This article attempts to show that one possible solution to the difficulties posed by Rev 17:9–11 is to regard the beast as both the seventh king who will rule for a short time and an eighth king who manifests his rule through his seven heads. Revelation 17:10 presents a five, one, and one scheme that correlates to the past, present, and future of the beast. Only one king, the seventh king, lies in the future and his rule will be “for a short time.” This refers to the rule of the beast, who will come up from the Abyss, rule for “one hour” with the ten kings (17:12), and then go “to destruction” (17:11). The beast is more than just the seventh king; he is also an eighth king, because he is and has always been the power behind the seven kings, his seven heads (17:11). As the second member of the dragon’s unholy trinity, he is greater than merely the sum of his heads.

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