A Critique of the Preterist Interpretation of Daniel 2 & 7

In the second chapter of the Book of Daniel, we’re introduced to King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a massive metallic statue:

“You saw, O king, and behold, a great image. This image, mighty and of exceeding brightness, stood before you, and its appearance was frightening. The head of this image was of fine gold, its chest and arms of silver, its middle and thighs of bronze, its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.” —Daniel 2:31-33

The statue, we are then told, represents a series of historical kingdoms or empires. Daniel informs the king that the first component of the statue, that of gold, represents the Babylonian Empire, which Nebuchadnezzar ruled over. Scholars and commentators are in general agreement that the next three empires represented by the respective metals of silver, bronze, and Iron are the Medo-Persian, Greek, and Roman empires. Though this is the majority position, in my book, Mideast Beast, I demonstrate that the descriptions of the kingdom of iron detailed within the text align perfectly with the historical Islamic Caliphate, and not with the Roman Empire. Though this view will likely be met with skepticism by those who have not yet considered the exegetical and historical arguments in support of this view, what is unarguable is that during the final days of the fourth kingdom of iron, a stone suddenly appears and strikes the feet of the statue, causing the entire statue to shatter:

As you looked, a stone was cut out by no human hand, and it struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. —Daniel 2:34

Commentators of all persuasions identify the stone as representing the Messianic Kingdom of God here on the earth. As the stone shatters the statue, the fragments are seen to blow away as dry chaff in the Autumn winds. The stone however, is seen to grow and spread, until it fills the entire earth:

Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold, all together were broken in pieces, and became like the chaff of the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away, so that not a trace of them could be found. But the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. —Daniel 2:35

Later, in Daniel 7, we are given further details concerning the timing of this victory of the Kingdom of God over pagan earthly governments. There, we are told that it will come after a period of intense persecution, even near complete victory, by the final empire, against the saints:

“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” —Daniel 7:21-22

This is essential to note. The timing of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God is placed in the midst of an intense period of great persecution against “the saints of the Highest One”. It is not until after this period of great tribulation that the saints then come to possess the Kingdom of God.

The Futurist versus the Preterist Interpretation

Among Christian interpreters, there exists disagreement concerning the nature and timing of the stone striking the statue. Those who take the Futurist position understand this event to remain yet in the future. The feet of mixed iron and clay represent a secondary, distinct and final manifestation of the empire or iron—the final Antichrist empire—which will be utterly destroyed when Jesus returns. The stone, of course, represents the second coming of Jesus the Messiah, whose kingdom will then come to dominate the whole world.

Alternately, the Preterist interpretation sees the feet of mixed iron and clay to simply be one with the legs of iron. To the preterist, there exists no distinction between the legs of iron and the feet of mixed iron and mixed clay. The stone that strikes the feet represents the first coming of Jesus with his invisible, spiritual kingdom. Preterists would claim that the legs and feet represent the historical Roman Empire, which was conquered by the coming of the invisible Kingdom of God. Today, this spiritual kingdom is spreading throughout the earth.

The purpose of this article is to very briefly discuss some of the more obvious failures of the Preterist interpretation of Daniel 2 & 7.

The Five Components of the Statue

The first problem with the Preterist view of Daniel 2 is its inability to account for the two-fold division of the fourth kingdom between the legs and feet. Although the passage speaks of “four kingdoms”, when one analyzes the structure of the passage, the statue is seen to be divided into five distinct components. There is both a continuity and a division between the legs of iron and the feet of iron and clay. Consider the following structure of the text translated literally, word for word, in exact order:

The Image Head Fine Gold Breast Arms Silver Belly Thigh Brass Legs Iron Feet Part Iron Part Clay. —Daniel 2:32,33

The following chart demonstrates the organization and structure of the passage, again with the words maintaining their exact order:

Body Part / Element
——————————
Head / Fine Gold
Breast Arms / Silver
Belly Thighs / Brass
Legs / Iron
Feet / Part Iron – Part Clay

Because the Preterist position is unable to satisfactorily account for the clear distinction between the legs of iron and the feet of mixed iron and clay, it is forced to argue that the feet merely represent a particular period within the broader historical Roman Empire. Some argue that the clay intermixed with the iron in the feet represents the mixture of Roman and Jewish-Herodian rule during the first century. This explanation however doesn’t represent the totality of the Roman Empire, but merely one very small segment of the broader empire. Nor does this view satisfactorily account for the sharp distinction between the legs and feet.

The Futurist view however, understands the feet of the statue as describing the broader final period of the fourth empire as defined by its revival in the last days. This latter days revival of the fourth kingdom is clearly articulated by John the Apostle in the Book of Revelation. There, John speaks of the final kingdom as suffering a fatal head wound and coming back to life”

I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast —Revelation 13:3

Later, the apostle also speaks of the same final “seventh” empire, as being an empire which “was, and is not” and finally reviving as an “eighth”:

The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. —Revelation 17:11

And so it is seen that only the Futurist position is able to reconcile Daniel’s prophecies with the Book of Revelation’s descriptions, accounting for both the continuity and the division of the last empire. The Preterist interpretation however offers only a strange and forced explanation, which does not sufficiently explain the distinction, nor can it define any period within the Roman Empire when any could say that it “was and is not”.

It should also be noted that the Preterist position here is forced to understand the seven heads of the Beast to represent specific historical Roman emperors, rather than as historical kingdoms, as is consistent with the motif of “mountain” as found throughout the Bible. While virtually all Preterists attempt to identify the final seventh heads / mountain of Revelation 13 and 17 as referring to some series of historical Roman emperors, it seems as though no two Preterists can agree as to which seven these might be. Virtually every Preterist seems to have a different list of which Roman emperors they believe “fit” the criteria of the prophecy. Futurists however, share general agreement that the seven heads of the beast represent a series of pan-historical, pan-Biblical pagan empires, beginning with Egypt, each which at one time, tried to destroy the Hebrew people and her connection to the promised land.

The Nature of the Destruction of the Statue

Some further insurmountable problems with the Preterist interpretation of Daniel 2 is that the text portrays the final kingdom, in fact, the whole statue, as being destroyed suddenly, immediately, and completely. No sooner does the Messianic rock strike the feet of the statue that it is shattered, and its residue is blown away. The Messianic Kingdom of God fills the whole world leaving no trace of the previous pagan kingdoms. All four of the kingdoms are destroyed “at the same time” (Dan. 2:40, 44). When one compares the descriptions given concerning the end of this final pagan kingdom, in both Daniel 2 and 7, it is clear that the text emphasizes the finality and totality of the transition from pagan to Messianic rule. First, the establishment of the Kingdom of God is expressly placed within a particular timeframe. It is established “in the days of those kings”, a reference to the final period of the fourth kingdom:

“And in the days of those kings, the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever.” —Daniel 2:44

An essential portion of the above verse is often overlooked. We are informed that, unlike the other kingdoms mentioned within the passage, the Kingdom of God will not be left to others. This same theme is later expressed again in Daniel 7:

“Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire. “As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time. —Daniel 7:11-12

Many have misinterpreted this verse to mean that the other kingdoms in Daniel 7 are essentially contemporary empires or kingdoms that exist in their fullness during the time when the fourth kingdom is destroyed. This is not the meaning of this verse however. Instead, its point is to contrast the nature of the destruction of these previous empires. The other empires, unlike the final empire were given to other peoples, with much of their culture, languages and peoples having lived on in those empires that conquered them. This is not the case however with the fourth kingdom. It would first suffer an apparent death. Then, after having come back to life will suffer a final, devastating, immediate and ultimate blow. This is also seen to contrast sharply with the Messianic Kingdom of God, which will never be given to another people, but will last forever:

‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ —Daniel 7:27

Yet history informs us quite clearly that the Roman Empire never met such a fate. In fact, the fate of the Roman Empire was precisely the exact opposite of the descriptions given within Daniel’s prophecy. Instead of meeting an immediate and decisive blow, the Roman Empire continued to exist and even grow for many years after the coming of Jesus in the first century. The Roman Empire, suffering from internal decay and external attacks, sputtered and crept along for another 1400 years after the coming of the Messiah. History informs us that it was not the influence of the Church that destroyed the Roman Empire, but moral decay within, and pagan forces from without. And all of this, over a very long and drawn out time-frame, at various times, in various places, long after the coming of Jesus.

Christo-paganism? Who Assumed Who?

Additionally, it can also be argued that instead of being entirely overwhelmed by the gospel, instead, the Roman Empire essentially incorporated and assumed Christianity into itself, resulting in a significant Roman-pagan influence within the culture, practices, traditions, and even to some measure, the liturgy and doctrines of Christianity. Though I reject the radical views on these matters as argued by Alexander Hislop and many after him, it must be admitted that the exchange between Roman and Christian culture was certainly not entirely one-way.

In keeping with the language of the passage, the Futurist interpretation looks forward to the time when Jesus will return to genuinely shatter the pagan governments, and ungodly systems of this world, resulting in the complete and utter victory of the very real and substantial Messianic Kingdom of God filling the whole earth, leaving no remnant of the former pagan influences.

The Timing of the Coming of the Kingdom: During Great Persecution

Earlier, we showed that the timing of the coming Messianic Kingdom is said to occur specifically during a time of unparalleled persecution by the final empire against the “saints of the Highest One”:

“I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.” —Daniel 7:21-22

The Preterist interpretation of these chapters cannot account for this clear statement concerning the timing of the coming of the Messianic Kingdom of God. When Jesus came the first time, it was not during a time of unparalleled persecution by the Romans against the Jewish peoples, nor did the Kingdom come later during Roman persecution against the Church. The Futurist position, on the other hand, in faithfulness to the text, looks forward to the time when the Messiah will deliver his people from out of a period of overwhelming persecution under the Antichrist, perhaps even in the near future.

Who Struck Who?

Another point that few Preterists seem to acknowledge is that unlike the descriptions of the prophecy, the Romans struck and killed Jesus, not the other way around. It will not be until Jesus returns that his victorious judgments will be executed against the pagan governments of the earth.

True Messianic Hope

In the perpetual cycle of increasingly frustrating and even outright depressing seasons of political elections, it is heartening to take note of the fact that when the Messiah comes, all corrupt, pagan, and ungodly politicians, governments and unrighteous leaders throughout the earth will be utterly, completely and finally judged and removed. Unlike the vague, partial, and perpetually drawn-out hope that is held-out by the Preterist vision of history (and the future), only Futurism provides us with a vision of the days to come that truly encourages our hearts with the incorruptible hope of a soon coming transition to truly righteous, humble and godly leadership throughout the whole earth. Maranatha!

36 Comments
  • Peter Hartgerink
    Posted at 14:45h, 06 October

    Excellent, succinct analysis. As someone who was raised in a Preterist environment, and has now become fully convinced of the Futurist interpretation, I found this summary overview very helpful. I especially appreciate your ability to avoid getting caught up in analysis of secondary details and focus on the main lines of interpretation.

  • Chas
    Posted at 14:56h, 06 October

    Perhaps due to my simplistic viewpoint, I’m not sure that it matters as much whether the legs of iron represent the Roman or Ottoman empires, as the fact that Christ coming back will conquer and replace the mish-mash mess of human kingdoms. And what a mess we have, and getting worse every day…

  • Max
    Posted at 15:01h, 06 October

    Great article, Joel. A question regarding Islam being the fulfillment of the legs of iron- if this is so, where does Rome fit in to Daniel’s statue? Surely this vast empire would not be left out of the vision of the statue and the kingdoms it represents? The other three kingdoms were successive, why would Rome not fall into line as the next and final kingdom?

  • Joel
    Posted at 15:44h, 06 October

    Max,

    This is the common assumption of most westerners who view history through a very Western and even Roman-centric lens. The truth however is that if one begins by understanding the Babylon-centric context of the actual prophecy (it was a dream given to Nebuchadnezzar, specifically about three kingdoms that would succeed his), then the fact that the Roman Empire is not included in this dream is entirely logical. Imagine Daniel explaining to Nebuchadnezzar that three kingdoms would succeed his, and then he described the Roman Empire, which would essentially only reach the actual city of Babylon for a few months in AD 116, but would never actually gain a genuine foothold over Nebuchadnezzar’s dominion. This would have made little sense to Nebuchadnezzar. Remember that context is the first and most essential element to establish when interpreting any text. Likewise, separating ourselves from our own context and predilections is essential as well.

    It is also important to note that the fourth kingdom is said to crush all three previous empires. A simple examination of the maps of all four empires, show quite clearly that the Roman Empire, while having succeeded the capital region of the Greek Empire, did not crush the overwhelming majority of the Babylonian, Greek and most especially, the Persian Empires. The only empire that fulfills these specific Scriptural criteria was the Islamic Empire / Caliphate.

    Some have argued that because the Roman Empire succeeded the Greek, which succeeded the previous empires, that this is the meaning of the prophecy. But this is not what the prophecy says. Likewise, if the 49ers beat the Colts, who beat the Ravens, who beat the Patriots, this does not mean that the 49ers beat the Patriots. The passage is not suggesting some form of prophetic nesting dolls scenario. It speak of three kingdoms that would come to crush the region of Babylon and the greater region.

    Now, for what it is worth, later in Revelation 13 and 17, the Roman Empire is then included in the fuller pan-historical, pan-Biblical picture (as is Egypt and Assyria). In those chapters, we are given a full picture of every pagan empire that Satan have been the vessels of the Dragon to destroy God’s purposes in the earth. BUt In Daniel 2, it is a limited picture, that would only be fully opened up and unsealed in the last days. The idea that Daniel’s prophecy was primarily pointing to the Roman Empire, despite its many problems, has been the majority view down throughout Church history, ironically making it an impossible candidate according to the requirements of Daniel 12 and the sealing of the revelation until the end times.

    I hope this very brief explanation has helped. For a fuller discussion, I would direct you to Mideast Beast.

    Blessings

  • Fr. Robert (Anglican)
    Posted at 16:08h, 06 October

    Amen! WE really need to punch thru this wrong idea of full Preterism, which so many well meaning, but simply wrong-headed (not biblical hermeneutics) people have fallen into! For example, the old Post-Mill position has fallen prey more to the Enlightenment and Spinoza, who was himself a rationalist Jew, and followed more of the scientific and philosophical thought of Descartes. Lord deliver us!

    Again, loving the book: Mideast Beast, etc. Almost done! READ IT CHURCH!

  • Faust
    Posted at 16:28h, 06 October

    Joel-

    I am frankly quite offended that you would ever suggest that the 49ers might beat the Colts. Have you no insight into the great matters the West deals with every Saturday, Sunday, Monday, and off-beat Thursdays? Needless to say, I am glad that you are a Bible/Prophecy teacher and not a football weekly-picks expert. Stick with it:)

    Faust

  • Joel
    Posted at 16:45h, 06 October

    : ) Right. Is it ignorance… or is it prophecy…

    I’ve actually been doing good to leave my passion for UFC behind since my son has been born. Last thing I need is 6’4″ tall and 230 lb young man practicing arm bars on me on my 60th birthday.

  • tory
    Posted at 17:34h, 06 October

    I believe the fourth kingdom is the kingdom of alexander extending into the seleucid. And the vision of the four beasts in daniel 7 i believe reveals that after the destruction of the seleucid empire the other beasts representing the babylonians,medes,persians continue to exist as the parthian empire until the end as per daniel 7:12

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 17:58h, 06 October

    I’ve read “A Second look at the second coming” by T.L.Frazier, and what stood out was the use of preterist, futurist, and one other vantage point.

    When it comes to prophecy, there are times when we are left scratching our heads.

  • Joel's Trumpet | JohnsRevelation.org Prophecy Blog
    Posted at 18:05h, 06 October

    […] A Critique of the Preterist Interpretation of Daniel 2 & 7 […]

  • | Joels TrumpetJohns Revelation Prophecy Blog
    Posted at 21:05h, 06 October

    […] A Critique of the Preterist Interpretation of Daniel 2 & 7 […]

  • Joel
    Posted at 21:17h, 06 October

    Tory,

    There are some significant problems with the minority Greek view. First, Jesus himself rejected it, placing the Abomination of Desolation in the future. Second, Daniel’s prophecies conclude with a very literal resurrection from the dead. There is much more of course, but these alone are quite significant.

    Blessings

  • Joel
    Posted at 01:10h, 07 October

    Korean Translation:

    http://blog.daum.net/jmh70111/215

  • Marcus Dorsey
    Posted at 01:19h, 07 October

    Great article Joel. Preterism seems to be the eschatology of choice for the growing left-wing church. Keep hacking away at it.

  • A Critique Of The Preterist Interpretation Of Daniel 2 & 7 « MidnightWatcher's Blogspot
    Posted at 17:22h, 07 October

    […] to truly righteous, humble and godly leadership throughout the whole earth. Maranatha!“ Source – Joel’s Trumpet. Share this:ShareFacebookTwitterStumbleUponRedditDiggEmailPrintLinkedInLike this:LikeBe the first […]

  • SM
    Posted at 10:03h, 08 October

    It’s been said that the Roman Empire was less of a single entity and more of a mixing of peoples. In fact, it was more a continuation of the Greek Empire than one of renown itself. All culture from the Roman Empire (that was spread throughout the earth) was Greek, rather than Italian.

    The seven heads are seven empires are seven kings. These kings are the evil angelic rulers (ie Prince of Persia/Prince of Grecia) that pull the strings of men. The beast that was and is to come (antichrist) is the ruler of the Assyro-Babylonian Empire. That’s why Micah calls him the Assyrian.

  • Mark Davidson
    Posted at 02:42h, 09 October

    Hi Joel. Great article. I’m so wrapped up in futurism these days I forget there are those who are preterists. This was a good treatment of the subject.

    If I may, I’d like to respond to Chas’ comment. Chas, you are correct that Christ will conquer whatever is there, but the reason we may care whether the legs are Islam vs. Rome is because the ten nations that rule with the antichrist will come from the legs – Rome or Islam. It is good to be aware and take advantage of what the Word of God has to offer us, as far as telling us where all the events prior to the end will be so we can watch those fig leaves sprout that Christ talked about, and we know what season we are in.

  • alan cobb
    Posted at 19:19h, 11 October

    There is some excellent viewpoints at sevenempires.com concerning the feet and toes of Daniel 2. Using TANAKH a new translation accorrding to the Hebrew text Daniel 2:41 reads, “You saw the feet and toes, part of ptter’s clay and part iron; that means it will be a divided kingdom.” This kingdom reigned from 1453 A.D. till approx 1923, almost 500 years & ruled the ME.

  • james
    Posted at 00:00h, 13 October

    I’m not sure if Joel brings this up in his books, but I had always wondered why in Revelation chapter 1, the Lord addresses the books to the seven churches in Asia Minor (Turkey). Why? Why not other churches, as John received the revelation from Patmos. Interesting.

  • Steve
    Posted at 16:15h, 13 October

    Joel, I would like to refer you to the following article. It references the increasing relationship between Iran and Iraq.
    http://www.al-monitor.com/pulse/politics/2012/10/iran-defense-iraq-visit.html

    As you have stated, the Danial 7 mentions the little horn eproots the previous three. That would indicate Iran, Iraq, and I suspect the third could be Syria. After Alexander died his generals divided the empire. One of the most notorias was Antiochus Epiphanes. Antiochus IV Epiphanes ruled in Antioch in Syria over the Seleucid kingdom. Syria could be the third kingdom. Turkey is now very close to war with Syria, whose main allies are the Shiite kingdoms of Iran and Iraq. I suspect that if Turkey moves into Syria and sets up its style of governing, the next steps could include Iraq and Iran. Either by war,or in other ways. This would fit nicely with the book of Danial.

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:12h, 13 October

    Its possible. Though Lebanon would likely also have to fit in there somewhere. Essentially another pawn of Iran at thing time. Although I have strong suspicions concerning Turkey, it is possible that something else is in store, perhaps a leader from Syria, Iraq. Time will tell. Blessings

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 15:10h, 15 October

    Seeing that some would have read this book, I thought I would contribute this about preterists.

    More and more interpreters are coming to see that to fully understand Revelation requires that we use a combination of all four approaches. With the preterist, we must see that John had an actual Christian community in mind while he was writing, and any interpretation of Revelation must be firmly rooted in this reality. We must understand Revelation within its own historical context. With the futurist, we must see that John is trying to give his readers an eternal perspective, that all God’s purposes will be realized at Christ’s Second Coming. With both the historicist and the idealist, we must work themselves out in the general course of human history. By combining, for example, the idealist interpretation (which seeks the spiritual meaning) with the futurist interpretation (which sees Revelation as applying to own day), fine commentaries have been written that are also excellent commentaries on contemporary society judged in the light of the Apocalypse. In the final analysis, John is giving us not merely a detailed road map to history (either past, present or future), but rather a peculiarly Christian historical perspective by which to judge human events.

    Part of Page 315 of “A second Look at the Second Coming” by T.L. Frazier

    Foreward by Fr. A. James Bernstein
    Antiochian Orthodox Priest
    Lynnwood, Washington

  • Joel
    Posted at 18:11h, 15 October

    David,

    Have you read Dennis Eugene Engleman’s book on the Orthodox view of the End Times? If you are leaning Orthodox, or already there, its an excellent book. Though there are some issues with which I disagree with Engleman, it is a great read.

  • David W. Lincoln
    Posted at 15:24h, 16 October

    I haven’t come across it yet. Thanks for the heads-up.

  • Robert Morgan.
    Posted at 09:28h, 25 October

    The seven Kings are seven Popes & the one that is & is not is the one before the last Pope & will be the fallen angel from the pit, in disguise.

  • theyenguy
    Posted at 18:33h, 30 October

    Jesus Christ is at the helm of the economy of God, Ephesians 1:10, pivoting the world from prosperity to ruin, as he released the First Horseman of the Apocalypse, Revelation 6:1-2, to pass the baton of sovereignty from sovereign nation states to sovereign bodies such as the EU ECB and IMF Troika, with the first Greek Bailout in May 2010, so as to introduce His global kingdom, Revelation 11:15, and Revelation 20-4-5, which will last for a thousand years, with Him ruling from Jerusalem.

    John the Revelator foretells in Revelation 13:3, that a global credit and financial bust is coming; and in Revelation 13:10-4, that a monster of regional economic and political government, will rise from the Mediterranean nation states of Greece, Italy and Spain, to rule the Eurozone, and serve as a prototype of rule, for the world’s ten regions and all of mankind’s seven institutions.

    And the prophet Daniel in Daniel 2:30-33 foretells the iron rule of the twin legs global hegemony of UK and US, will give way to the rise of a iron diktat and clay democracy of a ten toed kingdom of regional governance, where ten toes of regional governance will dominate in all of the world’s ten regions.

  • Anna Marie Sheffield
    Posted at 14:38h, 15 November

    Dear Joel, I am so happy to have discovered you and your teaching. Many years ago as I was reading Daniel, I felt like I heard the Lord say to me that Islam was going to be that last nation before the coming of Christ. I have never found anyone else who thought this. I am ordering your books today! So looking forward to learning from you.
    Blessings, Anna Marie

  • Phil Mayo
    Posted at 17:41h, 16 September

    Hi Joel,

    You said: “It is also important to note that the fourth kingdom is said to crush all three previous empires.”

    I take it you are interpreting the first three of the four beasts of Daniel’s chapter 7 vision to be 1. Babylon 2. Medo-Persia 3. Grecia.

    They are not! If you read verse 17 you will see Daniel is told that these are kingdoms that “shall arise”. That phrase is future tense. So he wasn’t seeing a beast depicting Babylon arising in his vision. Babylon had done it’s arising many years prior to this vision, and was within about ten years of falling to the Medo-Persians.

  • Joel
    Posted at 20:31h, 16 September

    Phil,

    “Shall” is added to the English translation. The original Aramaic simply has “arise” which doesn’t establish your case. Many interpreters have claimed that these four represent something apart from that which was already laid out in Daniel 2. The problem with this position, in my view is that identifying these four beasts is deeply subjective, with every interpreter arriving at differing identifications. In other words, if they are four other kingdoms apart from those described in Daniel 2, there really is nothing in the text to firmly establish who they are. It becomes a bit of a guessing game. This is my view anyway. BUt as always, God knows best.

    Blessings

  • Phil Mayo
    Posted at 07:13h, 17 September

    Joel.

    The mass majority of scholarly oppinion is behind the “shall arise” interpretation. But even if that isn’t enough to convince you, there are other facts that disagree with your chosen interpretation of the first three beasts.

    In chapter 8:26 the angel Gabriel links this vision with that of the ram and goat when he says: “And the vision of the evening and morning that was told is true.” Chapter seven being the evening vision, and chapter eight, the morning vision. Why would God use two completely different beasts to depict the same empire, in visions that are linked together in the same book?

    Missing the future tense of a statement has not only resulted in the misinterpretation of Daniel’s vision. The same mistake has commonly been repeated when interpreting Revelation 17:8-14. Here, many say it’s a backward look at hisrorical empires. But Rev 4:1 tells us that he was about to be shown “things which must be hereafter.” That word “hereafter” is once again, future tense. Which means everything he is shown takes place some time future to his experience on the Isle of Patmos.

    Another point missed, is Rev 17:17 tells us the ten horns will “give their kingdom to the beast…” That is “kingdom” singular, not seven kingdoms.

    I am not being entirely negative about your work. I think you have something. Come and take a look around my website. You have my email address. If you give me yours I will send you my ebook.

    Blessings

    Phil. http://danielsealbroken.wordpress.com/

  • Iury
    Posted at 19:45h, 07 March

    Brother Joel, i thank God for your’s and Shoebat’s lifes and ministries. I have already made captions in portuguese for the armageddon news’s videos. Now i am reading mideast beast and have a question: why the mongolian empire, the biggest in extension, which included babylon, wasn’t at the statue or at the beasts described in Daniel?
    Please help me with this.

  • Phil Mayo
    Posted at 14:22h, 03 January

    Hi Iury,

    I just passed by and saw your question above. I think the answer is the Mogol empire never actually ruled over Jerusalem. It’s believed they invaded as far south in the Levant as Gaza, but a prerequisite for inclusion in Daniel’s prophecy is contained in the angel’s statement: “your people, and your holy city” (Daniel 9:24).

  • TM
    Posted at 20:59h, 05 June

    Joel,

    Wow, what a day this has been for me. I read this article and then after I finished it, while pondering it, guess what came in the mail? Yours and Shoebats book. So I immediately went to the sections that discussed Daniel 2 and 7.

    I’m freaking out!!!!! I am seeing things today I have not seen before. Don’t ask me why. I guess I’m not as astute as I would like to think I am, and I’m sure God is not THAT impressed with my many degrees.lol Wisdom comes from the Lord and He opens the eyes of those who seek him hard and are ready to receive it.

    I guess I was tainted in my thinking when I previously read these two huge prophetic chapters. I owe a lot to Hal Lindsey’s Late Great book, but I think he steered me wrong with his revived Roman Empire theory. I will add this- for a long time I believed the 7th kingdom of Rev 17 was Hitler’s Third Reich. Rev 17:10 says this kingdom will last for a short time.

    10They are also seven kings. Five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; but when he does come, he must remain for only a little while.

    I pondered “short time” very hard and decided this meant just what it says- a short time, like 10 years. If you don’t mind, would you share your thoughts as to why the Islamic Kingdom, which lasted about 600 years, can also be considered a short time, and why the Third Reich is not supported in this passage. That would help me sort this out. Thanks.

    Well, I’m exhausted studying and pondering all this. I need a good Italian meal with a large glass of red wine to relax me. I’m pumped though. Can’t wait for tomorrow’s studies.

    Shabbat Shalom my brother,
    TM

  • TM
    Posted at 00:50h, 06 June

    Joel,

    I think I may be able to answer one of my questions. Hitler’s Third Reich cannot be the 7th kingdom because they did not rule over Jerusalem. All “beast” nations rule over God’s people/land. I think that is right.

    They may have persecuted the Jews, but they did not have any authority in Palestine. Of course, Israel was not even a nation at that time. Well, that’s what I have now. Still pondering.

    TM

  • Phil
    Posted at 19:34h, 25 July

    What I don’t get is the ten horns that Daniel mentions in Chapter 7. I’ve not seen a list of the ten kings, nor can I put one together. I keep coming up with 9 Islamic kingdoms. I’m missing a kingdom or horn.
    So far..working backward in time…Ottoman, Ayyubid, Mamluk, Fatimid, Abbasid, Umayyad, Rashidun, Safavid, and Seljuq. Anyone know the tenth? These are the ten before the last horn.
    Phil

  • Alpheus Whittemore
    Posted at 08:25h, 29 April

    After the conquest of Constantinople, Mehmed II claimed the title “Caesar” of the Roman Empire (Qayser-i Rûm), based on the assertion that Constantinople had been the eastern seat and capital of the Roman Empire since 330 AD, and whoever possessed the Imperial capital was the ruler of the Empire. The contemporary scholar George of Trebizond supported his claim. His claim to be the new Caesar of the Roman Empire was also recognized by the Eastern Orthodox Church. Thus, the Roman Empire became Islamic, but did not cease to exist! Several historians such as British historian Edward Gibbon and the Greek historian Dimitri Kitzikis have argued that after the fall of Constantinople, the Ottoman state took over the machinery of the Roman state, and that in essence the Ottoman Empire was a continuation of the Eastern Roman Empire under a thin Turkish Islamic guise. Therefore, the Roman Empire actually didn’t “fall” until 1922. We anticipate that this Roman/Ottoman Empire will revive under the Antichrist in the very near future! Watch and wait and pray!

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