Why Rome is Not Daniel's Fourth Kingdom
God reveals to the prophet Daniel visions that are similar with and correspond to what he reveals later to the Apostle John, in the book of Revelation. This is a summary comparison of the visions seen by Daniel and John about, in particular, the identity of the last world empire.
There are fine scholars who differ greatly on the identity of this last world empire, and I do not expect a summary to be perfect. However, I offer this summary and my sources for you to examine, yourself.
There is much left unsaid in Scripture so as to cause the many differing viewpoints, and the last empire seen in these visions is not clearly identified.
Prophet Daniel's dream
However, what we do find as prophesied in Daniel and Revelation about the identity of this empire does provide us some important details.
Kingdoms prophesied in Daniel
Daniel interprets in chapter 2, first, a dream then King of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, had. He then has his own dream from God in chapter 7 that is the same as Nebuchadnezzar's, but with different imagery.
Combining these passages with yet another vision Daniel has in chapter 8, we see four kingdoms described. The identity of the first three are clear.
Daniel sees four kingdoms
Passages in Daniel
2:32, 39; 7:5; 8:20
2:32, 39; 7:6; 8:5-8
2:33, 40-43; 7:7
Daniel's statue of 4 kingdoms
A rock struck the statue (2:34-35)
There is a fourth empire that Daniel sees, but it is not clearly named. Most have thought this empire to be Rome, as it rose up following the Greek empire. The thought is that the ten toes of iron and clay (2:41) will be some kind of ten-nation revived Roman Empire in the last days before Christ returns.
10 things about Daniel's fourth empire
In considering whether the identity of this fourth empire is Rome, first, here are ten things said in Daniel and Revelation about the last world empire.
1. Both Daniel and John see the last empire - The following passages all refer to the same last world empire:
• Daniel 2, the 4th kingdom (legs of iron, feet of mixed iron and clay)
• Daniel 7, the 4th beast (terrifying, iron teeth)
• Revelation 12, 13 & 17, a king or kingdom
2. Power source - Its power, throne and authority come from Satan.
3. Strong - It is a kingdom that is strong, terrifying, dreadful, crushing, trampling down, breaking in pieces and devours the earth.
4. Different - It is different than all the other previous kingdoms.
5. Mortally wounded - It has had a seeming mortal wound but then heals, causing all to marvel. It was, is not and will come. It is called an eighth king, though it comes from one of the previous seven.
6. Spawns 10 kings - From it 10 kings arise—not a strong union, as some kings are stronger than others.
7. Another king - A king that arises overthrows three of the 10 kings, and receives power and authority from the other kings. He speaks blasphemous words against God.
8. Rules world - All the world is then under this king’s authority and worships him and Satan.
9. Conquers the saints - This king then with the other kings makes war on the saints and conquers them.
10. Lamb conquers the kings - The Lamb, “one like a son of man”—like this rock pictured stricking the statue—conquers these kings and sets up an everlasting kingdom, ruling all the nations of the world together with the saints.
Beast with 7 heads & 10 horns
- How to Study Revelation and Why
Here are 5 main reasons to study the book of Revelation and a specific approach of study. This is the first of a series of articles by this author on the basic points to be studied in Revelation.
10 reasons why the fourth empire is not Rome
There are ten reasons why the last kingdom is not the Roman Empire.
1. John sees the last empire (the beast) as identified with the Greek (leopard), Persian (bear) and Babylonia (lion) empires in Revelation 13:2. However, he does not also see Rome as a fourth empire in his vision, even though the Roman Empire had already begun 158 years previous to John's writing.
2. In Revelation 17:10, the the 6th king or kingdom that was still in existence at the time of John’s writing is obviously the Roman Empire (63 BC – 476 AD). However, he does not associate the 6th with the last terrifying empire in Daniel’s vision, but rather he associates it with the 7th kingdom.
3. In Revelation 17:11, the last kingdom is the 8th one. If this were the Roman Empire resurrected, then Rome would have had to be the 7th kingdom and not the 6th.
The Islamic empire
Summary points related to Islam
- Islam 'devours' geographically the previous three kingdoms.
- Islam beheads many who refuse to follow it.
- It is a empire with a clear division between two sects.
- A revived Caliphate could fulfill the prophecy in Revelation.
- Islam is bent on worldwide conquest, as the previous three kingdoms were.
4. Daniel 2 is a revelation of what would later happen to Babylon. Maps of the Babylonian, Media-Persian and Greek Empires—like this on the right—show each succeeding empire includes the previous one, expanding further than the previous empire. However, Rome did not include all of the previous Greek Empire.
5. To break in pieces all four kingdoms at the same time in Daniel 2:34-35, they would have to overlap geographically. The Roman Empire does not fully overlap the previous empires. However, we see in the next map at the right that the Islamic Empire overlaps the previous empires.
6. In Daniel 7:7, “devour” means not only conquer militarily, but geographically, culturally, religiously and changing languages. (Islam, however, does all this.)
7. In Revelation 20:4, those who had not worshipped the beast or accepted the mark had been beheaded. Rome did not do this, but Islam beheads those who do not convert.
8. Daniel 2:41 says the last kingdom will be one that is divided. After Mohammed, his empire was divided into what is today Sunni and Shia. Even today, like in Iraq, we see much of the violence is between these two groups.
9. The Muslim Empire led by the Caliphate conquered the Byzantine Empire in 1453 but, as the Turkish Ottoman Empire, it ended in 1924. If it revives, it could fulfill Revelation 13:3; 17:8, 11.
10. As the empires before it were bent on worldwide conquest, so is Islam and it is doing this on the largest scale ever. Also, see Revelation 6:2, where the first Seal of a horse and rider goes forth to conquer.
Rome did not fully conquer Greece
Rome left the borders ot the Greek Empire largely intact. The Greek language continued as the dominant language of the Roman Empire, and the Romans did not destroy the Greek gods. They even embraced them and gave them Latin names. We see that the Greek Hellenistic culture continued under the Roman Empire. Rome did not "crush" Greece as depicted in Daniel's vision of the fourth empire. The fourth empire of Daniel's vision must be another empire besides Rome.
An excellent study!
e-Book by Joel Richardson
- Will Islam Be Our Future? A Study of Biblical and Islamic Eschatology
Part One: Introduction to Islamic Eschatology And Doctrine, Part Two: Further Analysis, Part Three: How Should We Respond?
Rome vs. Islam - Joel Richardson
Much of this discussion is found in this book by Rev. Daniel R. Pinckney.
Why the last empire is not Rome--Walid Shoebat
© 2012 Deidre Shelden
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