|The book of Daniel has so many true prophecies that many people have tried to prove that the book was written after 70 AD and the fall of the temple, but it was written well before Christ walked the earth. Remember that some prophecies in the Bible have a “near” and a “far” fulfillment – in the case of Daniel there was the destruction of the temple in 70 AD, but if you carefully read the prophecies you will see that there are things that have not happened yet, those will also come true in the end days.
I want to throw out a few bits of information from Daniel that may help to shed some light on the beasts of Revelation.
When will the antichrist rear his destructive head?
1st John tells us there are many antichrists in the world now, but there is one particular antichrist coming. The Jews are expecting the Christ to come, the promised one. Now the antichrist steps in the place of Christ and makes himself to be what the Jews expected of the Messiah.
What was the Christ to be?
Daniel 2 talks about a dream of Nebuchadnezzar which is an overview of world history until the coming of Christ and the setting up of His (Christ’s) kingdom which would endure forever and ever.
4 Kingdoms in this dream
Head of Gold – Nebuchadnezzar
In Daniel 7 there is another description of the four kingdoms what is interesting is that in Daniel 7 these kingdoms are presented in the reverse order of the way they are presented in Revelation 13:2, why? Because Daniel is predicting future events – looking forward, whereas Revelation is telling of events that have occurred, looking back.
Lion – 605 BC Nebuchadnezzar
Daniel talks about the 70 weeks (Daniel 9:24-27) – (I am sharing my understanding of this, and I realize that there are others with differing opinions – that is fine because we must remember that the truth will happen in God’s time no matter if we believe something different, if God says something will happen, it will happen).
The word translated weeks is “sevens”, so it is seventy sevens decreed. Most scholars say that it is 490 years. It is described as a period of 7 weeks and 62 weeks : 7 + 62=69
Because the dates and times were so carefully spelled out in Daniel, Jesus was upset that the people of His time did not recognize His coming – if you count it out you would see that it accurately dates His entry into Jerusalem in the triumphal entry.
After 69 weeks, 483 years composed of 360 days per year, Jesus was crucified, and the Messiah was cut off. In AD 70 the temple and Jerusalem was destroyed by Titus, a Roman general. Many assume that this last 7 year period has not occurred, and will correlate in the future with the antichrist in the end times. We have discussed in earlier chapters of Revelation why this point of view seems to make sense. (again I know that there are others who have differing viewpoints about this).
Daniel 9:27 states that the antichrist will come and make a firm covenant for 7 years. The Jews will sacrifice grain and sacrifices in the Temple. After 3 1/2 years the covenant maker will stop the sacrifice and grain offerings, (although this does not specifically mention antichrist, it sure sounds a lot like Revelation events).
In Daniel 11 & 12, Daniel talks a lot about the king, here are a few things he says:
He will do as he pleases, he will exalt and magnify himself above every god, he will speak monstrous things against the God of gods, he will prosper until the indignation is finished, he will show no regard for gods of his father or for the desire of women, he will not show regard for any other god, he will honor a god of fortresses, whom his fathers did not know, with goodly, silver, costly stones and treasures, he will take action against the strongest fortresses and with them rule many and parcel out land for a price, the king of the south will collude with him, etc.
Daniel 12 talks about the time of distress:
such as never occurred, those asleep will awake either to everlasting death or disgrace, these words are sealed up in a book until the end of time, how long until the end of these wonders (time, times, half a time until they finish shattering the power of the holy people), many will be purged, purified, refined, the wicked will act wickedly, not understand, those with insight will understand, from that time the regular sacrifice is abolished, the abomination of desolation is set up 1,290 days, blessed is he how keeps waiting and attains 1,335 days (45 more days added)
Revelation 17:9-11 seven heads of the beast
1. 7 mountains on which the woman sits (although some try to make this the Catholic church it is clear that often mountains are “kingdoms” and I think that these are seven kingdoms, not the seven hills of Rome)
Daniel 2:36-45 makes it clear from Nebuchadnezzar’s time until the God of Heaven sets up His kingdom there will be four kingdoms which rule over the earth. The fourth kingdom is of iron and then feet and toes of clay and iron – it puts emphasis on the 10 toes, were told that in the days of those 10 kings represented by ten toes. Then God God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed Daniel 2:41-44.
The ten toes of Daniel 2 and the 10 horns of Daniel 7 are parallel, and in Daniel 7 we see the little horn which arises after the 10 horns. The dominion of the little horn will be taken away and destroyed forever and the saints of the Highest One will be given the kingdom and all dominions.
It seems that there is a possibility that the beast who is the eighth and one of the seven could be a man who becomes the leader in the final version of the fourth kingdom – that is why we are told he has the eyes and mouth of a man and utters great boasts (Daniel 7:8, 11, 20; Daniel 11:36, Revelation 13:5, II Thessalonians 2:4)
It also seems from Revelation 13:18 that God lets us know the number of the beast is the number of man, not an empire.
Here is a possible interpretation of the 7 heads of the beast (from Kay Arthur)
1. Egypt – ruled over Israel 400 years
2. Assyria – conquered the Northern Kingdom of Israel 722 BC.
3. Babylon – Conquered the Southern Kingdom of Judah in 605 BC, destroyed Jerusalem and the temple in 586 BC.
4. Medo-Persian Empire – Ruled over Israel
5. Greece – Ruled Israel except during Maccabean period.
6. Rome – ruled from the time they conquered Greece right through the time when John wrote Revelation, therefore the sixth head is referred to as the “one is” Rev. 17:10
(Babylon, Medo/Persian, Greece and Rome – Heads 3-6 are the four kingdoms of Daniel 2:7)
7. The one that has not yet come, and when he comes “must remain a little while” -it is possible that this could be the revived fourth kingdom, a form of the revived Roman Empire. In speculation, could be the European Union which is composed of many nations in the old Roman Empire.
8. The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eight, and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. Could be the little horn, and come out of the 7th kingdom. He would come to power after the 10 kings conquer three, then becomes the world ruler.
Regarding the last two kingdoms we can only speculate. But one thing we can be certain of is that God will win in the end.
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