Walt Thrun

As we progress in this series describing the history of nations, we should note God’s sovereignty over those nations and also that He reveals in advance what He is going to do. We can learn much about the future by studying the past.

Recall that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream was the image of a man that consisted of four metals representing four kingdoms who would rule the then known world.

King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon was the ‘head of gold.’

Media – Persia was represented by ‘chest and arms of silver.’

Progressing downward representing the next period of world history following the chest and arms was the third world kingdom illustrated by ‘belly and thighs of bronze.’

The third kingdom wasn’t initially named; however, Daniel did state its representative metallic identification, i.e. bronze.

“But after you (Babylon) shall arise another kingdom inferior to yours (Media – Persia); then another, a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:39

As recently mentioned, after Nebuchadnezzar died in 553 BC, his son Belshazzar reigned. At that time Daniel had visions of the future world kingdoms.

Daniel’s dreams were similar to Nebuchadnezzar’s, but the kingdoms were depicted as ‘four great beasts.’

The third beast was described thusly:

“After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.” Daniel 7:6

At this point the identification of the third beast was not revealed; however, there were two significant parts of this dream, i.e. the beast was very fast and had four heads.

Then two years later Daniel had another dream.

“In the third year of the reign of King Belshazzar a vision appeared to me – to me Daniel – after the one that appeared to me the first time.” Daniel 8:1

This second dream of Daniel’s focused on the second and third kingdoms of both Nebuchadnezzar and Daniel; however, in this dream the kingdoms are specifically listed.

The second king was represented by a ram while the third king was portrayed as male goat.

And when the time expired for the ram to rule, a swift goat appeared.

“And as I was considering, suddenly a male goat came from the west, across the surface of the whole earth, without touching the ground; and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.” Daniel 8:5

As Daniel’s dream unfolded he saw the third kingdom represented by a male goat come from the west with great speed. At this point the conquering kingdom was ruled by a single king.

“Then he (male goat) came to the ram that had two horns… And I saw him confronting the ram; he was moved with rage against him, attacked the ram, and broke his two horns. There was no power in the ram to withstand him…and there was no one that could deliver the ram from his hand.” Daniel 8:6-7

The ram with two horns represented the kingdom of Media – Persia. The ram could not withstand the power and speed of the goat from the west and both of the ram’s horns were broken.

“Therefore the male goat grew very great; but when he became strong, the large horn was broken, and in place of it four notable ones came up toward the four winds of heaven.” Daniel 8:8

Then as Daniel was longing for an explanation, Gabriel was instructed to give Daniel understanding.

“...The male goat is the kingdom of Greece. The large horn that is between the eyes is the first king. As for the broken horn and the four that stood up in its place, four kingdoms shall arise out of that nation, but not with its power.” Daniel 8:20-22

The initial power of the kingdom of Greece was ruled by the large horn which was Alexander the great. Upon his death in 323 BC his kingdom was divided into four sectors.

We’ll focus on the Syrian sector.

Subsequently in 175 BC a king would arise from the Syrian sector named Antiochus Epiphanes who would be the precursor to the future anti-Christ.

To be continued.

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