Symbols in Revelation

This is not supposed to be a comprehensive and definitive list, but a rough guide to the most common symbols.


Number Meaning
God (trinity), divinity
4 the Earth (four winds & corners [7:1], four living creatures [4:6], four horsemen, four angels who damage the earth [7:2])
7 Perfection, the days of creation
Half of the full number. This can be half way through 7, or a number cut short
12 A unity which can be divided into parts: 12 tribes, 12 Apostles, (also 12 hours in a day and 12 night)
So 144 (12x12) is the idealized completed and united people of God
24 Representing Old and New Covenant people of God


Symbol Meaning
Great Red Dragon Satan
Woman who gives birth to Christ and to believers The covenant community
Beast from the Sea Evil empires and political structures opposed to Christ that culminate in the Antichrist
False Prophet Demonic power (fake of the Holy Spirit)
The Prostitute/Babylon System focussed on sensual pleasure and idolatry
Heads Usually kingdoms
Horns Power (sometimes kings)
the Abyss Place of imprisonment of demons until they are finally judged [Luke 8:31]. (Called “bottomless pit” in KJV.)
stars angelic beings (good or evil)
Sun darkened & stars fall Used in O.T. for the falling of earthly powers [Ez 32:7; Dan 8:10; Joel 2:10] also [Matt 24:29]


Good Evil
God the Father Satan
The Lamb: Jesus Christ The Beast: Antichrist—a fake, not divine at all but human
The Holy Spirit The False Prophet—gives power to do lying signs and wonders and causes people to worship the Antichrist
Woman attacked by Dragon = Bride = New Jerusalem The Prostitute = Babylon (destroyed just before [?] the wedding of the Bride)
2 Witnesses = 144,000 Demonic armies [9:7-11; 11:7] who do signs and wonders [16:14]

Updated on 2011-05-27 by Andrew Fountain -