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    THE symbolic language of the Scriptures is to be explained by the literal. All the figures of the Bible are defined by the literal language of the Bible. We have here the sea, winds, and four great beasts, none of which, of course, are to be regarded as literal. The sea, rivers, or waters, used as figures, denote “peoples, multitudes, nations and tongues.” Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 8:7. Winds denote political strife and war. Jeremiah 25:32, 33. The beasts denote four kingdoms that arose on the earth, one after the other. Daniel 7:17, 23. The fourth beast is the fourth kingdom; therefore the other beasts denote kingdoms though they are like this one sometimes called kings.TBI 40.1

    The consistency of the figures as illustrating the events of human history is at once seen. In the most populous civilized portions of the earth, which from earliest history have been western Asia, and Europe, political strife has moved among the people. As a consequence, revolution has succeeded revolution, and four great kingdoms have one after another arisen and fallen.TBI 40.2

    1. How is the symbolic language of Scriptures to be explained?
    2. Are the figures of the Bible explained by the Bible?
    3. What figures are here introduced?
    4. What is symbolized by the sea? References.
    5. What by the wind? Reference.
    6. What do beasts, when used as symbols, represent?
    7. What is said of the fourth beast?
    8. To what portion of the earth must we therefore look for the fulfillment of this representation?
    9. How many universal kingdoms have existed on the earth, beginning in the time of Daniel?

    We have seen from the great image of Daniel 2, that there were to be but four universal kingdoms from Daniel’s day to the end of time. The fourth beast of this vision of Daniel 7, denotes the last one of these earthly governments; for he is given to the burning flame, and the kingdom passes into the possession of the saints with a perpetual title.TBI 40.3

    The four beasts of Daniel 7 therefore denote the same four kingdoms that are represented by the great image: the first beast, the lion, symbolizing Babylon, B.C.677 to B.C.538; the second, the bear, Medo-Persia, B.C.538 to 331; the third, the leopard, Grecia, B.C.331 to 161; the fourth, the great and terrible nondescript, Rome, B.C.161 to A.D.483.TBI 41.1

    The lion had at first two wings as of an eagle, representing the rapid conquests and ruling power of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, who raised it to the height of its power. The wings were plucked and a man’s heart given to it - as it was under the last king, the weak and pusillanimous Belshazzar.TBI 41.2

    The bear raised itself up on one side, showing the ascendancy of the Persian element in the Medo-Persian empire, as more fully brought out in the symbol of the ram of chapter 8. The three ribs denote, probably, the three provinces especially devoured by this kingdom, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which greatly stimulated the Persian lust for power, or said to it, Arise and devour much flesh.TBI 41.3

    10. By what is the last one of these governments here symbolized?
    11. What kingdoms, therefore, are brought to view by these beasts?
    12. Give the dates of Babylon.
    13. The dates of Persia; of Grecia; of Rome.
    14. What was signified by the two wings of the lion?
    15. What period of the empire was fitly represented by the lion with a man’s heart and no wings?
    16. What is shown by the bear raising himself up on one side?
    17. What by the three ribs?
    18. How did they say to it, Arise and devour much flesh?
    19. What is shown by the four wings of the leopard?

    The leopard had four wings, denoting the rapidity of Grecian conquests under Alexander; and four heads, signifying the division of the kingdom into four parts after Alexander’s death, more particularly noticed under the symbol of the goat of chapter 8.TBI 41.4

    The fourth great and terrible beast had ten horns. These are declared to be ten kingdoms which should arise out of this empire. Daniel 7:24. These correspond to the ten toes of the image. Rome was divided into ten kingdoms between the years A.D.356 and 483, as follows: Huns, A.D.356, Ostrogoths, 377, Visigoths, 378, Franks, 407, Vandals, 407, Suevi, 407, Burgundians, 407, Heruli, 476, Anglo-Saxons, 476, Lombards, 483. This enumeration of the ten kingdoms is given by Machiavel in his History of Florence, lib.1. The dates are furnished by Bishop Lloyd, and the whole is approved by Bishop Newton, Faber and Dr. Hales.TBI 42.1

    20. What by the four heads?
    21. What do the ten horns of the fourth beast represent?
    22. To what do these correspond in the image of chapter 2?
    23. Between what years was Rome divided?
    24. Name the ten kingdoms and the dates when they arose.
    25. Who gives this enumeration of the kingdoms?
    26. Who furnishes the dates?
    27. What celebrated scholars endorse this work of Machiavel and Bishop Lloyd?
    28. What was seen coming up among the ten horns?
    29. What does this little horn represent?
    30. When was the papacy established?
    31. When was Justinian’s decree issued?
    32. Why does not papal supremacy date from the year of this decree instead of 538?
    33. What were the three horns plucked up by the papacy, and why?

    Among these ten horns another little horn diverse from the others thrust itself up, plucking up three in its course. This was the papacy, established in 538. The decree of Justinian, emperor of the East, declaring the pope the head of all the churches, was issued in 533; but before it could be carried out, three Arian powers who stood opposed to papal doctrines and assumptions had to be removed out of the way, namely, the Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths. The Ostrogoths were forced into a final retreat from Rome in March 538, and Justinian’s decree was carried into effect.TBI 42.2

    This horn spoke great words. Witness the titles the pope has assumed, and received from his flatterers. He has worn out the saints of the Most High. Between fifty and one hundred millions of martyrs testify on this point. He has thought to change times and laws; the law, say the Septuagint, the German and Danish translations; pointing out the law of the Most High. This the papacy has thought to do, by endeavoring to change the fourth commandment, substituting the first day of the week for the Sabbath, in place of the seventh, which the commandment enjoins. See Hist. of the Sabbath and Catholic Catechisms. They have been given into his hands a time, times, and dividing of time, or half a time: three times and a half. A time in Scripture signifies a year. Daniel 4:16, compared with Josephus who says that the “seven times” were seven years. Three times and a half are therefore three years and a half. As the Bible year consists of 360 days (12 months of 30 days each) three and a half of such years give us 1260 days; and these days being symbolic, a day for a year, Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34, we have 1260 years for the continuance of papal supremacy. This is the same as the 1260----------------------------------------------------------------TBI 43.1

    34. When were the Ostrogoths forced to abandon Rome? 35. In what way has the pope spoken great words against the Most High? 36. How has he worn out the saints? 37. What has he thought to change? 38. What reading is given by the Septuagint, German and Danish versions? 39. How has the papacy endeavored to change the law of God? 40. Where is proof of this found? 41. For how long a time were the saints, times and laws given into the hands of this little horn? 42. How long a period is meant by “a time”? 43. How many days in “a time times and a half”? 44. Are these days literal or symbolic? 45. How much time is represented by a symbolic day? References. 46. How much literal time have we, therefore, for the continuance of papal supremacy? days and 42 months of Revelation 12 and 13 applied to the same power. Reckoned from 538, they bring us to 1798. Feb.10, of that year, Berthier acting under the French Directory, took Rome, and carried the pope into exile where the next year he died. Here sat the judgment of verse 26, and his dominion was taken away (temporarily overthrown but not consumed), and has been waning away both temporarily and spiritually from that time to the present.TBI 43.2

    In verses 9, 10 judgment of another kind is brought to view: the investigative Judgment of the Heavenly Sanctuary, commencing in 1844. In connection with that a special utterance of great words is heard by the prophet. The great Ecumenical Council held in Rome in 1870, furnishes a marked fulfillment. There by a deliberate vote of the highest dignitaries of all the Catholic world, 538 against 2, July 21, 1870, the pope was decreed to be infallible. In two months from that time, Sept.20, 1870, Rome surrendered to the troops of Victor Emanuel, and the last vestige of the pope’s temporal power departed. His destruction in the burning flame must be at hand.TBI 44.1

    The fifth kingdom of this vision which the saints take and possess forever, is the one under the whole heaven, including the territory of these beast kingdoms. It is therefore the same as the kingdom of----------------------------------------------------------------TBI 44.2

    47. Where and in what terms is this same period of time elsewhere mentioned? 48. Reckoned from 538, to what year do they bring us? 49. What took place in that year? 50. What judgment is brought to view in verses 26? 51. What, in verses 9, 10? 52. When were the greatest and most presumptuous words of the papacy heard? 53. On what day was the vote on infallibility taken? 54. How did the vote stand? 55. What took place two months later? 56. Into whose hand does the kingdom finally pass? 57. Where is it located and what is its extent? 58. What relation does this show between this kingdom and the kingdom of God of chapter 2? Daniel 2, which fills the whole earth. What folly then to talk of the kingdom of Daniel 2 being set up at the first advent of Christ, since it is not set up till after the papacy has run its allotted career, and is destroyed, an event that takes place only at the second coming of Christ in power and glory. 2 Thessalonians 2:8.TBI 44.3


    1. Daniel 7:8. Of what are the eyes and mouth symbolical?TBI 45.2

    ANS. This little horn being a symbol of the papacy, the eyes in the horn would appropriately indicate the far-seeing policy, shrewdness and cunning of that power. In some of the great papal processions in Rome, there is borne before the pope a banner or shield covered on both sides with eyes, to denote that that church is all eyes, everywhere present, watching the actions of all men. Well was it said of that horn that it had eyes like the eyes of man. The mouth would indicate clearly the other great feature of this church, its utterance of presumptuous words, and assumption of blasphemous titles.TBI 45.3

    2. Daniel 7:13. What is meant by the Son of man coming with the clouds of heaven, when he comes to the Ancient of Days?TBI 45.4

    ANS. This scene certainly does not take place on this earth, or within the region of our atmosphere. The Ancient of Days is not here. The Son of man goes before him to receive a kingdom, which----------------------------------------------------------------TBI 45.5

    59. What then shall be said of the idea that the kingdom of Daniel 2 was set up at the first advent of Christ? he does not receive before his work as priest is ended; hence it does not refer to his ascension at the time of his first advent; for then he went to his Father to act as priest before him. But he receives his kingdom before he returns. Luke 19:12. Hence this scene transpires in Heaven. The clouds therefore are not the clouds of our atmosphere which may be referred to in expressions respecting his return to this earth. We know of no clouds in Heaven but the clouds of angels that ever surround their Lord; and we think these are the ones intended here.TBI 45.6

    3. Daniel 7:23. What marked the establishment of Rome as a universal empire?TBI 46.1

    ANS. Rome reached the height of its greatness under Octavian, known as Augustus Caesar. The date from which it may most probably be considered a universal empire, was the time when it had made itself master of all the divisions of the preceding or goat kingdom. And when it made Egypt a province, it had then absorbed into itself all the kingdom of Alexander. This was B.C.30. But it was introduced into prophecy earlier than this, that is, when the league was made between it and the Jews in B.C.161. After that the prophet saw it extending itself toward the east, the south, and the pleasant land. This was fulfilled when it made Syria and Palestine Roman provinces in B.C.65 and 63, and Egypt, as already stated, B.C.30.TBI 46.2

    4. Daniel 7:25. Is the word “times” in this verse in the Greek or Hebrew of such form as to denote just two times; that is, is it in the dual number, so that the expression might be read, “a time, two times, and half a time, making three times and a half?TBI 46.3

    ANS. No argument, we think, can be drawn from the dual number on this verse. The Hebrew does not make that distinction in numbers, and in the Greek the form is frequently identical with the regular plural. But the expression is none the less definite; for no number being expressed, the law of language would require us to understand the least number that could be expressed by the plural, which is two. As many as two it must be, or it could not be put in the plural; but to say that it is more than two, would be pure assumption for there is nothing to indicate it. And this conclusion is made certain by comparing this language with other prophecies in reference to the same period of time, in which it is called 42 months and 1260 days. Revelation 12:6, 14; 13:5. This would be a time (1 year 360 days) two times (or years 720 days) and half a time (180 days) making in all 1260 days.TBI 46.4

    5. Daniel 7:25. Some claim that the 1260 years of papal supremacy began somewhere in the 8th century when Pepin ascended the throne. How can this be answered?TBI 47.1

    ANS. The point marked in the prophecy as the beginning of papal supremacy is not when the pope became a temporal prince, but when he had power to persecute the church of God. This was not by virtue of any grant from Pepin, nor from Phocas, but from Justinian. Croly, on the Apocalypse, says that the highest authorities among the civilians and annalists of Rome spurn the idea that Phocas was the founder of the supremacy of Rome; they ascend to Justinian as the only legitimate source. Baronius, the great Catholic historian, formally gives the whole detail of Justinian’s grants of supremacy to the pope. Gavazzi, Lectures, p.66, says: “The celebrated letter of Justinian to the pope in the year 533, not only recognizing all previous privileges, but enlarging them, and entitling the pope and his church to many immunities and rights, afterward gave origin to the pretensions displayed in the canon law.” See also De Cormenin, vol.1, p.114. This decree made in 533 was not carried into effect till 538, and we must date the period from the time when the saints, times and laws were actually given into his hands. It was this spiritual control, not temporal, that is marked by the prophecy.TBI 47.2

    6. Daniel 7:25. If the Bible year is only 360 days, how were the seasons regulated, as there are in reality in every year 365 days,5 hours, 48 minutes and 49 seconds?TBI 48.1

    ANS. The regular year of the Jews was 12 months of 30 days each, which would give just 360 days for the year. But this falling so much short of a real year, the seasons would have been entirely thrown out of place in a short time, unless some method had been adopted to remedy the difficulty. The simple method adopted by the Jews was this: Every third year an extra month was intercalated. Their 12th month was called Adar, and this extra month was called ve-Adar, or the second Adar, and was made of sufficient length just to make up the time they had lost, and bring the year up with the sun again. But this third year, lengthened out indefinitely by this thirteenth month, was exceptional. The regular year was 360 days in length; and hence in the reckoning of all prophetic periods the year of 360 days must be taken. But the years which they symbolize are of course the actual years, 365.25 days in length.TBI 48.2

    7. What judgment is spoken of in Daniel 7:26?TBI 48.3

    ANS. Political judgment on the papacy at the end of its specified period of 1260 years. National calamity and overthrow are sometimes spoken of in the Scriptures as judgments. In Acts 7:7, Stephen speaks of the overthrow of the Egyptians at the exode as follows: “And the nation to whom they shall be in bondage will I judge, said God; and after that shall they come forth and serve me in this place.” It could therefore be properly said that the (threatened) judgment upon the Egyptian nation sat at that time. So the period of papal supremacy was limited to 1260 years, and at the end of that time judgment was rendered and his dominion taken away. That this judgment refers exclusively to the papacy is evident from the remainder of the verse. It was at the time when his dominion was taken away which we know was in 1798; and a consuming process was to follow, which has since been fulfilled till now the last vestige of his temporal power is gone, and the end must be near. This judgment is not the same as that of verses 9, 10, which has been explained in remarks on the sanctuary, nor the same as that of verse 22, which seems to refer to the time when the saints will have their part to act in apportioning judgments upon the wicked, 1 Corinthians 6:2, which will be during their reign of a thousand years with Christ. Revelation 20:4.TBI 48.4

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