The dragon in heaven (Revelation 12:3) has seven heads, ten horns, and seven diadems on his seven heads. There’s a lot going on there, no doubt, but faced with a list like that my instinct is to start adding. It turns out to be a useful operation in this case.

The total is 24, which is the number of Ancient Ones enthroned around the Father in Revelation 4. The dragon is a kind of false throne, a counterfeit of the Father’s throne of the Father. Perhaps the twenty-four heads/horns/crowns of the dragon represent twenty-four chief demons, corresponding to the twenty-four chief angels.

The twenty-four Ancient Ones are the heavenly original of the twenty-four courses of priests in the Solomonic temple. Along with those twenty-four there was one high priest, which in heaven is the Lamb. The dragon is a false heavenly high priest, a counterfeit of the Lamb. The heads and horns and diadems represent a false system of heavenly worship. The dragon is a false priest because he accuses rather than defending them (12:10).

Articles by Peter J. Leithart

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