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    October 29, 1885

    “The Fourth Kingdom” The Signs of the Times, 11, 41.

    E. J. Waggoner



    No Authorcode

    The Fourth Kingdom

    In order to catch up, so that the notes may be of service to Sabbath-school scholars in the East, it is necessary this week to furnish notes on lessons 9 in 10. This may be done without any break in the notes, since the subject begun in the ninth lesson,-The Fourth Kingdom,-is continued through the tenth.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.1

    The fourth kingdom is described in Daniel 2, 7, and 8. It will therefore be our work to quote these several descriptions, to show that they all apply to the same power, and to show beyond question the name of that power. The basis of the whole is found in the second chapter of Daniel. In that chapter, as already learned, four universal empires are symbolized by the four different metals of which the image was composed. The fourth division of the image was the legs of iron, and the feet and toes of mingled iron and clay. Of this division the prophet said: “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.” Daniel 2:40.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.2

    This fourth kingdom is the only one that is not somewhere in the prophecy directly named; but by the data given we may identify it as readily as though it were called by name. Thus: There are to be but four universal monarchies from the time of Daniel’s prophecy, since the fourth closes with the setting up of God’s everlasting kingdom, which is to take the place of all others. See Daniel 2:34, 35, 44, 45. From Daniel 2:37, 38 we learn that Babylon was the first of these universal monarchies. Daniel 5 relates the history of the last night of Babylonian rule, and verses 28, 30, 31 tell what power succeeded. Ezra 1:2 shows that the Medo-Persian Empire, like its predecessor, was a universal dominion. In Daniel 8:3-7, 20, 21, we are plainly told that Grecia was to overthrow the Persian Empire, and fill its place; and history bears witness that such was the case. The Grecian Empire, especially under Alexander the Great, did “bear rule over all the earth.” Daniel 2:39.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.3

    Thus we have identified three of the four universal kingdoms that were to reach from the prophet’s time till the end of the world. Now if we can find any mention of the universal monarchy, other than Babylon, Persia, and Greece, we shall know that it is the fourth kingdom, the one represented by the legs of iron. This is as evident as it is that three from four leaves one. Now in Luke 2:1 a universal dominion is brought to view; for we read: “And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Cæsar of Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.” But everybody recognizes Cæsar as a Roman name, and Cæsar Augustus is the first Roman emperor. Then since his dominion extended over all the world, it follows that Rome was the fourth universal empire,-the one represented by the legs of iron in Daniel 2:33.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.4

    Profane history coincides with sacred history in declaring Rome to be universal. Says Gibbon:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.5

    “A modern tyrant who would find no resistance either in his own breast or in his people, would soon experience a gentle restraint in the example of his equals, the dread of present censure, the advice of his allies, and the apprehension of his enemies. The object of his displeasure, escaping from the narrow limits of his dominions, would easily obtain in a happier climate a secure refuge, a new fortune adequate to his merits, the freedom of complaint, and, perhaps, the means of revenge. But the empire of the Romans filled the world; and when that empire fell into the hands of a single person, the world became a safe and dreary prison for his enemies. The slave of imperial despotism, whether he was compelled to drag his gilded chain in Rome and the Senate, or to wear out a life of exile on the barren rock of Seriphus or the frozen banks of the Danube, expected his fate in silent despair. To resist was fatal, and it was impossible to fly. On every side he was encompassed with a vast extent of sea and land, which he could not hope to traverse without being discovered, seized, and restored to his irritated master. Beyond the frontiers his anxious gaze could discover nothing except the ocean, inhospitable desert, hostile tribes of barbarians of fierce manners and unknown language, or dependent kings, who would gladly purchase the emperor’s protection by the sacrifice of an obnoxious fugitive. ‘Wherever you are,’ said Cicero to the exiled Marcellus, ‘remember that you are equally within the power of the conqueror.’”-Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, chap. 3, paragraph 37.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.6

    The same historian, in another place, in recording the universal conquest of Rome, makes unmistakable reference to Daniel 2:40, in the following words:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.7

    “The ambitious design of conquest, which might have been defeated by the seasonable conspiracy of mankind, was attempted and achieved, and the perpetual violation of justice was maintained, by the political virtues of prudence and courage. The arms of the republic sometimes vanquished in battle, always victorious in war, advanced with rapid strides to the Euphrates, the Danube, the Rhine, and the ocean; and the images of gold, or silver, or brass, that might serve to represent the nations and their kings, were successively broken by the iron monarchies of Rome.”-Decline and Fall, chap.38, par. 44.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.8

    In the seventh of Daniel, four beasts are seen coming out of the sea. These beasts denote four kingdoms. Verse 17. These four kings are universal; for it is expressly said of the fourth: “Thus he 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 shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.” Daniel 7:23. Then the four beasts must represent respectively Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The description of the fourth kingdom, as given in verse 23, tallies exactly with the character of Rome as described by Gibbon. So we find that the “dreadful and terrible” beast of Daniel 7, is identical with the legs of iron of Daniel 2.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.9

    Again, in the eighth of Daniel we find the same succession of universal kingdoms referred to. The prophecy begins with the Medo-Persia, represented by the ram, and shows its conquest by Grecia, which was represented by the goat. The Great War between its eyes, represented the first king of Grecia as a universal monarchy, viz., Alexander the Great. When this horn was broken, four notable ones came up in its place (Daniel 8:8), indicating that at the death of the first king, Alexander, four kingdoms should “stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.” Verse 22. Alexander died B.C. 323, and the history of the kingdom after his death is just briefly summarized by Dr. Barnes in his notes of this passage:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.10

    “Though the kingdom was not by him [Alexander] divided into four parts, yet, from the confusion and conflicts that arose, power was ultimately concentrated into four dynasties. At his death, his brother Aridaeus declared king in his stead, and Perdiccas regent. But the unity of the Macedonian power was gone, and disorder and confusion, and a struggle for empire, immediately succeeded.... In 305 B.C. the successors of Alexander took the title kings, and in 301 B.C. there occurred the battle of Ipsus, in which Antigonus, who reigned in Asia Minor, was killed, and then followed in that year a formal division of Alexander’s empire between the four victorious princes, Ptolemy, Seleucus, Cassander, and Lysimachus. In the division of the empire, Seleucus Nicator obtained Syria, Babylonia, Media and Susiana, Armenia, a part of Cappadocia, Celicia, and his kingdom, in name, at least, extended from the Hellespont to the Indias. The kingdom of Lysimachus extended over a part of Thrace, Asia Minor, part of Cappadocia, and the countries within the limits of Mount Taurus. Cassander possessed Macedonia, Thessaly, and a part of Greece. Ptolemy obtained Egypt, Cyprus, and Cyrene, and ultimately Coele-Syria. Phenicia, Judea, and a part of Asia Minor and Thrace. Thus the dominions of Seleucus were in the West; those of Ptolemy in the South; and those of the Lysimachus in the North.”SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.11

    The entire history of these four divisions of the Grecian Empire is given by Rollin under the head of “Alexander’s Successors,” thus showing that each one of the divisions, and all the kings of each division, are considered still forming a part of the goat,-Grecia,-and not as forming a kingdom which should take the place of Greece.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.12

    “And out of one of them [i.e., one of the four horns of the goat], came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.” Daniel 8:9. The power here brought to view is described in verses 10-12 and 23-25. Before noticing any points in this description, we pause to state that from what we have already learned, we know that this little horn symbolizes Rome. We know it by the same means by which we determined that the legs of iron symbolized Rome. Four universal monarchies cover the world’s entire history, from the time of the prophet until the coming of the Lord. These four kingdoms we have found to be Babylon, the Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The first three are named in the prophecy; the last one we determined by a mathematical demonstration. Well, in this prophesy we have Medo-Persia brought to view, with Greece succeeding it. These powers are respectively term “great” and “very great.” Verses 4, 8. Now immediately following Greece, we have a power represented by a little horn, which is said to wax “exceedingly great.” It must then have been more powerful than either Medo-Persia Greece, and consequently could not be less than universal. But if it was universal, it must have been Rome; for Rome was the only power, after Greece, which, as both sacred and profane history agree, was able to break in pieces and subdue all nations.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.13

    Lack of space prevents our noticing the further description of this little horn, and showing its exact fulfillment in the Roman Empire. These points will be noted next week, before commenting on the next lesson. E.J. W.SITI October 29, 1885, page 646.14

    “‘From Adam to Moses’” The Signs of the Times, 11, 41.

    E. J. Waggoner

    A brother writes as follows:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.1

    “Do you think that in the expression in Romans 5:14, ‘Death reigned from Adam to Moses,’ the apostle had reference to the resurrection of Moses; that the reign of death was there broken, as is inferred from Jude 9?”SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.2

    ANS.-No; there is no hint of the resurrection of Moses in the fifth of Romans. We give, in brief, the following reasons for this statement:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.3

    1. The subject of the resurrection is not under consideration. The subject of discourse is justification by faith in Christ. In order to show the importance of this, the apostle shows that all are under condemnation of death through transgression of the law. “By one man sin entered into the world, and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men.” Wherever there is death it is an evidence of the existence of sin; and since “sin is not imputed when there is no law,” the fact that “death reigned from Adam to Moses,” shows that during all that time God’s law was known and transgressed. It was necessary to show the extent of the need, in order to show how greatly the grace of God abounded. In such an argument, to branch off upon the resurrection of Moses would be manifestly out of place.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.4

    2. The phrase “until the law,” indicates what time in the history of Moses is referred to. “From Adam to Moses,” then, simply means, from the creation to the giving of the law upon Sinai. Of course the text itself, speaking of sin, which is not imputed when there is no law, shows that the phrase “until the law,” does not mean that the law did not exist before. But if the time indicated in the expression, “Death ranged from Adam to Moses,” reaches only to the giving of the law upon Sinai, it certainly could have no reference to the resurrection of Moses, since he did not die till forty years later.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.5

    3. There can be no reference to the resurrection of Moses, since the fact that Moses died shows that death reigned over him as well as over anybody else. A subsequent resurrection would not alter the fact that death had extended its reign over him, anymore than the general resurrection would alter the fact that death has reigned over all mankind. If the resurrection of Moses shows that death did not reign over him, then the final resurrection of all men will show that death never reigned over anybody. That which proves too much, proves nothing.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.6

    4. In order to have the expression of any force as indicating the breaking of the reign of death by the resurrection of Moses, it would be necessary to show that up to the time of Moses all men had died; but the case of Enoch entirely destroys that argument. The translation of Enoch was certainly more of a break in the reign of death than was the resurrection of Moses. But the fact is, there has not been a moment since the fall when death did not reign, although some, as Enoch and Elijah, and Moses and the saints at the crucifixion of Christ, have been rescued from its power, as pledges of the time when its reign will be forever broken.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.7

    The fact that “the dead know not anything,” but sleep, unconscious, in the grave (Ecclesiastes 9:5; Psalm 146:3, 4; 115:17; 88:10-12; Job 10:18-22, etc.), and that fifteen hundred years after his death Moses was seen by Peter, James, and John, is proof enough that Moses was raised from the dead. Jude 9, which speaks of the dispute between Michael (Christ) and the devil over the body of Moses, corroborates this fact. There is not the slightest doubt but that Moses was raised from the dead, but there is no more doubt that Romans 5 contains no reference to such resurrection. E. J. W.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.8

    “Paul and the Revision Committee” The Signs of the Times, 11, 41.

    E. J. Waggoner

    In the eighth psalm, one of the most beautiful compositions ever written, occurs this passage, which has become familiar even to those not intimately acquainted with the Bible: “When I consider thy heavens, the work of thy fingers, the moon and the stars, which thou hast ordained; what is man, that thou art mindful of him? and the son of man, that thou visitest him? For thou hast made him a little lower than the angels, and hast crowned him with glory and honour.” Verses 3-5.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.9

    In the New Version the 5th verse reads thus: “For thou hast made him but lower than God, and crownest him with glory and honor.” A religious journal, in noting some changes in familiar text, puts this text in a group of which it says: “The following changes have perhaps been necessary, but grate sadly against literary associations.” For ourselves, we can say that the change grates sadly against Scriptural associations, and we do not believe it to be at all necessary. We give the following reason why we dare disagree with the learned Revision Committee:-SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.10

    In the second chapter of Hebrews, the apostle, in showing how Christ, who had “by inheritance” a more excellent name than the angels, was made on a level with men, quotes the words of the psalmist concerning man, as follows: “But one in a certain place testified, saying, What is man, that thou art mindful of him? or the son of man, that thou visitest him? Thou madest him a little lower than the angels; thou crownedst him with glory and honor.” Hebrews 2:6, 7. Here the Greek word is angelos, the word invariably rendered “angel.” There is no question but that the apostle used the word angeloi (plural form) in quoting from Psalm 8:5, and the Revision Committee have agreed that it is correctly rendered “angels,” since it is so rendered in the New Version. But if “angels” is the proper word to use in quoting from Psalm 8:5, and the authority of an inspired apostle ought certainly to settle that point, why should not the same word be used in the passage itself? By what authority did the revisers use the word “God” in rendering the Hebrew word which Paul translates “angels”?SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.11

    It is true that the Hebrew word in Psalm 8:5 is eloheem, a word that is usually used with reference to a deity, either the true God or a false god, and there is no other place in the Old Testament where it is rendered “angels;” and therefore the revisers doubtless thought that consistency required them to render it “God” in this instance. But we are certain that consistency would require instead that the text should agree with the same text as translated by the inspired writer of Hebrews. In other words, even though the lexicons knew nothing about such a rendering of eloheem, Hebrews 2:7 would show that in one instance, at least, it undoubtedly refers to angels. And the Revision Committee, in retaining the word “angels” in Hebrews 2:7, while they rejected it in Psalm 8:5, have convicted themselves of inconsistency.SITI October 29, 1885, page 649.12

    Such renderings go a long ways toward making some people doubt whether the New Version is a decided improvement on the Old. At any rate, we do not feel inclined to use it to the exclusion of the Old Version. While we find it very valuable as a commentary, we regard it in that light, and cannot rely upon it with that confidence that we do upon the version commonly used. A translator of the Bible needs, far more than the commentator, to be acquainted with the entire Bible, and thoroughly imbued with its spirit. We very much doubt if it is possible for any body of men to agree upon a version of the Bible that will be superior to King James’s version. E. J. W.SITI October 29, 1885, page 650.1

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