10 And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. 11 And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. 12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. 13 These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast.
In the ancient world, during the first half of human history as described in Genesis, there were domestic gods of the household, as Laban complained that his were stolen by Jacob in Genesis 31, and there were public gods of a city available only to those lawful residents of the city and their priest was, among other things, a king. He gave the public sacrifices and devotion as the father of the family gave the private. He may have had additional titles but he was above all, the chief of worship.(20)
(20) Numa Denis Fustel De Coulanges, The Ancient City, Willard Small, transl. (1874, repr., New York: Doubleday & Co., 1955), 174.
Of the seven kings before the beast, the first five are;
Cain was the beginning of false worship as Satan initiated false religion by questioning what God said and placing doubt in Adam and Eve’s minds. Cain was a murderer of the true worshipper of God who offered up sacrifices pleasing to God, his brother Abel. See Genesis 4. He was of that wicked one, as John said in 1John 3:12. The only logical interpretation of that from the text in Genesis is that he followed Satan in his practices and belief. Some imply some type of sexual thing between Eve and Satan but it is not warranted by the text. One path of his religion resulted in the Hindu Prasada or vegetable offering to the gods where nothing can be offered that suffered pain. This, even though God tells us that without the shedding of blood there is no remission of sin. (Hebrews 9:22)
Cain founded a city. The ancient city was first and foremost a religious institution, if we let the Bible interpret itself, a type of pagan church, was never formed by degrees as people entered in, but was founded at once, in a day, with families of like mind, who formed the basis of one religious worship, ruled by their king. So, Cain would logically have been the first king, so to speak, of false religious worship based on Satan’s putting the question in the mind of Cain’s parents of what God said.(21) Cain is the first type of the beast, who is also of that wicked one.
(21) Ibid., 134.
The second fallen king is Nimrod, founder of Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh in the plain of Shinar from where the ancient empire of Sumeria rose up. At Babel mankind united together in a purpose.
Genesis 11:4 And they said, Go to, let us build us a city and a tower, whose top may reach unto heaven; and let us make us a name, lest we be scattered abroad upon the face of the whole earth.
Nimrod was a mighty one in the earth and a mighty hunter before the Lord. (Genesis 10:8,9) One legend I read was that Nimrod was instrumental in keeping predatory animals, which were growing in numbers unchecked after the landing of the Ark of Noah, down to protect the people. But, it is hard to say what legends are made up and then read back into the Bible just as our modern-day view of the purpose of a king is then read back into the Bible. In any event Nimrod stood before God as a mighty hunter who founded cities. It makes perfect sense for man to gather together in cities for mutual protection in a world that was not only drying out from the Flood but where great beasts were a danger. Remember from reading Job there were still dinosaurs, dragons, roaming about in his day. A recent direct carbon-dating of so-called triceratops bones revealed that dinosaurs, what we used to call dragons, are not so old. This was confirmed by the presence of soft tissue and blood in these types of bones that were once thought to be 70 million years old, which is, of course, preposterous.(22)
Whatever the case, this king, Nimrod, grandson of the shameful Ham who disgraced his father which was a terrible thing in that world, brought all of existing mankind together, what amounted to dozens of families, to begin a project opposed to acknowledging God and to lifting themselves up as great and to keep mankind from having dominion over the earth by spreading out. There is a matter of control here as mankind stands united against God’s purpose. Think of how the early Christians huddled in Jerusalem and God had to use persecution to drive them out to do what He had ordained them to do. (see Acts 1:8; 4:31; 8:1 with the command to Noah in Genesis 9:1) Nimrod is a second type of the beast, the second king, who was of that wicked one. So, the first two kings of the five fallen ones institute create false religion and draw mankind together against God’s purpose, following after the wicked one who called into doubt what God had said. There are three more fallen kings to consider.
(22) John Michael Fischer “Carbon-14-dated Dinosaur Bones are less than 40,000 years old,” http://newgeology.us/presentation48.html (accessed 4.12.2016).
Helen Fields, “Dinosaur Shocker,” Smithsonian Magazine, http://www.smithsonianmag.com/science-nature/dinosaur-shocker-115306469/?no-ist (accessed 4.12.2016).