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The beast that thou sawest was, and is not; and shall ascend out of the bottomless pit, and go into perdition: and they that dwell on the earth shall wonder, whose names were not written in the book of life from the foundation of the world, when they behold the beast that was, and is not, and yet is.

New Defender's Study Bible Notes

17:8 shall ascend. This identification is enigmatic, but it seems to refer both to the beast as a man (Revelation 11:7) and the beast as a kingdom (Revelation 13:3,12). As a kingdom, the restoration of Babylon fits the description; as a man, an apparent resurrection of the man known as the son of perdition could be engineered by Satan through deep hypnosis, suspended animation and induced pseudo-memory. Only Christ could actually raise the dead, since only He is the Creator of life and only He has the keys of death (Revelation 1:18).

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