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End Times Prophecy (Eschatology)
Symbols: Daniel 8 (Part 2)
Prophetic Symbols: Introduction
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 2
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 7 (Part
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 7 (Part
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 8 (Part
Prophetic Symbols: Daniel 8 (Part
With the exception of the kingdom of clay, we now know what
the succession of empires is starting with Babylon in Daniel
2. As we have said, there are four empires that we have identified.
And there also happen to be four beasts depicted in Daniel
chapter 7, which we have not identified. We will now go back
and compare the details that we know about the four empires
we have already identified with the description of the four
beasts depicted in Daniel 7 to see if there are any similarities.
In particular, what we are looking for is twofold. First,
we're looking for similarities or correspondences between
the traits of each kingdom. Second, we're looking for those
similar traits to occur in the same order as the already established
succession. This will become clearer once we begin our comparison.
However, if we find similar traits occurring in the right
order of the succession of kingdoms, then we should assume
that Daniel 7 simply depicts the same succession of the same
kingdoms but simply employs different imagery to do so. And,
in reality, we already have one major clue that this will
be the case. As we have already seen, the vision of Daniel
7 concludes in the exact same manner as the dream in Daniel
2, with the last kingdom in the succession of empires being
brought to an end by the arrival of the kingdom of the Messiah.
Thus, since both visions conclude with the same event and
both describe the succession of kings and kingdoms, we already
know that there is some overlap between the two visions.
Also, we know from Daniel 2 and Daniel 8 that the same entities
can be described using different imagery. In Daniel 2, Media-Persia
is represented by the arms and chest of silver. In Daniel
8, Media-Persia is represented by the two-horned ram. In Daniel
2, Greece is represented by the belly and thighs of brass.
In Daniel 8, Greece is represented by the goat.
We'll start by restating the order of succession for the first
four kingdoms as established by Daniel 2:38-39, Daniel 5:30,
and Daniel 8:20-21.
Succession: The kingdom would pass from 1) the
Babylonians to 2) the Media-Persians to 3) the
Greeks to 4) the Romans (which exists in both the legs
as well as the feet and toes.)
We know from Daniel 8:8-9, 21-22 that Greece is associated
with four horns, which signify the division of the Greek empire
into four contemporary successors who will come from it. Remembering
our two criteria, we are looking for traits and for those
traits to occur in the proper order of succession. So, we
have seen from Daniel 8 that one primary trait used to identify
and depict Greece is its split into four entities. And we
know that Greece is the third in the succession.
When we compare this to Daniel 7, we not only find a beast
that is associated with a very prominent four-faceted trait,
but we find that beast is the third in the succession of beasts
depicted. The leopard with four heads is indeed the third
of the four beasts of Daniel 7. So far, it seems that this
beast shares both a primary trait used to describe Greece
in chapter 8, but it also comes in the right place during
However, if the other beasts don't line up with the rest of
the established succession and traits, then we will probably
just have to accept this as a coincidence. Let's see how the
rest of the beasts compare to what we know already.
In Daniel 8:3, 20 we find that Media-Persia is depicted using
two horns, one of which is higher than the other and comes
up last. So, Media-Persia is associated in Daniel 8 with the
trait of having a two-fold power base that is higher on one
side than the other. And we also know Media-Persia is second
in the succession. Therefore, if the same succession of empires
is being depicted in chapter 7 as we see in chapters 2 and
8, the second beast of Daniel 7 would have to fit this primary
description of Media-Persia.
Well, in Daniel 7, there is a bear that is described as having
"raised up itself on one side." So, again, similar to the
horns of Daniel 8, here in Daniel 7 we have the depiction
of an empire that is raised up higher on one side than another.
And not only does this detail of chapter 7 correspond to the
depiction of Media-Persia as higher on one-side than the other,
but again, it comes at just the right point in the order of
succession. Like Media-Persia, which comes second in the succession
and is higher on one side than the other, this bear is the
second animal depicted in the vision and is also said to have
one side raised higher than the other.
So far, the descriptions of the second and third animals fit
perfectly both in terms of their primary traits and their
order of occurrence, with what we already know about the succession
of kingdoms. If the other two beasts of Daniel 7 likewise
correspond to the other visions, we'll know for sure that
this is not coincidence, but Daniel 7 is merely depicting
the same succession of kingdoms found in chapters 2 and 8,
simply using different imagery. Let's continue.
In Daniel 2, the iron kingdom exists in two time periods,
the time period of the legs BEFORE the clay is introduced
into the statue and the time period of the feet AFTER the
clay is introduced into the statue. Chapter 2:41 specifically
mentions the toes as part of the feet. So, the toes are also
somewhat a part of the latter existence of the Roman empire.
And we know that Rome comes fourth in the succession of kingdoms.
In Daniel 7, the fourth beast is depicted in verse 7 as having
teeth of iron and iron is the substance used to represent
Rome in the legs and feet of Daniel 2. Both the iron in Daniel
2:40 and the fourth beast with iron teeth of Daniel 7:7 are
depicted in terms of their crushing brutality. In fact, in
both Daniel 2 and 7, the particular phrase "brake in pieces"
is used respectively of the both the iron legs and the fourth
beast. Daniel 7:7 tells us that this fourth beast is also
defined primarily by its 10 horns. And these horns are said
in chapter 7:24 to represent 10 kings who will arise out of
this kingdom. And we already know that the statue depicted
in Daniel 2 is human in form, so how many toes would it have?
It would have 10.
So, let's review. In Daniel 2 we have Rome depicted using
iron, breaking in pieces, and brutal strength. In chapter
7, we have a beast also associated with iron, breaking in
pieces, and brutality. And, in Daniel 2, we have Rome associated
with a ten-faceted entity (the iron in the toes) and in Daniel
7 we have a beast associated with 10 kings. And, Rome is the
fourth kingdom in the succession of empires and this beast
with 10 horns is the fourth in the series of beasts in Daniel
7. Therefore, once again this fourth beast of Daniel 7 corresponds
directly both in its traits and in its order of occurrence
with what we already know about the succession from Daniel
2 and 8.
Now, in Daniel 7:19 this fourth beast is said to have nails
of brass, which according to our model would associate it
with Greece as well, which is depicted using brass in Daniel
2. Does this negate that the iron in this fourth beast corresponds
to the iron in the statue? Not at all. In fact, the opposite
is the case. During the reign of Constantine the Great, the
capital of the Roman Empire was moved from Rome, Italy to
Byzantium in modern-day Turkey. The name was then changed
from Byzantium to Constantinople (modern-day Istanbul.) Well,
Byzantine was originally a Greek city, which came under Greek
control during the reign of Alexander the Great and his father
Philip of Macedon. And, after the death of Alexander, it remained
a Greek city under the control of one of Alexander's successor's,
Lysimachus and later Seleucus (another successor of Alexander's.)
So, we can see from history that the association of the Roman
empire with the Greek culture through the brass in the nails
is not only acceptable, but it is strikingly accurate. Far
from destroying our model of interpretation, it further corroborates
There is one other very significant point that needs to be
made about the fourth beast of Daniel 7, which we have established
represents Rome. We have looked in depth at the historical
details surrounding the fulfillment of the prophecies regarding
Greece in Daniel 8. In Daniel 8:8, 21-22 and 11:2-4, Greece
is described as having four horns representing kingdoms that
arise after the death of Alexander.
However, as we can plainly see from history, the two strongest
of these kingdoms were the Ptolemaic dynasty and the Seleucid
dynasty. What is interesting to note is that neither of these
two kingdoms had their power base in Greece. The Seleucids
first ruled from Babylon and then moved up into Syria. And
the Ptolemaic dynasty ruled from Egypt. Thus, we can conclude
that any kingdom represented by a horn will not necessarily
be seated in the same geographic base as the empire from which
it arises. Two of the horns from Greece were Ptolemaic Egypt
and Seleucid Babylon and Syria.
Therefore, just because the 10 horns arise out of a beast
representing Rome in Daniel 7 does not necessitate that those
10 horns will be situated geographically in the same basic
area as Rome. Just as the horns of Greece migrated East and
South, the horns of Rome could migrate as well, perhaps even
toward the East and South. And we know that in the fourth
century, even the capital of Rome itself was moved to Byzantium
in modern-day Turkey, where it came to be known as Constantinople
(Istanbul.) So, we should not necessarily assume that the
10 horns that arise out of Rome will be situated about Rome,
Italy, or even Europe. Greece is in Europe, but the horns
of Greece were situated in the Middle East and North Africa.
The only beast left from Daniel 7 that has not been identified
is the lion, which is the first beast. Now, the only place
that Babylon is described in these visions is as the head
of gold in Daniel 2. Other than the fact that Babylon is the
first kingdom depicted in chapter 2 and the lion is the first
beast being depicted in chapter 7, there is little detail
about Babylon, which correspond to details about this first
beast and could be used to connect the two.
However, there is one other peculiar detail that helps corroborate
that this lion is Babylon. In chapter 7:5, the second beast
is commanded "Arise, devour much flesh." Of all the four beasts,
only this second beast is commanded to arise. Why is that?
Well, as we stated earlier, Daniel 5:30-31 tells us that Belshazzar
was the last king of the Babylonians and after him the kingdom
passed to the Medes under the rule of Darius the Mede. And
Daniel 7:1 opens by telling us that this vision was received
while Belshazzar was still in power over Babylon. Since we
have already identified the correspondence of the second beast
to the known descriptions of Media-Persia in both primary
traits and order of occurrence in the succession AND since
only this second beast is commanded to "Arise," we might well
conclude that the vision is depicting the calling forth of
the Media-Persians to claim the kingdom since Babylon's time
was about to end with the death of Belshazzar.
This word "arise," of which it is said to the second beast
"arise and devour much flesh" is used elsewhere in Daniel.
It first appears in Daniel 2. It is Strong's No. 6966, "quwm."
Daniel 2:21 And he changeth the times and the seasons:
he removeth kings, and setteth up (6966) kings:
Daniel 2:39 And after thee shall arise (6966) another
kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of
brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth.
Daniel 2:44 And in the days of these kings shall the
God of heaven set up (6966) a kingdom, which shall
never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other
In each of these cases from Daniel 2 this word "quwm" is being
used to discuss the passing of dominion from one national
power to another, from one kingdom to the one that would come
to power after it. In the case of Daniel 2:44 it is used of
the Messianic kingdom, of which it is said, in contrast to
the kingdoms, which preceded it, that after being set up,
it will not pass to another people. This reinforces then the
use of the word "quwm" to speak of the transfer of imperial
power from one kingdom to its successor.
Daniel 7:5 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 (6966), devour much flesh.
Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are
four kings, which shall arise (6966) out of the earth.
In Daniel 7, we see this same word spoken to the second beast
in verse 5. Furthermore, verse 17 of this same chapter also
attests that this interpretation is sound, wherein it states
that these four beasts are four kingdoms, which shall arise
(again "quwm") out of the earth. In keeping with the use of
this word in the rest of the book of Daniel, when speaking
of kingdoms, we must understand that a transfer from one succession
to another is in view.
From all this we can see that Daniel 7:5 is recording the
transfer of imperial dominion to this second beast, this second
kingdom, from its predecessor. And this is completely consistent
with history since it was during the reign of Belshazzar,
the last king of Babylon, that Daniel recorded this vision
and sometime afterward Daniel did see the transfer of imperial
dominion from Babylon to the Media-Persians, under Darius
the Mede as chapter 5 records.
Daniel 5:30 In that night was Belshazzar the king of
the Chaldeans slain. 31 And Darius the Median took the kingdom,
being about threescore and two years old.
In particular, since we know from Daniel 2:21 that it is God
who ultimately orchestrates the removal of kings and the setting
up ("quwm") of kings, what is depicted here in Daniel 7:5
is that God is essentially removing the kingdom of the lion
and setting up ("quwm") the kingdom of the bear, which correlates
to the removal of the kingdom of Babylon upon the death of
Belshazzar and the transfer of that kingdom to the Media-Persians
under Darius the Mede.
In conclusion, the main similarities that lead us to identify
the lion as Babylon is that 1) both come first in the
order of succession and 2) the rest of three beasts
in Daniel 7 correspond both in primary traits and in order
of succession to the three kingdoms following Babylon. On
the other hand, there is nothing in the depiction of this
lion that disagrees with what we know of Babylon and thereby
would prevent us from concluding that this lion represents
Therefore, we can safely conclude that Daniel 7 is merely
depicting the same succession of kingdoms that we see depicted
in chapters 2 and 8, while simply using other imagery to do
so. In Daniel 2, 7, and 8, we have a depiction of the succession
of imperial rule from Babylon, to Media-Persia, to Greece,
and to Rome (as well as one other entity represented by the
clay in Daniel 2.)
As a side note, since we have equated the four beasts of Daniel
7 with four out of the five substances mentioned in Daniel
2, that leaves only the kingdom of clay from Daniel 2 without
a corresponding beast representation. We will have to wait
and see if the rest of this study bears any additional evidence
regarding this "missing beast" to represent the kingdom of
clay that coexists with a remnant of Rome in the last time
And one last point that is of extreme significance to our
symbolic map legend is that since we have determined that
the four-headed leopard of Daniel 7 represents Greece and
the four kingdoms that will arise out of it, we now have precedent
for what a multiple-headed beast represents. Just as Daniel
2 represented the series of historic empires using a single
symbol to depict them all as collective whole, Daniel 7 represents
the four kingdoms that arise out of Greece using a single
symbol, the four-headed leopard. So, to our map legend we
can add that as a matter of precedent, a beast with multiple
heads represents an overarching political entity and the political
powers that arise from it. This will become quite significant
when we come to Revelation 13.
The last issue to note from Daniel 8 is something we've already
touched on briefly earlier. The little horn of Daniel 8 shares
more than a few similarities with the little horn of Daniel
Daniel 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war
with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until
the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the
saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints
possessed the kingdom.
Daniel 8:19 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know
what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for
at the time appointed the end shall be. ...24 And his
power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall
destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practise, and
shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through
his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand;
and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall
destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince
of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.
Among the similarities between these two horns, of particular
note is the fact that both make war against the saints of
God. And both are destroyed at the time of the end by God
himself when the Jesus Christ comes as the Prince of princes
and the kingdom passes to Jesus Christ and the saints of God.
This strongly suggests that these two visions of the little
horns are describing one and the same individual. But we will
comment more on the "little horn" in detail after we have
examined Daniel 11 and Revelation 13 and 17. For now, we will
move on to Daniel chapters 9 and 10.
At this point we have established the following from Daniel
chapters 2, 7, and 8:
1. A series of unfolding historic empires can be represented
collectively using a single, symbolic entity (such the statue.)
2. The phrases "out of the earth" and "out of the sea"
are used interchangeably by Daniel and, therefore, no great
significance should be attached in the effort to distinguish
3. Daniel 2, 7, and 8 all depict the same succession
of empires starting with Babylon, then Media-Persia, then
Greece, then Rome (along with another nation represented by
the clay), and finally the coming of the kingdom of God, when
the saints possess the kingdom.
4. Something of the Roman kingdom exists in two time
periods, the time period of the legs before the clay is introduced
into the statue and in the time of the feet and toes after
the clay is introduced into the statue.
5. Beasts represent two items, both kings and their
6. Horns also represent kings and, unless specified
by the text, horns represent contemporary kings, not a succession
or line of kings.
7. A beast with multiple heads represents an overarching
political entity and the political powers that come from it.
Historic Map Series
7 Heads of the