The following is my latest commentary on chapter 13 of the book of Revelation. I suggest you set aside all your previous notions and take a fresh look.
And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.Revelation 13:1
The beast in the vision of this chapter is represented slightly differently to the dragon in the vision of chapter 12 verse 3. There the 7 crowns were on the heads of the great red dragon but in this chapter 13 they are on the 10 horns, and thus there are 10 crowns.
The image in chapter 12 vision has 7 heads representing or indicating the 7 kingdoms of man that have dominated the world — Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The Devil also referred to as the dragon has always controlled the kingdoms of man through the leaders and kings of those kingdoms. In the vision in this chapter I believe that 3 of the 7 heads are not all the same as in the image of chapter 12. It is explained below.
The main focus in this vision is on the 10 horns, which represent kingdoms of man in this final age. The word ‘crowns’ is translated from the Greek word διάδημα diadema or “diadem” representing royalty. Diadems are worn by the kings. I don’t believe that the number 10 needs to be exact as many numbers in Revelation are symbolic.
The revelation really begins in the last verse of Revelation chapter 11.
And the temple of God was opened in heaven, and there was seen in His temple the ark of His testament: and there were lightnings, and voices, and thunderings, and an earthquake, and great hail.Revelation 11:19
Before we continue we need to understand that God’s way (and the Hebrew way of thinking) is very different to what we are used to, which has been heavily influenced by Greek thought. God describes events as though they have already happened because He sees all of time; He is outside of time.