Author Topic: Daniel's Four "Beasts"  (Read 5117 times)

Peter

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Daniel's Four "Beasts"
« on: April 04, 2008, 06:41:53 PM »
Blessedly there is a broad consensus among Jewish, as well as Christian scholars, futurist, preterist and orthodox, regarding the identity of Daniel's four beasts.

In Daniel's chapter 7 dream we find: Daniel 7:3  And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel 7:4  The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings...
Daniel 7:5  And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear...
Daniel 7:6  After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard...
Daniel 7:7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly...

In the verse below we learn that in the figurative language of a vision or dream in prophecy, a "beast" is a kingdom or empire.  

Daniel 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

BEAST = KINGDOM

The broad consensus holds that the kingdoms represented by Daniel's lion, bear and leopard, are the successive ancient kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, followed by the fourth "terrible" beast, that is understood to be the Roman Empire.

This conclusion is reached within the traditional continuous-historic context of prophecy.  This is simply the view that bible prophecy is fulfilled steadily, as the era about which it is written gradually unfolds.  This is the context in which virtually all Christians and Jews understand Old Testament prophecy.

Below are maps of these successive kingdoms.

Daniel 7:4  The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings...
lion - Babylon



Daniel 7:5  And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear...
bear - Medo-Persia



Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard...
leopard - Greece



Daniel 7:7  After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly...
fourth "dreadful" - The Roman Empire




Peter

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Re: Daniel's Four "Beasts"
« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2012, 01:52:44 PM »
Jews confirming the identity of these beasts in an old chat I posted and dug up today from April 2007:
http://messiahtruth.yuku.com/topic/1106/Daniel-7-17#.T_saf_W8he4

ExMilitary

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The Horn that Plucks up the Three
« Reply #2 on: October 26, 2013, 04:01:44 PM »
In studying this issue, I've not found it mentioned by Ellis or anywhere else, the historic fulfillment of the 3 kings 'subdued'/'plucked up by the roots'.  But, here is what I've found:

Daniel 2:40-43  And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise.  And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay.

Daniel 7:7b-8,24-25 [the fourth beast] 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things...And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: 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.

Keeping in mind that the passages above are images that parallel the same events:

History shows that the Roman kingdom divided into 2 halves (the two legs of iron).  The Eastern Roman Empire, and the Western Roman Empire.  The Western half of the Roman Empire would eventually fall, and the Eastern Roman Empire would later be known as the Byzantine Empire.

Both halves of the empire adhered to the idea of tetriarchal division (a division into 4 regions) with a capital in each region.  But, each half of the empire also recognized a fifth capital that wasn't part of the tetriarchal division, but sort of sat in it's own independent 'perfect' or prefecture.  In the West, Rome was recognized as the fifth, and in the East, Constantinople was recognized as the fifth.

Now, the Western Roman Empire collapsed in the 400's while the Eastern Roman Empire continued and morphed into the Byzantine Empire.  Justinian (in the 500's just a few decades before the Muslim conquests) revived this idea of the division of the kingdom into five recognized regions.

So, here we have East and West, 5 toes each (10 horns).

Prior to the fall of the West, the 5 were recognized as: Nicomedia, Sirmium, Mediolanum, Augusta Treverorum, and Rome.  After the fall of the West, Justinian I recognized the divisions as: Rome, Constantinople, Alexandria, Antioch, and Jerusalem.

History is very muddled as to what was recognized by whom, because even after the fall of the Western Empire, and subsequent reconquering/reacquisition by the East, the state-established religion caused a religious division between the East and the West.

Never-the-less, it is recognized that there were 2 distinct divisions in the Roman Empire (East and West).  This represents the 2 legs of iron.

And, never-the-less, within each historical era, the Empire was divided into 5 regions with 5 capitals.

Now moving forward into the Muslim conquests, we recognize that the 3 toes subdued by the Islamic conquests in the early 600's as Jerusalem, Antioch, and Alexandria.  The remaining toes/horns were never subdued completely by Islam, because the prior 5 disappeared with the disappearance of Western Roman power (possibly a fulfillment of Daniel 8:25?) and I don't believe Islam ever successfully subdued Rome and Constantinople.

Sources:

http://www.ucalgary.ca/applied_history/tutor/islam/beginnings/roman.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Muslim_conquests#Byzantine.E2.80.93Arab_Wars:_634.E2.80.93750
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pentarchy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetrarchy
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Outline_of_the_Byzantine_Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Western_Roman_Empire
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Roman_Empire

PeteWaldo

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Re: Daniel's Four "Beasts"
« Reply #3 on: October 31, 2013, 05:19:25 PM »
I did a quick search earlier and didn't find it right off, and went on about catching up after my trip. Just searched "plucked up" again and am posting it for your perusal:
http://www.beholdthebeast.com/leopard_bear_lion.htm#114

There may be more on it in the study guide.

ExMilitary

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Re: Daniel's Four "Beasts"
« Reply #4 on: October 31, 2013, 08:52:50 PM »
I did a quick search earlier and didn't find it right off, and went on about catching up after my trip. Just searched "plucked up" again and am posting it for your perusal:
http://www.beholdthebeast.com/leopard_bear_lion.htm#114

There may be more on it in the study guide.

Thank you, I do recall reading that, and it didn't make much sense to me at the time because it appeared to be "reaching" for a way to fit Hitler into the picture (I have a differing opinion as to where he fits).  But, keeping with the continuous historic context, wouldn't the subduing of 3 of Rome's 10 regions by Islam fit perfectly... in a continuous context?

I mean, Muhammad was born inside the Roman empire (came up among the ten), was a different type of conqueror (diverse from the rest), and it says he subdued (not conquered) 3 of the 10.  Is that not a perfect description of Islam?... submission?  The 3 toes were (at that time in history) considered part of a 'Christian' empire.  Would not the conversion of the inhabitants of those 3 regions (by Islam) be an overthrow of faith... plucking up by the roots (where spiritual nourishment comes from)?

It just seems much more profound and fitting in line with history.