By Jay Rogers
Published April 27, 2008
If we compare the Daniel 7 prophecy concerning the “fourth kingdom” with the language of Revelation 13, we will immediately see that the Apostle John self-consciously meant his hearers to understand a first century application to Nero Caesar and the line of kings who persecuted God’s church and finally destroyed Jerusalem.
Daniel 7:7 — “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake 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.”
Revelation 17:10-14 — “And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition. And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet; but receive power as kings one hour with the beast. These have one mind, and shall give their power and strength unto the beast. These shall make war with the Lamb, and the Lamb shall overcome them: for he is Lord of lords, and King of kings: and they that are with him are called, and chosen, and faithful.”
The language is so remarkably similar that it is undoubtedly true that John had Daniel’s prophecy in mind. If Daniel was referring to the Roman Empire at the time of the coming of Christ and the kingdom of God, then I cannot help but conclude that John had this in mind as well.
We can also see in Revelation that Daniel did not mean the “little horn” (Dan. 7:8) to mean “eleventh” horn, but one of the ten horns.
Daniel 7:8 — “I considered the horns, and, behold, 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.”
Revelation 13:11 — “And I beheld another beast coming up out of the earth; and he had two horns like a lamb, and he spake as a dragon.”
Daniel 7:11,12 — “I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”
Revelation 13:3-5 — “And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. And they worshipped the dragon which gave power unto the beast: and they worshipped the beast, saying, Who is like unto the beast? who is able to make war with him? And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty and two months.”
These passages refer to Rome at the time of the first century. The Beast of Revelation 13 is Nero Caesar.
A problem arises if we allow Daniel’s fourth kingdom to refer to first century Rome (an interpretation almost all commentators agree on) but interpret John’s symbolism in Revelation out of context of Daniel. If we allow the fourth kingdom to be Rome at the time of Christ, but we interpret the Beast of Revelation to be either the Pope or a future diabolical world dictator, we are not allowing scripture to faithfully interpret scripture. There is no continuity in such an approach.
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Watch a clip from Martin Luther.
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