Hi Judah9 sorry for being sarcasstic it was an improper response that only a butthead like self could have given and Im sorry for taking so long to say so.. Moving right along I do have some new things to share with ya'all
INTRODUCTION TO THE KING OF THE NORTH a.k.a. KING OF BABYLON
Several years ago a bible teacher taught me finding the truth of Gods word is to compare scripture with scripture and spend time in prayer asking for the understanding of it. Divine revelation needs no proof, so you do not need a library of books to study the Holy Bible, it is it's own best commentator and interpreter. As Dr. Howard A. Kelly (Professor at John Hopkins University) once said "The very best way to study the Bible is simply to read it daily with close attention and with prayer to see the light that shines from it's pages, to meditate upon it, and to continue to read it until it works itself, its words, its expressions, its teachings, its habits of thought, and its presentation of God and His Christ into the very warp and woof of ones being".
Yet book shelves everywhere are filled with a multitude of varying opinions, interpretations, and advice even those found inside our study bibles and church services. I fear the vast majority of these renderings do not rely wholly on the truth rather they obviously disregard it or worse by subtle distortion. Both can introduce the imaginations of men diverting your attention from the accuracy and purity of Gods word. Now they may be helpful to some, as some books are to me, as it could actually inspire some to read God's word after wards to find the truth of the matter. Those that do I think it can sometimes make biblical education all the more difficult. As no matter how learned one is, or what books are read or how eloquent a teacher speaks. After all of this study and information gathering one then must, without fail, go to scripture to see if the things learned are actually so. Twice the reading!
For many of us here we have gone over the Book of Daniel with a fine tooth comb, I still do. Yet, instead of thinking as Professor Hopkins and looking deeper into God's word for answers, when I didn't know something I had tendency to open a commentary or history book for an answer.
Let me begin with the use of an analogy. I used to interdict narcotics coming into the Southeast U.S. years ago. Sometimes I would with experience alone find the narcotics and not necessarily by following the rules of legal search and seizure. There were times I was interested more in the end result than explaining how I went about discovering it.
I think this is the same thing I have here. The 'culprit' (4th kingdom) I think has been found out but have we really been able to convince the judge how we went about finding it. Take for instance my previous post on Daniel chapter 2. Like others here I agree the 4th kingdom is a middle eastern country. But to fill in the voids leading up to it I used old schools of thought to make it fit. Like commentators of days gone by, I believed the third kingdom to be Alexander's Greek Empire and like them, I believed it was the Greek kingdom which was divided four ways. I suspect many agree with what I wrote since we have been 'trained' for years to think this way and it does in some contrived way seem to make sense.
What is important for us to know here is I based all of what I wrote from high school history books, commentaries and someone else's opinion. Only lately, have I asked the questions where in God's word does it say Alexander the Great shall bear rule over the earth ? Where is it written the Greek Empire will be the kingdom divided by the four winds of heaven? Some say Rome is the fourth kingdom because historically it followed the Greek. Truly, it is historical as any but is it biblical? But what if it isn't Alexander's Greek Empire spoken of in the bible would that make a difference to others how they look at the identity fourth kingdom?
Admittedly not too much has changed since my previous thoughts on the great image of Nebuchad-nezzars dream until you the section on the third kingdom. But let me remind you again though I cannot adequately stress the importance and necessity to be as the Berean's and search the scriptures to see if these things I write are so. The God of Heaven gave us His written word that we may learn of His will and plan for salvation not by listening to one man or guru. Together we must read the Holy Bible and just as importantly beseech its author for wisdom and understanding, which only He can provide.
BEHOLD A GREAT IMAGE
The Book of Daniel gives us one of the most complete pictures of the Anti-Christ kingdom and here is where we will discover what the God of Heaven has written about the image, and beast kingdoms.
In the beginning chapters we read King Nebuchad-nezzar dreamed dreams where with his spirit was troubled and he couldn't sleep. So troubled was the king he commanded his Magicians, Astrologers, Sorcerers, and Chaldeans to reveal the secret of the thing that had gone from him. But none of these men could tell the king what he had dreamed nor the interpretation of it. Unable to give him what he demanded they were to be put to death.
As the kings decree became known throughout the land, Daniel, Hananiah, Mishael, Azariah, and his companions desired to the mercies of the God of heaven concerning the secret. For God has the power to reveal it and He did so in a night vision (Daniel 2:19-23) note only afterwards did Daniel dare approach the king with the answer.
Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. This image's head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces.
Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. Daniel 2:31-35
It is imperative that we understand that following every dream or vision written in the Book of Daniel is an interpretation given by none other than the God of Heaven Himself either directly or via one His messengers. The common school of thought in almost every commentary I've read describes a portion verses 31-35 as Roman. But herein lies a grievous problem, what is written in those verses is only a description of that thing which had gone from king Nebuchad-nezzar, the dream itself! Absolutely nothing contained in these verses has been left to our imagination as Daniel and his companions have already inquired of God concerning the secret of the dream. And they received the answers to both of king Nebuchad-nezzer’s questions namely what was it I had dreamed AND the interpretation thereof.
Anyone with an ounce of patience will find in the next verse after every dream or vision in the book of Daniel is it's interpretation. Knowing then these are given by the God of Heaven Himself either directly or via one of His messengers. Does anyone think he really needs our input or help by adding to or taking from what He has already said?
This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. Daniel 2:36
THOU ART THIS HEAD OF GOLD
Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters' clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. Daniel 2:37 thru 44
Based upon God's interpretation contained above (verses 37 thru 44). If we must name the first kingdom I believe it most likely would be Babylonian as it is said Nebuchad-nezzar reigned as its king.
The next two kingdoms have very little information about them, or do they?. From what I can gather about the second kingdom from this interpretation I only find it was inferior to the first. One would think of Belshazzar as he is the second king of Babylon written of in the Book of Daniel. There is no evidence in this or other books of the bible that he or his kingdom was ever held in as high regard as his predecessor. He had what appeared to be a much less stately manner about him as we read of the party he threw for his pleasure using the temple instruments. Belshazzar had not a humble heart (Daniel 5:22-23). I think it was not the size of his kingdom's border that mattered rather it was because of his heart and behavior he was considered inferior to his father king Nebuchad-nezzar.
Now we come to the third kingdom! This is interesting, as it appears to be identical to Nebuchad-nezzar's in that it too will bear rule over all the earth. Using scripture alone as the commentator and interpreter, there is, to the best of my knowledge, only one other kingdom written of to ever be specifically granted such power and title. But it was not granted by men, as some do, giving it to Alexander the Great and his Grecian Empire. No-no, this authority was granted in writing by the God of Heaven Himself. After I read Ezra 1:1-2, I now believe the identity of the third kingdom to be that of Cyrus king of Persia it is he who had been given the authority over all the kingdoms on earth, this same Cyrus known also as king of Babylon (Ezra 5:13). And unlike king Alexander is at least mentioned specifically by name and authority in scripture.
So far we have the names of three kings; one specifically granted rule over all the kingdoms of earth, another was given the same kingdom though he is considered inferior and then one specific Persian man who is granted rule over all the kingdoms of earth. All three of these men are known scripturally in their own time as a king of geographical Babylon.
Reading Daniel 11:2, I find four more, though unnamed, kings will rise up from Persia, and if my math is correct, will total seven kings written of so far in the Book of Daniel. Consider that if the first three kings were known as kings of Babylon wouldn't it then be acceptable to consider the next four would hold the same title too.
In Revelation 17 we see there is diffenetly a relationship seen between Babylon and seven kings.
And here (is) the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are seven kings five are fallen, and one is, (and) the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short space. And the beast that was , and is not, even he is the eight, and is of the seven, and go into perdition. Revelation 17:9 -11.
Do we have enough scriptural support and wisdom to finally understand where Anti-Christ will reign? I contend he, the eighth king in Revelation 17:10 "is of the seven". Like the seven kings of the north before him, this king will not reign in Washington D.C., Ankara, Rome or Moscow. No-no he will I think actually be a king of physical Babylon.
In Daniel chapter 8. We read of a a battle happening at the time of the end between the Madi and Persian kings and that of the king of Javan . We see here the speed and ferocity with which Javan came against these middle eastern kings who stirred up all against his realm. Later four notable horns arise from the aftermath of this battle and out of one of them "when the time of the transgressors have come full" comes the little horn.
In Daniel chapter 11 I believe we are told it is the seventh king to arise from Persia who will stir up all against the realm of Javan. And it appears to be speaking of the same battle described in chapter 8. However in chapter 11 I think what we have in greater detail is the aftermath of that battle. The rise, conflicts, and fall of the fourth kingdom a period of time I would call 'the time of the transgressors' which eventually culminates in the vile king (a.k.a. little horn). When we read Revelation 17:10, which if I'm not mistaken, was given to John around 60 A.D. not only has the seventh king not come yet but king Alexander had long since been dead and buried.
Considering todays events in that region of the world is it possible we are now living at the appointed time of the end? Are we witnessing the realm of Javan in action in the middle east? Forces from the United States, Poland, Germany, Italy, Greece, Turkey, France, Britain and other lands where the tribes of Javan are thought to have migrated (see Genesis 10 and the Table of Nations online) establishing kings and kingdoms in that region stand up for them. Later when their power is broken will we see the rise the 4th kingdom and eventually the little horn. Just a thought.
Finally we come to the fourth kingdom, This I think rises in the aftermath of the battle between the kings of Madi, Persia and Javan. Like the others it has no name given to it either. But our attention should be drawn to the incredibly detailed description of it. Revealing possibly a number of kings represented by the number of toes and most certainly its nature and the time of its existence.
Leaning (I hope) solely on my God's interpretation, I find it is made of iron. Iron here simply stated represents strength, as this kingdom will be able to 'break into pieces and subdue all things and bruise'. In verse 41 we read the feet and toes are made of part potters clay and part iron. This interpreted in verse 42-43 tells us the 4th kingdom will not only have the strength of iron but it will also be divided. Now most romanist commentators have expressed the word 'divided' to mean an arithmetical division as when the late Roman empire was divided out of necessity for survival around 365 A.D. into two, an eastern and western region each with it's own capital but still a Roman empire. Or as some even say the feet represent a fifth kingdom but I must remind them God specifically numbered them one thru four.
But again, when I compare scripture with scripture I find when God speaks of a divided kingdom it appears to mean (1) to disunite in opinion or interest; to make discordant. He gives several examples of a 'divided' kingdom and it's end; If a kingdom be divided against itself, that kingdom can not stand, Mark 3:2; Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself shall not stand, Matthew 12:25; Every kingdom divided against itself is brought to desolation; and a house divided against a house falleth, Luke 11:15.b. As we read further we see this fourth kingdom falling to its demise, when the stone cut without hands strikes it.
((1) Webster's 1828 Dictionary)
And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. This I have trouble with and I'm not certain what it means it is obviously describing the people of the fourth kingdom. Possibly meaning they dwell with us, they may even be your neighbor but will keep themselves separate from the rest of us by reason of faith, business or politics. But honestly, that sounds too much like the "red menace" and McCarthyism. Another idea, I favor greatly, is they give in marriage causing their seed to mingle between the families of different tribes or nations within the fourth kingdom. However their nature still prevents them from being united or having love for one another. This at least re-enforces the idea and interpretation of a divided, disunited and discordant 4th kingdom or house. And it seems in keeping with those problems only a house divided such as the 4th kingdom will have (Daniel 11:6-7).
Regarding the time of it's existence I think is obvious and straight forward when the fourth kingdom will be in existence, when God returns to establish His kingdom "And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom,..." .