Bible Studies

A Study on Mystery Babylon of Revelation
(As taught by Andy Neckar at Community Bible Chapel-Hico, TX)

Mystery Babylon-Part Three-Conclusion-(The United States in Prophecy?)

The following is the standard/norm of interpretation of Daniels vision of the four beasts.

Four Beasts (Dan 7:1-8).
Daniel predicts a succession of empires that will succeed Babylon. Daniel sees a succession of wild animals about to destroy one another. The first of these is the:

Winged Lion = Babylon.
Here Daniel uses the national symbol of Babylon - the winged lion which was often depicted on ancient Babylonian sculptures. But as Daniel describes this lion, he indicates that its feathers will eventually be plucked and its power diminished. At the height of his success, Nebuchadnezzar's mental or emotional breakdown crippled his power and influence. In time, his son-in-law, Nabonidus, seems to have suffered a relapse as well - abdicating the throne to his son, Belshazzar.

Bear = Media-Persia
The lopsided bear (leaning on one side) appears next, representing the dual kingdom of Media-Persia. Initially, under Cyrus and Cambyses, Media played a significant role. Later, under Xerxes, the Persians had complete dominance by the time of Esther. The three ribs in the bear?s mouth represent the three major conquests of Persia:

1. Lydia in Asia Minor.
2. Babylon under Nabonidus.
3. Egypt under Psamtik III.

Leopard = Greece
The leopard is known for its speed and Daniel used this animal to symbolize the rapid conquest of the Persian Empire by Alexander the Great. In less than ten years Alexander of Macedon conquered Asia Minor, Babylon, Egypt, Syria, all of Persia and part of India. but in 323 BC, he died of a fever in Babylon at age 33, on his way home from his great conquests. Greek historians blamed his premature death on his excessive drinking after he was wounded in India. Alexander died without an heir to his throne, his infant son having died in India.

The Greek Empire stretched from Athens to Delhi and was divided by Alexander's four generals (the 4 heads and 4 wings of Daniel's vision):

1. Antigonus took Babylon.
2. Ptolemoy took Egypt.
3. Cassander took Macedonia.
4. Lysimachus took Asia Minor.

 Monster with Iron Teeth= Rome.
Following the same pattern as the vision of the statue in chapter 2, the vision of chapter 7 points to a fourth, unnamed Kingdom:  Rome.

The fourth beast is identified as having iron teeth (military power) and conquering all the territory of the previous Gentile powers. At its height the Roman Empire stretched from Britain to India. It was the greatest empire in human history, encompassing what today would include: Europe, North Africa, the Middle East, and half of Asia.

However, Daniel 7:8 introduces a new element into the prophecies about this fourth empire. Daniel points to the 10 horns on the monster (like the 10 toes on the statue). But then he points to an eleventh horn who comes up after the ten, conquers three of them, and takes control of the "Roman Empire" at the time of the end. Bible scholars are unanimously convinced this "little horn" is the Antichrist. The Bible predicts that the political and economic climate of the future will pave the way for the rise of a new world leader who will control the world by promising to bring peace, prosperity and political stability.

Mystery Babylon Part Two, was what I believe was a more accurate interpretation of the four beasts of Daniel chapter seven.  This is my understanding of the Ram and the Goat in chapter eight.

THE RAM AND THE HE-GOAT

Dan 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

Dan 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

Dan 8:19-21 And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for “at the time appointed the end shall be”. The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of “Media” and “Persia”. And the rough goat is the king of “Grecia” (Greece): and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

The angel gives a very plain pronouncement. They are Media, Persia, and Greece. The names are “symbolic”:  The prophecy did correspond to the three Empires, by which the prophecy was “masked” until the “appointed end time”. (not soon fulfilled) I see it that “2500 years ago” was NOT the end times. (end of the end times)

In verse 21 that the “goat” is said to be a king, and then the "great horn" is also said to be a "king." King" is from Strong's 4428. melek (meh'-lek);   which comes from 4427-malak (maw-lak'); meaning to “reign”. Therefore the goat, the larger body as compared to a horn, seems to represent a "reign”, of a territory or a kingdom-country-nation.. Whereby the horn would seem to represent one individual king within that larger nation or kingdom. Sort of like the governor of a “state” within the larger United States of America

We must find “modern meanings” for the kings of Media and Persia. because, the angel told us this vision is for “the end”.

Well-modern Iran is Persia. The modern ethnic Kurds claim to be descendants of the ancient Medes, so I guess we could say that present "Media" is the area of Iraq and Syria. The single goat would point to the larger "reign" of these two countries/nations, and notice that God used “sacrificial animals” in this vision. (a ram and goat) It could be that this would be a “religious” system. (Islam) In chapter 7, “unclean beasts” were used to represent “Gentile” nations. The ram then could represent the fundamentalist power of Islam in a life-or-death struggle with the goat, representing Greece. What power in the “modern world” is represented by the interpreting angel's mention of "Greece?" The apostle Paul uses the expression "Greece" several places in the New Testament to refer to the “civilized world”. For example:

1 Cor 1:22-23 For the Jews require a sign, and the Greeks seek after wisdom: But we preach Christ crucified, unto the Jews a stumblingblock, and unto the Greeks foolishness;(any nation but Jewish)

The Greek word Hellen (hel'-lane); Strongs # 1672 here translated "Greeks" is also translated as "Gentiles", and principally means a person who speaks Greek, not necessarily someone from the literal country of Greece. Greek was the language of the learned. Greek, at that time was the universal language of the known civilized world.  That’s why the New Testament was written in that language.

The famous ancient Greek poets, playwrights and philosophers, have eventually became the basis for what we call "Western civilization." Notice that this goat comes from the "west." (Dan 8:5)  It could be that Daniel saw the struggle between “Islam” and Western civilization's “Christianity”. The angel tells us that the prominent horn on this goat is "the first king." (Dan 8:21)

Here the word translated "first" means "foremost-principle-top”, not necessarily first in place of order. Who is the foremost, the "first", nation of modern Western civilization? It is definitely the United States of America, the wealthiest country in the history of the world. Here we could have a picture of the clash of two civilizations.  East and West, Islamic and Christian.

America has been known to be founded on Christian/ biblical principles.  There is no doubt to the claim.  Read the writings of the founding fathers and you can see that America has always been portrayed as a “Christian Nation”, thought far from that now.

The U.S. has been the strongest professing Christian country in history. We have had, and still do to some degree, the influence of Christianity on our laws and values, and the fact that from here more missionaries have, and are being sent out than from any other nation.

 

There is much to study in the Book of Daniel and Revelation, and I have just tried to cover the area of the United States of America in prophecy.  I could go on, but this will have to do for now as I have the Book of Revelation Bible Study to finish.  I got up to Revelation Chapter 8 and then I stopped.  It’s time I finished it.

 

Take care and God bless you. 

 

IN Christ and working FOR him according to the measure of LIGHT He has given me,

 

Andy Neckar