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The Scariest Things In The Book Of Revelation, The Bible’s Hallucinatory Fever Dream Of Apocalypse

Updated June 14, 2019 140.2k views12 items

The Bible has no shortage of creepy stories, but arguably, the scariest stories come from the Book of Revelation. Here one finds a plenitude of biblical horror stories in which we earthly beings are warned of the end days to come.

Scholars debate endlessly over the identity of who exactly wrote the Book of Revelation (some say it's John the Apostle, whose writings were known for swinging attention from Satan to Abaddon), but what can be agreed upon is there are plenty of terrifying visions in the Book of Revelation about the apocalypse.

According to the Book, we are in for some dark days: The skies will rain fire, angels will spit swords, mankind will be forced to retreat into caves for shelter, and we will be harassed by at least three terrifying dragons and beasts. Angels will sound seven trumpets of warning, and later on, seven plagues will be dumped on the world. At the end there's some redemption, but not before Earth is scourged over by the Heavens as punishment for straying from the Divine

So, what's with all the fire and brimstone? Well, that's the thing: there's a lot of symbology in the Book of Revelation, and depending on which historical or theological lens you choose to view it through, all this terror can be interpreted in very different ways. The Book was also written at a time when Christians faced persecution from the Roman Empire, which was beginning to impose emperor worship; a little propaganda is nothing new when it comes to religion.

All of that aside, here are some things you missed in the Book of Revelation, and some new ways to consider the fire and fury of God's supposed wrath.

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  • A Pregnant Woman Will Fight A Dragon With Seven Heads And 10 Horns

    Photo: Martinus / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    At one point in the Revelation, a pregnant woman in white appears in the sky. However, before she has her child, an enormous red dragon with seven heads, 10 horns, and seven crowns on its heads will materialize in the Heavens as well, trying to steal her unborn child.

    What will ensue, according to the author's prophetic vision, is a back and forth battle between the Dragon (a symbol and messenger of Satan) and the woman, who is protected by the Lamb, AKA God. Essentially, it is a tale of good and evil, when taken allegorically.

    Historically, one can liken the dragon and the forces of "evil" to that of the Roman Empire and their attempts to persecute Christian worshipers, and the "good" of the Lamb prevails in this case. However, the author warns the dragon will forever be at war with the Lamb, implying Christians will always be at risk to fighting off those who don't share their beliefs. 

  • The Apocalypse Starts With A Massive Earthquake Where The Sun Goes Black And The Sky Splits

    Photo: Beatus von Liébana / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    In the Book of Revelation, there is a scroll shown to the prophet, (that is our author, John), which has seven seals. As each seal is broken, something happens or appears, and it is on the sixth seal things start to go south pretty quick. 

    As written in the 6:12-17, it goes, "There was a great earthquake. The sun turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, the whole moon turned blood red, and the stars in the sky fell to earth... The heavens receded like a scroll being rolled up, and every mountain and island was removed from its place."

    Since the sky will be dark and essentially split open, and who-knows-what is going to happen next, mankind will be forced to clamor into mountain caves and crevasses to hide.

    When the seventh seal gets broken, the heavens will go silent for half an hour, and then come the fateful trumpets.

  • The False Prophet Will Arrive In The Form Of A Beast

    Photo: Real Biblioteca de San Lorenzo / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    There will be a beast that initially comes out of the sea to spread damnation, but it is this second monster that will spring from the land and demonstrate enough power to really frighten people into submission.

    This second beast is said to have two horns like a lamb, but it speaks with the voice of a dragon. It is this beast that is considered the False Prophet. He will order all people to worship the first beast from the sea, which will have been wounded after it emerges.

    As this wound heals, the second land beast will control mankind and force everyone to take what is known as, "the mark of the Beast," that is, the number 666.

  • The Book Of Revelation Can Be Confusing Because It Is Nonlinear

    Photo: Martinus / Wikimedia Commons / Public Domain

    The Book of Revelation is no easy nut to crack, and to this day scholars from all sorts of backgrounds (religious and not), tend to argue over its contents.

    One important thing to note is that the story itself is nonlinear, meaning those who try to use it to predict future events (AKA The Apocalypse), actually kind of struggle lining up supposed events, as they tend to move cyclically throughout the story.

    Overall, the book is jarringly violent, especially when translated into modern terms. A modern scholar once estimated the book's death count and projected it onto a modern world with around 5-6 billion people. If the end times were truly near, you would end up with nearly 4 billion people dying from war, famine, earthquake, and plagues.