OST is closed for business but its spirit survives on my blog.
Thanks so much Andrew. I appreciate your response here. If I may, could I prod a little deeper? Below is the passage:
“This calls for a mind with wisdom: the seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman is seated; they are also seven kings, five of whom have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come, and when he does come he must remain only a little while. As for the beast that was and is not, it is an eighth but it belongs to the seven, and it goes to destruction.”
Curiously, how do you interpret the last portion? Who is the beast that was and is not and is an eighth that belongs to the seven and goes to his destruction?
This of course must satisfy the concept expressed just prior in verse 7, 8:
I will tell you the mystery of the woman, and of the beast with seven heads and ten horns that carries her. The beast that you saw was, and is not, and is about to rise from the bottomless pit and go to destruction.
It seems to be a parody of Him who is and who was and who is to come. How is the present beast one that was and is not (was not) and is yet to come in the future?