Answering Reader Questions: Daniel 2, 7 & 11


A reader posed these very good questions/comments on my website. I’ve decided to address them in a blog post because I‘m sure these are questions others have, as well.

The reader’s questions are emboldened and comments are in regular type. My responses are in orange.

The reader writes (edited):

What I’m still trying to sort out has nothing to do with thinking antichrist will arise from Rome, or the Vatican, or be an atheistic Western dictator. Prior to writing you, I was already convinced of an Islamofascist antichrist…

What’s puzzling me relates to whether the Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 visions are indeed the same. And even a question that Daniel 7 might possibly refer to 4 contemporaneous global powers during antichrist’s domination. May I offer a few questions for discussion?

As a presupposition to the upcoming questions, I’ll state that, without a doubt, the 4th beast of Daniel 7, and the 10-toed kingdom of Daniel 2, and the 8th head of the Revelation 17 beast all represent the final antichrist kingdom, located in regions surrounding Israel and/or allied with those regions. In short — the rapidly forming Caliphate is fulfilling these visions, I believe.

_Yes, it is.

Here are some ‘puzzlements’

1.  Is the Daniel 2 statue really speaking of only FOUR kingdoms? And is Daniel 7 an exact parallel of the statue vision of Dan. 2?

I can’t help but see five historical eras, but at the same time I know that the Daniel 2 legs are referred to as the 4th kingdom, similarly to the way there is a 4th beast several chapters later in Daniel 7.

The five count seems to be: 1. head, 2. breast and arms, 3. belly and thighs, 4. legs, 5. feet and toes. Similarly, there are five elements specified (2:35): “iron, clay, brass, silver, gold.”

_Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 are, indeed, describing the same kingdoms. For whatever reason, God decided to repeat prophetic events to Daniel in different ways with different details. Perhaps so we can have this discussion today?

When we consider that the 7th Beast Kingdom will turn into the 8th, (meaning the Antichrist will step up to seize control of the 7th kingdom which will already be in existence [Dan 7:7-8, 7:23-24]), then it might be easiest to number them in this way:

1 – Egypt

2 – Assyria

3 – Babylon

4 – Medo-Persia

5 – Greece

6 – Rome

7/8 – The Antichrist’s Future Kingdom

So, it can be said that the statue in Daniel 2 does indeed include 4 or 5 kingdoms – the 4th and the 5th being the same, really – one arising from the other.

1 – Babylon

2 – Medo-Persia

3 – Greece

4/5 – The Antichrist’s Future Kingdom

If you’re stunned, then it’s probably because you’ve noticed I’ve left Rome out of the statue. There’s a very good biblical reason why (there are many, actually). The revived Islamic Caliphate (4) will be formed first (it’s being formed now, actually) and it will be overtaken by the coming Islamic Mahdi – the Antichrist (5).

As to whether Daniel 2 is an exact parallel of Daniel 7, yes, it is. There’s only one end-time kingdom of the Antichrist and both passages are prophecies of this kingdom and the kingdoms leading up to it.

2.  If Dan. 2 and 7 chapters are the same kingdoms, then the legs, feet, and toes must all be one geographical-area kingdom? Is that what you are saying?

_Yes, and the combined, geographic area is given to us in Revelation 13:2.

And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. [Revelation 13:2 NASB]

The Daniel 2 statue seems to give a complete chronology of world kingdoms from Babylon, to the antichrist kingdom, and Christ’s final kingdom (stone cut without hands, etc.) –and, if so, why is there a gap (if Rome is not in view in the statue, at all) of many centuries (i.e., from Greece, jumping to Islam and eventually the final antichrist kingdom? So many many warring centuries are skipped, if chapters 2 and 7 are identical (or so it seems to me).

_The Book of Daniel does not actually provide a complete chronology of Biblical World Kingdoms. It starts with Babylon because that was the kingdom in power at the time of Daniel’s writing. That’s where he lived and served. So, already it leaves out Egypt and Assyria.

Above I suggested that Rome is not prophesied about in the Book of Daniel at all. Here’s one of the reasons why I believe that:

Daniel prophesies about the break-up of the Greek Empire upon the death of Alexander the Great in 323 BC, after which, four of his generals rose to power and broke up his kingdom into four regions [Daniel 7:6, 8:8]. Then in Daniel 11, he highlights the exploits of two of these four kingdoms. Daniel names them the king of the north and the king of the south and, consequently, keeps our focus on the Middle East. When Daniel goes on later in the chapter to name the Antichrist as king of this north kingdom [11:36], he is giving us the geographic location of his future kingdom – the Middle East – specifically modern-day Turkey/Syria/Lebanon/Iran/Iraq, where this ancient north kingdom (the Seleucid Empire) once was.

As a result, there’s no reason to consider Rome (Europe) as the location of the Antichrist’s Kingdom and so it leads me to believe that the two legs of the statue in Daniel 2 that come out of the Greek belly do not represent Rome, but are, indeed, these north and south kingdoms that Daniel goes to great lengths in chapter 11 to describe for us.

Seleucid and Ptolemic Empire 200 BC

Seleucid and Ptolemic Empire 200 BC

Please bear in mind, as far as I know, I am the only one who has ever suggested such a thing about the legs of the statue in Daniel 2, so I could be wrong. But, when faced with this biblical evidence, there’s no other logical conclusion I can come to and I hope my line of logic is at least evident even if you don’t agree. I would so dearly like to be able to share this with other authors and those who study God’s Word for feedback but have not had the opportunity.

King Neb's Statue

My interpretation of King Neb’s statue

3.  If the legs, feet, toes all represent one beastly kingdom (including the warring factions of the Ptolemies and the Seleucids), is there not an inconsistency, or disconnect, with Revelation 17? In the latter, John is told of 5 fallen kingdoms, including one existing one (Rome), of another to come that will temporarily cease to exist, and the final 8th kingdom which is of the 7th (i.e., antichrist Caliphate consisting of the former 1924 disbanded Caliphate type of alliances).

_There is no inconsistency because the 7th turns into the 8th.

The two iron legs as eastern and western civilzations, for almost 2,000 years now, seem a natural continuation of the list of kingdoms from Babylon (Nebuchadnezzar’s day) onward.

_My theory above for an explanation of the two legs of Daniel’s statue is, indeed, in direct contradiction with the traditional view of a revived Roman Empire, but when we cease to read the Bible – a Middle-Eastern book – through Western eyes, with a Western mind-set, all of these seeming inconsistencies disappear and the idea of a European, atheistic Antichrist falls apart. There is nothing Western in Bible prophecy.

Just as God’s chosen people are the Jews, Satan’s chosen people are the Middle Eastern gentiles. Just as Jesus came through the Jews, the Antichrist will come through the Middle Eastern gentiles. This conflict has been highlighted throughout the Bible starting in the Book of Genesis and continues to this day.

  • Consider that all of the action in the Bible has always taken place in the Middle East.
  • Consider the conflict that is currently raging in the Middle East can be traced back through the lines of Sarah and Hagar to Genesis 3:15. The story of the conflict between Sarah and Hagar and their offspring illustrates this [Genesis 16, 21].

I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; he shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise his heel.”  [Genesis 3:15 ESV]

  • Consider there is an Islamic mosque on the Temple Mount, not a Catholic church. I don’t think there’s a single piece of extra-biblical evidence that highlights the reality of an Islamic Antichrist more than this amazing fact.
  • Consider that all of the nations the Lord does battle with upon His return are listed by name in the Old Testament prophets, are currently located in the Middle East and are currently occupied by Islam.

Reader, I know you said above that you believe that the world is awaiting an Islamic Antichrist, but I’m listing all of these biblical reasons because this is an either-or thing to me. I think it’s inconsistent to come to the conclusion that this end-time kingdom will be located in the Middle East and ruled by a Middle-Eastern gentile and then try to fit Rome into the statue or other prophecies, especially with the evidence from Daniel 11.

I think the shift in the statue to two legs becomes a more global focus (i.e., east, west), as it relates to prophecy. Did not Christ enlarge the prophetic vision to a global one in Matthew 24, when He said:

“And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in ALL THE WORLD unto ALL NATIONS; and then shall the end come.”

Also there is a global aspect to the court of the Gentiles, adjacent to the Temple, not being measured, for it is given to the nations until Christ’s coming.

_Christ says the intensity of the Tribulation will be “such as has not been from the beginning of the world until now, no, and never will be [Matthew 24:21 ESV].” Considering that WW2 encompassed almost the entire world and millions of people were killed, that’s a stark statement! The influence of the Antichrist’s kingdom will, indeed, be global (we’re seeing that now with the increasing migration of Islam to every country in the world), but his 10-nation powerbase will be located in the Middle East.

4.  Could Daniel possibly have been told that the four beasts of chapter 7 WERE ALL FUTURE, and thus a separate vision from the Daniel 2 statue? Here’s why I ask this:

Daniel 7:1 says that the prophet was given the vision during the reign of “Belshazzar king of Babylon.” Daniel wrote contemporaneously with the reign of Babylon. Yet the prophecy continues in Dan. 7:17, and seems to put all four beast in the future:

“These great beasts, which are four kings, which SHALL ARISE out of the earth.”

_As one who hangs on every Word of God I can see that’s an understandable conclusion, but then we would be forced to add 4 more Biblical World Kingdoms into the mix and I don’t think the rest of Scripture allows for that. The identity of these four kingdoms lines up quite nicely with the rest of Scripture (with the exception of the traditional view that the 4th Kingdom is Rome, of course, which is the whole point).

5.  Could Dan. 7 be an entirely separate vision from Daniel 2, and actually represent four kingdoms ALL CONTEMPORANEOUS WITH EACH OTHER? Here’s what sparks that inquiry: Daniel 7:12 asserts:

“…the REST of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”

If the lion-winged eagle, bear, leopard represent the same ancient geographical areas and kingdoms subsumed by the antichrist kingdom, how is it that the 4th beast here in Dan. 7 is “slain…destroyed…given to the burning flame,” YET THE REST live longer?! “….their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”

_I believe the reason why it says their lives will be “prolonged for a season and a time” is because these kingdoms, these nations/people, will survive Armageddon and be present in the Millennial Kingdom of Christ on the earth. I wrote about this somewhere, but, alas, I cannot locate it. Babylon is the only Biblical World Kingdom that God says He will completely destroy [Revelation 18]. And if you read Isaiah 19, you will notice that Egypt and Assyria are restored to repentance at the end, not destroyed.

And the LORD will make himself known to the Egyptians, and the Egyptians will know the LORD in that day and worship with sacrifice and offering, and they will make vows to the LORD and perform them. And the LORD will strike Egypt, striking and healing, and they will return to the LORD, and he will listen to their pleas for mercy and heal them. In that day there will be a highway from Egypt to Assyria, and Assyria will come into Egypt, and Egypt into Assyria, and the Egyptians will worship with the Assyrians. In that day Israel will be the third with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth, whom the LORD of hosts has blessed, saying, “Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hands, and Israel my inheritance.” [Isaiah 19:21-25 ESV]

Also, consider this verse from Zechariah:

Then everyone who survives of all the nations that have come against Jerusalem shall go up year after year to worship the King, the LORD of hosts, and to keep the Feast of Booths. [Zechariah 14:16 ESV]

6.  Is it possible there is a more global perspective to the Dan. 7 vision, encompassing global powers at the time of antichrist (and, of course, including the 10 kings that give their authority to the antichrist, perhaps specifically mid-east?)?

Is it too far-fetched to see the lion-eage, with plucked wings as a Western power (Britain’s symbol is the lion; the U.S.A. came out of her, with our eagle symbol. And we’re certainly getting our wings plucked these days! Is it too far-fetched to see the Russian bear? The leopard (maybe China and/or the Asian powers aligning)? Then the 4th beast, paralleling the ten toes and the 7-headed/8th beast with ten horns in Revelation, as the antichrist system called Islam?

_Again, I would say that there’s nothing Western in Bible prophecy. When we begin reading prophecy with an ethnocentric view, problems abound and we get things like a revived Roman Empire with the Pope as Antichrist or that America is Mystery Babylon. Scripture denies all of these things.

7.  Do other details of Dan. 7 over-power any view of those four beasts as modern-day symbols, since there are other striking details in the chapter that really do have historical accuracy in the history of ancient kingdoms, not modern ones? Four wings, e.g., certainly remind one of Greece and its divisions by four generals. I’ve never heard what the 3 ribs might specify — but Jon, you had an interesting observation about 1 belly and 2 thighs of the statue. And the beast becoming a man is truly reminiscent of Nebuchadnezzer’s ascent from madness.

_We are currently in the “gap” between Daniel 9:26 and 9:27. This may account for the absence of anything that has happened during this time in Bible prophecy. It leaves off with Rome as the Biblical kingdom in power and is actually picking up again now with the revival of the Islamic Caliphate [Daniel 11]. It would seem anything between then and now (besides the general moral decay of the world) has been curiously left out of Bible prophecy. Why? Not to sound trite, but only God knows.

This long discussion reflects such a myriad of prophetic mysteries! We lovers of Christ’s return are eager to ponder! I am (I think many longing students of prophecy are paddling this same boat:), experiencing what Daniel felt: Achingly wanting to understand, and being “…grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body…the visions…troubled me.”

More than I can say, thank you, Jon, for this P2ALM website, for your many labors, Holy Spirit insights, and gifted communication skills in helping us to ponder and seek God’s interpretation.

_Thank you for your questions. I don’t want to portray myself as having all the answers because I don’t. No one does. Really, I just want to get people to think about what it is they’re thinking about and I think we can all agree that these are increasingly worthy things to consider as history unfolds before our eyes [Daniel 12:4]. I’m glad that many of you find the information I provide spiritually useful. It’s highly encouraging and, as always, glory to God without whom I would have no ambition to research these things.

Jon

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11 comments

  1. Reblogged this on servehiminthewaiting and commented:
    Good questions and thought-provoking. It will be amazing to watch how it plays out and we all go, “ohhhh, thaaats what He meant by that!”.

  2. Thank you, good brother Jon, for your careful, time-consuming reply to my questions, full of reverence for the Holy Scriptures. You’ve spurred me to continue seeking truth, and taking nothing for granted.

    You know, I’d love to read an ongoing conversation between you and Joel Richardson. He, like you, is a civil debater and apologist (as he exhibited in some back and forth discussions with Bill Salus), with a heart for pondering prophetic interpretations of the written Word. How interesting it is, when men of God peer deeply into a text, and share their thoughts with one another.

    When all is said and done — we who have repented, and called on our mighty Savior for forgiveness, redemption, eternal life — are on the winning team, eh? I’ll leave some bottom-line words from Daniel (7:27, 28a) that fill us all with courage, awe, worship:

    “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey Him.

    “HITHERTO IS THE END OF THE MATTER….”

    “Even so, come, Lord Jesus.” (Rev. 22:20b)

  3. Jon, I still ponder the comparisons of Daniel 2 and 7. I very much enjoyed reading your thoughts in the above article you wrote.

    I just discovered a careful verse-by-verse exposition of Daniel 7 that takes the view that the 4 beasts are not identical to the statue kingdoms of Daniel 2. It’s quite thorough in its examination of words, and not over-reaching in its prophetic tone. I listened to the video of Chris White:

    “Daniel 7 – How to Find the Antichrist 101”

    — which is over an hour’s worth of exposition. The text for the video is available at versebyversebibleteaching.com, under the title, “Daniel 7 – How to Find the Antichrist — An Alternative View.” Having the lengthy text of the video is very helpful, since White gives abundant cross-references in defining terms, interpreting phrases, etc.

    I just emailed Chris, and told him of your “wonderful website” and how many pains you’d taken to write an article on this subject, including my list of questions on “traditional” versus “contemporaneous” views. You both seem to love studying the Word, and giving yourselves to its careful exposition. You both are gifted in how well you express yourselves as you teach. I hope Chris will check out your website.

    Events are pummeling our world with unparalleled swiftness. Jesus is LORD, and He’s coming soon!

    • thank you, Judy. i’ve been to his site on occasion. i did not know he held that view. but discussion about these things is always good.

      do you remember Joseph having two different visions of the same thing [Genesis 37]? it’s the same for Daniel concerning chapters 2 and 7. at least this establishes that God does indeed give people multiple visions of the same event.

      both the Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 prophecy stretch until the end because both have Christ’s kingdom set up on the earth during the rule of the final beast kingdom.

      And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 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, just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.”
      [Daniel 2:40-45 ESV]

      compare the above to 7:7-12. while the final beast kingdom is ruling, Christ’s kingdom appears on the earth. there is simply no place for new nations to be inserted. Daniel 7 chronicles the same nations.

      In chapter 7, Daniel has a vision of four beasts coming up from the sea [7:2-3]. Each of these beasts represents a Biblical world kingdom. Daniel, distressed by the dream, seeks the help of a nearby angel for an answer to what he has seen. The angel tells him that these beasts are four kings (king, kingship, kingdom or k3).

      ‘These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.
      [Daniel 7:17 NASB]

      The first beast.

      “The first was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
      [Daniel 7:4 NASB]

      This is the king of Babylon (k3). King Nebuchadnezzar was made like an animal because he lifted himself up in pride before God. After seven years, he was returned to his right mind as a man.

      The second beast.

      “And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat!’
      [Daniel 7:5 NASB]

      These are the kings of Medo-Persia (k3). One was more powerful than the other, hence the raised up side.

      The third beast.

      “After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, 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 NASB]

      This is the king of Greece (k3). At its height, upon the death of Alexander the Great, Greece was broken up into four lesser kingdoms by his generals. Daniel tells us about two of these kingdoms in chapter 11.

      The fourth beast.

      “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 the future Antichrist’s kingdom which is being formed now in the Middle East.

      a couple of things to consider when you compare these kingdoms to chapter 2’s kingdoms:

      – both visions have 4 beasts
      – Daniel 2:37-38 clearly states that Babylon is the first kingdom in the vision
      – both the 4th kingdom in Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 are compared to iron and described as having 10 kings [2:41-42 10 toes; 7:7 – 10 horns]
      – during the rule of the 4th kingdom in both visions, Christ’s kingdom is set up n the earth to put an end to it

      in fact, Daniel 7:19 even describes the fourth beast as having teeth of iron and nails of bronze. we know from the statue in chapter 2 that the bronze kingdom is Greece [2:39], hence the reference to the two legs (iron) coming out of the broken Greek Empire (bronze) shows up here in chapter 7 as well. why? because they’re the same kingdoms. i believe this further supports my theory that the two legs of iron are the kings of the north and south which came out of the Greek Empire.

      with all of this cohesion, i just don’t see how there’s any room to insert new nations during the end time. one of my most important rules for interpreting prophecy is to keep it simple until the text doesn’t allow you to anymore. throwing other nations into the mix creates more questions than answers.

  4. Someone of the same mind. I love it. We are watchmen upon the wall so blow the trumpet. I feel compelled daily to expedite my posts; life has a way of getting in my way though. I am sure you are taking some flack, so hang in there.

    • yes. i was pleased and encouraged to come across your post and your blog. the word is getting out and praise God for that! it’s time for people to start spiritually preparing for their future and it is my hope to help with that in some way.

      • I wish I could explain how I feel right now; energized, encouraged, and I wee bit of hope restored. Even at church no one cares to hear or understand. I feel like we are in the minute mode. Thanks for listening to God’s voice. I needed it.

        • you know. out of respect for my Pastor, i held my tongue at my church about these things as much as i could hoping i would be able to have an audience with him first to discuss these things but it didn’t materialize. i told very few, even, of my close friends about my web site. i so wanted to take him through Daniel 11 but God had different plans, i guess. and after relocation, i’m at another church. if you ever feel like discussing things, you know who to contact.

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