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dom of Babylon, shewing its superiority and extent. Dan, iy. 10. 22. The cutting down the tree, denotes the calamity which befell Nebuchadnezzar during the space of seven years, to which we have just referred, and the binding of the stump of the tree with a band of iron and brass, signified that his kingdom should be secured to him when he should know “that the heavens do rule.” Dan. iv. 23—26. 34.
4. The fourth symbol to be noticed, is a beast like a Bear, opposite the breast and arms of silver, representing the Medo-Persian kingdom, vii. 5. The bear was the type of that kingdom. It raised itself on one side; the Persians being inferior to the Medes at the fall of Babylon, but afterwards became superior to them. And it had three ribs in its mouth, which denote its carnivorous nature, and its disposition to obey the command, “Arise and devour much flesh.” It conquered Sardis, Babylon and Egypt, which are symbolized by the three ribs. Dan. vii. 5.
5. The fifth symbol is a Ram, on the right of the bear; this is another type of the MedoPersian kingdom. The scene of the vision was at Shushan the palace, in the province of Elam, by the river Ulai. “Behold there stood before the river a ram with two horns, and the two horns were high; but the one was higher than the other, and the highest came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward, so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand, but he did according to his will, and became, great.” Dan. viii. 3, 4. One horn being higher than the other denotes the superiority of the Persian kingdom.
6. The sixth symbol represents the Grecian kingdom under Alexander and his successors. It was a beast like a Leopard which had upon its back four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads and dominion was given to it.” Dan. vii. 6. The four wings denoted the rapidity, of its prosperity and conquests, and the four heads its four principal divisions, Egypt, Syria, Macedonia, and Thrace.
7. The seventh symbol is a Goat, in the next column opposite to the leopard. This represents the same kingdom. “The rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes, is the first king. Now that being broken whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power,” viii. 21, 22. Alexander the great was the first king, and when he died he was succeeded by his four generals, Cassander, Lysimachus, Ptolemy, and Seleucus; these divided the
empire of Alexander among them, and thus fulfilled the prophecy. And out of one of them came fourth a little horn which waxed exceeding great toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” viii. 9. This is generally thought to be Mahomet who rose out of the kingdom of Ptolemy and waxed great southward, eastward and towards Palestine, or the pleasant land.
8. The eight symbol called “the Fourth Beast was dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and it 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,” vii. 7. This beast is the representative of the same kingdom as the iron legs of the metalic image, and is generally thought to represent the Roman Empire. It appears to be a compound of the three former beasts, having the lion's head, the bear's feet and the leopard's body; and as many horns as the ram, and the goat, for when the great horn of the goat was broken there came up four in its stead, making the whole number ten; besides the little notable horn which came up after it, vii. 8. This fourth kingdom in its divided form includes all the kingdoms into which that empire was divided; and these will exist until the thrones
are set for the assessors, (1. Cor. vi. 2.) and the Ancient of days sits in judgment on the nations, which judgment will slay the beast and destroy the horn. Dan. vii. 11. 26.
After the judgment upon the kingdoms represented by the fourth beast, the fifth great universal kingdom will be established; this is represented by the Stone which smote the image. The Stone symbolizes the kingdom of Christ, or the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven; and he was brought before his father, who gave “him dominion and glory and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.” Dan. vii. 13, 14.
Thus closed the wonderful vision which grieved and troubled the prophet, and made him anxious to know “the truth of all this:” and having one near him who understood the whole, he asked him the meaning of the vision and received the following “interpretation of the things” which he saw.
“These great beasts which are four, are four kings which shall arise out of the earth.” ver. 17. These are the Babylonian, the MedoPersian, the Macedonian or Grecian, and the Roman kingdoms, but as Daniel had understood these things by the interpretation
of the great Image, the Interpreter did not enlarge upon them; but proceeded to instruct him in that which was most interesting to him, that is, the fifth monarchy, the kingdom of the Stone, or the kingdom of God, when “the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.” vii. 18. As the fourth beast appeared so very extraordinary, the prophet was anxious for more information respecting it, and particularly concerning the little horn which made war with the saints and prevailed against them, even until the Ancient of days came. ver. 19–22. To satisfy these important inquiries, the Interpreter, said, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth and tread it down, and break it in pieces. And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings which shall arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.” ver. 23, 24. This little horn is by most commentators thought to be the Popedom, which subdued three kings, by which the pope became a temporal prince, and fixed the seat of his government at Rome. This little horn “shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to