 1 Kings 18:38; Luke 9:54; Revelation 11:5; Revelation 20:9
New American Standard Bible Copyright © 1960, 1962, 1968, 1971, 1972, 1973, 1975, 1977, 1995 by The Lockman Foundation, La Habra, California.  All rights reserved.