1. During whose reign did Daniel receive the vision of Daniel 7th chapter?
“In the first year of Belshazzar,” Daniel 7:1.
2. Over what empire was Belshazzar king?
“In the first year of Belshazzar, king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters,” verse 1.
3. What did the prophet first see in this vision?
“Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven strove upon the great sea,” verse 2.
4. In prophecy what does wind represent?
“A noise shall come even to the ends of the earth; for the Lord hath a controversy with the nations. He will plead with all flesh; He will give them that are wicked to the sword, saith the Lord.
Thus saith the Lord of hosts, Behold, evil shall go forth from nation to nation, and a great whirlwind shall be raised up from the coasts of the earth, and the slain of the Lord shall be at that day from one end of the earth, even unto the other end of the earth; they shall not be lamented, neither gathered, nor buried; they shall be dung upon the ground,” Jeremiah 25:31-33.
NOTE: By this scripture we learn, that wind in prophecy represents war, commotion and strife, resulting in death and destruction.
5. What is the prophetic meaning of water?
“And He saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues,” Revelation 17:15.
NOTE: From this we learn, that, water in the prophetic books of the Bible has reference to peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. So instead of the vision of the old prophet being literal wind striving upon literal water, it was war, commotion and strife, among peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.
6. What was the result of this strife?
“And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another,” Daniel 7:3.
7. What do these four beasts represent?
“These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth,” verse 17.
8. What was the first beast like?
“The first was like a lion, and had eagles wings; I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it,” verse 4.
NOTE: This first beast (like the golden head of the great image of the second chapter of Daniel) represents the Babylonian empire. At first the beast had eagles wings, denoting the rapidity with which Babylon extended its conquests under Nebuchadnezzar. When this vision was given, a great change had taken place; its wings had been plucked, and it no longer flew upon its prey as does the eagle. The bold spirit of the lion was gone, and a man’s heart, weak and faint had taken its place. Such was the condition of the Babylonian empire under Belshazzar, who was connected with the ruling power of this empire when it came to its end.
9. By what was the second kingdom represented?
“And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it; and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh,” verse 5.
NOTE: History tells us, that, the Medo-Persian empire was the second one to rule the world. This beast was seen coming up on one side, and this is an exact representation of the medo-Persian empire. History tells us the Medes were at first the leading people of this empire, but the Persians came up last and became far the stronger tribe of people. These people were to some extent, ravenous and blood thirsty as is the bear, by which they are represented.
10. By what was the third universal empire symbolized?
“After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl: the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it,” verse 6.
NOTE: The third universal empire to rule the world, was that of Alexander the Great. Two wings, the number the lion had, were not sufficient, the leopard had four; denoting unparalleled swiftness of movement. This we find to be historically true of the Grecian empire under the famous Alexander. The conquests of the Grecian empire have no parallel in historic annals for suddenness and rapidity.
“This beast had also four heads.” The Grecian empire maintained its unity but very little longer than the lifetime of Alexander, when it was divided into four divisions, or between the four leading generals of Alexander, to represent the four heads of this third beast of the great vision.
They are as follows, Lysimachus, Seleucus Nicator, Ptolemy, and Cassander, who had each assumed the title of king. The great horn being broken, in its place came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. Myers General History, page 170 of the 1903 edition.
11. By what is the fourth kingdom represented?
“After this I saw in the night vision, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and break in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots; and, behold in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things,” verses 7, 8.
NOTE: The Roman empire was the fourth one to rule the world, and is the one represented by this, the fourth beast of Daniel’s vision. There is no beast among all the beasts of the great creation of God like the one we have under consideration, neither has there been another kingdom in any age of the world’s history that was so cruel as was the Roman kingdom. It was this kingdom that was ruling when Christ was upon the earth, and it was before Roman rulers that He was tried and condemned to death. The Roman kingdom, in its different phases, has to its credit between fifty and one hundred million martyrs who paid the supreme sacrifice for the cause of Christ. This great number were willing to suffer death rather than bow to the false teachings of the Catholic Church which held universal control during 1260 years of the time allotted to the fourth kingdom, represented by this fourth beast, the fourth universal government of earth’s history.
12. What do the ten horns of this beast represent?
“And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise,” verse 24.
NOTE: By reading history we learn, that, the Roman kingdom was divided into ten divisions to represent the ten horns of this beast. These divisions occurred between the years 350 and 485 A. D. as we learn by different histories.
13. What is represented by the little horn that came up among the ten and plucked up three of them by the roots?
“And another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. And he shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end,” verses 24, 25, 26.
NOTE: This little horn that comes upon the stage of action, will be taken up and considered in another article of this book. In this we will see how history responds to the call of divine prophecy, proving beyond any question of doubt the truthfulness of the Bible, the book through which God has revealed His will to man, and shows that the Bible did not come as some who are ignorant of prophecy argue, by the will of man, but that it was given by the inspiration of the Creator, which is God Himself.
14. After this little horn power plays its part, then what happens?
“And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him,” verse 27.
NOTE: Instead of another beast following this fourth, and as a consequence another kingdom arising in the earth to bear rule over the whole world, the prophet beheld until the last beast was given to the burning flames, verse 11. As history records only four kingdoms to rule the whole earth thus far and the Bible said that there would be just four we cannot expect Germany or any other to gain possession of the world and set up a universal empire. The next is destined by God Almighty to be the kingdom of God, and is to be given to the saints of the Most High.
The next universal kingdom then shall be given only to righteous people, and to no earthly government. Since the fourth empire was set up and Rome ruled the world, Mohammed attempted to establish the fifth world-wide kingdom, but failed in his effort. Napoleon then resolved like the mighty Alexander, to be world’s conqueror, but in 1815 met his Waterloo. And so will any other king or ruler who attempts to follow their aspirations and usurp the place which belongs now to God, and to Him only. There were to be five kingdoms, four are past and the fifth will be the kingdom of God, as God has declared.
We cannot help noticing in this grand lesson from Holy Inspiration the certainty with which history responds to the call of the prophets. Historians who were unfamiliar with the voice of the prophets, have recorded the events which have taken place in the world since its beginning and they have accurately filled the mould made by the prophets of God thousands of years previously.
God has looked down through the dim and otherwise obscure future, and has revealed to the children of men the important events to take place. He has told us of the kingdoms that would arise and fall, of the great kings and of their career. Truly He has made known to us the future, and declared from ancient times the things that are not yet done, and has in this way proved beyond any question of doubt the divinity and authenticity of the Bible.
Waymarks To The End
The guide boards all along the dreary road that His children would have to travel have been marked plainly directing their every step as they move forward toward the kingdom of their God. These guide boards have been placed there by the hand of God, many of which we have passed long ago, and can only be dimly seen while others are almost within our reach, some are present events, and others are yet future, which we of necessity must witness before we receive our inheritance in the kingdom of God.
God plainly said thousands of years ago that there would be just four kingdoms to rule the earth. History gives us a view of these four great monumental guideboards and says they are all in the past. We look backward as it were through this great telescope of history and see Babylon, far in the distance, Medo-Persia this side, next to her we see Greece, and next in her proper place we behold Rome, making the four just as God has said, while number five has not yet come.
Theatrical Performances Already Staged
Babylon has long since had her day, and played her part on the great theatrical stage of the Universe of God. The curtain has fallen giving place to the next great performance and Medo-Persia appeared and played well her part just as God said she would in the sight of the whole world. The curtain fell and on to the theatrical stage came Greece. Her performance was given in the sight of men, and the curtain fell, giving place for the next great drama. Rome next came upon the stage of action and commenced her performance, and is still playing her part, but soon this last play will like the others be finished, and the curtain will fall giving place to the fifth and last great world wide performance which will be conducted in righteousness, Jesus Christ Himself being the chief actor, when verse 27 of this chapter will have its fulfillment, as accurate and complete as those previously mentioned above. It reads, “And the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.”
Four kingdoms, through war, turmoil and strife have held dominion over the whole earth, and have, as truly as God’s word says, broken it in pieces. The righteous reign of the Prince of Peace, the King of kings, and Lord of lords, is yet a future event which will as certainly come in its order as the kingdoms of men have arisen and fallen according to the divinely appointed program of the Almighty Jehovah, which has been given us from heaven. This is not only a condition greatly desired, at this time of trouble, but it is one the coming of which is based upon logical conclusions, predicated upon the eternal promise of God, who cannot lie. They will be realized in their order. They are ours to behold and enjoy if we are only faithful to the trust He has left us and do His will unto the end.
Truly the chronology of the past dispensations of human government, bears many records that stand like guide-posts, pointing with bloody hands to a new and better way. And beyond the blood stained past, and the ever darkening present, we can see the silver lining of the great beyond. Truly the dark storm clouds of war and destruction are penetrated by the positive assurance of God, that the fifth kingdom will be a reality. Yes, we can see the verdant shores of Eden blossoming with the flowers of peace, and yielding her fruits of love, and good will to men, and our hearts yearn for a realization of this blessed hope, which if faithful, is ours to enjoy.