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iron teeth: it devoured and broke 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," (vs. 4–7). And as the prophet was considering the horns, “ 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,” (v. 8). He “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,” (v. 9).
The above embraces the principal items in the vision of the seventh chapter. Now the interpretation, (v. 17). “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, or kingdoms,*“which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever," (vs. 17, 18).
But the prophet not being satisfied with this interpretation, replies; “Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast,” of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other that came up, before whom three fell,” (vs. 19, 20). "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 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." (vs. 23–26.)
In two particulars the above is very clear; first, the facts revealed, and secondly, that which is indicated by the facts, viz: the signification of the above symbols. Hence, what demands our more special atten. tion is, to make an application of that interpretation, which the angel has given.
We are informed (v. 17) that these four beasts are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth ; and the fourth beast is called (v. 23) "the fourth kingdom upon the earth,” etc. Hence the other three beasts must indicate kingdoms, as rendered in the Septuagint. These are the same as those in the Image of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. ii), where it is declared (v.40), that“ the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron; and it shall break in pieces and bruise."
There is no difficulty in locating the first of these kingdoms; for the Prophet declares (Dan. ii.: 37, 38): “Thon, 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.”
Nebuchadnezzar held in subjection Egypt, Syria, Phoenicia, Arabia, the greater part of Libya and Spain. He also led his army into Thrace and Pontus, (Vide New. on Proph. pp. 186, 187.) The Prophet Jeremiah, when speaking of an invasion of the king of Babylon (Jer. iv: 7), says:
“ The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way.” Aš the lion is the king of beasts, so Babylon was at that time the most renowned and powerful kingdom on the earth. This mighty Empire was overthrown about B.C. 538, and was succeeded by the Medes and Persians, who, from their cruelty and thirst for blood, are represented by a bear. “ And they said thus unto it: "Arise, devour muchflesh,” evidently indicating, as in Isa. xxi : 2, an invasion of Babylon: “Go up, O Elam, besiege, O Media,” or, as in Chap. xii: 17, “Behold, I will stir up the Medes against them.”
"And Babylon (v. 19), the glory of kingdoms, the beauty of the Chaldees' excellency, shall be as when God overthrew Sodom and Gomorrah.”
The dominion of the Medes and Persians, as we learn from Esth. i: 1, extended over 127 Provinces. “It was bounded on the east by the Red Sea, on the north by the Euxine Sea, on the west by Cyprus and Egypt, on the south by Ethiopia, (Clark's Com). This kingdom was overthrown by Alexander the Great, about B.C. 331, “He crossed the Caucasus, subdued Hyrcania, and penetrated into India as far as the Ganges; and having conquered all the countries that lay between the Adriatic Sea, and this river,* the Ganges,” he fulfilled the declaration
* Clark's Com, on Daniel.
of the prophet (Dan. ii: 19) “And another third kingdom of brass” (shall arise), “which shall bear rule over all the earth.” This mighty Empire, however, did not remain long consolidated ; for Alexander dying B.c. 332,* his kingdom was subsequently divided between his four generals, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander and Lysimmachus, which four reigned over the kingdoms of Thrace and Bithynia, Macedonia, Syria and Egypt. The first of these divisions ceased to form a distinct kingdom B.c. 281,† the second, B.c. 168,5 the third, B.c. 65,9 the fourth, B.c. 30,|| at which time Rome became mistress of the world. This Empire is symbolized by the “legs of iron” (Dan. ii), and the fourth beast (Dan. vii), which was to tread down the earth, and break it in pieces; for between B.c. '168 and B.C. 30, the Romans conquered Carthage, Macedon, Illyricun, Greece, Syria, Bithynia, Cyprus, Cappadocia, Pontus, Syracuse, Numidia, Spain, Balearian Isles, Dalmatia, Phænicia, and the southeastern part of Britain. Who, then, can but exclaim with David, “Thy word is true from the beginning"?
The above is not only in harmony with the great majority of expositors, but also with history. But in relation to the ten kingdoms, there is a variety of opinion, some placing the rise of the ten between A.D. 356 and 483, while others bring them down as late as the eighth century. But as these kingdoms were con. tiņually changing, how are we to know which to apply to the prophecy ? Ans. When we find ten, and
* See Clark. † Rol. Chron. Table, p. 166. $ Ibid. 171. § Ibid. 174. || Ibid.
another, or eleven kingdoms within the territory of Rome, answering to the description as given by the prophet. For mark - we are not to look exclusively to Western Rome for the rise of the ten kingdoms — but, as in the divisions of Alexander's Empire, the four horns represent the entire kingdom over which that monarch reigned ; likewise the eleven horns that were to arise out of this fourth kingdom embrace the entire territory over which the Cæsars reigned. Hence when we have ascertained the limit, extent, or boundary of Rome, we shall be prepared to look for these divisions of its territory. On the death of Augustus Cæsar, the Empire was bounded on the "west by the Atlantic ocean, the Rhine and Danube on the north, the Euphrates on the east, and towards the south the sandy deserts of Arabia and Africa.” “During the first century, the province of Britain was added ;* the wall of Antoninus at a small distance beyond the modern cities of Edinburgh and Glasgow was fixed as the limit of this province.” The province of Dacia was added by Trajan in the second century.† This same emperor carried his victorious army beyond the Euphrates; but his successor resigned all the eastern conquests of Trajan; and the Euphrates became again the eastern boundary of the Empire. I The Emperors of Rome made many efforts to subdue the warlike natives of Germany, and the Emperor Probus was on the point of reducing it to a Roman province, but he soon relinquished this design. *He however built a wall
* Gib. vol i. p. 4. of Ibid. pp. 6, 7.
* Ibid. pp. 7, 8.