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Does the Fourth Beast of Daniel 7 Represent Rome?

rophecy is not given to enable us to prophesy, and no one who has worthily pursued the

P study will fail to feel misgivings at venturing out upon the tempting field of forecasting
"things to come." By patient contemplation we may clearly discern the main outlines of the
landscape of the future; but "until the day dawn," our apprehension of distances and
details must be inadequate, if not wholly false. The great facts of the future, so plainly
revealed in Scripture, have been touched on in preceding pages. For what follows here no
deference is claimed save what may be accorded to a "pious opinion" based on earnest and
careful inquiry.

In the 7th Chapter of Daniel, Prophet Daniel sees four unusual beasts that are clearly symbolic of
four kingdoms in world history. The first beast was a like a lion that had the wings of an eagle,
while the second beast was a bear described as having "three ribs in the mouth of it." The third
beast was a leopard with 4 heads, and the fourth beast was described as "...dreadful and terrible,
and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth...and it had ten horns." There is no doubt that
the vision describes four world kingdoms as an angel specifically tells Daniel that "these great
beasts which are four are four kings which shall rise out of the earth." The problem we had with
this chapter is the identification of the four kingdoms with the traditionally interpreted four past
universal kingdoms.

Practically every scholar and prophecy commentator has routinely identified these 4 kingdoms of
Daniel 7 as simply a reiteration of the four kingdoms described earlier in Daniel chapter two.
When we recall Daniel chapter two, it has the description of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of the
great statue. In this classic prophecy the king sees a great statue with a head of Gold, arms of
Silver, thighs of Brass, and legs of Iron. The description of the legs is further described as
including two feet with ten toes. There really isn't much doubt about the identities in this dream
for Daniel specifically tells the king of Babylon that he, Nebuchadnezzar, is the head of gold.
Daniel's interpretation continues as he describes three kingdoms that will succeed the
Babylonian empire, we have already given a detailed exposition on this prophecy and have also
highlighted what major changes should be made regarding the two iron legs and clay mixed feet
of the metallic statue, that the two legs of iron do not represent Rome instead the Ottoman
Turkish Empire. The traditional interpretation of these four kingdoms is represented by the
silver arms, the brass thighs and the iron legs. Since secular history clearly establishes the fact
that the Babylonian empire was followed by the Persian Union (the arms of silver), the Grecian
empire (the thighs of brass) and the Roman Empire (the legs of iron) and a divided kingdom at
the end of the days represented by the ten toes of the great statue. We lay emphasis on the fact
here, that the Grecian empire was not only succeeded by Rome, also by the Ottoman Turks,
Rome occupied the territories previously occupied by Csaander and Lysimacus i.e the provinces
of western Rome. The Turks occupied the territories of eastern Rome where Ptolmey and
Selucus reigned the Egypt, and the northern costal region of Africa, the southern part of Turkey,
Syria, Assyira and Babylon. Rome never occupied the regions of Mesopotamia where the
Seleucid dynasty was ruling. The Ottomon Turks later subdued both the Byzantine Empire also
known as eastern Rome as well as the Seleucid Empire. Hence Rome does not include in Daniel’
scope of prophecy.
But are the four world empires of the statue in Daniel chapter two necessarily synonymous with
the four beast kingdoms of Daniel chapter seven? We are convinced they are different kingdoms
from different regions of the earth, and the fact that this interpretation of Daniel's four beast
kingdoms has been distorted has masked the fulfilment of Bible prophecy in our time. In other
words, there's a reason for the misinterpreted system being propagated. It is designed to mislead
and deceive the believer in Jesus Christ into a deadly misunderstanding and false identification of
the key components of last day’s prophetic fulfilment.

Before we offer a reasonable interpretation of the four beasts, we need to outline the reasons
why the conventional synchronized interpretation is usually followed. There are many similarities
between the two vision/dreams and that may account for the broad acceptance of the
synonymous/concurrent interpretation of the two vision/dreams. For example, in Daniel
chapter two, the head of gold is described as superior to the kingdoms of silver, brass, and iron.
The commentators commonly connect the regal aspect of the Babylonian kingdom (the head of
gold) with the royal imagery associated with the lion of chapter seven's vision.

There is very little to identify the second beast (the bear) with the second "statue" empire of
Daniel chapter 2 (the Medo-Persian) so interpreters usually focus on the third kingdom as it
provides a more credible argument. The third kingdom of the statue dream (brass thighs) was
Alexander the Great's Grecian empire and it is routinely compared to the third kingdom of the
beast vision, the leopard.

Because the leopard is noted for speed, it is commonly identified with Alexander's meteoric
military acquisition of territory. Another apparent connection between the third kingdoms is
found in yet another chapter of the book of Daniel. In that passage (found in Daniel chapter
eight), Alexander is symbolized as a "rough goat" with a large horn.

In that vision, the large horn is broken, and replaced by four horns; and once again, an angel is
there to interpret the vision. The angel tells Daniel that "the great horn is...the first king. Now
that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation”
This passage validates once again prophetic accuracy as history records that after Alexander's
death, his kingdom was divided between four of his generals. The fact that the Grecian empire
(the third "statue" empire) was divided four ways helped to identify the four heads of the
Leopard (the third "beast" vision) with Alexander and his four generals.

Just to keep the confusion to a minimum with all these 'fours,' we need to point out that these
four horns that succeed Alexander's Grecian kingdom in the "goat" vision of chapter eight are
entirely separate from the four "statue" kingdoms of chapter two and the four "beast" kingdoms
of chapter seven.

It's not hard to see why there's confusion on this, but bear with us, for we're closing in on the
true identification of all of these kingdoms.

The final factor that is usually used to connect the four "statue" kingdoms with the four "beast"
kingdoms is the fact that both fourth kingdoms incorporate the number ten. In the statue
dream, the ten toes on the feet of the iron legs (the fourth and final kingdom of chapter two) are
specifically highlighted. In the beast vision, the fourth and final beast has ten horns. Because the
ten toes are interpreted with the Roman Empire, it is commonly believed that the ten horns on
the fourth beast somehow represent a 'revived' Roman empire. In history we see no such ten
divisions have occurred in the Roman Empire, in fact it was divided by two but not ten. The
western Rome fell to the barbaric invading tribes in 476A.D and the eastern Rome also known
as Byzantine Empire fell to the Ottoman Turks in 1453 A.D, never in the past, it is recorded
that Rome had ten kingdoms and never Rome will have ten revived kingdoms in future!1

The Four Beasts of Daniel 7th Chapter

The four beasts, which are kingdoms, could not represent ancient Babylon, Media-Persia,
Greece and Rome, as is commonly believed by Bible scholars from several centuries. We are
constrained to own that this case is less complete than it appears to be, and that grave difficulties
arise in connection with it; and the following observations are put forward tentatively to
promote inquiry in the matter:--

1st . In the history of Babylonia there is nothing to correspond with the predicted course
of the first Beast, for it is scarcely legitimate to suppose that the vision was a prophecy of
the career of Nebuchadnezzar, whose death had taken place upwards of twenty years
before the vision was given. Moreover, the transition from the lion with eagle's wings to
the human condition, though it may betoken decline in power, plainly typifies a signal rise
morally and intellectually. But with Nebuchadnezzar’s experience this prophecy is utterly
impossible to corroborate, instead of changing from beast to human, he was made quite
opposite; he became a beast from human, he was given heart of beast! (Dan 4:16)

2nd . Neither is there in the history of Persia anything answering to the bear-like beast
with that precision and fullness which prophecy demands. The language of the English
version suggests a reference to Persia and Media; but the true rendering appears to be: "It
made for itself one dominion,"2 instead of" It raised up itself on one side."

3rd . While the symbolism of the sixth verse seems at first sight to point definitely to the
Grecian Empire, it will appear upon a closer examination that at its advent the leopard had
four wings and four head. This was its primary and normal condition, and it was in this
condition that "dominion was given to it." This surely is very different from what Daniel
8:8 describes, and what the history of Alexander's Empire realized, viz., the rise of a
single power, which in its decadence continued to exist in a divided state.

4th. Each of the three first empires of the second chapter (Babylon, Persia, and Greece)
was in turn destroyed and engulfed by its successor; but the kingdoms of the seventh
chapter all continued together upon the scene, though "the dominion," was with the
fourth (Daniel 7:12), the first was given a human heart but not a dominion, the second
was commanded to devour much flesh (Dan 7:3-6). Verse 3 seems to imply that the four
beasts came up together, and at all events there is nothing to suggest a series of empires,
each destroying its predecessor, though the symbolism of the vision was (in contrast with
1 For a detailed information on this topic please refer our treatise “The Papal System is not the Antichrist”
2
Tregelles, Daniel, p. 34.
that of chap. 2.) admirably adapted to represent this. Compare the language of the next
vision (Daniel 8:3-6).

5th.All three beasts


sts were alive and their dominion were taken away at the time of the
consummation of the fourth beast (Dan 7: 11-12).
11 12). A point of interest has been ignored
by the wise heads and hearts that, the fourth beast devoured, broke in pieces, stamped
the rest of thee beast under its feet! (Dan 7:7) it must be owned that there was nothing in
the history of ancient Rome to correspond with the main characteristic of this beast
unless the symbolism used is to be very loosely interpreted. To "devour the earth," "tread
it down and break it in pieces," is fairly descriptive of other empires, but Ancient Rome
was precisely the one power which added government to conquest, and instead of
treading down and breaking in pieces the nations it subdued, sought rather to mould
them too its own civilization and polity.
polity

6th . The fourth beast, as per the judgement decreed by the heavenly jury was thrown into
the fire and destroyed (Dan 7:10-11).
7:10 11). But Rome was never destroyed by the heavenly
jury; it fell to the invading barbaric tribes and
a to the Muslim Turks.

7th. At the time of the destruction of this fourth beast the son of man appeared on the
clouds and the kingdom and the dominion was given to him (Dan 7:13, 14), by any
means of honest interpretation cannot prove that Rome ever met the son of man while it
was being destroyed and subsequently after Rome the
kingdom and the dominion were transferred to Jesus
Christ. Six centuries have been past after the complete
overthrow of the Roman Empire, yet the son of man
has not appeared on thee clouds!

8th. It is understood by the Scriptural Evidence that


after the fourth beast the Kingdom of God or the
Kingdom of Heaven will be established. (Dan 7:22; 26-
26
Figure 1:: Winged Bull of Babylon
27) After the decline of Rome the Ottoman Empire ruled
the Middle East, contemporaneously the British Empire
was ruling the other parts of the earth, presently
democracy is ruling the earth and even yet, the kingdom
of God has not established on this earth.

9th. In
n order for these beasts, the lion, the bear, the
leopard and the great and terrible beast to be Babylonia, 3Winged
Winged Lion of Persia

Media-Persia,
Persia, Greece and Rome, respectively, each of these
empires should have been represented by these animals in
historical allegory, which they weren't. The Babylonian
Empire was represented by the bull, not the lion. The
Persians were represented by the lion, not the bear. The
Greeks under the rule of Alexander were represented by the 2Symbol
Symbol of Macedonia
Sun disk or by a horse,, not the leopard. And Rome was
represented by the eagle,, not as the great and terrible beast.
All this – and more might be added suggests that the entire vision of the
seventh chapter may have a future reference to the time of End.

The Fourth Beast – Dreadful and Terrible

The fourth beast has been described by Daniel as follows: “After


“After this I saw in the night visions,
and, behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and it had great iron
teeth; it devoured and broke in piec
pieces
es and stamped the residue with its feet; and it was diverse
from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns." 24.

We can identify this beast by the characteristics referred by the prophet, he says the fourth beast
was dreadful and terrible and strong exceeding it not only had the teeth of iron but also had nails of
brass(Dan 7:19) devoured and broke in pieces and stamped the others with its feet.

Reasons for why the fourth beast is not Rome

1. The fourth beast was alive at the time of our Lord’s second advent, Rome was not
because it fell to ottoman Turks long before to Our Lord’s advent – Dan 7:11 7:11-14
2. The fourth beast was cast into the fire by the heavenly jury. However, Rome was not cast
in fire; instead, it was subdued by the ottoman Turks.
Tu
3. The kingdom of God succeeded the fourth beast (Dan 7:24-27). 7:24 27). The Western Roman
Empire declined in 476 A.D and eventually the eastern Roman Empire declined in 1453
A.D, we are yet waiting the kingdom of God to be established on this earth.
4. The fourth beasteast will be the last and final universal empire which will precede the
kingdom of God (Dan 7:24--27). 27). But Rome was not the final empire, moreover other
empires succeeded it; even today we see democracy is ruling the world, still we are
waiting for the kingdomdom of God to be setup on this earth.
5. The little horn of the fourth beast persecuted the saints for a time, times and a half time
i.e. three and a half years, now this three and a half years period is a direct reference to
Antichrist (Rev 12, 13, Dan7). Th This
is three and a half year period is certainly the latter part
of the 70th week. Hence, there is indeed a gap between 69 and the 70th week, the 70th
week certainly refers to the time of the end, so, the little horn of the fourth beast must be
also raise at the time of the end. Rome never fulfilled this prophecy to come true.
6. The little horn of the fourth beast will make war with the saints and prevail and
persecuted over them until the advent and kingdom of Christ (Dan 7:21-22). 7:21 22). Presently no
little horn out of Rome is persecuting the Christians nor prevailing over them to make war.

Under the above fact full reasoning, we conclude that the fourth beast DO NOT REPRESENT
ROME; instead, it represent the kingdom of ANTICHRIST which is yet to appear in this world.
We have also identified an UPCOMING SYSTEM presently creating waves in the Middle East,
its ideologies is one and the same as the ideologies of the Antichrist system. Both have hidden
agenda to hate, banish and persecute the Jews and Christians. Both want to rule the world under
one religious banner. Both want to replace the word of God. The system which we are referring
to, meets all the characteristics to be stamped as the forth beast of Daniel 7th chapter. This
system is dread full terrible and exceedingly strong indeed it has wealth, man power above all Satan is
the pillar and backbone of this system, we strongly believe that through this system the said
imposter will come to power and rule the earth, persecute Jews and Christians, implement the
preconceived schemes of Satan. Thus we strongly assert that the fourth beast DO NOT
REPRESENT THE ROMAN EMPIRE.