THE BEAST OF REVELATION 17
"And he cried mightily with a
strong voice, saying Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is
become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit,
and a cage of every unclean and hateful bird." (Rev. 18:2)
PART 1: IN SEARCH OF BABYLON
THE ANCIENT CITY
The ancient city of Babylon grew in size and importance from the
days of Nimrod (Gen. 10:10) until it reached its greatest glory in
the reign of Nebuchadnezzar [B.C. 604-562]. As described by
Herodotus, it was an exact square of some 15 miles on a side, or 60
miles around, and was surrounded by a brick wall 87 feet thick and
350 feet high, though probably that is a mistake, 100 feet being
nearer the height. On the wall were 250 towers, and the top of the
wall was wide enough to allow six chariots to drive abreast. Outside
the wall was a vast moat surrounding the city, kept filled with water
from the river Euphrates; and inside the wall, and not far from it,
was another wall extending around the city.
Twenty-five magnificent avenues, 150 feet wide, ran across the
city from north to south, and the same number crossed them at right
angles from east to west, making 676 great squares, each nearly 3/5
of a mile on a side. The city was divided into two equal parts by the
river Euphrates, that flowed diagonally through it, and whose banks
within the city were walled up and pierced with brazen gates with
steps leading down to the river. At the ends of the main avenues, on
each side of the city, were gates, whose leaves of brass shone as
they opened or closed in the rising or setting sun like "leaves
The Euphrates within the city was spanned by a bridge, at each
side of which was a palace, and these palaces were connected by a
subterranean passageway underneath the bed of the river, in which at
different points were located sumptuous banqueting rooms constructed
entirely of brass. Near one of these palaces stood the "Tower of
Bel" or Babel, consisting of eight towers, each 75 feet high,
rising one upon the other, with an outside winding stairway to its
summit, which towers with the chapel on the top, made a height of 660
feet. The chapel itself, which was lavishly furnished, could be
reckoned in today's dollars as approaching $1,000,000,000.00.
The "Hanging Gardens" of Babylon were renowned as one of
the wonders of the Ancient World. These gardens were 400 feet square
and were raised in terraces one above the other to a height of 350
feet. The topmost terrace was reached by staircases 19 feet wide. The
top of each terrace was covered with large stones, on which was laid
a bed of rushes, then a thick layer of asphalt, next, two courses of
bricks cemented together, and finally, plates of lead to prevent
leakage; it was then covered with earth and planted with shrubbery
and large trees. The whole had the appearance from a distance of a
forest covered mountain which was a very remarkable sight in the
level plain of the Euphrates.
Babylon was probably the most magnificent city the world has ever
seen; "poor" Jerusalem was but a small, provincial and
tacky village in comparison! Babylon the Great - that "Great
City" (Rev. 18:2); Jerusalem, the "Holy City," (Rev.
21:10) - "small and compact" (Psalm 122:3).
BABYLON: A MYSTERY WRAPPED IN AN ENIGMA
And what about Prophetic Babylon? It will, of course, be every bit
Before we set out on our hunt for this great city, however, let's
deal with one of the biggest stumbling blocks to any search: the
thought that "Prophetic Babylon" has anything at all to do
with the ancient city or that the verses which deal with this
prophecy (i.e., Revelation 17 and 18; Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, and
Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51) were fulfilled when Cyrus took Babylon
in B.C. 541.
As strange as it might seem, there are some who insist that the
prophecies concerning "Babylon" (again - Revelation 17 and
18, Isaiah chapters 13 and 14, and Jeremiah chapters 50 and 51) were
fulfilled when the Medo-Persians captured Babylon in 541 B.C. - and
that these verses have, therefore, nothing to do with events yet
future. But there is too much in these chapters which were not
accomplished when Cyrus took the ancient city of Babylon. For
example, both the prophecies of Jeremiah and Isaiah, like those of
the Revelation, indicate that Babylon [Prophetic Babylon] is to be
destroyed suddenly and catastrophically - "in one short hour," NEVER TO BE INHABITED AGAIN!! But when Cyrus took the city in
B.C. 541, he took it so quietly and with such little commotion that
some of the inhabitants did not know until the third day that
Belshazzar had been slain and the city taken.
Some years later, it revolted against Darius Hystaspis, and in
B.C. 478 Xerxes took the city and plundered it. But he did not
destroy it. In B.C. 331, Alexander the Great prepared to lay siege to
the once again thriving and powerful city, but the citizens threw
open the gates and received him with acclamation. During the
subsequent wars of his generals, Babylon suffered much and was
finally brought under the power of Seleucis. In B.C. 293 Seleucis
founded Seleucia in the neighborhood of Babylon, and the rival city
gradually drew off a large portion of Babylon's inhabitants so that
by A.D. 15, Strabo spoke of the city as being largely deserted.
Nevertheless, there still existed within the city a large Jewish
population left over from the "Captivity." Indeed, we find
that the Apostle Peter wrote his First Epistle from Babylon in A.D.
60 (I Peter 5:13). About the middle of the Fifth Century, Theodoret
spoke of Babylon as being inhabited only by Jews who still had three
Jewish schools or "Yeshivas" there. In the last year of the
same century, the Talmud was issued from Babylon and accepted as
authoritative by Jews throughout the world.
In A.D. 917 Ibu Hankel mentioned Babylon as still being in
existence, and by A.D. 1100 it had again grown into a city of some
importance. Shortly afterwards, it was enlarged, fortified and
renamed "Hillah." In 1898, Hillah contained about 10,000
inhabitants and was surrounded by fertile lands and beautiful groves
which stretched along the Euphrates River.
During this entire period (B.C. 541 - A.D. 1996) it could never be
said that "neither shall the Arabian pitch tent there, neither
shall shepherds make their fold there" (Isa. 13:20). Nor could
it be said of Babylon - "Her cities are a desolation, a dry
land, and a wilderness, a land WHEREIN NO MAN DWELLETH,
neither doeth any son of man pass thereby." (Jer. 51:43). Nor
could it be said, "... and they shall not take of thee a stone
for a corner, nor a stone for foundations, but thou shalt be desolate
forever, saith the Lord" (Jer. 51:26), for many towns and cities
have been built from the ruins of Babylon - Seleucia by the Greeks,
Ctesiphone by the Parthians, Al Maiden by the Persians, and Kufa by
the Caliphs. Indeed, in Baghdad today (the capital of modern Iraq)
Babylonian stamped bricks may be frequently noticed.
But Isaiah is still more specific, for he locates the time when
his prophecy will be fulfilled. He calls it the "DAY OF THE
LORD" (Isa. 13:9) - that is to say, at the end of the "Great
Tribulation." Moreover, he says that when Babylon is destroyed,
"The stars of heaven and the constellations thereof shall not
give their light; the sun shall be darkened in his going forth, and
the moon shall not cause her light to shine" (Isa. 13:19; see
also Luke 21:25-27). Surely nothing like this happened when Cyrus
took Babylon in B.C. 541.
In the description of the destruction of the city of Babylon given
in Revelation 18, we are told that Babylon's destruction will be
accomplished in "ONE HOUR" (verse 19). Again - this
is certainly not the description of events which surrounded Cyrus's
taking of the city. In addition, we are told in the same chapter that
she is to be destroyed by fire (Rev. 18:8-9, 18) and this is in exact
harmony with the words of Isaiah 13:19 and Jeremiah 50:40. Moreover,
in Revelation 16:17-19, we are told that an earthquake will shake the
city at the time of its destruction. No such earthquake ever shook
the city when Cyrus took it in B.C. 541.
Obviously, then, the Babylon that is described in Isaiah 13 and
14, Jeremiah 50 and 51 and in the Revelation is not the ancient city
of Babylon, but some great "latter-day" nation which by
means of its enormous military and economic might will establish its
ascendancy over the world.
Lastly, there are those who insist that the prophecies which deal
with Babylon refer to modern-day Iraq. Indeed, prior to the Gulf War,
countless numbers of fundamentalist Christians could be found who
were predicting doom for America in its confrontation with Iraq over
Kuwait. Such thinking, of course, was moronic - U.S. forces sliced
through Iraq like a knife through butter, revealing in the process
more about the real identity of Prophetic Babylon than most American
Christians were (are) prepared to admit.
BABYLON THE GREAT
In Scripture, Babylon represents the kingdom and glory of Satan
(Rev. 17:1-8); Jerusalem is the city of the Living God (Rev. 12:22).
Satan is called the "Prince of this World" (John 12:31;
14:30; 16:11) over which sits Babylon, the city of Satan. What is
meant by the term "world?" As we have discussed in
previous sections of this book, the word "world" is the
translation of the Greek word Kosmos, which means an
harmonious order or arrangement, and it is used in three ways in the
it means the whole circle of WORLDLY goods, endowments,
riches, advantages, pleasures, which though hollow and fleeting,
stir our desires and seduce us from God, so that they are obstacles
to the cause of Christ (I John 3:17; Matt. 16:26; I Cor 2:12; 3:19,
7:31; Titus 2:12; II Peter 1:4; 2:20; I John 2:15-17; James 1:27).
It is the world of our split level homes, two cars, good careers,
good educations, bank accounts, vacations, etc. It is when these
pleasures and even so-called necessities of life "possess our
hearts" and crowd out our commitment to the Lord and to His
people that they have in reality become part of the kosmos.
Moreover, the word Kosmos, taken in conjunction with the
three meanings described above, implies that behind all this there is
a mind - the Prince of this World - which gives order and arrangement
to it all. John says:
"The whole KOSMOS [as described above] lieth
in the evil one." (John 5:19)
He is the KOSMOKRATER or world-ruler - a word which,
however, appears only once, and is used in the plural of his
lieutenants: "the WORLD RULERS OF THIS DARKNESS"
Politics, education, literature, science, art, law, commerce,
music, our homes, careers, etc. - together they constitute the
"kosmos." Subtract them, and the world as a coherent system
ceases to exist. It is the development of these things that
constitutes history. The question is, which direction is history
tending? What is its ultimate goal? - BABYLON THE GREAT, the
masterpiece of Satan!! That is the direction of the world's advance -
the kingdom of Antichrist, and we are only seconds away as God's
prophetic clock winds down.
The world [kosmos] is Satan's grand creation and he has directed
all his strength and ingenuity into causing it to flourish. To what
end? To capture man's allegiance and draw him to himself. He has one
object - to establish his own dominion in human hearts worldwide!
Babylon is the centerpiece, the pinnacle of his great design.
Commerce is at the heart of Babylon! It is at the heart of Satan:
"The word of the Lord came again unto me, saying...
"Now, thou son of man, take up a lamentation for Tyrus [Satan],
"And say unto Tyrus, O thou that are situate (situated) at
the entry ["midst" - is the more accurate translation] of
the sea, which are a MERCHANT of the people ... [the traders
of the earth] have made thy beauty perfect.
"Tarshish [the trading nations] ... traded in thy fairs.
"Son of man, say unto the Prince of Tyrus, Thus saith the Lord
God, because thine heart is lifted up and thou hast said, I am a god,
I sit in the seat of God IN THE MIDST OF THE SEAS ...
"By thy great wisdom and by thy traffic [commerce] thou hast
increased thy riches, and thine heart is lifted up because of thy
"By the multitudes of thy merchandise they have filled ...
thee with violence, and thou hast sinned: ...
"Thou hast defiled thy sanctuaries by ... the iniquity of thy
traffic [commerce] ..." (Ezek. 27:1-3, 12; 28:2, 5,16, 18).
Concerning the identity of this personage (i.e., the "King
of Tyrus"), almost all evangelical scholars are in agreement
that what the Scriptures have in mind here is Satan. Pember
writes: "... the lamentation upon the King of Tyrus ...
cannot be applied to any mortal ... To adopt the too common plan
of explaining these (verses) away as mere figures of speech, is
to trifle with the Word of God. We have no right to use so
dishonest a method of extricating ourselves from difficulties, a
method which enables men to deduce almost any desired meaning
from a passage, and makes the whole Bible an enigma instead of a
disclosure ... [Please see Pember, Earth's Earliest Ages (pgs. 45-49) for a detailed treatment as to the identification of
Tyrus as Satan (antichrist)].
At the heart of commerce is money. Money is addictive and all too
often leads the possessor of it into unrighteousness. The Word of God
speaks of "the mammon of unrighteousness" (Luke 16:9). The
corruption which results from the "love of money" and the
things which it can buy, invariably leads away from God.
"They that desire to be rich fall into a temptation and snare
and many foolish and hurtful lusts, such as drown men in destruction
"For the love of money is the root of all evil: which some
reaching after, have been led astray ... and have pierced themselves
through with many sorrows." (I Tim. 6:9-10)
THE TIMES OF THE GENTILES
With all this in mind, let's now begin our quest in earnest. We
will use as our principle guide the best evangelical review on the
subject - Things To Come, by J. Dwight Pentecost of Dallas
Theological Seminary. In doing so, we will gradually paint a picture
of "Prophetic Babylon" and let the reader draw his own
conclusions. We will also carefully note all of our sources. We will
begin with a discussion and explanation of the "Times of the
Gentiles." Why? Because Prophetic Babylon is to be the
culmination of the full development of Gentile world power - its
final and complete fulfillment.
In Luke 21:24, Jesus said:
"Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the
times of the Gentiles be fulfilled." (Luke 21:24)
This time period - the "Times of the Gentiles" - is one
of the most important time periods in the prophetic Scriptures. It is
to be a period of time in which Jerusalem is to be under the dominion
of Gentile world power. This period began with the Babylonian
captivity when Jerusalem fell into the hands of the Gentiles, and as
J. Dwight Pentecost writes:
"... it has continued unto the present time and well continue
through the Tribulation period, in which era the Gentile powers will
be judged. The dominion of the Gentiles [will] end at the second advent
of Messiah to the earth."
In other words, the "Times of the Gentiles" will end at
the second coming of the Lord in glory. While there are some who
contend that the "Times of the Gentiles" ended in 1967 when
Israel retook the City of Jerusalem, most evangelicals reject this
thesis because the present Israeli occupation of Jerusalem is
destined to be cut short when the Gentiles will once again wrest the
city from the Jews for 1,260 days (3-1/2 years) shortly after the
Abomination of Desolation during the Tribulation. (Rev. 11:2)
Scofield defines the time limits thus:
"The times of the Gentiles is that long period beginning with
Babylonian captivity of Judah under Nebuchadnezzar, and [which is]
to be brought to an end by the destruction of Gentile world power
... [at] the coming of the Lord in glory." (Dan. 2:34, 35, 44
and Rev. 19:11, 21)
Scofield, then agrees with Pentecost - the "Times of the
Gentiles" will end at the second coming. The fullest description
of the period is given to us in Daniel. Edward Dennett writes:
"What we have in Daniel is ... the course and character of
Gentile power, from the destruction of Jerusalem [under Nebuchadnezzar]
on to the appearing of Christ, together with the position of the remnant
and the sufferings of the Jewish people, while the Gentiles possess
the dominion, until at last God, in His faithfulness in pursuance
of His purposes, interposes, and for His own glory, works for the
rescue of His elect EARTHLY people (i.e., the Jews)."
THE GREAT IMAGE
The first prophetic outline of the course of this period - the
"Times of the Gentiles" - is given in Daniel 2, where,
through the medium of the "great image," the successive
empires that would exercise Gentile dominion over Jerusalem are
outlined. [The term "empire" as used here is better
understood as "civilization;" the English word "empire"
implies mere political or military unity, while Daniel has in mind a
unity of far greater dimensions than what the word "empire"
denotes - a unity which embraces a common culture, law, science,
social structure, religion, etc., and is best expressed in the
English language by the word "civilization."]
book of Daniel reads:
"And in the second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Nebuchadnezzar
dreamed dreams, wherewith his spirit was troubled, and his sleep brake
"Then the king commanded to call the magicians, and the astrologers,
and the sorcerers, and the Chaldeans, for to show the king his dreams.
So they came and stood before the king.
"And the king said unto them, I have dreamed a dream, and my
spirit was troubled to know the dream.
"The king answered and said to the Chaldeans, The thing is
gone from me: if ye will not make known unto me the dream, with the
interpretation thereof, ye shall be cut in pieces, and your houses
shall be made a dunghill.
"The Chaldeans answered before the king, and said, There is
not a man upon the earth that can show the king's matter: therefore
there is no king, lord, nor ruler, that asked such things of any magician,
or astrologer, or Chaldean.
"Then Daniel answered with counsel and wisdom to Arioch the
captain of the king's guard, which was gone forth to slay the wise
men of Babylon:
"Then was the secret revealed unto Daniel in a night vision.
Then Daniel blessed the God of heaven.
"Daniel answered and said, Blessed be the name of God for ever
and ever: for wisdom and might are his:
"And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings,
and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge
to them that know understanding:
"He revealeth the deep and secret things: he knoweth what is
in the darkness, and the light dwelleth with him.
"The king answered and said to Daniel, whose name was Belteshazzar,
Art thou able to make known unto me the dream which I have seen, and
the interpretation thereof?
"Daniel answered in the presence of the king, and said, The
secret which the king hath demanded cannot the wise men, the astrologers,
the magicians, the soothsayers, show unto the king;
"But there is a God in heaven that revealeth secrets, and maketh
known to the king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days.
Thy dream, and the visions of thy head upon thy bed, are these;
"Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great
image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the
form thereof was terrible.
"This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms
of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass,
"His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay.
"Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which
smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake
them to pieces.
"Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the
gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the
summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place
was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great
mountain, and filled the whole earth.
"This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof
before the king.
"Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath
given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory.
"And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the
field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and
hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold.
"And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee,
and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all
"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 [i.e., the fourth kingdom, the
kingdom of iron] shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the
strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with
"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.
"And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set
up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall
not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume
all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever.
"Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the
mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the
brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made
known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream
is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure." (Dan. 2:1-3,
5, 10, 14, 19-22, 26-28, 31-45)
Lewis Sperry Chaffer, founder and first President of Dallas
Theological Seminary, elaborates on these verses:
"Five world dominions in their succession are foreseen ... FOUR of these are represented by the portions of the image
and the fifth as that which will arise upon the wreckage of the four
... [after] the judgments of God fall ... . The first, [Ancient] Babylon
as the head of gold, was already at the zenith of its powers when
Daniel gave his interpretation. The second was Media-Persia in which
kingdom also Daniel lived to share. The third dominion was Greece
under Alexander, and the fourth was Rome, which was in its fullest
development in the day that Christ was here on earth. It is this iron
kingdom which merges in its final form [still as the fourth great
Gentile world kingdom] into feet of iron and clay. It is in this time
of the feet of iron and clay [of the fourth world kingdom] that the
'Smiting Stone' [as the Fifth Kingdom - the Kingdom of Christ] strikes
[and shatters the image - that is to say, Gentile world power]."
THE FOUR WILD BEASTS
The second prophetic outline of the course of this period is given
in Daniel 7. Whereas in Daniel 2, the course of world empire is
viewed from man's perspective, in Daniel 7, the same course of world
empire is viewed from the Divine viewpoint, where the Gentile empires
are seen not as an attractive image, but as four wild, voracious
beasts, which devour and destroy all before them and, consequently,
are worthy of judgment.
Book of Daniel reads:
"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.
"Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold,
the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.
"And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from
"The first was like a lion, and had eagle's 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.
"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
"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.
"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 brake 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 man, and a mouth speaking great things.
"I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient
of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of
his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame,
and his wheels as burning fire.
"A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand
thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand
stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
"I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which
the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body
destroyed, and given to the burning flame.
"As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion
taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.
"I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son
of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of
days, and they brought him near before him.
"And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom,
that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion
is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom
that which shall not be destroyed.
"I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body,
and the visions of my head troubled me. I came near unto one of them
that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me,
and made me know the interpretation of the things.
"These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which
shall arise out of the earth.
"But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and
possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.
"Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was
diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were
of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces,
and stamped the residue with his feet;
"And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other
which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that
had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was
more stout than his fellows.
"I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and
prevailed against them;
"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
"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.
"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.
"But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion,
to consume and to destroy it unto the end.
"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.
"Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations
much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the
matter in my heart. (Daniel 7:1-28)
Arno C. Gaebelein explains this passage as follows:
"The gold in the dream image, and the first beast represent
the [ancient] Babylonian empire. In the beginning it was a lion with
wings, but they were plucked out; it lost its strength and though
it had a man's heart it was a beast still ... The bear stands for
the Medo-Persian empire, the empire seen as of silver, the chest and
arms. One paw is lifted up, because the Persian element was stronger
than that of the Medes. The bear had three ribs in its mouth because
Susiana, Lydia, and Asia Minor had been conquered by this power. The
leopard, with four wings and four heads, is the picture of the Graeco-Macedonian
empire, corresponding to the thighs of brass in the image of Nebuchadnezzar.
The four wings denote swiftness, the four heads the partition of this
empire into the kingdom of Syria, Egypt, Macedonia, and Asia Minor
... we call attention to the fact that in the selection of beasts
to represent these world powers who domineer the 'Times of the Gentile,'
God tells us that their moral character is BEASTLY. The lion
devours, the bear crushes, the leopard springs upon its prey ... then
we have the fourth world empire, the iron one, ROME. It is
described in a way as none of the others are. It is dreadful, terrible,
exceeding strong; it has great iron teeth. It devours, breaks in pieces
and stamps down. It has ten horns [which correspond to the ten - toes
of the image] AND IN THEIR MIDST RISES UP A LITTLE ["YOUNGER"
OR "HINDERMOST"] HORN ..."
Thus, the Scriptures reveal that from the time of Daniel until the
time when Jerusalem shall be given freedom [ON A PERMANENT BASIS]
from Gentile dominion at the second advent of Christ, there will be
four great empires which shall rise and fall. The period of
Tribulation [the last seven years of the Times of the Gentiles] ...
[will] be the final epoch in the development (of this period).