Role Reversals & Prophetic Parallels
Another Look At The Lion, The Bear, & The Leopard - Part I
In ancient times, the unbelieving Arab Egyptians ruled over the believing Israelites, who lived among them. In modern times, the unbelieving Israelites rule over the Arabs - many of which are Christians - that are in their midst.
In the distant past, the Egyptian government refused to allow their believing slave-subjects the right to go out into the desert to publicly worship God The Father. In the modern Israelite counterpart, the ironic role reversal has the government, now run by the former slaves, introducing legislation that would jail all who would publicly tell others the truth of salvation about God The Son. 1.
So it goes in the realm of prophetic fulfillment. Clearly, there are symmetric patterns that are emerging in a fascinating way as Bible prophecies continue their exciting fulfillment. Furthermore, these patterns carry a certain degree of predictive value, in addition to providing a secondary validation of a given specific prophetic interpretation.
In Daniel chapter 2, with Nebuchadnezzar's famous dream of the statue featuring the head of gold, we see a prophecy of the four ancient kingdoms that provides a prophetic countdown to the first coming of MESSIAH and the subsequent death of national Israel. In Daniel chapter 7, with the Lion, Bear and Leopard vision, we see a prophecy of the four modern kingdoms that provide a prophetic countdown to the resurrection of modern Israel and the second coming of the MESSIAH.
This one example is rich in detail as the two prophetic accounts continue with parallel fulfillments. The first four empires seen in the statue dream (golden head, silver arms, bronze thighs, and iron legs) are Babylon, Persia, Greece, and Rome. 2. These four Gentile world empires countdown to the first coming of Jesus Christ - and the terrible destruction of the Jewish state.
The second set of four empires, manifested as a lion with eagles a wings, a bear, a leopard, and the diverse 4th beast described in Daniel 7, describe four completely different empires in the 20th century. These four are England, Russia, Germany, and the American dominated United Nations - the final world empire. 3. These four count down to the resu"ection of the Jewish state - and the second coming of Jesus Christ.
The common denominator in each set is a significant interaction with the Jews. But the parallels attached to each empire are even deeper. Consider these uncanny similarities:
THE HEAD OF GOLD EMPIRE/BABYLON, THE LION EMPIRE/BRITAIN
Both empires were regal in nature. Even though each of these first empires (Babylon, Britain) were the key empires of their era, neither carried the sheer power of the later fourth empires of their "set." For instance, ancient Babylon would never have been able to compete militarily with the overwhelming might of Rome. So too, the British Empire is but a shadow of the total might of modern militaristic America - yet both of the "first" Empires were glorious and majestic in their own ways.
The regal lion of Daniel 7, standing in the 'rampant' position (in the parlance of heraldry), is the more "humane" British empire that liberated Jerusalem and the Jews from Moslem rule in September, 1917. Conversely, Babylon was the kingdom that originally conquered Jerusalem, even as Nebuchadnezzar was the monarch that treated the 4 royal captives Daniel, Hananael, Mishael, and Azariah from Judaea with a relative civility - the fiery furnace episode notwithstanding. 4.
Daniel chapter 4 tells us the incredible story of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar, the king of it Babylon. The scripture says he lost his mind for a set period, but "at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me...." 5.
The parallel first empire of the second set is Britain. Is there any account of a famous king of England losing his mind, his seat of power, and yet later regaining his reasoning and his throne? The answer is a resounding YES. In a now well known event, King George III of England lost his mind for an extended period andlater regained his understanding.
During this little understood episode, King George's advisors secreted him away to an asylum where his madness was quietly treated by a private physician. In the court intrigue that followed, friends of the throne concealed the king's mysterious malady and stalled for time until he recovered his reason - and his authority. This very strange, yet well documented account even generated a critically acclaimed major motion picture entitled The Madness Of King George.
The text in Daniel that refers to the Lion empire (England) states "the first (beast empire) was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked " 6. One doesn't need to be a historian to recognize the eagle's wings as emblematic of the American Republic - thereby establishing the time frame for the prophecy. Incredibly, this same King George III, the monarch that temporarily became insane just like Nebuchadnezzar, was the very king that sat on the English throne during the American revolution!
THE ARMS OF SILVER EMPIRE/PERSIA, THE BEAR EMPIRE/RUSSIA
In the first set of four empires, the second kingdom was the dual empire of Medo-Persia (the 2 silver arms of Daniel 2). In Daniel chapter 5, we see the emergence of the Persian empire as "Darius the Median took the kingdom," 7. and seized control of the city of Babylon. According to scripture, at the fall of Babylon, the royal leader "Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans (was) slain." 8.
Darius the Mede soon gave way to the real power of the empire - a long line of Persian kings. The Old Testament tells us that "Daniel prospered in the reign of Darius, and in the reign of Cyrus the Persian." 9. In other words, there were two ethnic groups represented that sat on the throne of the Persian Union of Media and Persia.
In the second set of four empires, we see the same pattern repeated! The second kingdom - was the Soviet Union, which was also a dual empire of sorts encompassing Russia and Soviet Georgia. The communist revolution was inaugurated by the ethnic Russian, Nikolai Lenin. In an eerie re-iteration of the Median/Persian succession, the Russian Lenin rather quickly gave way to his contemporary, the more powerful ethnic Georgian leader Joseph Stalin.
An added parallel detail is the execution of the royal family that occurred as Lenin and Stalin's Soviet Union came to power - the infamous murder of the Romanov family. According to the ancient historian Xenophon, when Darius seized Babylon and killed Belshazzar the king, "...those who were with him were slain...." 10.
Interestingly, the scriptural account of the fall of the first of the ancient four kingdoms prominently mentions the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar 11. In the modern counterpart, the overthrown royal family is best known because of the daughter of the executed King of Russia - the celebrated princess Anastasia. In short, the parallel patterns in the two sets of four empires continued - separated by about 2,250 years.
THE BRASS EMPIRE/GREECE, THE LEOPARD EMPIRE/GERMANY
The third kingdoms continue the series of supernatural parallel prophetic fulfillments. In ancient Greece, Alexander the Great is clearly being described as the "brass" kingdom seen in Daniel chapter two. This Grecian empire is the third empire of the first. set.
Here the roles reverse again. While the third empire personified by Alexander's Graeco-Macedonian reign was relatively benevolent towards the Jews, the modern counterpart, the Third Reich of Nazi Germany is now widely known to have unleashed unprecedented hatred for Jews. In the modern counterpart of the brass kingdom of Alexander the Great, Adolph Hitler's leopard empire of Nazi Gennany also attacked the empire that preceded it - the Soviet Union. Of course, the Soviets were victorious.
In yet another role reversal, the Persian Union originally attacked Macedon and Alexander responded with a lightning campaign that toppled the aggressor. The third beast of Daniel 7, the leopard with four heads, is known for its speed and agility - precisely the military attributes of the third empire of the first set -- the Grecian.
Germany, of course, is in Western Europe; even as Daniel's account says this Empire's leader, described as "a notable horn came from the west." 12. The Nazi military machine was characterized by what was then called Blitzkrieg, or lightning warfare. This closely parallels Alexander's record setting territorial acquisitions. Indeed, Hitler's armies hadn't lost one battle a full year after he began his rapid fire assault upon Europe. There are at least two more rather striking parallels between Alexander of Macedonia and Hitler of Germany.
First, both leaders were heavily influenced by a contemporary philosopher. In Alexander's case, "...Aristotle taught him ethics and his own views on politics and on the geography of Asia, and perhaps some metaphysics; later he wrote for him a treatise on the art of ruling, and perhaps another on colonisation." 13. In short, historians widely agree that Alexander militarily manifested the philosophical theories of Aristotle.
In Hitler's case, virtually all his biographers have noted his uncanny manifestation of the racial philosophies of the famous German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche. Hitler bought into "...Nietzsche's sermons about the strength and radiant amorality of the superman...he heavily concurred with Nietzsche's saying that a nation was nothing but nature's byway for producing a few important men." 14.
Once again, this third ruler of the modern set of four political empires closely paralleled the third ruler of the ancient set of four empires. There is still another fascinating parallel between the Macedonian/Greek Alexander and the Austrian/German Hitler. Both tyrants ruled for about 12 and a half years. According to one of his most famous biographers, Alexander "...died on 13 June, 323 (BC); he was not yet 33 years old, and had reigned twelve years and eight months." 15.
On August 5, 1932, 2,256 years later, Adolph Hitler, already in a position of prominence in the German Reichstag, "...for the first time demanded full power: the office of Chancellor (and)...a law empowering him to rule by decree with unlimited powers." 16. Twelve years, eight months, and three weeks later Hitler died in the now famous bunker.
Although Hitler didn't receive the chancellor ship of Germany until January 30, 1933 (making his formal rule actually a period of 12 years and 3 months) remarkably, these parallel leaders each ruled for just over a dozen years - to say nothing of the fact that both tyrants reigns ended with their deaths while still in power!
March 3, 2003 - James Lloyd
Copyright © 2003 Christian Media Network
1. The Israeli Knesset received widespread opposition to the law, proposed in mid-l997. Benjamin Netanyahu also said he
opposed the so-called 'anti-missionary' law.
2. Daniel 2:32,33
3. Because the focus in this essay is on parallels and reversals, we have not re-iterated the basic arguments for this
identification. For a detailed treatment of the identification of these kingdoms, see the Christian Media published book
The Lion, The Bear, And The Leopard.
4. Daniel 1:19
5. Daniel 4:34
6. Daniel 7:4
7. Daniel 5:31
8. Daniel 5:30
9. Daniel 6:28
10. X, Cyropedia Vii, cited in Barnes Notes On Daniel, Vol 1, page 303.
11. Daniel 5:10. Although the text refers to her as the "queen," she was believed to be the queen-mother of Belshazzar by
most historians. Because Belshazzar was actually the grandson of Nebuchadnezzar, the queen would actually have been
the daughter of the famous king of Babylon.
12. Daniel 8:5
13. Alexander The Great, W W Tarn, page 2
14. Hitler, Joachim C Fest, pages 56, 531
15. Alexander The Great, W W Tarn, pg 120
16. Hitler, Joachim C Fest, page 340
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