Rome Congratulated Israel on Becoming the Fourth Kingdom of Daniel 2


This post continues the series, “The Beast of Revelation Was Zealot-Led Israel.” The introduction and outline to this series can be seen here.

In the previous post, “Daniel 2: Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece/Macedonia,” we began to look at Daniel 2 and the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream that represented four kingdoms. We saw that the first three kingdoms are clearly identified in the book of Daniel as Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. In this post we will examine the transition from the third kingdom to the fourth kingdom, which is also the fourth beast of Daniel 7 and “the beast” of Revelation.

“In the latter time” of the third kingdom, the infamous Antiochus Epiphanes rose to power, fulfilling Daniel 8:23-26. Daniel was told that he would be broken (verse 25) and this took place in 164 BC. It’s commonly taught that at this point in history, dominion over Israel passed from the hands of Greece to Rome. However, no such transfer actually took place. In fact, neither Daniel 8 nor Daniel 11 mention (or even allude to) Rome’s takeover of Greece. Why is this significant?

As we’ve seen, the transition from the first kingdom (Babylon) to the second kingdom (Medo-Persia) is described in Daniel 5:30-31. The transition from the second kingdom to the third kingdom (Greece) is described in Daniel 8:1-7. Daniel is only shown the destiny of the Greek kingdom up until the breaking of Antiochus Epiphanes (Daniel 8:25), and Daniel 11:32 likewise depicts an uprising against Antiochus Ephiphanes. The perfect time to predict Rome’s conquest of Greece would have been in either Daniel 8 or Daniel 11, since Macedonia was established as a province of the Roman republic in 146 BC, but Daniel didn’t do that.

If Rome was the fourth kingdom foreseen in Daniel 2:40-43 and Daniel 7:7, then the book of Daniel never described the transition from the third kingdom to the fourth kingdom as it did for the previous transitions. What if the description of the Maccabees in Daniel 11:32-35 has everything to do with the transition from the third kingdom to the fourth kingdom? Israel was about to be under no one’s dominion at all.

Kingdom #3 (Bronze / Belly and Thighs) to Kingdom #4 (Iron and Iron-Clay / Legs and Feet)

II Maccabees 5:2-4 describes a prolonged supernatural event seen by “people all over Jerusalem” in 164 BC:

“For nearly forty days people all over Jerusalem saw visions of cavalry troops in gold armor charging across the sky. The riders were armed with spears and their swords were drawn. They were lined up in battle against one another, attacking and counterattacking. Shields were clashing, there was a rain of spears, and arrows flew through the air. All the different kinds of armor and the gold bridles on the horses flashed in the sunlight. Everyone in the city prayed that these visions might be a good sign.”

When the same vision was seen nearly 230 years later (Wars 6.5.3), it was not a good sign for Jerusalem. This time it was, though. The Jewish Virtual Library continues its overview of Israel’s history by discussing Israel’s transition from dominance by the Greeks/Macedonians to full independence in 142 BC (see the previous post for the first part of this overview):

The Jews Regain Their Independence

It took more than two decades of fighting before the Maccabees forced the Seleucids to retreat from the Land of Israel. By this time Antiochus had died and his successor agreed to the Jews’ demand for independence. In the year 142 BCE, after more than 500 years of subjugation, the Jews were again masters of their own fate.

When Mattathias died, the revolt was led by his son Judas, or Judah Maccabee, as he is often called. By the end of the war, Simon was the only one of the five sons of Mattathias to survive and he ushered in an 80-year period of Jewish independence in Judea, as the Land of Israel was now called. The kingdom regained boundaries not far short of Solomon’s realm and Jewish life flourished.

The Hasmoneans claimed not only the throne of Judah, but also the post of High Priest. This assertion of religious authority conflicted with the tradition of the priests coming from the descendants of Moses’ brother Aaron and the tribe of Levi.

Daniel 11:31-32 summarizes the actions of Antiochus Epiphanes and the victory of the Maccabees in this way:

And forces shall be mustered by him, and they shall defile the sanctuary fortress; then they shall take away the daily sacrifices, and place there the abomination of desolation. Those who do wickedly against the covenant he shall corrupt with flattery; but the people who know their God shall be strong, and carry out great exploits.”

This is clearly a reference to the monotheistic Jews and not the polytheistic Romans. In greater detail, the victory of the Maccabees was recorded in I Maccabees 13:41-42:

“In the year one hundred and seventy [of the Seleucid Empire] the yoke of the Gentiles was taken off from Israel. And the people of Israel began to write in the instruments, and public records, ‘The first year under Simon the high priest, the great captain and prince of the Jews.’”

In Wars of the Jews 1.2.2 Josephus described how Simeon (or Simon) Maccabee achieved a series of victories over Antiochus Epiphanes:

“Simeon managed the public affairs after a courageous manner, and took Gazara, and Joppa, and Jamnia, which were cities in the neighborhood. He also got the garrison under, and demolished the citadel… he also laid a great many men in ambush in many places of the mountains, and was superior in all his attacks upon them. And when he had been conqueror after so glorious a manner, he was made high priest, and also freed the Jews from the dominion of the Macedonians, after a hundred and seventy years of the empire [of Seleucus].

Wikipedia says this about the Maccabees and the dynasty they founded:

“The Maccabees were the leaders of a Jewish rebel army that took control of Judea, which at the time had been a province of the Seleucid Empire. They founded the Hasmonean dynasty, which ruled from 164 BCE to 63 BCE. They reasserted the Jewish religion, partly by forced conversion, expanded the boundaries of Judea by conquest and reduced the influence of Hellenism and Hellenistic Judaism.”

This was the transition:

*from bronze to iron
*from the belly and thighs to the legs and feet (the final stage of the image)
*from the third kingdom to the fourth kingdom

Contrary to my previous assumptions, dominion over Israel did not pass from the Greek Empire to the Roman Empire. In fact, when Israel defeated Macedonia, the Republic of Rome expressed its congratulations and an alliance was confirmed between Rome and Israel:

“And all the land of Juda was at rest all the days of Simon, and he sought the good of his nation: and his power, and his glory pleased them well all his days. And with all his glory he took Joppe for a haven, and made an entrance to the isles of the sea. And he enlarged the bounds of his nation, and made himself master of the country… the fame of his glory was renowned even to the end of the earth. He made peace in the land, and Israel rejoiced with great joy. And every man sat under his vine, and under his fig tree: and there was none to make them afraid…

And it was heard at Rome, and as far as Sparta, that Jonathan was dead: and they were very sorry. But when they heard that Simon his brother was made high priest in his place, and was possessed of all the country, and the cities therein: They wrote to him in tables of brass, to renew the friendship and alliance which they had made with Judas, and with Jonathan his brethren… And after this Simon sent Numenius to Rome, with a great shield of gold the weight of a thousand pounds, to confirm the league with them” (I Maccabees 14:4-24).

The fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream wasn’t Rome. It was Israel – “as strong as iron” (Daniel 2:33, 40) at first, and “partly strong and partly fragile” (Daniel 2:33, 41-43) later. It’s important to keep in mind that the timeline of Nebuchadnezzar’s image would only extend until the stone would crush its feet (Daniel 2:34, 44; Matthew 21:44). Greece/Macedonia was the belly and thighs of the image, and the fourth kingdom was the legs and the feet, the final part of that timeline. It was Israel, not Rome, that was later crushed by the stone. Consider how proportional these body parts are to the time periods represented in this scenario:

BODY PARTS

KINGDOM

TIME PERIOD

Head Babylon 605 BC – 539 BC (66 years)
Chest and arms Medo-Persia 539 BC – 329 BC (210 years)
Belly and thighs Greece/Macedonia 329 BC – 164 BC (165 years)
Legs and feet Hasmonean/Israel 164 BC – AD 70 (234 years)

How would the last row above look if Rome was the fourth kingdom? Would the body parts in Nebuchadnezzar’s statue remain proportional, or would a pair of stilts be required?

Legs and feet Rome 146 BC* – AD 476 (622 years)

*Rome’s “Late Republic” period dates from its defeat over Corinth in 146 BC, which ended the Macedonian kingdom. The Roman Empire began in 27 BC. If that was the beginning of the legs and feet, it would represent a time period of 503 years and there would be a gap of more than 100 years between the third and fourth kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

This chart shows a list of significant events which took place during the time of Israel’s Hasmonean (Maccabean) Dynasty (164 BC – 37 BC) and the Herodian Dynasty (37 BC –>) that followed:

Year Event Timing in Relation to Israel’s Independence
164 BC

Israel, led by the Maccabees, defeats Antiochus Epiphanes

22 years prior
142 BC

Israel becomes fully independent from Macedonia/Greece

At this time
63 BC

Pompey the Great, a Roman statesman, intervenes in the Judean civil war between Hyrcanus and Aristobulus, the two sons of Queen Alexandra Salome. The province of Syria was created at this time, and Judea was incorporated into the Roman republic.

Judea remained autonomous, but lost some of its land, including parts of Samaria and Idumea. Other cities that had been under Judea became autonomous as well and formed the Decapolis. One of those cities was Pella. “The people of the Decapolis cities welcomed Pompey as a liberator from the Jewish Hasmonean kingdom that had ruled much of the area” (Wikipedia).

Aristobulus was taken to Rome, but Hyrcanus was reinstated as the High Priest and Antipater the Idumean became the chief minister of Judea. Antipater was pro-Roman and even rescued Julius Caesar in Alexandria, for which he was rewarded.

79 years later
47 BC

Hyrcanus was recognized by Rome as the ethnarch (ruler) of Judea, and Antipater was recognized as the first Roman Procurator.

95 years later
40 – 37 BC

The Roman Senate appointed Herod the Great as “King of Judea” in 40 BC. However, at that time the Parthians (modern NE Iran) conquered the Levant, including the land of Israel. The Jews thought a new era of independence had come. It took Rome three years to defeat the Parthians.

102 – 105 years later
37 BC

Hasmonean rule ended when Herod the Great captured Jerusalem and unseated Antigonus II Mattathias. Antipater the Idumean was Herod’s father. Herod married a Hasmonean princess named Mariamne. The Herodian dynasty began in Judea.

105 years later
27 BC The Roman empire began. 115 years later
6 AD

The Jewish Zealot movement was founded by Judas of Galilee.

148 years later

the-hasmonean-dynasty

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University; July 28, 2016

Is the Herodian dynasty spoken of in Daniel? In a 2005 article, Bryan T. Huie explains how Daniel 11:36-45 moves on from speaking of Antiochus Epiphanes and the Hasmoneans who conquered him, and goes on to speak of Herod the Great and Octavius (Augustus Caesar):

“In this verse [Daniel 11:36], the king being spoken of changes. Starting in verse 21, Antiochus IV Epiphanes was the referenced king. Verses 32 through 35 prophesy his defeat by the Maccabees (the Hasmoneans) and encompass the subsequent fall of their dynasty. But the context shows that the remaining verses in this chapter cannot apply to Antiochus IV… Both secular history and the New Testament record the acts of a king who appeared on the scene in Israel at the end of the Hasmonean period. As we shall see, this king fulfilled every prophetic description given in verses 36 through 39. That king was Herod the Great. In verse 36, the one spoken of is not identified as either the king of the North or the king of the South, but simply as ‘the king.’ Herod was seated as king on the throne of Israel when Messiah Yeshua was born. He is called ‘the king’ in the Gospels (Matt. 2:1, 3, 9; Luke 1:5)…

Bryan’s full commentary on Daniel 11:36-45, and how it was fulfilled in the lives of Herod and Octavius (later Augustus Caesar), is worth examining. It compares well with Philip Mauro’s conclusions in his 1922 book, “The Seventy Weeks and the Great Tribulation” (Chapter 9).

Herod the Great was from Idumea, and was of Edomite lineage. Between 47 – 40 BC he served as the Governor and then the Tetrarch of Galilee. After he convinced Rome of his pro-Roman loyalty, the Roman Senate appointed him as the king of Judea in 40 BC (Josephus, Wars 1.14.4). After a three year war he wrestled the control of this position from the last Hasmonean ruler, Mattathias II Antigonus. Herod began the Herodian dynasty by ruling over Judea from 37 BC to 4 BC.

palestine-under-herod-the-great

Source: 40 Maps That Explain the Roman Empire (#24)

Mark Mountjoy remarks in New Testament Open University (August 23, 2015),

“It was at that point that Herod the Great, the son-in-law of the Hasmoneans, turned the Hasmonean Empire into the Herodean Kingdom of Edom–or the feet of iron and clay. So when the fourth kingdom changes from pure iron to iron and clay, and when the rulers of the fourth kingdom are no longer of Jewish stock but of Edomite lineage, and when the gains of the Maccabees were divided up and ruled over by the sons and grandsons (and a daughter and grandaughter) of Herod the Great, that could only mean the end of the intact statue was drawing very near. Moreover, John the Baptist and Jesus and all the first Christians were living at that stage of biblical history. This is why John the Baptist believed the Kingdom of God (the fifth kingdom of Daniel 2 and 7) was near (Matthew 3:2). And this is why Jesus our Lord believed the Kingdom of God (the same fifth kingdom of Daniel 2 and 7) was near (Matthew 4:17 and 10:7). Jesus did not believe or teach that it was coming immediately (Luke 19:11), but he did teach that it would come before all those people who lived at that time had died (Matthew 10:23; 16:27-28; Matthew 24:34; John 21:21-23).”

The Judean Kingdom Divided (Daniel 2:41)

Daniel 2:41 says this about the final stage of Nebuchadnezzar’s image: “Whereas you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; yet the strength of the iron shall be in it, just as you saw the iron mixed with ceramic clay.”

Almost a decade after the invasion of Pompey the Great in 63 BC, a major division took place in 57-55 BC when the proconsul of Syria, Aulus Gabinius, divided the Hasmonean kingdom into five parts. As Josephus records in Antiquities 14.5.4, when Gabinius “had ordained five councils, he distributed the nation into the same number of parts. So these councils governed the people; the first was at Jerusalem, the second at Gadara, the third at Amathus, the fourth at Jericho, and the fifth at Sepphoris in Galilee. So the Jews were now freed from monarchic authority, and were governed by an aristocracy.”

the-judean-kingdom-divided

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University; August 13, 2015

According to Wikipedia’s entry on the Herodian Dynasty, when Herod died in 4 BC his kingdom also “was divided between his sons as a Tetrarchy, which lasted for about 10 years. Most of those kingdoms, including Judea proper, were incorporated into Judaea Province in 6 CE.” This was the same year that the Jewish Zealot movement was founded by Judas of Galilee.

They Will Not Adhere to One Another (Daniel 2:43)

Daniel 2:43 says that the iron and the clay would not mix well:

As you saw iron mixed with ceramic clay, they will mingle with the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, just as iron does not mix with clay.”

The Jewish Virtual Library discusses how Judea was unique among the provinces of Rome because of its frequent revolts and unwillingness to integrate:

“Judea differed from the other provinces in the east of the Roman Empire in that it never resigned itself to Roman rule and did not willingly become integrated into the Imperial system. From the beginning of the Roman conquest its history was one of bitter struggle accompanied by revolts against the Imperial power. Although there were revolts in the Western parts of the Empire too (in Britain and Gaul and by the Batavi), these were not as frequent and they generally occurred in the early stages of Roman occupation and on the frontiers of the Empire. In Judea, however, a province that lay in the heart of a vital area, between Syria and Egypt, relations with the Roman authorities were in a state of almost continuous tension from the period of Pompey and Gabinius until after the Bar Kokhba War.”

the-jewish-state-from-166-bc-to-70-ad

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University; August 15, 2016

In 70 AD the Roman general Titus attested to the semi-independence of Israel during the preceding period. He addressed the Jewish Zealot leaders and gave a speech which painted a picture of the privileges, exceptions, and advantages that Israel enjoyed while under the jurisdiction of Rome from 63 BC to 66 AD (a period of 129 years):

“You have been the men that have never left off rebelling since Pompey first conquered you, and have, since that time, made open war with the Romans… It can therefore be nothing certainly but the kindness of us Romans which hath excited you against us; who, in the first place, have given you this land to possess; and, in the next place, have set over you kings of your own nation; and, in the third place, have preserved the laws of your forefathers to you, and have withal permitted you to live, either by yourselves, or among others, as it should please you: and, what is our chief favor of all we have given you leave to gather up that tribute which is paid to God with such other gifts that are dedicated to him; nor have we called those that carried these donations to account, nor prohibited them; till at length you became richer than we ourselves, even when you were our enemies; and you made preparations for war against us with our own money; nay, after all, when you were in the enjoyment of all these advantages, you turned your too great plenty against those that gave it you, and, like merciless serpents, have thrown out your poison against those that treated you kindly” (Josephus, Wars 6.6.2).

The figure below compares the conventional way of viewing Nebuchadnezzar’s dream with what Mark Mountjoy calls the Atavist view (B = Babylon, MP = Medo-Persia, G = Greece, N & S = North & South, J = Judea, and E = Edom):

jewish-salvation-history-in-nebuchadnezzars-dream

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University; September 1, 2015

four-kingdoms-of-jewish-salvation-history

Source: Mark Mountjoy, New Testament Open University; July 28, 2016

Kingdom #4 (Iron & Iron-Clay/Legs & Feet) to the Everlasting Kingdom (Mountain of God)

The transition from the fourth kingdom to the everlasting kingdom of the saints was predicted by Jesus in Matthew 21:42-44. In Matthew 21, we see that the kingdom was going to be taken away from the Chief Priests and the Pharisees. If Rome was the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and the kingdom was in the hands of the Roman Empire, as is so often taught, then how was the kingdom going to be taken away from the leaders of Israel? Jesus uses the language of Daniel here:

Therefore I say to you, [A] the kingdom of God will be taken from you and [B] given to a nation bearing the fruits of it. And whoever falls on [C] this stone will be broken; but on whomever it falls, it will [D] grind him to powder. Now when the chief priests and Pharisees heard His parables, they perceived that [E] He was speaking of them” (Matthew 21:43-45).

You watched while [C] a stone was cut out without hands, which [D] struck the image on its feet of iron and clay, and broke them in pieces. Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver, and the gold were [D] crushed together, and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; the wind carried them away so that no trace of them was found. And [C] the stone that struck the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth… And in the days of these kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which shall never be destroyed … The fourth beast shall be [E] a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all other kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, trample it and break it in pieces… Then [A] the kingdom and dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be [B] given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom…” (Daniel 2:34-35, 44; 7:23, 27).

Perhaps a similar picture of this transfer is also seen in Matthew 8:10-12, in the words that Jesus spoke to the centurion:

Assuredly, I say to you, I have not found such great faith, not even in Israel! And I say to you that many will come from east and west, and sit down with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob in the kingdom of heaven. But the sons of the kingdom will be cast out into outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.”

Why did Jesus refer to the people of Israel as “the sons of the kingdom”? Was it merely because of the common assumption that the people of Israel were the rightful heirs of the kingdom? Or was Jesus also referring to the fact that the fourth kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar’s vision was in the hands of Israel? About 40 years later, of course, it would no longer be in their hands. It would be in the hands of the saints.

No Place Was Found for Them

Mark Mountjoy points out that a certain expression in Daniel 2:35 was very likely significant for Israel in a way that it couldn’t possibly have been for Rome. That expression is this: “…and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them.” Although a few translations say “no trace of them was found,” most say that “no place was found for them.” Why did this expression hold significance for Israel? Mark explains:

“[If] the Spirit of God had the termination of Temple history in mind, it would mean the Jewish people were unable to obtain what they sought because Christ in his power and prerogative as God withheld it from them. Proof of this term ‘place’ being intended to speak of the Temple may be seen in what was said by Caiaphas in his emergency meeting with the Sanhedrim recorded in John 11:48. There it reads, 

Then gathered the chief priests and the Pharisees a council, and said, “What do we do? For this man does many miracles… If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him, and the Romans shall come and take away our place and nation.”’”

Caiaphas’ concern was with both the nation and the temple, just as Daniel 9:26 predicted that “the city and the temple” would be destroyed. Similarly, Acts 6:9-14 describes a dispute that arose against Stephen from the Synagogue of the Freedman. Stephen was brought before the religious council in Jerusalem and false witnesses said:

This man does not cease to speak blasphemous words against this holy place and the law; for we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place and change the customs which Moses delivered to us” (verses 13-14).

In these two instances, it’s clear that the “place” they spoke of was the temple in Jerusalem. This is confirmed again in Acts 21:26-28, when Jews from Asia attacked and accused Paul in the temple, saying,

Men of Israel, help! This is the man who teaches all men everywhere against the people, the law, and this place; and furthermore he also brought Greeks into the temple and has defiled this holy place” (verse 28).

The same expression found in Daniel 2:35 is also found in Revelation 20:11. There, in speaking of the old heaven and the earth passing away, it’s said that “there was found no place for them.” In the writings of Josephus, the temple was said to represent heaven and earth (Wars 5.5.4). Likewise, heaven and earth represented Israel and the temple in both the Old Testament and the New Testament (e.g. Leviticus 26:19; Deuteronomy 32:1; Isaiah 1:1-2, 51:16; Matthew 5:18, 24:35; Hebrews 12:25-28; II Peter 3:10).

The old covenant was obsolete and ready to vanish away in the first century (Hebrews 8:13). There was no place found for the temple because God chose to make His tabernacle with His people in New Jerusalem (Revelation 21:2-3). Thus, the prophetic declaration in Daniel 2:35 appears to have been significant for Israel in a way that it couldn’t have been for Rome.

The next post will begin to examine Daniel’s own vision of four beasts in Daniel 7, in which he is given key details about the fourth beast – the beast of Revelation.

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All of the posts in this series can be found at this page.

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8 thoughts on “Rome Congratulated Israel on Becoming the Fourth Kingdom of Daniel 2

  1. Fanstastic! Giant puzzle piece, Adam! Why has the Hasmonean Dynasty just slipped by? Why do scholars say power went from Greece to Rome? I have been taught this for 30 years as truth.

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    • Thanks, Val! I was always taught the same way as you were. It could be like this because Rome conquered Corinth (of Greece) in 146 BC, right around the same time that Israel defeated Greece (164 BC) and became fully independent (142 BC). Of course, Rome was a republic at that time and not yet an empire (until 27 BC).

      However, I was never taught about the Hasmonean Dynasty that was 100% free of both Greek and Roman dominion for 79 years. It was always taught or implied that Israel was under the dominion of Greece for a long while, and then all of a sudden Israel was under the dominion of Rome, but that wasn’t true.

      I think that if the Hasmonean Dynasty is acknowledged and understood for what it was, then those who acknowledge this have to at least call into question the idea that Rome was the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2, the fourth beast of Daniel 7, and the beast of Revelation.

      I guess futurists definitely have a reason to avoid doing this. It’s common within futurism to think that after the Roman Empire collapsed in 476 AD, that “empire” remained alive in the Catholic Church and/or Western civilization, and now there is a “revived” Roman Empire. This idea has absolutely nothing to stand on if it’s acknowledged that Rome was never the fourth kingdom/beast in the first place.

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  2. Hi Adam,

    Nice blog brother! You’ve really done a lot of great research. It’s wonderful to find someone with such a keen interest in prophecy. I’m preterist myself, although of the partial persuasion.

    Daniel 11:36-45 has been a fascination of mine for some time. I agree that the idea that “the king” of v. 36 refers to Herod is intriguing. I’m familiar with the interpretations proposed by Philip Mauro and Bryan T. Huie. There are a few difficulties I have with their theories though. You seem quite knowledgeable on the subject so I’d like to hear your thoughts on some of these.

    First, to me at least, “the king” of vv. 36-39 sounds an awful lot like the little horn of Daniel 8:11-12,23-25 which as you know was Antiochus Epiphanes. I’m inclined to see “the king” of Daniel 11:36 as him as well.

    Second, according to Mauro and Huie, vv. 36-39 refer to events starting with Herod being appointed king of Judea by Octavius and Anthony in 41 B.C. all the way through to the early years of Christ’s childhood. If there ever was a reference to the “time of the end”, the life of Christ would seem to be it. Yet, in v. 40, “at the time of the end”, Mauro and Huie have the scene returning to 31 B.C. with the civil war of Mark Anthony and Cleopatra vs. Octavius. This seems quite strange to me.

    Third, the argument that Mauro and Huie make requires that the first “him” of v. 40 bypass the parenthetical insert of Herod’s life in vv. 36-39 referring back to the “he” of v. 32 who is identified as the king of the North in v. 28. This is because of the following. It’s clear that the first “him” of v. 40 was somehow involved in the war between the king of the North and South of that verse. He was apparently a direct target of the king of the South. Yet, Huie states that Herod was not involved in “the final showdown with Octavius” because “Antony dispatched him and his troops to fight the Nabatean king Malichus I.” This would seem to require that the “the king” of v. 36 could not be the first “him” of v. 40 but rather the “he” of v. 32.

    Despite this, such bypassing of the reference seems quite odd. Grammatically speaking, the first “him” of v. 40 would seem to have to be the “king” of v. 36. This seems even more likely if we assume that vv. 36-39 end at the early years of Christ which would more naturally correspond to the “the time of the end” of v. 40.

    Just some thoughts. No argument or challenge is intended. I just enjoy discussing this topic. The work you are doing is important and much appreciated!

    Thanks in advance,
    Carmine

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    • Hi Carmine,

      Thank you for your kind words, and for your thoughts on this topic. You’ve brought up some interesting points. I want to give this a thorough look and give you a good response, but time won’t allow right now. I’ll try to get back to you on this as soon as I can, and hopefully before I travel in a few days.

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      • Sounds good Adam. Thank you for taking the time to investigate this.

        Also, I was just reading over my previous comment and I realized had a typo. The last sentence of my 5th paragraph should read ‘This would seem to require that the first “him” of v. 40 could not be “the king” of v. 36 but rather the “he” of v. 32.’

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  3. Hi Adam,

    A few questions here…

    If Israel is truly the 4th beast of Daniel 7 and also the 4th kingdom of iron on the metal statue of Daniel 2, where does the Roman empire fit anywhere into world history at all? What do we do then with verses such as Caesar Augustus having the power to dictate that all the habitable world should be taxed in Luke 2:1, if he as a Caesar never had a part of any worldwide dominion in Daniel’s statue?

    What also do we do with passages such as Acts 16:19-21? In this story about the Philippian woman who had the spirit of divination cast out, her masters who lost their income over this protested to the city magistrates of that colony, saying “These men, being Jews, do exceedingly trouble our city, And teach customs which are not lawful for us to receive, neither to observe, BEING ROMANS.” If Israel truly was the 4th kingdom on the Daniel 2 statue, then these Philippians would not have claimed to be Roman citizens, in submission to Roman laws, if that Roman kingdom had not existed. Even Paul claimed to be a Roman citizen in this text (Acts 16:37).

    I don’t ever read where God symbolically compared His people to the iron element that I can remember, but He did have His prophets refer to them as CLAY several times (Isaiah 64:8 – “But now, O Lord, thou art our father; we are the clay, and thou our potter…” and Jeremiah 18:6). Even in Exodus 20:24-25, Israel’s altars for burnt offerings and peace offerings were to be made simply and symbolically of EARTH, or if of stone, it was to be of whole stones that had no tool lifted up upon them, so as not to pollute them with the work of human hands – similar to the stone kingdom of Daniel 2 which was cut out without hands.

    The Gentile nations had magnificent altars and gods aplenty, crafted of gold and silver, but Israel was commanded not to even take the corrupted silver or gold metal of these unto themselves because it was an abomination to the Lord (Deuteronomy 7:25).

    Daniel 2’s image, made almost entirely of different metals, was a representation of Gentile, pagan kingdoms and peoples, which Israel was not supposed to be a part of. Even Balaam acknowledged this separateness of Israel in his prophetic proclamation as he looked out over the encamped Israelites in Numbers 239-10a. “For from the top of the rocks I see him, and from the hills I behold him: LO, THE PEOPLE SHALL DWELL ALONE, AND SHALL NOT BE RECKONED AMONG THE NATIONS. Who shall count the dust of Jacob and the number of the fourth part of Israel?” God wanted the nation of His people to stay separated from the Gentile nations – not even to intermarry – so as to preserve the tribe and family that Christ would come from according to prophecy. This precluded them from becoming any one of the 4 empires in Daniel’s metals-man image.

    The time when they lost this total separation and became aligned in some fashion with the Gentile kingdoms was when the Rome-approved Herodian dynasty (through a marriage-merger of Herod the Idumean with the Hasmoneans) produced a forced, unnatural blend of Israel with Rome. It was the strange amalgamation of the Roman IRON kingdom with the CLAY of Israel in the feet and toes of Daniel’s image. This blend of iron and clay faced opposition almost from the beginning, with the Zealots figuring largely in this opposition later on.

    Eventually, as you know, the Zealots started an open rebellion in AD 66. This broke away from the iron / clay connection when Eleazar ended the daily sacrifice for the Roman empire and the emperor. At that very time of launching the rebellion under the governance of the 10 horns / generals in AD 66, Zechariah 12:6 LXX speaks of Jerusalem “dwelling AGAIN by herself, even in Jerusalem”, just as Israel was ideally intended to “dwell alone” by herself in Joshua’s days, separated from the influence of the Canaanite nations around her in those early days after entering the promised land.

    This “dwelling again by herself” for Jerusalem in Zechariah 12:6 LXX meant that the independent kingdom-nation of Israel had again asserted itself (briefly – from AD 66-70) as the Scarlet Beast of the Wilderness. This Scarlet Beast is the kingdom-nation of Israel that once “WAS” (under the Maccabean years of independence), then “IS NOT” (after Pompey in 63 BC), and yet “IS” once more in existence in AD 66 (with the Zealot rebellion). It is separate from the 4th beast of Daniel 7; neither is it the 4th kingdom of iron in Daniel 2’s image, because the power of those kingdoms did not fluctuate in the on again / off again pattern that was peculiar to the Scarlet Beast’s kingdom in Rev. 17:8 & 11

    Only the Revelation 13 beast from the earth (the clay / land beast / a.k.a. the False Prophet) tried to stay blended with the Roman Sea Beast (Daniel 2’s 4th iron kingdom / Daniel 7’s 4th beast) to preserve its own financial advantage. This must be why the 10 horns / generals had such virulent hatred for Jerusalem which had developed a harlot’s habits to ensure its survival. Through its interwoven collusion with the Roman authorities, (as Titus’ speech gives ample evidence in Wars 6.6.2, as well as Israel’s favored status as a religio licita of the empire), Jerusalem had prostituted itself with the iron kingdom of Rome in order to ensure its continued national and monetary security. The 2-horned Pharisee / Sadducee leadership of the Land Beast preferred the release of a murderer rather than to forfeit Rome’s favor by accepting the True Messiah who could grant them admission to the everlasting kingdom of God.

    Neither the Scarlet Beast of an independent nation of Israel, nor the Land Beast who relied on the Roman Sea Beast for its protection and national survival could provide the substance for an enduring kingdom. Only God through Christ could have set up His totally separate, indestructible kingdom for the saints to possess. Both the Land Beast and the Scarlet Beast, in their dependence on physical kingdoms that could be shaken, lost everything in the AD 70 “furnace of fire” in Jerusalem. They tried to “save their life”, but in the process ended up “losing it”.

    So, if I had to tweak your post’s title a bit, it would say “Rome, the republic, congratulated Israel on becoming the independent kingdom of the Scarlet Beast”. It is interesting that those armies in the heavens in gold armor appeared on both occasions when the independent nation of Israel (the Scarlet Beast) “WAS” becoming a kingdom under the Maccabees, and then again in AD 66 when the Scarlet Beast’s kingdom “IS” back in existence once more when the Zealots jump-started the revolt. I was not aware that these armies had appeared twice in the heavens, but if true, it does match up with the Scarlet Beast’s fluctuating state of existence that we are given in Rev. 17:8 & 11.

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