It is sometimes assumed that the seven-headed beast of Revelation 13 is the kings of Israel. This interpretation is rooted in the fact that it was King Herod who sought to kill Jesus after He was born and Mary and Joseph were said to flee to Egypt to avoid Herod’s murderous wrath (Matthew 2:13-16) echoing the seven-headed dragon’s pursuit of the woman (Revelation 12:4-6). One problem with this interpretation is that the seven-headed beast of Revelation 13 is said to arise out of the sea (Revelation 13:1); a common Biblical metaphor for the Gentile nations, not Israel (see In the Bible “Earth” Signifies the Specific Land Addressed While “Sea” Symbolizes Foreign Nations). This sea imagery strongly implies that this beast is Gentile, not Jewish. The fact that the seven-headed dragon pursues the woman in Revelation 12 in the form of King Herod does not mean that the seven-headed beast is the Herodian kings. After all, the seven-headed dragon in Revelation 12 is actually Satan. In Revelation 12 this dragon takes part in a war in heaven with Michael before he is cast down to the earth (Revelation 12:7-9). Herod’s actions in Revelation 12 in pursuit of the Christ child are all ultimately the actions of Satan working through Herod behind the scenes. In fact that is exactly what is depicted in Revelation 13: “The dragon gave the beast his power and his throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2.) The reason the beast is depicted as a seven-headed monster just like the dragon of Revelation 12 is to show that it is ultimately Satan who also worked behind the scenes in the actions of these kings of Rome just as he inspired Herod to do his will in Revelation 12.