The Daniel dilemma – part two – the four beasts.


Yesterday I started this look into Daniel and the dilemma it has caused throughout those that try to interrupt the prophecies within this book of the Old Testament. Today we shall look at the four kingdoms that are first shown in the Statue dream of Daniel chapter two.
Daniel 7:4 – The first beast was like a lion with eagles’ wings. As I watched, its wings were pulled off, and it was left standing with its two hind feet on the ground, like a human being. And it was given a human mind.
At the time of this prophecy the royal palace had statues of winded lions at its gate, which was one of the factors in agreement that this is a representation of at the least Nebuchadnezzar and the most an imagery of Babylon itself. To quote the commentary by John F. Walvoord:
“In spite of the power indicated in this symbolism, Daniel saw the beast become man-like. This is most commonly interpreted as the symbolic representation of Nebuchadnezzar’s experience in chapter 4 when he was humbled before God and made to realize that, even though he was a great ruler, he was only a man. His lion-like character, or royal power, was his only at God’s pleasure. The symbolism is accurate and corresponds to the historical facts.”
So in all scholarly studies of this verse. It is agreed that this is an image of Babylon and the first empire of the Gentiles. Then the next verse should describe the next empire in the chain.
Daniel 7:5 – Then I saw a second beast, and it looked like a bear. It was rearing up on one side, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And I heard a voice saying to it, “Get up! Devour the flesh of many people!”
The imagery suggested by this verse shows a strong yet less referred empire that has one side stronger than the other. The Persian side being stronger than the Median part which the former had taken over from the latter before its move against other kingdoms. This is shown in the imagery of defeating and devouring three kingdoms, thus the three ribs. That being Lydia, Babylon and Egypt. The bear is also known to be a more ferocious animal than other animals in the animal kingdom as seen within biblical times.
Daniel 7:6 – Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast.
Starting with the image of a leopard. It is an imagery within the Bible of something not as grand as the lion, but is known for its swiftness. This is amplified by the four wings upon its back. The four heads indicate a division into four parts but of equal power and control. The conquest of Alexander was extremely swift. Upon his death at thirty-two the Greek Empire was given to his four top generals and their power was divided equally.
Daniel 7:7 – Then in my vision that night, I saw a fourth beast—terrifying, dreadful, and very strong. It devoured and crushed its victims with huge iron teeth and trampled their remains beneath its feet. It was different from any of the other beasts, and it had ten horns. 8 As I was looking at the horns, suddenly another small horn appeared among them. Three of the first horns were torn out by the roots to make room for it. This little horn had eyes like human eyes and a mouth that was boasting arrogantly.
One of the main tendencies of the Roman Empire was to remove the cultural from those it dominate. This was accomplished through death, destruction and an insistence of following Roman law. In some areas they tried different tactics, but in the end it result in their mainstay as mentioned above. This is clearly seen in 70 A.D. when the last temple was destroyed and the Israel nation scattered throughout the Roman Empire and then the world.
A great debate still continues into the description as to who or what the little horn is that replaces three of the ten horns. Has it happened or will it happen? At this time it is still open for debate. What is made clear is that it is not the little horn of chapter eight.
That little horn has been identified as Antiochus Epiphanes. He is called this due to his representation of the little horn still to come, that being the antichrist. What is known for sure is that Antiochus IV Epiphanes did abolish the worship of God by the Jewish people and he did defile the temple in the 160s B.C. by establishing the worship of Zeus within the Temple and the sacrifice of pigs upon the alter. Antiochus Epiphanes is described by many to be an image of the antichrist that is yet to come during the time of the Tribulation.
In recent times, that being the last eight years of the United States. Another image of the little horn came to power and brought devastation to this Christian nation. Again a fore image of the true antichrist yet to appear. Even though his actions could be said to have signaled a major step into the end-times that are shown within the Bible as the signs to look for. For from his actions a power has risen within the former boarders of the Babylonian empire that correspond to the beast described within the book of Revelation 13:7.

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