Discourse 98 - The fifth kingdom in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar: America?




Have no prophecies been fulfilled in the last 2000 years? / Anonymous commentary 00, 2009-04-08

Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue.

The interpretation by Daniel.

The Babylonian kingdom.

The Persian kingdom.

The Greek kingdom.

The Roman kingdom.

The fifth kingdom.

A sixth kingdom?

The dream of Nebuchadnezzar: is the fifth kingdom a “padding”? / Commentary, Karl-Heinz Wolschke 00, 2009-06-14


(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(Have no prophecies been fulfilled in the last 2000 years? / Anonymous commentary 00, 2009-04-08)

Would the sequence of events that are to be expected on earth be seriously different if the 70 year-weeks of the Book of Daniel represent one unit of time?

I find your attempt at an overall view successful. But the interpolation of a 2000 year episode in the 70 year-weeks between week 69 and week 70 is something that I cannot possibly be convinced by.

I am very interested in knowing what the Bible says about the future. There are some sophisticated models which explain the biblical prophecies. None of these widely disseminated models seems to me credible. As a rule they are based on two assumptions: 1. There is a kind of secret Rapture (following Thessalonians), and 2. The Last Days amount to a 7-year period, in the middle of which the sacrifice is abolished (following Daniel).

I do not have a degree in theology, but both assumptions are in my view untenable. In Thessalonians there is something about a trumpet, so it can hardly be secret, and in Daniel there is no indication that the 70 weeks are not a consecutive 70 weeks. (If we count 360 days to the year, 69 year-weeks take us to Christ, and in year 70 the sacrifice was in fact abolished.) In my search for reasonable orientation aids for the biblical prophecies I have therefore proposed to pass over models that include either assumption 1 or assumption 2. I am afraid that these two incorrect assumptions have considerable and damaging consequences. And that indeed was my question to you.


This visitor from Germany wishes to remain anonymous.



Thank you for your friendly judgment and your comments. – The view that the 70th year-week follows immediately after the 69th year-week, implying that it would already have taken place in the 1st century, is one that you share with the preterists, who advocate the view that God’s entire plan of salvation has already run its course in the 1st century AD.

(See also Discourse 35: “The preterist approach: have the Last Days already occurred?”)


Your view that the Second Coming of the Lord cannot be a secret occurrence is of course perfectly correct. What is more, the Lord himself tells us in his eschatological discourse:

Just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be.

Mt 24,27 "For just as the lightning comes from the east and flashes even to the west, so will the coming of the Son of Man be. 24,28 "Wherever the corpse is, there the vultures will gather. 24,29 "But immediately after the tribulation (Rev 7:14!) of those days the sun will be darkened, and the moon will not give its light, and the stars will fall from the sky (Rev 6:12-14!), and the powers of the heavens will be shaken. 24,30 "And then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in the sky, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of man coming on the clouds of the sky with power and great glory. Mt 24,27-31;


So if he appears like the lightning that flashes over the entire globe from the east to the west, and if they will see him coming on the clouds of the sky (the fulfillment of Mt 26:64!), this absolutely cannot be a secret event. I too have repeatedly argued against this widespread but incorrect view.

(See also Discourse 12: “Must the congregation of the Last Days seek out a place of refuge for the Rapture?”)


Your second argument too, with reference to the time of 2000 years between the death of the Lord and the events of the Last Days, is altogether understandable if we base our analysis exclusively on the statements to be found in Daniel chapter 9. But in fact we have – in Daniel as well – a much better option for following and verifying the “events that are to be expected on earth” (to use your phrase). And not just for the last 2000 years, but practically from the beginning of world history right through to the end.

This is the prophecy which King Nebuchadnezzar II received from God in a dream, and which Daniel proved able, with God’s help, to interpret for him. King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream of a shining statue. The king wanted to have this dream explained by his priests and prophets, conjurors and interpreters of omens. When they came to the king, they wanted the king first of all to tell them his dream, so as to be able to interpret it. But the king suspected that they planned to deceive him, and demanded from them, as a proof of their skill, that they should interpret his dream without having been informed of its content. When they then admitted that they were unable to interpret a dream without being told what it involved, the king became angry and gave orders to slay all the wise men of Babylon.

Since Daniel too was counted among the wise men of Babylon, he was due to be executed with the rest. But he asked for a breathing space in hope that he would himself be able to interpret the dream for the king. In the following night he and his companions prayed to God for help in this matter, and he received in a dream a revelation that explained the meaning of the mystery of this statue, which he proceeded to unfold to the king on the following day.


Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the great statue.

God in heaven has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days.

Dan 2,28 "However, there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and He has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will take place in the latter days. This was your dream and the visions in your mind while on your bed. 2,29 "As for you, O king, while on your bed your thoughts turned to what would take place in the future; and He who reveals mysteries has made known to you what will take place. 2,30 "But as for me, this mystery has not been revealed to me for any wisdom residing in me more than in any other living man, but for the purpose of making the interpretation known to the king, and that you may understand the thoughts of your mind. 2,31 "You, O king, were looking and behold, there was a single great statue; that statue, which was large and of extraordinary splendor, was standing in front of you, and its appearance was awesome. 2,32 "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its loins of bronze, 2,33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. 2,34 "You continued looking until a stone was cut out without hands, and it struck the statue on its feet of iron and clay and crushed them. 2,35 "Then the iron, the clay, the bronze, the silver and the gold were crushed all at the same time and became like chaff from the summer threshing floors; and the wind carried them away so that not a trace of them was found. But the stone that struck the statue became a great mountain and filled the whole earth. Dan 2,28-36;



The interpretation by Daniel.

You are the head of gold. After you there will arise five other kingdoms

Dan 2,37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 2,38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. 2,39 "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. 2,40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. 2,41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 2,42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 2,43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. Dan 2,37-43;


As we can understand from Daniel’s interpretation above, the dream gave Nebuchadnezzar a prophecy referring to the world kingdoms that would follow after him. He himself, Nebuchadnezzar – and so the entire Babylonian kingdom – is thus the golden head. After him another kingdom will arise, and it will be “inferior” to his kingdom. We know from history that the Babylonian hegemony was followed by the Medo-Persian empire, and the two arms belonging to this “silver” kingdom could thus be understood as indicating the ruling coalition between the Medes and the Persians.

The third kingdom of “bronze” (or copper) is the only one to be designated as a global empire: it will “rule over all the earth”. This was the Greek empire of Alexander the Great, which within a very short space of time had conquered almost all the peoples of the then known world.

The essential feature of the fourth kingdom, “as strong as iron”, will be its hardness. Like iron it will crush and break all things in pieces. It was in no small part due to this “iron” hardness of the Romans, who followed historically on the empire of Alexander – seen both in the hardness and discipline of their armies in conquering their foes, and in the way in which they administered their provinces – that the people under their rule enjoyed security for the first time from thieves, robbers, murderers and frauds. And there were even kings who voluntarily allowed their countries to be incorporated in the Roman Empire for this reason.

Now when we take a closer look at these prophecies, we see that metal is a dominant theme. First of all the fine metals gold and silver, then the colored metal copper (actually bronze) and finally the black metal iron. Surely this sequence cannot be a coincidence. Nevertheless the meaning is generally neglected by the commentators. These metals differ first of all in terms of value, but also in terms of their hardness. Gold is the most valuable, but at the same time the weakest metal. For it to be processed to make jewelry, it needs to be alloyed with another harder metal. Iron on the other hand is the least valuable, but it is the hardest metal of the group.

This circumstance must be significant for the interpretation of the prophecy – and we find confirmation of this in the verse Dan 2,39. Here we are told: “After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you”. This refers to the value ranking of the kingdoms, and is an express indication that the kingdom that succeeds Nebuchadnezzar at least – but plainly also the other kingdoms following (just like the metals) – will be “inferior” to the preceding ones.

And here the question suggests itself, what this term “inferior” actually refers to. The obvious assumption that these kingdoms are not so big or so powerful as the kingdom of Nebuchadnezzar is clearly wrong. Later world history saw both bigger and mightier kingdoms than the Babylonian (the Romans, the Greeks). If we now look at the other end of the series, we notice a further characteristic of these kingdoms – their hardness. Of the fourth, Roman kingdom, Dan 2,40 tells us: “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces”. .

We may now draw the following tentative conclusion: like the metals which symbolize them, the kingdoms become progressively inferior in “value” but greater in terms of “hardness”. But what does this mean? Here we probably shouldn’t any longer be thinking in terms of kingdoms, but should rather focus on the individual human beings who directed and populated these kingdoms. It is evidently the “mentality” of these peoples which the passage is trying to address and put across.

And if we now equate “hardness” with morality and discipline (extending as far as unscrupulousness and/or brutality), we not only have a relatively applicable explanation for the interpretation of the “metals” but we also recognize at once – by contrast with the “racist” attempts at an explanation by some commentators – what is intended by the “clay” of the fifth kingdom. It is that mentality where conceptions of value and morality have been reduced to a minimum, and where responsibility, leadership and discipline have become practically foreign terms. We find confirmation of this in the word used for clay in Dan 2,41.43, namely “clay of loam” – for “loam” in Aramaic also means “dirt”, “muck”, and in Hebrew even “excrement”.

This is also to be seen in what is stated about the “feet and the toes”, referred to by Daniel in Dan 2,41-43. This kingdom is described as being “partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron”, and its peoples may “combine with one another in the seed of men”, but – like iron and clay – they will not adhere to one another. They propagate amongst themselves, but they do not enter any longer into close personal relations – in other words, they are evidently lacking in mutual affection and love. Here, then, Daniel is clearly relating the properties of the materials iron and clay to an attitude of mind, to the psychological constitution of these people.

So it would be an obvious solution to equate the “value” and the “hardness” of the metals similarly with the mental/psychological attitude of the people in these kingdoms. Thus the decreasing worth of the metals would answer to people’s steadily deteriorating goodness and morality, while their increasing hardness could likewise document their increasing hardness of heart and lack of consideration.

(See also Discourse 13: “Which world empires do the 7 or 8 heads or kings of Revelation 17 represent?”)


The first kingdom – the Babylonian kingdom

You, O king, are the king of kings you are the head of gold.

Dan 2,36 "This was the dream; now we will tell its interpretation before the king. 2,37 "You, O king, are the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, the strength and the glory; 2,38 and wherever the sons of men dwell, or the beasts of the field, or the birds of the sky, He has given them into your hand and has caused you to rule over them all. You are the head of gold. Dan 2,36-38;


King Nebuchadnezzar II (604-562 BC) had exceptional abilities as a statesman, military commander, peacemaker and builder. Nebuchadnezzar ordered the temples in all the cities of the country rebuilt. He constructed canals, the so-called Median Walls and the Processional Way leading to the Ishtar Gate. He made war on Syria and Judah. The countries he subjected were forced to pay tribute and had to pay heavy levies to Babylon. Judah rose several times in revolt, which finally resulted in its defeat and the destruction of Jerusalem. Part of the population was deported into the Babylonian Exile, which lasted until they were repatriated by the Persians.

(The following illustrations are taken from Atlas zur Bibel [Biblical Atlas] by H. H. Rowley, published in 1975 by Brockhaus Verlag [Brockhaus Publishers], Wuppertal).


Babylonisches Reich



The second kingdom – the Persian kingdom

After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you its breast and its arms of silver

Dan 2,39 "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. Dan 2,39;


King Cyrus II, the Great (559-529 BC), was the founder of the Persian empire, though Darius I is generally regarded as its principal architect. – Cyrus II became king of Ansan soon after 560 BC. Ansan was a region in Persia under the rule of the Medes, who had been the dominant power in this area for about a century. Cyrus II succeeded in shaking off the Median yoke around 550 BC, and proceeded to conquer the kingdom of the Medes and so create the foundations for the Medo-Persian empire. In the ruling coalition between the Medes and the Persians the Medes had a subordinate role, but their organizational talent soon made them indispensable to the state as administrators. In the Greek sources the two Iranian peoples are seen as a unity, so the Persians are also referred to as Medes. A victory over the Lydians under Croesus in 541 BC brought the greater part of Asia Minor under Persian rule, together with the Greek city states located in that region. In 539 BC Babylon likewise fell to Cyrus II – relatively quickly, because Nabonid had become unpopular with the influential Babylonian priesthood and so found little support in his struggle with Cyrus. As a result of the conquest of Babylon, Judah too came under Persian control. In the Bible the Persians are seen as liberators of the Jews from the Babylonian Exile – practically the only non-Jewish people to be presented in an altogether positive light.


Persisches Reich



The third kingdom – the Greek kingdom

Then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth, its belly and its loins of bronze.

Dan 2,39 "After you there will arise another kingdom inferior to you, then another third kingdom of bronze, which will rule over all the earth. Dan 2,39;


Alexander III, the Great (356-323 BC), was king of Macedonia and Hegemon of the Corinthian League from 336 BC until his death. Alexander extended the boundaries of his kingdom, which his father Philip II had created from the previously insignificant state of Macedonia by the addition of a number of Greek cities, through the so-called March of Alexander. In the course of this he conquered the Persian empire as far as the Indian subcontinent. After invading Egypt he was hailed there as Pharaoh. Not least because of his enormous military success, the life of Alexander became a popular motif in art and literature – though the significance of his career has been a matter of controversy for modern historians, as indeed it was in the ancient world. The beginning of Alexander’s rule marks the start of a new historical epoch, known as the age of Hellenism.


Griechisches Reich



The fourth kingdom – the Roman kingdom

Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron, and as iron crushes and shatters all things, it will crush and break all these in pieces.

Dan 2,40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces. Dan 2,40;


In the period between 264 and 146 BC Rome fought the three Punic Wars, through which the city state rose to become a great power. The First Punic War (264–241 BC) was the result of Rome’s expansionist policy in relation to the commercial republic of Carthage. Rome was compelled to build a fleet, and in 241 BC the Romans annihilated the Carthaginian navy off the Egadi Islands. Carthage paid a war indemnity and surrendered Sicily to Rome. It retained a sphere of influence in Spain and Sardinia, though the latter was lost three years later. In Spain the Barca family set up a new Carthaginian colony. The First Illyrian War, starting in 229 BC, showed Rome committing itself to the east. In the Second Illyrian War the republic acquired its first possessions on the eastern Adriatic coast. In 218 BC the Carthaginian strategist Hannibal attacked Rome from Spain in the Second Punic War, crossing the Alps and carrying the war into Rome’s home territories. After several Roman defeats (the worst being at Cannae in 216 BC) it looked as if Rome would fall. But Hannibal did not succeed in breaking down the Roman system of alliances. Not even an alliance with Philip V of Macedon in 215 BC brought the hoped-for relief. The Romans attacked the Barca dynasty’s possessions in Spain, and in 204 BC landed in North Africa under the command of Scipio Africanus, who defeated the Carthaginian army in 202 BC at Zama. Carthage lost all its possessions as well as its fleet. In the Third Punic War (149-146 BC) the Carthaginian rump state was finally done away with, and the Roman province of Africa was created.


Römisches Reich



It is next to impossible to find an unambiguously convincing explanation for the fall of the Roman Empire in the west (in the east it lasted longer, until 1453 AD). While part of the responsibility can certainly be attributed to certain system-immanent defects in the administration and the army, a principal reason was that the west just was not strong enough in military terms. The Western Empire was severely hit by the full weight of the ethnic migrations of late antiquity (375-568), as fewer troops were stationed there than on the Danube and the Euphrates. The west also lacked the population and economic power of the east – and besides, the west Roman government was increasingly ineffective in drawing on the resources of rich senators, some of whom had massive private fortunes, and was equally unable to persuade sufficient numbers of its citizens to volunteer for military service.

The absence of resistance to the Germanic peoples can really only mean one of two things. Either the formerly warlike Romans had fallen into apathy, or else the barbarians were not in fact viewed as threatening intruders. But the reason can hardly be established beyond doubt, as no single explanation could hope to do justice to all the circumstances. Probably these events were even more obscure to contemporaries than they are to modern historians. So it proved impossible to find any suitable countermeasures. One thing alone is certain: Rome continued to enjoy a cultural afterlife, and late antiquity had a decisive influence on the future shape of Europe.

For example, as the Middle Ages emerged into the modern period Roman law became the foundation of the legal systems of the European continent. The most important written source relied on was the Corpus Iuris Civilis. With the strengthening of European trade, and in view of the inadequacy of medieval law, Roman law came to be incorporated in the legal systems of many countries of the European continent, and continues in principle to apply in many areas right up to the present day. Not just in the field of law but in the legislative, executive, military and medical spheres as well, we find a wealth of Latin terms which testify to the historic roots of these disciplines in the Roman Empire.

And here we now come to the point made by the commentator quoted earlier, who was surprised at the long period of 2000 years between the death of Jesus under the Roman Empire and so between the 69th and 70th year-weeks in Dan 9:26. A number of powerful figures in Europe tried to set up a major empire during this period – most recently Napoleon, Hitler and Stalin – but without any of them succeeding in creating a world empire comparable with Babylon, Persia, Greece or Rome. So can we assume that from the biblical point of view we are still – after 2000 years – living in the fourth kingdom prophesied by Dan 2,40, that of Rome, the kingdom that was as hard as iron?



The fifth kingdom

The feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom;

Dan 2,41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 2,42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 2,43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. Dan 2,41-43;


As can easily be recognized from the above passage (Dan 2,41), the legs (thighs and shanks) and the feet are two separate kingdoms. This is a circumstance often overlooked by the commentators. The proof of it is not just in the fact that the two kingdoms – the legs and the feet – are mentioned separately, but also in their having different “materials” assigned to them: the legs consist just of iron (Dan 2,40), but the feet are iron mixed with clay (Dan 2,41). The feet are also explicitly referred to in Dan 2,41 as a kingdom in their own right (“a divided kingdom”).

But in terms of the interpretation, this means that the Roman kingdom has a successor and that according to Scripture, we still have a fifth global empire to look forward to. At the same time it looks as if we should still find a certain connection with the fourth kingdom – that of the Romans – inasmuch as both the legs and the feet, though the latter only in part, are associated with iron. Who this fifth kingdom (the “kingdom of the feet”) actually represents, now, can only be established indirectly with the help of a synoptic view of biblical prophecies and the events of world history.

When we consider the above images of world empires, we can more or less detect a kind of geographical “drift” to the west. The Roman Empire, in particular, took possession for the most part of areas of Europe where the Greeks, Persians and Babylonians had never set foot. If we now take these two facts – the geographical drift to the west, and the country unoccupied by former world empires – as the basis for our search for the fifth kingdom, that of the “feet”, we come up right away against an apparently insuperable difficulty. The Romans, after all, succeeded in occupying Europe up to its western continental limits, including Portugal, Spain, France and Great Britain – so a further westward drift would take us straight out into the Atlantic.

Hence the solution adopted by many commentators points in a different direction – to Russia, perhaps, or China. And they speak of the enemy coming from the north or the east. But anyone who knows something of world history is well aware that while it may be a fact that the Atlantic coast marks the limits of Europe, neither the Spanish and Portuguese conquistadors of the 16th and 17th century nor the English and French settlers of the 17th century let themselves be in any way deterred by this. They crossed the Atlantic and occupied the American continent – in many cases with fearful slaughter of the indigenous inhabitants.

And so suddenly the entire American continent was filled with European peoples, who brought their European tradition of brutality and remorselessness with them. The original inhabitants, who had no knowledge of firearms or military tactics, were quite unable to defend themselves. In this period the peoples of Latin America were mown down with great brutality and all but exterminated by the Catholic Spaniards and Portuguese (the conquistadors), who were determined to plunder their treasures of gold and silver. The conquering conquistadors destroyed the great empire of the Incas (at the battle of Cajamarca), as well as the empires of the Mayas and the Aztecs. The number of Native Americans who lost their lives between 1500 and 1600, directly or indirectly as a result of the conquistadors, has been estimated at around 50 million.

The following contemporary report has been passed down to us about the Kazike Hatuey – an Indian chief famous in Cuba to the present day, and an outstanding figure of the resistance. He was burned at the stake, prior to which he was invited by the conquistadors’ Franciscan friar to convert to Christianity, so that he would make it into heaven.

“The Kazike thought about it for a moment, and then asked the friar if the Spanish Christians would also be going to heaven. Certainly, said the friar, all good Christians go to heaven, including the Spaniards! The Kazike answered immediately and without any further thought that he would rather not go there then - he would prefer to go to hell, to get away from the company of such very cruel people.”.


So this was the worthy successor of the Roman Empire, and the continuation of those prophecies which the Bible has assigned to that fourth kingdom: “like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces”, and as Daniel also prophesies in Dan 2,41 with reference to the fifth kingdom following, that of the feet: “it will have in it the toughness of iron”. And that was how it turned out. So this seems to yield the conditions described above for the identification of this fifth kingdom: it is situated to the west of the previous kingdom, that of Rome – the feet being below the legs – and it extends to a region which has never been occupied by the other global empires: the American continent. And the occupying powers have brought with them the iron mentality inherited from the Romans.


Amerika Römisches Reich



If we take a look at the geographical extension of the Roman Empire in the illustration above, there emerges a further connection with the interpretation of Daniel. If we see the Mediterranean as an intermediate space, we can see the two legs which Daniel mentions to the right and the left. And it also becomes clear that the areas occupied by the Romans on the African coast of the Mediterranean do not quite add up to the entire left leg. The Straits of Gibraltar, connecting the Mediterranean with the Atlantic, are a narrow sea measuring just 14 km at the narrowest point. In the distant past of our planet this gap was actually closed, so that there was a direct land bridge from Africa to Spain and Portugal. But these two countries of the Iberian peninsula are in their turn separated from the rest of Europe by the Pyrenees, and so complete the left leg. These are the occupying powers that established themselves in Central and South America (Portugal in Brazil, Spain in Argentina and the rest of the subcontinent).

On the other hand when we look at the end of the right leg, we find France and Great Britain, which for their part occupied the North American subcontinent (Great Britain occupying the USA, France parts of Canada). And here it also becomes apparent that it is not the Straits of Gibraltar that should be seen as the dividing element between the two legs, but rather the mountain range of the Pyrenees, which extends for a length of 430 km from the Atlantic Ocean in the west (Bay of Biscay) to the Mediterranean in the east (Golf de Roses) and so separates Spain and Portugal from the rest of Europe.

If this interpretation is correct, we have been able to localize the fifth kingdom in the dream of Nebuchadnezzar – the “kingdom of the feet” – in the occupation of the American continent by Spain and Portugal (Central and South America) and by Great Britain and France (North America) about 500 years ago. In this case the biblical prophecies have long since been fulfilled before our very eyes, without our having been in the least aware of it. But there is a counter-argument that may well be advanced here: surely it is not very plausible to present the two American subcontinents as a united kingdom, or as being subject to a common government.

This seems a very convincing objection. Quite apart from the geographical separation of the American subcontinents (not least as a result of the Panama Canal), there is also little common ground between them in terms of language: in North America we find English, in parts of Canada French, in Central and South America largely Spanish, with Portuguese in Brazil. And this also gives rise to differences of character: while the high global profile of the USA – apart from the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq – is largely attributable to New York with its Wall Street and the dark-suited men of the stock exchange, South America – if we forget for the moment about the drug cartels and crime syndicates – is rather famed for Rio de Janeiro with its Carnival and the samba schools with their naked (or almost naked) female dancers.

The fact that Protestantism was disseminated in North America by the settlers from Great Britain, whereas in Central and South America Catholicism was forced on the native peoples on pain of death, is not just one further contrast but rather constitutes the root and original cause of the specific development of character in the two subcontinents. These are fundamental differences in people’s mentality, which were not capable of being united in the past, and which in all likelihood will not easily be reduced to a common denominator in future either. And from this we can also conclude that while the kingdom of the feet has already been in existence for more than 500 years, no “king” who would succeed in making this kingdom into an empire has as yet appeared on the world stage.

Of course the question suggests itself at this point why the American continent should need to be united, when it comprises such differences in terms of politics and world view. We can recognize the answer to this question if we consider why the historic world empires referred to above were set up – why the previously independent countries of these regions were absorbed and integrated with a larger country, without being asked anything about the compatibility of their world view. It was the hunger for power. And on the level of global politics, the sign of power is to have more and more people and more and more territory.

This was the case right at the beginning of world history, in the first city of the world, Nimrod’s Babel, where people “united” for the first time in order to build a tower reaching to heaven. And it remains so to the present day. Why did Germany reunite? Because today it is the biggest and most important country of the EU! Why did the countries of the European Union come together? The euro has already overtaken the American dollar in importance and value! So it is all a matter of power and global influence. And in the background, ever since Babel, there has always been the urge to become master of the entire world. Only in earlier times this kind of acquisition of power was carried on by war and oppression, while today it is achieved by diplomacy and economic pressure.

But in order to unite these fundamentally different countries of the two Americas, we would really need a leader of unique charisma – one who either possessed exceptional diplomatic skills, or who was able to create the necessary conditions on the basis of overwhelming military or economic supremacy. - Compare the Roman Empire in its time, respectively the reunification of BRD (Federal Republic of Germany) and DDR (Democratic Republic of Germany) in our time. Or even the rider on the white horse Rev 6:2, who goes out “conquering and to conquer”.) 

If all the states of the American continent could be united under a single government, then finally the term “USA” – the United States of America – would have achieved its correct meaning, seeing that at the present time only 50 states of North America form part of the union, Canada and Mexico being excepted, not to speak of the many Latin American states of Central and South America.

Now Daniel does indeed tell us that the fifth kingdom – the “kingdom of the feet” – will be one kingdom, but at the same time he specifies in Dan 2,41 that it is a divided kingdom:

The feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom;

Dan 2,41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 2,42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 2,43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. Dan 2,41-43;


So it will be a divided kingdom, consisting on the one hand of potter’s clay, on the other of iron. As we have already shown above, clay and iron are evidently symbolic of the mentality of the people in this kingdom. This is significantly conveyed in the following verse, Dan 2,43, where Daniel indicates that in this kingdom the people with the “clay mentality” may well marry and have children with those of an “iron mentality”, “but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery”. In the light of the above interpretation we can now conclude that the two mentalities actually no longer have anything in common. The only things that can still bring them together are sex and scheming. And as Daniel states above, they may well marry (the original speaks here of the “seed of men”), but they still will not adhere together.



A sixth kingdom??

But we now find certain difficulties of interpretation, in connection with this very verse (Dan 2,43). Here it is written: “In that you saw the iron mixed with common clay”. This, then, is a statement referring to what has been said earlier. But it is not clear what it refers to – whether to the kingdom of the feet mentioned in the verse Dan 2,41, or just to the toes which are referred to in Dan 2,42.

As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery: they will not adhere to one another.

Dan 2,41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. 2,42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. 2,43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. Dan 2,41-43;


Here again the commentators frequently overlook the fact that this verse (Dan 2,43) speaks exclusively of the toes, so they include this statement, without any further differentiation, under the kingdom of the feet – in just the same way as they fail to distinguish the kingdom of the feet from the kingdom of the legs, that of the Romans. Now the prophecy of the divided kingdom in the verse Dan 2,40 – as the text tells us – undoubtedly applies to “the feet and the toes”. But since the prophecy of the partly strong and partly brittle kingdom in the verse Dan 2,42 refers exclusively to “the toes of the feet”, we must assume that here too a separation between the feet and the toes is intended.

But this now makes it more likely that the verse Dan 2,43 likewise refers to the toes rather than to the feet. After all, when we consider that a statement with a backward reference always refers to the last mentioned subject, this leads us to the conclusion that the prophecy about people’s lack of family love (in the verse Dan 2,43) is to be understood as only pointing to the toe area of the feet. (Incidentally, this reminds us strongly of what our Lord says in Lk 21:15-19!)

In this connection the question of course also suggests itself whether the saying in Dan 2,42 (“As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle”) does not actually point to another independent and sixth kingdom – which would make the Millennium the seventh and last kingdom on earth. At all events, the toes have features in common with the feet (a divided kingdom) but are different in terms of people’s mentality (not adhering to one another), so that it appears that this kingdom of the toes, if that is indeed what it is, will emerge from the kingdom of the feet. We actually find support for this view in the next verse following, Dan 2,44. This begins with the words: “In the days of those kings”.

In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never (Buber: for worldtime 1)) be destroyed.

Dan 2,44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never (Buber: for worldtime) be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever (Buber: for worldtime). 2,45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy." Dan 2,44-45;


Now apart from King Nebuchadnezzar himself, there are no kings whatever mentioned in the entire prophecy. So who is Daniel referring to with “these kings”? Here there are just two possible explanations. Daniel speaks repeatedly of kingdoms, and these kingdoms must of course also have kings. But at that time when “the stone cut out without hands” breaks loose and crushes the statue, that is to say directly before the Millennium, the only king still surviving out of the kings of these kingdoms would be that of the kingdom of the feet (iron and clay).

As a second possibility, we can again have recourse to the rule governing a backward reference. If we apply this, the statement in Dan 2,44 (“in the days of those kings”) would refer to the last subject preceding, and that is to be found in the verse Dan 2,42. These are “the toes of the feet” – being ten in number. And here, of course, we are plainly getting into the prophecy of the Last Days. Daniel himself speaks in his 7th chapter about ten kings:

As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise.

Dan 7,23 "Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it. 7,24 ‘As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings. 7,25 ‘He will speak out against the Most High and wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time. 7,26 ‘But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. 7,27 ‘Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.’ Dan 7,23-27;


We can recognize that the two texts are thematically identical. The fourth beast in Dan 7,23 has the following meaning:

    “A fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it:


which clearly corresponds to the fourth kingdom in Dan 2,40:

    “Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.


So both prophecies are referring to the Roman Empire. But whereas in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, in Dan 2,41-44, the intervening time from the Roman Empire to the kingdom of the feet that derives from it (with the ten toes/kings up to the Millennium) is represented, in Daniel’s account of the four beasts (Dan 7,23-27) we see a direct transition from the fourth kingdom to the ten kings of the Last Days and the Millennium. So the kingdom of the feet is not mentioned, and we can see in this too a prophetic elision identical to that in the prophecy of the 70 year-weeks. Whereas in that passage 2000 years so far fall between the 69th and the 70th year-week (which the commentator cited at the beginning of this Discourse says he “cannot possibly be convinced by”), we find a similar lack of prophetic indications in Daniel’s vision of the four beasts in Dan 7,23-27, which refers to the same period in time – from the Roman Empire through to the ten kings of the Last Days and the Millennium.

By contrast with Dan 2,41-44, however, we are specifically told in Dan 7,23-27 that the ten horns are ten kings, who will arise out of this kingdom – which again creates a connection between the Roman kingdom and the kingdom of the feet and toes. And this dovetails with our interpretation earlier, where we assumed that the ten kings of the toes-kingdom would emerge from the kingdom of the feet. But we meet these ten kings again in Revelation, as horns on the beast in the desert, which according to Rev 12:3 is to be interpreted as Satan. Here, though, it stands for the second, demonic Antichrist whom Satan has raised from the dead and possessed.

The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour.

Rev 17,11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 17,12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 17,13 "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 17,14 "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." Rev 17,11-14;


(See also Discourse 86: “The first and the second Antichrist.”)


The proof that all these prophecies are dealing with one and the same historical period can now be adduced on the basis of further statements. In Dan 2,44 Daniel tells us that at this time, after the annihilation of the worldly kingdoms, “the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed”, and evidently means by this the establishment of the millennial kingdom of peace of our Lord Jesus Christ. And again in Dan 7,27 we find an indication of the establishment of the Millennium, after the dominion of the last king has been annihilated and destroyed: “Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him.” In Revelation itself we find (in the above passage, Rev 17,14), an indication of the great Battle of Har-Magedon (Rev 19,11-21), in which the Lord Jesus will defeat the Antichrist and his false prophet and then, after the annihilation of the worldly armies, we likewise find the kingdom of a thousand years being set up in Rev 20,4-6.

(See also Chapter 07: “The Battle of Armageddon.”)


And here the prophecy of Dan 2,44 with reference to the kingdom of the toes likewise finds fulfillment:

In the days of those (ten) kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed,


(See also Table 02: “The world empires in the Bible.”)



Summary.

So all these scriptural statements permit us to come to the following conclusion:

After the Roman kingdom (the kingdom of the legs), yet another fifth kingdom (the kingdom of the feet) will arise on earth, one that has its hardness (iron) in common with the Roman kingdom, but which is nonetheless a divided kingdom (partly iron, partly clay). Out of this fifth kingdom ten kings (toes, horns) will then arise as a sixth kingdom (??). These will receive power for a short time together with the demonic Antichrist (the beast of Rev 13) and Satan who becomes manifest in him (Rev 13:4; 17:12). In the Battle of Har-Magedon (Rev 19:11-21) they and their armies, together with the demonic Antichrist, will be defeated by Jesus Christ and his heavenly host. The Antichrist and his false prophet will then be thrown into the lake of fire, but Satan will be held bound in the abyss for the thousand years of the Millennium (Rev 20:2-3).






Notes

1)

In Dan 2:44, in practically all translations the word “never” is used:

In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed (...)

In German we find “ewig nicht” [“not for all eternity”] or “nimmermehr” [“nevermore”] (Luther), and all English translations likewise give “never”. The translators have here made the incorrect assumption that this statement refers to the kingdom of heaven, so that “never” would be the required term. But in fact it is not the heavenly kingdom that is meant, but rather the Millennium – the thousand year kingdom of peace of the Lord Jesus here on earth, which will then last until the end of the world.

Only Martin Buber, in his translation of the Old Testament (his “Germanizing” of the Bible, as he called it) kept as close as possible to the original text. Buber even created German neologisms where necessary: “Braus Gottes” [“God’s surge”], “Gespross” [“shoots”], “Urwirbels Antlitz” [“face of primeval vortex”] and also, in the present case, “auf Weltzeit” [“for worldtime”].

So the correct phrasing here must be “for worldtime” – i.e. the time for which the world still continues to exist, seeing that the Millennium lasts for a thousand years and no longer and thus will not exist for ever, but only until the end of the world – i.e. “for worldtime”.

Partly because of this incorrect translation, the Jehovah’s Witnesses and quite a few other denominations have come to the erroneous view that the Heavenly Jerusalem will come down to this old earth, rather than to the new earth in the New Creation (Rev 21:1).




(Texts enclosed in a black frame are quoted from visitors to the site or other authors.)

(The dream of Nebuchadnezzar: is the fifth kingdom a “padding”? / Commentary, KHW 00, 2009-06-14)

Hi Mr. Horak, I simply must respond to your last publication (Discourse 98). I can well believe that my views do not fit in with your understanding of the Bible, but your understanding of the interpretation in Dan.2,31-33 is something I just cannot leave without comment. If you are reluctant to include my conclusions based on Dan.2 and 7 on your website, I will have to accept your decision with regret.

In your discussion – as always very thorough – you focus on the world kingdoms in Daniel, and principally in this connection with the statue in the dream of King Nebuchadnezzar. Here you have extrapolated the interpretation of the statue given by God to Daniel (Dan.2,30-45) so as to pad out 2000 years with a fifth and sixth world kingdom.

Daniel classifies the four metals and clay not in accordance with their commercial use value, but above all based on their intelligible and cultural essence. Gold for prosperity, science and art, iron for tough regimentation and destruction. The clay stands for the brittleness of all alliances and reshapings that this iron kingdom is fated to go through before the end.

Undoubtedly there are other ways of seeing the matter. But this is not all that important, for while what God reveals to the heathen king through Daniel may have flattered and reassured him personally, it still gives us very fundamental information about the world kingdoms that follow. The really illuminating interpretation of the statue is actually given to Daniel years later (Dan.7,7), and this, I think, is meant for our present and future (Dan.12,10). So there is no way of getting around Dan.7,7. The fourth beast described here corresponds to the legs and feet of the statue, the fourth kingdom (Dan.2,33 and Dan.2,40). The ten toes of the fourth kingdom in Dan.2,41, which were previously not mentioned at all in connection with the statue, correspond without any doubt to the ten horns of the fourth beast in Dan.7,7.

We agree, I suppose, that the fourth kingdom of the statue is the same as the fourth beast from the sea in Dan.7,7, and the church commentators recognize in this fourth beast the downfallen Roman kingdom. But about this fourth beast from the sea we also know the fact that it will be a fourth kingdom and that it will reign until the judgment (Dan.7,26).

You are now trying to pad out what amounts so far to around 1600 years without prophecy with a fifth, and possibly even a sixth kingdom!

Could it be that we interpret Daniel incorrectly because from the point of view of the churches we are supposed to see the Roman kingdom as the complete fourth kingdom, also because the ten horns of the beast fit more or less with the many emperors of Rome? It is a serious feature of the fourth kingdom that it does not have any form that is really comparable with its three predecessors. This power hostile to Christ is thus not immediately easy to recognize on its first appearance. As Rome finally adopted Christianity, other powers of a different guise, but equally Christian in appearance, arose from its spirit.

I suggest now that the Roman Empire was just the start of the fourth kingdom – Rome as the origin, the first form of the final kingdom? The imperial idea of Rome has never been lost, but was taken over and carried on by the Vandals and, as you rightly observe, continues in culture and law right through to the present day. The Roman Empire is the birth of the Occident.

My thesis is this: the Occident, from Rome down to our times, is Daniel’s fourth kingdom. The horns of the fourth beast are not the ten emperors of ancient Rome, but rather occidental world powers – like the kingdom of the Franks for example, Spanish colonial rule, the empire right through to the USA. This, I think, gives us an illuminating way of understanding Daniel while at the same time establishing a connection with Rev.13,1-8 and the age of Christianity.

The seven heads of the beast in Rev.13,2 correspond to the 10 plus 1 horns (global powers) in Daniel 7,8. This is because when out of ten powers three are eliminated by a power newly arisen, there remain seven more or less strong former global powers, which then elect the last one – now recrudescent after a deadly defeat – as world ruler.

PS
But the ten horns of Rev.17,3, which at the end of your essay you quite rightly allocate to Satan (Rev.12,3), cannot represent either the ten toes or the horns in Daniel 2 and 7! First of all the toes of the imaginary kingdom of the toes in Dan.2,43 never stick together, whereas the ten in Rev.17,3 and 17 act “with a common purpose”; and secondly, of the ten horns of the fourth kingdom in Dan.7,7-8 there remain only 7 + 1.

Karl-Heinz Wolschke [kh-wolschke@web.de]



Thank you for your interesting commentary! Of course I am happy to oblige you by giving you a platform for your understanding of Dan 2 and 7 here at Immanuel.at – particularly because your contribution gives me the opportunity of engaging with those arguments which in fact have been a hindrance to the correct understanding of this prophecy in the past.

At the start of your remarks you write:

“I can well believe that my views do not fit in with your understanding of the Bible.”


Your views do not have to fit in with my understanding of the Bible, but they must fit in with the actual statements we find in the Bible – if that is the case, I will be happy to concur with your views.

The fifth kingdom

You then immediately say:

“Here you have extrapolated the interpretation of the statue given by God to Daniel (Dan.2,30-45) so as to pad out 2000 years with a fifth and sixth world kingdom.”


Now, I haven’t in any way “extrapolated” the interpretation by Daniel – this was and is already complete, we only need to read it attentively. Nor is it the case that I have “padded out” the last 2000 years, as you allege – I have quite simply studied the text carefully and have written what is often overlooked by superficial readers, but what is demonstrably there – and has always been there! If we take a close look at the description given by Daniel in Dan 2,32-33, we find the following sequence:

Dan 2,32 "The head of that statue was made of fine gold, its breast and its arms of silver, its belly and its loins of bronze, 2,33 its legs of iron, its feet partly of iron and partly of clay. Dan 2,32-33;


1.  The head of gold – the first kingdom - Babylon

2.  The breast and arms of silver – the second kingdom – the Medo-Persian empire

3.  The belly and the loins of bronze – the third kingdom – the empire of Alexander

4.  The legs of iron – the fourth kingdom – the Roman Empire

5.  The feet partly of iron and partly of clay – the fifth kingdom – America?


In the German Bible, Daniel speaks here (Dan 2,32) of the Schenkel (thighs) and not of the Beine (legs). And as is generally known, the feet may be part of the legs, but they do not belong to the thighs – any more than the thighs belong to the loins, or the loins to the breast. So the feet are quite plainly to be understood as a kingdom in their own right, like the head, breast, belly and legs.

But this separation between the fourth and fifth kingdom is to be found again in the interpretation in Dan 2,40-41:

The fourth kingdom as strong as iron, the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron

Dan 2,40 "Then there will be a fourth kingdom as strong as iron; inasmuch as iron crushes and shatters all things, so, like iron that breaks in pieces, it will crush and break all these in pieces.

2,41 "In that you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it will be a divided kingdom; but it will have in it the toughness of iron, inasmuch as you saw the iron mixed with common clay. Dan 2,40-41;


The argument that the feet and toes here are not explicitly designated as the fifth kingdom is unconvincing, in view of the fact that Daniel generally refrains from carrying out a consistent numerical listing. So in telling Nebuchadnezzar of the first, Babylonian kingdom in Dan 2,38, he says only “You are the head of gold”. Breast and arms are referred to in Dan 2,39: “Another kingdom inferior to you”, while in the same breath he also includes the belly and loins as “another third kingdom”. The legs too are designated as a “fourth kingdom” in Dan 2,40, and he then mentions the feet and toes in Dan 2,42, saying that “Some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle.”

This permits us to recognize without any kind of ambiguity that the legs and the feet are two different kingdoms. But as has been already remarked above, Mr. Wolschke finds himself here in good company. A great many commentators in the past have overlooked this fifth kingdom – perhaps in consequence of their being unable to distinguish between the thighs and the legs – and so have simply allocated the feet and toes to the fourth kingdom, that of Rome. But as a result the prophecy has been deprived of an important part of its message, its implications for world history have been incorrectly foreclosed with the fall of the Roman Empire, and so too our overall understanding of the passage has been severely impaired.



The metals

In the interpretation of the metals there is certainly room for different opinions. But the qualitative approach we attempted earlier in this Discourse yields a satisfactory explanation (taking into account too the physical consistency of the metals), whereas Mr. Wolschke’s interpretation:

“Gold for prosperity, science and art, iron for tough regimentation and destruction. The clay stands for the brittleness of all alliances and reshapings”


seems less transpicuous. Prosperity and riches were also a factor in the lives of the Roman senators and citizens, without Daniel’s having made any mention of gold in connection with Roman rule.

As for the clay, Daniel’s interpretation focuses not on the property of clay itself – its brittleness, that is, like that of a pottery dish that shatters on a stone floor – but rather the lack of mutual adhesion between iron and clay. And likewise with the interpretation given in Dan 2,43, in relation to the people of this fifth kingdom: “They will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery”. In an interpretation based exclusively on the brittleness of the clay itself, this would still remain an open issue.

So it is not the external life circumstances that these metals are meant to highlight, but rather, as we have shown earlier, the inner attitude, the character and mentality of the people, which have changed in the course of millennia. Whereas in Daniel’s day the king could still be addressed with the wish “O King, live for ever!” (Dan 2:4), today people’s egoism is evidently so far advanced that they no longer wish their fellow human beings any kind of good thing – not even a “good day”. All they are prepared to part with is an indifferent “Hi”.

(See also Discourse 93: “The Reign of the Antichrist and Love among People.”)


The fourth kingdom

Mr. Wolschke’s commentary then continues:

“But this is not all that important, for what God reveals to the heathen king through Daniel may have flattered and reassured him personally, but it still gives us very fundamental information about the world kingdoms that follow. The really illuminating interpretation of the statue is actually given to Daniel years later (Dan.7,7), and this, I think, is meant for our present and future.” .


Just because we do indeed agree that the two prophecies (Dan 2 and Dan 7) are identical in terms of theme, we can recognize, if we examine the text of Dan 7 in detail, that it gives a rather abbreviated interpretation, especially in what concerns the fourth kingdom / fourth beast (Dan 7:23-24). Only with the horns, which follow in the temporal sequence, does the account once again become more specific. In Dan 2:40-43, on the other hand, we find this very period, in my view, between the fourth kingdom and the lifting up of the ten horns or kings together with the kingdom of the feet (along with the latter’s implications for the divided kingdom and the lack of love between human beings) – up to and including the ten toes. This gives us a more exact explanation, which then indeed can be taken as “meant for our present and future”, as stated in the above comments with reference to Dan 7.

It is also useful to recognize at this point that an exegesis which principally focuses on Dan 7 necessarily results in an over-hasty interpretation – one that sees the fourth kingdom as extending right through to the judgment of Antichrist and the Millennium – and the inevitable consequence is that the detailed explanations about the feet of the statue in Dan 2,41-43 are then left out of account.

The further arguments of Mr. Wolschke are an exact reflection of these tendencies of biblical commentators in the last 150 years:

“We agree, I suppose, that the fourth kingdom of the statue is the same as the fourth beast from the sea in Dan.7,7, and the church commentators recognize in this fourth beast the downfallen Roman kingdom. But about this fourth beast from the sea we also know the fact that it will be a fourth kingdom and that it will reign until the judgment (Dan.7,26)”.


You can of course read this into Dan 7, but according to Dan 2 we still find at least a fifth kingdom (Dan 2,41-43) between the fourth beast (Dan 7:7) or fourth kingdom (Dan 2,40) and the judgment. This fifth kingdom follows the fourth, that of the Romans, and has all those properties relating to the Last Days which traditional biblical commentary had assigned prematurely to the fourth kingdom – the already downfallen Roman Empire.

So the following question with reference to Dan 2 must be answered, without any shadow of doubt, in the affirmative:

“Could it be that we interpret Daniel incorrectly because from the point of view of the churches we are supposed to see the Roman kingdom as the complete fourth kingdom, also because the ten horns of the beast fit more or less with the many emperors of Rome?”


That is absolutely correct. Precisely this is the consequence, when the interpretation of the period following the Roman Empire is first of all based exclusively on Dan 7 and the short reference in Dan 7,23, and if we then also adopt the curtailment of the prophecy favored by so many commentators – referring everything to this fourth or Roman kingdom, and simply tacking on the statements of Dan 2,40-43 to come under the fourth kingdom as well.

As a result of the failure to recognize the existence of the fifth kingdom, the prophecy has been seen as coming to an end with the end of the Roman Empire. This leaves no other option available but to interpret the ten horns of the beast and the ten toes of the statue as referring to the Roman emperors – a point of view which patently equates world history with the history of the Roman Empire, and puts the creator of the universe on the same level as the gods of Roman mythology.

This is indeed one of the serious common problems of biblical exegesis. Unfortunately some commentators like to save themselves the pains of studying the scriptures themselves, so they simply reel off the interpretation of other earlier interpreters. This propagates error until such time as someone takes the trouble to check their views in the light of Scripture itself. And even then there are still some opinions that have been “set in concrete” – people who are unwilling to abandon their views even when faced with the patent meaning of the scriptural texts.

We can also agree wholeheartedly with the following statement of Mr. Wolschke’s:

“I suggest now that the Roman Empire was just the start of the fourth kingdom – Rome the origin, the first form of the final kingdom? The imperial idea of Rome has never been lost, but was taken over and carried on by the Vandals and, as you rightly observe, continues in culture and law right through to the present day. The Roman Empire is the birth of the Occident.”


The Roman Empire of course represents the start of the fourth kingdom in Dan 2 (the fourth beast in Dan 7). And the EU is the best demonstration that the idea of this kingdom is with us still today. The European Union is after all nothing but a new edition of this old dream of the European peoples of uniting to achieve power and importance in the world – in the past through wars, today with the help of political and financial incentives. The view that Rome is the origin and first form of the kingdom of the Last Days, on the other hand, seems dubious – in view of the fact that here again we see a recurrence of the incorrect interpretation of Dan 2,41, with the prophecy of the fifth kingdom being left out of account.

The ten horns

But now to return to Mr. Wolschke’s thesis with reference to the interpretation of Dan 2:

“My thesis is this: the Occident, from Rome down to our times, is Daniel’s fourth kingdom. The horns of the fourth beast are not the ten emperors of ancient Rome, but rather occidental world powers – like the kingdom of the Franks for example, Spanish colonial rule, the empire right through to the USA. This, I think, gives us an illuminating way of understanding Daniel while at the same time establishing a connection with Rev.13,1-8 and the age of Christianity.”


The first sentence is perfectly correct, but it entails the consequence – in contradiction of what Mr. Wolschke says earlier – that the fourth kingdom cannot be the kingdom of the Last Days. Otherwise we would have been living in the Last Days for the last 2000 years. Even this view of things cannot exclude the possibility that during the continued existence of this fourth kingdom another, fifth kingdom still might arise – as indeed the Persian kingdom did in the time of the Babylonians, the Greek kingdom in the time of the Persians; and the Roman kingdom came into existence even while the Greek diadochi and their successors the epigoni still held power.

But the interpretation of the ten horns of the fourth beast in Dan 7 as referring to the “occidental world powers” is now just as unconvincing as the view that tries to see them as the Roman emperors. While in the one case Rome is posited as the kingdom of the Last Days, the existence of a fifth kingdom being overlooked, in the other we go just a little bit further in temporal terms and substitute the “occidental world powers” of our own time. It is a similar situation to the interpretation of the number “666” in Rev 13,8 : we will never be able to decipher its meaning until the Antichrist is actually here.

And yet Dan 2 does give us an important hint towards the interpretation of these ten horns or kings of the Last Days. In Dan 2,42, after the prophecy of the fourth and fifth kingdoms, we then have a prophecy relating to “the toes of the feet”.

Dan 2,42 "As the toes of the feet were partly of iron and partly of pottery, so some of the kingdom will be strong and part of it will be brittle. Dan 2,42;


As we know from Dan 7,7 that the fourth beast – identical with the fourth kingdom in Dan 2 – has ten horns, which according to Dan 7,24 are ten kings, we can assume that the ten toes in Dan 2,42 represent these kings as well. This view receives support in the form of the subsequent statement in Dan 2,44, where we are told that in the days of these kings God will set up the millennial kingdom of his Son.

In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom.

Dan 2,43 "And in that you saw the iron mixed with common clay, they will combine with one another in the seed of men; but they will not adhere to one another, even as iron does not combine with pottery. 2,44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never Buber: for be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. 2,45 "Inasmuch as you saw that a stone was cut out of the mountain without hands and that it crushed the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver and the gold, the great God has made known to the king what will take place in the future; so the dream is true and its interpretation is trustworthy." Dan 2,43-45;


The text of Dan 2,44 holds two statements of particular interest. In the first place, we are suddenly told here of “kings”, although in the entire prophecy of the statue no kings whatsoever – apart from King Nebuchadnezzar himself – have yet been mentioned. But when we compare the two passages – Dan 2,42 with the ten toes, and Dan 2,44 with the kings – we can recognize that these kings are a backward reference to the ten toes mentioned earlier.

The remainder of this sentence in Dan 2,44 then includes the second interesting aspect – an important one for all commentators who wish to identify the ten kings – for we are told that in the days of these kings God will set up the kingdom of the Millennium. But this means that these ten kings must live and rule in the Last Days, indeed at the end of the Last Days and shortly before the Millennium. And here anyone who knows Revelation will immediately think of those kings with their hosts who will be gathered by Satan, the Antichrist and his false prophet for the Battle of Har-Magedon, the last act before the kingdom of a thousand years.

Which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God.

Rev 16,13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 16,14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 16,15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.") 16,16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. Rev 16,13-16;


So it is a similar situation to the deciphering of the name of the Antichrist in the number 666. This form of encryption is known as gematrics. It is based on the fact that both the classical Greek and the Hebrew scripts lack any special numerical characters, but use the letters to signify numbers instead. So the first letter of the alphabet stands for 1, the second for 2, and so on. In this way any word in these languages can also be read as a group of numerical digits. If we form the total, we can find a number which stands for the word.

Above all in the first centuries after Christ, the names of various Caesars of the Roman Empire (e.g. Nero, Domitian, Gaius etc.) were adapted, sometimes in quite enterprising ways, in such a fashion that their cross-total resulted in the number 666. So for instance the title “Neron Kaisar” in Hebrew results in the cross-total of 666, and so do the words from Josh 13,22 “Balaam the son of Beor, the diviner”. The same is true of the Greek term “Lateinos” (the Latin, i.e. Roman kingdom?) and many others. And in recent centuries we have seen even the name of Napoleon, with more or less realistic additions, pressed into the service of this gematric game – and the same has been tried with the (unsubstantiated) papal title “VICARIVS FILII DEI” (= deputy of the Son of God) in Roman numerals.

(See also Discourse 86: “The first and the second Antichrist.”)


So evidently people will go to any desperate lengths to explain these ten kings of the Last Days by dredging up rulers or world empires of the past. But just as with the name corresponding to the number 666, we will only recognize these ten kings in the Last Days (the real Last Days!), not before. And this is the very time to which the prophecy in Rev 13,1-8 (which Mr. Wolschke sees as providing a “connection” to our own time) actually refers – of course it has nothing to do with “the kingdom of the Franks, Spanish colonial rule, the empire right through to the USA”. We certainly cannot say of these what is stated in Rev 13,4, that “they worshiped the dragon...”

Rev 13,4 They worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" Rev 13, 4;


The seven heads and ten horns of the dragon

We cannot altogether agree with the following statement in Mr. Wolschke’s thesis either:

“The seven heads of the beast in Rev.13,2 correspond to the 10 plus 1 horns (global powers) in Daniel 7,8. This is because when out of ten powers three are eliminated by a power newly arisen, there remain seven more or less strong former global powers, which then elect the last – now recrudescent after a deadly defeat – as world ruler.”


The heads of the beast have a completely different background from the horns, and so are not comparable with them. But in order to get a better overview, let us just take a closer look at the origin of these ten horns. They are mentioned in Scripture only in Daniel and Revelation, and here they are mentioned nine times in all: Dan 7,7,20,24 and Rev 12,3; 13,1; 17,3,7,12,16. And when we examine the texts closely, we at once recognize the actual “possessor” of these ten horns: it is the same “beast” to which the seven heads are also attributed, and this same beast is presented to us in Rev 12,3 in quite lapidary style:

A great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems.

Rev 12,3 Then another sign appeared in heaven: and behold, a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns, and on his heads were seven diadems. Rev 12, 3;


Although a pretty unambiguous classification of this sign is already possible, in view of the term “dragon”, just a few verses later on we get a completely unmistakable identification of this beast:

The great dragon, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan.

Rev 12,9 And the great dragon was thrown down, the serpent of old who is called the devil and Satan, who deceives the whole world; he was thrown down to the earth, and his angels were thrown down with him. Rev 12, 9;


So the possessor of these seven heads and ten horns is Satan. The next question then suggests itself – what is meant by the seven heads and the ten horns. This is confirmed in Revelation, where John sees Satan in the form of a scarlet beast in the wilderness (Rev 17,3):

The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, and they are seven kings;

Rev 17,9 "Here is the mind which has wisdom. The seven heads are seven mountains on which the woman sits, 17,10 and they are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while. 17,11 "The beast which was and is not, is himself also an eighth and is one of the seven, and he goes to destruction. 17,12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. Rev 17, 9-12;


In biblical prophecy, mountains frequently signify global empires. So, for example, the kingdom of a thousand years in Dan 2,35 is described as a great mountain which fills the whole world. And here again, in Rev 17,9, the seven heads are equated with seven mountains and seven kings. The more exact description in the next verse – “five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when he comes, he must remain a little while” – can be well explained if we compare the imagery with the course of world history.

If we assume that John wrote Revelation in the time of the Roman kingdom (around about 90-100 AD), then the reference to the sixth king – “one is” – would be understood as referring to this period and so to the Roman Empire. Based on this, we can now follow the five fallen global empires in reverse order, tracing the backward course of world history: the Greek kingdom, the Medo-Persian kingdom, the Babylonian kingdom, the Assyrian kingdom and the Egyptian kingdom.

(See also Table 02: “The world empires in the Bible.”)


The seventh head: the Antichrist, the “son” of Satan

The seventh king who has not yet come, and who, when he comes, must remain for a little while, thus stands for the Antichrist, of whom we are told in Rev 13,5::

And authority to act for forty-two months was given to him.

Rev 13,1 And the dragon stood on the sand of the seashore. Then I saw a beast coming up out of the sea, having ten horns and seven heads, and on his horns were ten diadems, and on his heads were blasphemous names. 13,2 And the beast which I saw was like a leopard, and his feet were like those of a bear, and his mouth like the mouth of a lion. And the dragon gave him his power and his throne and great authority. 13,3 I saw one of his heads as if it had been slain, and his fatal wound was healed. And the whole earth was amazed and followed after the beast; 13,4 they worshiped the dragon because he gave his authority to the beast; and they worshiped the beast, saying, "Who is like the beast, and who is able to wage war with him?" 13,5 There was given to him a mouth speaking arrogant words and blasphemies, and authority to act for forty-two months was given to him. Rev 13, 1- 5;

At this point we can also immediately understand the reason why the seven heads and ten horns, which earlier (Rev 12,3 and Rev 17,9.12) were allocated to Satan, now again appear here (Rev 13,1) in connection with the beast from the sea, in other words the Antichrist. As we see from Rev 13,2 above, Satan gives the Antichrist his power and his throne and great authority, and people also worship Satan in Rev 13,4 because he has given his authority to the beast.

Here we can recognize that Satan – the “ape of God” as Luther called him because of his constant habit of aping the actions of the Almighty – likewise imitates the relationship between God the Father and his Son Jesus Christ. He sends the Antichrist not as the Anti-Christ, but as the “substitute Christ” (the prefix anti can also be understood in this sense), and behaves as if he himself were “God the Father”. And both are also worshiped by human beings.


The Antichrist and his adherents deny Jesus Christ as the Son of God

Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist.

1Jn 2,22 Who is the liar but the one who denies that Jesus is the Christ? This is the antichrist, the one who denies the Father and the Son. 2,23 Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father; the one who confesses the Son has the Father also. 1Jn 2,22;


Consequently the Antichrist must also deny the divine sonship of the true Christ, our Lord, and present him as a liar, fraud and blasphemer – just in the same way as the Mosaic Jews have done for two thousand years and continue to do today, because he said to the high priest Caiaphas that he was the Son of God.

I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God.

Mt 26,63 But Jesus kept silent. And the high priest said to Him, "I adjure You by the living God, that You tell us whether You are the Christ, the Son of God." 26,64 Jesus said to him, "You have said it yourself;  Mt 26,63-64;


To these Jews the Lord made the following prophecy while he was still alive, with reference to the Antichrist:

I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him.

Jn 5,39 "You search the Scriptures because you think that in them you have eternal life; it is these that testify about Me; 5,40 and you are unwilling to come to Me so that you may have life. 5,41 "I do not receive glory from men; 5,42 but I know you, that you do not have the love of God in yourselves. 5,43 "I have come in My Father’s name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, you will receive him. Jn 5,39-43;


The argument repeatedly advanced by Jews – that they believe in the one and only God, but cannot accept the divinity of Jesus of Nazareth (a view shared, incidentally, by the Jehovah’s Witnesses, Adventists, Antitrinitarians etc.) – finds its answer in the passage quoted earlier (1Jn 2,23): “Whoever denies the Son does not have the Father” and so is God-less. This means that they form part of that 90% of the world population who do not have any connection either with God or with his Son Jesus Christ.

By contrast with today’s Jews, who of course deny that they are godless, the Catholic nun Agnes Gonxha Bojaxhiu, better known as Mother Teresa, came to a very accurate realization of this state in the last thirty years of her life, and even described it with great exactitude in her private diary entries:

"since 49 or 50 this terrible sense of loss-this untold darkness … The place of God in my soul is blank. - There is no God in me. - When the emptiness and longing is so great - I just long & long for God … He is not there … Sometimes I just hear my own heart cry out - ‘My God’ and nothing else comes."

(From the book, Come be My Light: The Private Writings of the "Saint of Calcutta," Doubleday Publishers)


Unfortunately many Catholics are in a similar situation, because they too fail to confess Jesus Christ as their mediator and redeemer but instead worship as their mediator the Catholic idol “Mary”, who has proclaimed to them the well-known message in the Marian apparitions of Medjugorje, in a series of public announcements from 1981 into the nineties:

I am the mediator between you and God.

And this amounts to a denial of the Son of God, for according to Scripture there is only one mediator – Jesus Christ the Son of God, our Lord.

One is mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus,

1Tim 2,5 For there is one God, and one mediator also between God and men, the man Christ Jesus 1Tim 2,5;


(See also Discourse 78: “The doctrine of the Catholic church and the Bible – a debate.”)


But this Son of God has not only received all authority in heaven and earth, but he has also been given judgment by the Father:

All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth.

Mt 28,18 And Jesus came up and spoke to them, saying, "All authority has been given to Me in heaven and on earth. Mt 28,18;

For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son.

Jn 5,22 "For not even the Father judges anyone, but He has given all judgment to the Son, 5,23 so that all will honor the Son even as they honor the Father. He who does not honor the Son does not honor the Father who sent Him. Jn 5,22.23;


How can these people hope to stand before that judgment, when they have denied the judge while they were on earth?


Satan in the Antichrist

In the Last Days, then, Satan will transfer all his powers – and this includes, of course, the heads and horns, or kings – to the Antichrist, and will actually manifest himself in this demon. As those who know their Bible are aware, our Lord Jesus Christ has likewise received all authority from his Father, and in him likewise the Father is made manifest:

All things have been handed over to Me by My Father.

Mt 11,27 "All things have been handed over to Me by My Father; and no one knows the Son except the Father; nor does anyone know the Father except the Son, and anyone to whom the Son wills to reveal Him. Mt 11,27;

He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me.

Jn 12,44 And Jesus cried out and said, "He who believes in Me, does not believe in Me but in Him who sent Me. 12,45 "He who sees Me sees the One who sent Me. Jn 12,44-45;

So that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father.

Jn 10,37 "If I do not do the works of My Father, do not believe Me; 10,38 but if I do them, though you do not believe Me, believe the works, so that you may know and understand that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father." Jn 10,37-38;


So the Antichrist, the beast from the sea of Rev 13,2, receives all the power and authority of Satan as well as his throne. Likewise the horn-kings of Rev 17:13, who are assembled by the devilish “Trinity” in Rev 16:13-14 for the battle of Har-Magedon, give their power and authority to the beast. But as we saw above from Rev 13,5, this power is only for a short while. Together with the ten horn-kings, the Antichrist will only be able to affect the course of things for 42 months. Then he will be defeated, together with these kings, in the battle of Har-Magedon.

The ten kings in the Last Days

Rev 17,12-14 then gives us further particulars about these ten horns:

The ten horns which you saw are ten kings.

Rev 17,12 "The ten horns which you saw are ten kings who have not yet received a kingdom, but they receive authority as kings with the beast for one hour. 17,13 "These have one purpose, and they give their power and authority to the beast. 17,14 "These will wage war against the Lamb, and the Lamb will overcome them, because He is Lord of lords and King of kings, and those who are with Him are the called and chosen and faithful." Rev 17,12-14;


With the help of the subsequent explanation in Rev 17,13-14, we can recognize two things. First of all, these kings will only receive authority along with the beast. This authority of the beast begins with the appearance of the beast from the sea, the Antichrist, in Rev 13. And just as the Antichrist, according to Rev 13,5, is only allowed authority for a short time, so too the ten horn-kings will only receive authority with the beast “for one hour”.

Secondly, we find a further confirmation of this temporal scheme in the next verse, Rev 17,14, where it is indicated that these ten horn-kings will wage war against the Lamb and the Lamb will overcome them. This at once proves that the kings in Rev 16,13-14 are identical with the horn-kings here in Rev 17,12-14, and of course this refers to the battle of Har-Magedon, immediately before the Millennium, where Satan, the Antichrist and the false prophet gather these kings together to wage war in Har-Magedon against the Lamb, the Son of God and his heavenly host.

Which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God.

Rev 16,13 And I saw coming out of the mouth of the dragon and out of the mouth of the beast and out of the mouth of the false prophet, three unclean spirits like frogs; 16,14 for they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the whole world, to gather them together for the war of the great day of God, the Almighty. 16,15 ("Behold, I am coming like a thief. Blessed is the one who stays awake and keeps his clothes, so that he will not walk about naked and men will not see his shame.") 16,16 And they gathered them together to the place which in Hebrew is called Har-Magedon. Rev 16,13-16;

And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse.

Rev 19,19 And I saw the beast and the kings of the earth and their armies assembled to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army. 19,20 And the beast was seized, and with him the false prophet who performed the signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who had received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image; these two were thrown alive into the lake of fire which burns with brimstone. 19,21 And the rest were killed with the sword which came from the mouth of Him who sat on the horse, and all the birds were filled with their flesh. Rev 19,19-21;


After this battle, in which the horn-kings with their armies are defeated and annihilated by the Son of God and the heavenly host, Satan too will be bound in the abyss for the following thousand years of the Millennium (Rev 20:2-3). On earth this marks the beginning of the kingdom of a thousand years. And this now dovetails perfectly with what we are told in Dan 2,44:

In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed.

Dan 2,44 "In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed, and that kingdom will not be left for another people; it will crush and put an end to all these kingdoms, but it will itself endure forever. Dan 2,44;


So as we have been able to demonstrate on the basis of Scripture, these horn-kings will only come to power at the time of the Antichrist and will then, after a short time, be annihilated at the battle of Har-Magedon by the Son of God and his host. The view that the horns are to be understood as referring to “the kingdom of the Franks, Spanish colonial rule, the empire right through to the USA” is not just wrong – it is also a hindrance when it comes to the further understanding of these passages.

In this connection it is also interesting that in the description given of the dragon (in Rev 12,3, quoted earlier) the seven heads wear diadems (crowns), but the horns do not. In the prophecy of Rev 13,1, the situation is then reversed – the heads no longer have crowns, only blasphemous names, but the ten horns are now wearing crowns. This could mean that the seven head-kings have now lost all their power, and the “reserve team”, consisting of the horn kings, is being called up for the final contest.

(See also Table 06: “The Antichrist, the "queen" in the chess of the devil.”)



I am afraid we cannot agree, either, with the last observation in Mr. Wolschke’s commentary:

“PS: But the ten horns of Rev.17,3, which at the end of your essay you quite rightly allocate to Satan (Rev.12,3), cannot represent either the ten toes or the horns in Daniel 2 and 7! First of all the toes of the imaginary kingdom of the toes in Dan.2,43 never stick together, whereas the ten in Rev.17,3 and 17 act “with a common purpose”; and secondly, of the ten horns of the fourth kingdom in Dan.7,7-8 there remain only 7 + 1.”


These statements make it particularly easy to recognize that while Dan 2 and Dan 7 have the same thematic content, they are – like all prophecies – still not quite identical. Whereas Dan 2, after the fourth kingdom, tells us something about the feet, this is not the case with Dan 7. Instead we find there the indication of an eleventh horn, a “little one”, which will lay low three kings (a circumstance not mentioned in Dan 2).

But now let us consider the connections between these two passages in Dan 2 and 7 with what we are told in Revelation.

As we have just seen above, the ten horn-kings will receive authority with the beast for one hour, and will wage war against the Lamb (Rev 16,13-16; 17,12-14; 19,19-21). After this God will set up the millennial kingdom of his Son (Rev 20:2-6). And these events now correspond exactly with the prophecy in Daniel (Dan 2,44): “In the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom which will never be destroyed”. This kingdom of God will first of all exist on earth for a thousand years and then, after the release of Satan from the abyss and a last battle against all the enemies of God, be continued as the eternal kingdom in the New Creation. This seems a sufficient demonstration that Dan 2 is concerned precisely with this theme of the Last Days, of which we find a similar prophecy in Revelation.

In what concerns Dan 7, we came to the unanimous conclusion above that the two passages, Dan 2 and Dan 7, deal with the same theme. To demonstrate now that the ten horns of Dan 7,7-8 are likewise identical with the horns of the Last Days in Rev 12,3; 13,1 and 17,3.7, we can compare the characteristics of the little horn in Dan 7,8-25 with those of the beast from the sea – the Antichrist – in Rev 13,5-7, as shown in the following table:



THE  LITTLE  HORN (Dan 7)


THE  BEAST  FROM  THE  SEA – THE  ANTICHRIST (Rev 13)


A mouth uttering great boasts
he wears down the saints
he speaks out against the Most High
they will be given into his hand for 3 ½ times


Dan 7:20
Dan 7:21
Dan 7:25
Dan 7:25


his mouth speaking arrogant words
he will overcome the saints
he blasphemes God
he has authority to act 42 months


Rev 13:5
Rev 13:7
Rev 13:6
Rev 13:5




So we can see that the little horn in Dan 7, which then becomes greater than the other kings and which will lay low three of these kings, corresponds in every way with the beast in Rev 13. Thus if the prophecies of Dan 7 and Rev 13 dovetail so exactly in this particular respect, it is improbable that the other statements in these two texts do not likewise cohere – and it is equally unlikely that they should refer to different events.

But I am quite willing to concede that in the last resort any interpretation of a biblical prophecy remains a hypothesis, so long as we do not yet have the actual facts before our eyes. It is a similar situation with the end of the current global economic crisis, currently being forecast by many politicians. But whereas the biblical Last Days, in my view, can actually be expected to keep us waiting a good while longer, we are right in the thick of the economic crisis. And as experts assure us, here we are by no means at the end – we haven’t even reached the turning point. According to these reports, we still have three “monster waves” to look forward to:

“1. Mass unemployment: the wave will extend to the countries of America, Europe, Asia, the Middle East and Africa, at different points in time. 2. Insolvencies with domino effects: companies, banks, private households, states, regions, districts, local and municipal governments. 3. The agony of the dollar, of US treasury bills and the British pound, and the return of inflation.

These three waves however will not come in parallel or in graduated succession, as with the maritime phenomenon of the ‘three sister monster waves’. They are all the more destructive in that they break simultaneously, or at any rate fairly close together, from different directions and move out over the global economy at different speeds. So their effects would be quite capable of destroying the global system and public order in the various individual countries. In view of this multifarious threat, the one thing certain is the fact that the international system has never been so weak or so little prepared to meet a situation of this kind.”

(Global Europe Anticipation Bulletin)


That at least is a state of affairs which in all probability we will soon be faced with – perhaps by the end of this year – and which we will then be in a position to examine. But whether the ten horns in Rev 17,3  and Rev 12,3 correspond to the ten horns / toes in Daniel 7 and 2 is a question to which we will only be able to give a definitive answer at a time when there are no longer any Christians on earth – at the battle of Har-Magedon.