We have just reviewed the Apostle John’s elimination of a revived Roman Empire as the Antichrist’s kingdom in the 17th chapter of the Book of Revelation. This means that the 4th beast kingdom in the Book of Daniel cannot be Rome because they are both writing of the same end-time kingdom. Daniels’ 4th beast becomes purely a future kingdom.
Knowing this, we would expect to find clues within Daniel’s description of this 4th kingdom. So, let’s have a look as we consider a few of the contextual clues within the passage concerning Daniel’s 4th beast in chapter 7 of his Book.
The context of Daniel 7. The 4th beast is described as having ten horns.
“After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.
[Daniel 7:7 NASB]
This is also how the Antichrist’s future kingdom is described in Revelation 12:3 and 13:1. It tells us that the ten horns are ten kings who will reign in the future during the time of the final beast kingdom. In fact, they will, at one point, reign with the Antichrist.
“The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.
[Revelation 17:12 NASB]
Therefore, if this 4th beast was Rome, the ten kings and the Antichrist would have already made their appearance and the Book of Revelation would be wrong about these things happening in the future.
The Daniel 7 timeline. Additionally, we can know that the 4th beast is the future Antichrist’s kingdom by the progression of events in Daniel 7. There are many end-of-days timelines in Prophecy and this is one of them. The first 7 verses of the chapter establish a historic timeline of the rise and fall of Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece. In verse 7 we read about the ten horns we’ve reviewed above. Then, in verse 8, while Daniel is considering these horns, he then goes on to write of the Antichrist’s rise, reign and destruction followed by the reigning of the Ancient of Days, or God, when the saints take possession of it [Dan 7:22]. These things will happen upon Christ’s Return. The first 14 verses are a timeline; a detailed sequence of events from the reign of Babylon to Christ’s kingdom on the earth.
Daniel also says this of the 4th beast:
Daniel 2:40-44 NASB “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.
This kingdom will break and shatter the previous three kingdoms mentioned.
 “In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay.  “As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle.
It is my contention that Rome simply does not fit the description of a brittle and divided kingdom. Rome was arguably the most powerful kingdom the world has ever known.
 “And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery.
This is an interesting statement and the subject of another study.
 “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever.
Again, Daniel is clearly placing the 4th beast kingdom on the earth in the day that Christ returns.
Holy name dropping. In addition to this, simply consider that although the first 3 beast kingdoms in Daniel are identified by name in Scripture as Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, the 4th is never named. It is only named Rome by the uninspired passage heading in chapter 2.
The ram and the goat. Further evidence of the 4th beast kingdom being purely the future kingdom of the Antichrist occurs in Daniel chapter 8. This chapter is about Daniel’s vision of the ram and the goat. We are told in the text that the Ram is the Medo-Persian Empire that is defeated by Greece, which is the goat. Let’s pick up the action in verse 20.
“The ram which you saw with the two horns represents the kings of Media and Persia. “The shaggy goat represents the kingdom of Greece, and the large horn that is between his eyes is the first king. “The broken horn and the four horns that arose in its place represent four kingdoms which will arise from his nation, although not with his power. “In the latter period of their rule, When the transgressors have run their course, A king will arise, Insolent and skilled in intrigue.
[Daniel 8:20-23 NASB]
In verse 23, right after we are told that Greece will be broken up into four kingdoms, we are immediately taken to “the latter end of their kingdom or the latter period of their rule” as the NASB translates. This begs the question: whose rule? It is the rule of two of the four horns, or kingdoms, that arise out of Greece. They are called the kings of the north and the south and they ruled in the Middle-East out of the broken Greek Empire. Through Daniel 8:20 to the end of the chapter, he completely skips over any mention of Rome. In fact, Daniel chapter 11 details the activities of these two kings from the beginning of their rule all the way until the time of the end when the warring action between these two kingdoms resumes [Dan 11:40]. Rome reigns during the transitional “gap” which occurs from verses 36 – 40. This is the transition from the events at the time of Antiochus Epiphanes to the rule of the Antichrist or the near/far fulfillment of Prophecy. It is also important to note that the above Scripture says these two kingdoms will again be in power before the Antichrist arises. I will shed more light on this when we examine the text concerning King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue below.
The abomination of Antiochus Epiphanes. The phrase “Abomination of Desolation” has become a familiar term in Bible prophecy. It first appears in Daniel’s writing.
“Forces from him will arise, desecrate the sanctuary fortress, and do away with the regular sacrifice. And they will set up the abomination of desolation.
[Daniel 11:31 NASB]
Some scholars believe that Antiochus Epiphanes completely fulfilled this prophecy when he razed Jerusalem and stopped sacrifice in the Jewish temple in 167 B.C. Although Antiochus did stop the daily sacrifice and set up a statue of Zeus to be worshipped, the language doesn’t reflect total fulfillment by him but only partial at best. Again, it is a near/far Prophecy. Let’s look at how Daniel describes the horn in verses 9 through 11.
Out of one of them came forth a rather small horn which grew exceedingly great toward the south, toward the east, and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew up to the host of heaven and caused some of the host and some of the stars to fall to the earth, and it trampled them down. It even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host; and it removed the regular sacrifice from Him, and the place of His sanctuary was thrown down.
[Daniel 8:9-11 NASB]
This is similar to how the dragon is defined in Revelation, the dragon being Satan, who took a third of Heaven with him into rebellion against God.
Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. And his tail *swept away a third of the stars of heaven and threw them to the earth. And the dragon stood before the woman who was about to give birth, so that when she gave birth he might devour her child.
[Revelation 12:3-4 NASB]
Certainly we can agree that it was not Antiochus Epiphanes who took a third of heaven with him into rebellion against God. It is reminiscent of Revelation 13:2 which tells us that the Antichrist’s power will come directly from Satan. Also, as the NASB puts it in verse 11,
It [the little horn or the Antichrist] even magnified itself to be equal with the Commander of the host.
[Dan 8:11 NASB]
Who is the Commander of the host? It is none other than Jesus Christ [Jos 5:13-15; Rev 19:11-14]. It is my sincere doubt that Antiochus, a pagan, held himself to be equal with Christ since Christ had yet to walk the earth. Finally, Jesus taught his disciples about the Abomination of Desolation as an event that was to take place in the future in Matthew 24:15. Therefore, Daniel’s prophecy was not fully fulfilled by Antiochus Epiphanes (near/far). Daniel, also, places this event after the death of Christ in the famous Seventy Weeks prophecy in chapter 9 [Daniel 9:26].
First Dream of Babylon. I mentioned above that King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue of kingdoms sheds light on the idea that it is the Middle-Eastern kingdoms of the north and the south where Daniel wants us to focus our attention [Daniel 11]. Let’s read through the passage.
Daniel 2:31-36 NASB “You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome.  “The head of that statue was made of fine gold,
Although there where world empires before Babylon, Babylon is the head of gold since King Nebuchadnezzar was dreaming about his own kingdom [Dan 2:36-38].
its breast and its arms of silver,
Medo-Persia is the breast/chest and arms of silver [Dan 2:39; 8:20]. Interestingly, it is described as the chest and two arms, three body parts. Daniel 7:5 describes Medo-Persia as a bear with three ribs in its mouth perhaps underscoring a reason why it was described as three body parts in the statue as well.
its belly and its thighs of bronze,
Greece is the belly/middle and two thighs [Dan 2:39; 8:20]. It is here that it gets interesting. As we learned above, the Greek Empire was broken up into four kingdoms at its height upon the death of Alexander the Great. So why, then, is Greece described as three body parts, a middle and two thighs? Daniel gives us the answer in chapter 11. The middle is Greece at its height in the days of Alexander while the thighs represent the kings of the north and the south, both of whom came out of the broken Greek Empire. Greece was split into four kingdoms upon the death of Alexander the Great by his generals. They were Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria and Egypt [Dan 8:8, 8:22; 7:6]. Two of the kingdoms located in the Middle-East went on to war with each other for almost 200 years. These were the kings of the north and south [Dan 11:1-35]. The king of the north (Aram, or Syria) was Seleucid and his progeny. The king of the south (Egypt) was Ptolemy and his progeny. I believe Daniel is purposely keeping our attention in the Middle-East by following the action of these two kingdoms because he is giving us the geographic location of the Antichrist’s future kingdom.
 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay.
Here is another area where scholars are tempted to interpret the legs of iron as the iron legions of Rome, one in the east, one in the west. Since Revelation 17 tells us that Rome is not to be the revived kingdom of the Antichrist, it cannot be Rome here either. The legs of iron correspond specifically to the future kingdom of the Antichrist. The 4th beast kingdom, as we saw earlier, is described as having teeth of iron. This kingdom is a composite of the three previous kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia and Greece, the Greek contribution being the kings of the north and south who were located in the Middle-East. As we saw above, history tells us the action between these two kingdoms has stopped only to continue at a future time [Dan 11:40]. When this action continues, we will have then entered into the two legs of iron.
Touching toes. The two feet and ten toes arise out of the two legs of iron [Dan 2:40-43]. Daniel tells us that the ten-nation kingdom will be set up before the Antichrist makes his appearance. By the time the action in Daniel 11:40 starts, these two kingdoms have to already exist. When these two kingdoms arise again, it is then that we will move from the thighs of bronze to the legs of iron.
Daniel 7:23-24 NASB “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
This kingdom certainly sounds global. And, since I believe Daniel is naming the Middle East as the geographic location of Antichrist’s future kingdom, I am reminded of the current migration of Islam to every part of the world.
 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise;
After the 4th beast kingdom begins to devour and trample down the whole earth, ten kings arise.
and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
When the ten kingdoms are in place, the Antichrist will make his appearance. He will take out three of them leaving him and seven others to rule over the earth after a time.
Beware the king of the north. Scripture suggests the ten kings will be in power before the Antichrist makes his appearance [Dan 7:8, 24]. I believe Scripture also suggests that the Antichrist will become the king of the north kingdom when he steps up into power, though probably not the first king because, logically, it would have to already exist as one of the ten. Biblical action between the two kings of the north and south doesn’t resume until the Antichrist is king of the north kingdom.
“At the end time the king of the South will collide with him, and the king of the North will storm against him with chariots, with horsemen and with many ships; and he will enter countries, overflow them and pass through.
[Daniel 11:40 NASB]
Can we really know that the king of the north is referring to the future Antichrist? In verse 36, during the transition from Antiochus to the Antichrist, it says:
“Then the king will do as he pleases…
[Daniel 11:36 NASB]
Which king? The king of the north. Verse 15 identifies him as the king of the north and the use of the definite article “the” keeps the focus on him into verse 36. This suggests the future willful king will be the king of the north. When the action between these two kingdoms continues at the time of the end, the king of the south will attack the king of the north. Daniel 12:11 seems to suggest there will be a period of three years and seven months from chapter 11 verse 31 to verse 45, the ruin of the Antichrist. Knowing of these things, it is my belief that we are somewhere around the knees of iron on King Nebuchadnezzar’s Statue [Daniel 2]. We are somewhere near the latter part of chapter 11. All of these allegations deserve further study, taking into account why God curiously describes the king of Tyre in Scripture as Satan [Eze 28:19]. Tyre is located in modern-day Lebanon. Apparently, Lebanon used to be part of this Syrian empire. Interestingly, another similar description concerns the king of Babylon [Isa 14:12-21].
I don’t believe the Book of Daniel ever mentions Rome and I’m afraid that, as our attention is focused on Europe and we try to revive a dead empire, we will be blindsided for lack of knowledge of what the Word may actually be teaching.