For many decades scholars have put forth that the four beasts Daniel saw in his vision are:
• The Babylonian Empire
• The Medo-Persian Empire
• The Grecian Empire
• The Roman Empire
But what if the beasts he saw in his vision are not empires of the past, but empires in modern history, or empires of the last days? If these beasts are, indeed, modern empires, then which empires, or nations, would the four beasts describe?
The Era of the Visions
Daniel 7:2-3 – “Daniel said, ‘I was looking in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.”
Many scholars say that the book of Revelation dots the I’s and crosses the T’s of Daniel’s and Zechariah’s writings. Thus the four winds of Daniel may well be equivalent to the Four Horsemen of Revelation 6 and the four winds of Zechariah 6, both of which appear in the end times just before Yeshua comes to set up his millennial reign!
Daniel 7:13-14 – “I kept looking Until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days took His seat . . .”
Daniel 7:13-14 – “I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven one like a Son of Man was coming, and Yeshua came up to the Ancient of Days and was presented before Yahweh. To Yeshua was given dominion, glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away; and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.”
That Daniel’s vision belongs to the era just prior to Yeshua’s coming in power is verified by verses 7, 13 and 14. The vision of the beasts takes place at the same time as the judgment of the nations at the end of Armageddon (Revelation Chapters 16 to 19, Joel Chapters 2 and 3, Haggai 2). For decades this insight has been hidden because Daniel was told to “seal up” the vision until the end of days at which time they will be revealed (Daniel 9:24 and 12:4). Today, however, we are in the end of days and can, therefore, now identify the four modern empires that would have had (or will have) dealings with the modern nation of Israel.
Daniel 7:4 – “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.”
What modern nation, whose symbol is a lion, has had dealings with the modern nation of Israel? England, or Great Britain, of course. And the wings of an eagle belong to the United States, which started out as colonies of Britain, but were “plucked off” during the Revolutionary War (1775-1783), in response to King George III’s undesirable policies.
In 1920 Great Britain was issued a mandate granting control over Palestine with the stipulation that it facilitate the establishment of a Jewish national home. Britain, rather than granting the entire area of the land to the Jews, portioned it out, giving the largest amount of land to the Arabs. Since that time, Britain has lost its position as the premier empire in partial fulfillment of Joel 3:2 – any nation dividing the land of Israel comes under Yahweh’s judgment. The United States is heading down that same road, making attempts to divide the land of Israel, and is also losing its position as the premier empire of today’s geopolitical system.
Daniel 7:5 – “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat’!”
What modern nation, whose symbol is a bear, has had dealings with the modern nation of Israel? The bear, like the lion, is easy to identify – it is modern day Russia.
Russia has displayed some of the worst anti-Semitic hatred in modern history that has only been surpassed by that of the Nazis. Purges, persecutions, and pogroms of native Russian Jews were rampant until 1980’s when Russian Jews began to emigrate to Israel in droves. In the first ten months of 1990 alone, over 120,000 Russian Jews arrived in Israel. Prior to that, however, Joseph Stalin engaged in a holocaust of over fifty million people, thus fulfilling the scripture “arise and devour much meat!” of Daniel 7:5.
The three ribs may be either Armenia, Georgia, and Azerbaijan which were an early acquisition, or perhaps the three Baltic states that were annexed later by Russia. Russia. also known as the Soviet Socialist Republics or Soviet Union, annexed many other nation-states at the end of World War II and continues to do so today, thus again fulfilling the scripture “arise and devour much meat!” of Daniel 7:5.
Russia is also responsible for bringing communism into the world. Communism is very left leaning, as opposed to fascism which is right leaning and democracy which is more centrist leaning. Could this left leaning be fulfillment of the scripture “raised up on one side” of Daniel 7:5?
Daniel 7:6 – “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.”
What modern nation, whose symbol is a leopard, has had dealings with the modern nation of Israel? Again, the leopard, like the lion and bear, is easy to identify – it is Germany. Another word for leopard is panther, or in the German, panzer. Germany had Panzer Tanks, Panzer Troops, and Panzer Flying Divisions.
The four wings most likely refer to France whose symbol is the rooster. Both France and Germany were highly under the influence of Catholicism as part of the Holy Roman Empire. However, the four wings may not refer to France at all, but may imply two sets of wings, or perhaps two nations that aid the leopard. In this scenario, then the four wings would be identified as Italy and Japan, both of whose air power resources backed Hitler in World War II.
The four heads of Europe (or four Reich’s) would then be:
- The Holy Roman Empire – 800 to 1806 – most of its emperors were crowned by a pope!
- The German Empire – 870 to 1919 – Unified after the Franco-Prussian War until the end of World War I. Its iron chancellor, Otto Von Bismarck even tried to remove the Catholic political control of Germany, but failed.
- The Third Reich of Hitler – 1933-1945 – When Germany was defeated at the end of World War II, journalists of that era called it a “deadly wound,” referring to the division of Germany into East Germany and West Germany. This “deadly wound” can be said to have been healed when the Berlin Wall was torn down – perhaps a precursor to the final fulfillment of Revelation 13:3 which states: “I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed.”
- The European Union – 1951 to present – Once again, it was France and Germany that are intimately involved in this union becoming reality. It was actually spearheaded by the proposed integration of the French and German coal and steel industries, who invited other nation’s industries to participate.
The Dreadful Beast
Daniel 7:7-8 – “After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. While I was contemplating the horns, behold, another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth uttering great boasts.”
The Fourth Beast will also be one that has dealings with the modern nation of Israel. At this time, I do not believe that this beast is fully empowered. This governing body will have the authority to prevent and/or settle what once were “internal conflicts”. It will have the authority to override any sovereign nation whose laws and ways it perceives to be in need of being changed. In so doing, it will devour, crush, and trample down any nation that stands in the way of its efforts to be the supreme ruling authority, the One World Government.
Today, the United Nations is at the forefront of the efforts to institute the One World Government. Already the United Nations determines how nations educate their children, intervenes in international and national military conflicts, oversees the world’s financial systems, and makes final determinations in legal matters involving disputes among nations. And, just as the One World Religion will draw from many beliefs to form a “unity”, so too will the Dreadful Beast, the One World Government.
Daniel appears to have seen modern empires, not historical empires, in his vision, as the vision takes place just prior to the setting up of the Great White Throne of judgment at the end of days. The first three empires appear to be the English Empire, the Russian Empire, and the German/European Empire consisting of the four European heads. The fourth empire may be an extension of the United Nations which will morph into the One World Government under the control of the antichrist, or Satan.
Prophecy continues to unfold as foretold by the Hebrew Prophets. Today we are one day closer to the return of Yeshua than we were yesterday and tomorrow we will be even one day closer. For almost two thousand years the Jews would proclaim “Next year in Jerusalem!” I now proclaim “Next Yom Teruah in the clouds!” Time is short – Yeshua Ha’Mashiach is coming soon – get busy reaching the lost.