6.—The Ten-Horned Dragon-Phasis of the Kingdom of Babylon
The previous beasts were introduced into this prophecy as the basis of the fourth, which in many points was diverse from them all. Daniel says, “it was dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly, and it had great iron teeth”. The iron teeth connect it with the iron legs, and iron element of the iron-clay Feet and Toes. Its claws were of brass; which shows that it is related also to the power represented by the brazen parts of the Image. These two metals being inserted in the symbol suggest the power it was designed to represent—a dominion constituted of the Greek and Latin elements. Has such a dynastic form of the Kingdom of Babylon ever existed? The history of the nations of the Mediterranean countries from b.c. 65 to a.d. 395, shows that such a dynastic manifestation not only existed, but “devoured and brake in pieces”, as predicted it would; though it has not yet “stamped the residue with its brazen-clawed Feet”. The power existing during this period chose to represent itself by a Dragon; we may, therefore, as Daniel has given it no name, style it for convenience the Græco-Roman Dragon.
It had Ten Horns. They stood up as long as the beast continued in life; but not all: for three of them fell before an eleventh that came up on the beast afterwards. Seven strong horns and three broken, or “plucked up by the roots”. These ten horns thus conditioned, with the brazen-clawed feet, represent the same things as the iron-clay feet and toes of the Image. When the Russo-Greek elements (clay and brass) are combined with the Gomerians (iron) in the Gog confederacy, the feet of the Græco-Roman Dragon will be manifested; and it will then “stamp the residue with the feet of it”. Hitherto the Dragon has destroyed with its “great iron teeth”; hereafter it will use its feet and claws. The Feet of the Image, and the Feet of the Dragon, have yet to be formed out of existing elements; and it is the King of the North’s mission to accomplish the work.
The Horns of the Dragon, and the Toes of the Image, represent kingly powers, or thrones; which are to exist until the taking possession of the Dragon-dominion by the Saints shall be perfected. They are emblems of kingdoms existing when the judgment sits for the destruction of the kingdom of Babylon. I know of no place where it is written that the Horns and Toes were to have an uninterrupted existence of 1260 years; but I do find that “the Ten Horns receive power as kings one hour with the beast” (Rev. 17:12)—that is, thirty years; so that we need not be careful to identify them until then.
After the Horns had struck their roots into the Dragon territory, an “eleventh came up among them” which Daniel characterizes as “a Little Horn”. In order to make room for itself it subdued three of the ten, and incorporated their territories into its own dominion. This incorporation made it imperial—an Emperorship in the midst of Seven Kingdoms; so that it stood as the Eighth Power.
But this eighth power was diverse from the Seven; in that it had the Eyes of a Man which gave it a more audacious look than the others; and a mouth by which it spake very great words against the High Ones, thinking to change times and laws. The eyes and mouth of the Little Horn were sufficient for all the rest. Its undertaking to speak as the representative of the High Ones in regard to times and laws connects the mouth with matters spiritual, showing that the horn, eyes, and mouth, are emblematical of a civil, military, and ecclesiastical power. This power manifested itself originally in Rome a.d. 800, as the Western Roman, or “Holy Roman Empire”; of which I shall speak more particularly hereafter. Suffice it to say here, that while the jurisdiction of the secular element of the horns has been limited to its proper territory, the spiritual dominion of the Eyes and Mouth has reigned in the kingdoms of all the horns of the Dragon-territory ceded to the western beast.
In the countries ruled by these eight horns have existed classes of people against which, under the influence of the Eyes and Mouth, they have entertained unmitigated and cruel hatred. They have poured out their blood like water, and harassed them with all possible pains and penalties. The enmity that has obtained between these Horn-powers and these classes has been mutual and implacable; so that war between them could only be finally extinguished by the conquest of one party or the other. These classes are called kaddishin, that is, Holy Ones; whose fate has been to be overcome by the imperial and regal papal powers of Babylon. This was foreshown to Daniel in these words, “I beheld, and the same Little Horn made war with the holy ones, and prevailed against them”. The subjugation of the holy ones, however, was not a finality. Yahweh never intended that the Seed of the Woman should be bruised in the head, or finally crushed; that is a fate in reserve for the Serpent-power and its adherents. All that this can do against “the holy ones of the Most High” is to bruise them in the heel, which is as curable, and in the same way, as the wound it inflicted on Christ, when on the accursed tree (styled by the Seed of the Serpent “Holy Cross”) “the iniquity of his heels compassed him about”—that is, by a resurrection from among the dead to eternal life at the coming of Messiah. It is therefore only until the time of this event that the Imperio-Regal Papacy of the Babylonish dominion prevails over the Holy Ones of the Most High; as it is written, “The Little Horn prevailed against them, until the Ancient of Days came”. Here is a point of time beyond which the misfortunes of the Holy Ones do not extend. It is the turning-point in their career in relation to the “dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong” dominion that makes such dreadful havoc on the earth—a dominion which no earth-born power can subdue.
The coming of the Ancient of Days is a great event in this prophecy. He is said to sit, and one like the Son of Man to be brought to him, after which He is said to come. When the prophecy was delivered He had not manifested Himself in the flesh—the Son of Man had not been born; hence that peculiar representative mode of expression: but he has since been born, or manifested, and gone into a far country, where the manifested Son has appeared in the presence of the Ancient of Days, or the Father, for the purpose of receiving from him “dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, and nations, and languages, should serve him; and all rulers obey him” (Dan. 7:13, 14, 27; Luke 19:12, 15). Though these things are promised to him, and though he is the heir of them all, he has not received them; as is manifest from the fact that “all people, and nations, and languages” serve the rulers of the Gentiles, and especially that system of governments represented by the Greco-Roman Dragon. But when the time appointed arrives, as the Ancient of Days embodied in the holy spiritual nature, he will come, having received power and authority to take the dominion, glory, and kingdom, promised him. Thus the Ancient of Days comes, and sits in Jerusalem, the Holy City, to judge all the nations round about (Joel 3:12, 16)—there he sits, “his throne being like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire”, and sends forth from before him a stream of fire.
For the signification of the Wheels and Fire read Ezekiel’s first and tenth chapters. They are parts of his imagery put for the whole in this text of Daniel. “The Spirit of the Living Creatures is in the Wheels.” They represent the same as the four living creatures in Rev. 5:8–10. They are the “redeemed out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation”, raised from the dead, in consuming and destructive motion against the body and horns of the Græco-Roman Dragon. They are the thousand thousands who minister to the commands of the Ancient of Days; and go forth with him as a fiery stream against the “Beast and the False Prophet, and the Kings of the earth and their armies”, to give them “of the wrath of God poured out without mixture into the cup of his indignation”—thus tormenting all the adherents of the Beast and his Image with fire and brimstone in the presence of the holy messengers, and in the presence of the Lamb (Rev. 14:10; 19:19–21).
When the manifested Ancient of Days comes, this judgment is set, and the books are opened; and whosoever is found written in the Lamb’s Book of Life awakes to everlasting life, and to a participation in the judgment upon the Four Beasts; and whosoever is not found written there is cast into the burning flame that destroys the body of the Dragon (Rev. 20:15; 21:27).
The taking away of the dominion of Babylon, and the bringing of its kingdom to an end, is the work assigned to the Holy Ones; who in overthrowing the Gentile powers will also appropriate to their own use all they possess. Hence, at the coming of the Ancient of Days, it is testified that the hitherto vanquished holy ones should become conquerors in their turn—should conquer the gold, and the silver, and the brass, and the iron, and the clay; or the four kingdoms of Powers that exist on the Babylonish earth, and take them for themselves: as it is written, “These great beasts, which are four, represent four kings, or royalties, which shall arise out of the earth. But the holy ones of the High Ones shall take the Kingdom (of Babylon) and possess the kingdom for the age, even for the age of the ages”. Again, “The Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given to the holy ones of the High Ones”; when “the time came that the holy ones should possess the kingdom”. And again, “Let the saints be joyful in glory; let them sing aloud upon their beds. Let the high praises of God be in their mouth, and a two-edged sword in their hand; to execute vengeance upon the nations, and punishments upon the people; to bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron; to execute upon them the judgment written: this honour have all his saints” (Psa. 149:5–9). The “judgment written” is the judgment that sits when the Ancient of days comes. They are not only to slay the Fourth Beast, and to destroy its body with fire and brimstone; but they are to take away the dominion of the Lion-Man, the Bear, and the Leopard; whose peoples, and nations, and languages, however, will experience a better fate than those of the Fourth Beast dominion; for, while the constitutions of the Latins are exterminated, the populations of Assyria, Persia, and Macedonian Egypt, are permitted to retain their nationality for a season and time. That they do remain distinct national organizations is evident from the following testimonies: “In that day shall there be a highway out of Egypt to Assyria, and the Assyrian shall come into Egypt, and the Egyptian into Assyria, and the Egyptians shall serve with the Assyrians. In that day shall Israel be the third with Egypt and with Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the land; whom Yahweh Tz’vaoth shall bless, saying, Blessed be Egypt my people, and Assyria the work of my hand, and Israel mine inheritance” (Isa. 19:23–24). And, “I will set my throne in Elam, and will destroy from thence the king of princes: but it shall come to pass in the latter days, I will bring again the captivity of Elam, saith Yahweh” (Jer. 49:38–39).
The manner in which the dominion of Assyria and Elam or Persia is taken away when the judgment sits, is revealed in Micah’s prophecy concerning him who was to be born in Bethlehem “to be Ruler in Israel”, that is, concerning Christ who was born there. He writes, “And he shall stand and rule in the strength of Yahweh, in the majesty of the Name of Yahweh his Elohim; and they (Israel) shall abide; for now shall he (Christ) be great unto the ends of the earth. And this (Christ-Man) shall be the peace (of Israel) when the Assyrian (the king of the north or Gog) shall come into our land: and when he shall tread in our fortresses, then shall we raise against him seven leaders, even eight anointed ones of the Adam. And they shall waste the land of Assyria with the sword, and the land of Nimrod in the entrances thereof: thus shall he (Christ) deliver from the Assyrian, when he cometh into our land, and when he treadeth within our borders” (Micah 5:2–6). These eight anointed ones are some of the holy ones with the Ancient of Days who execute judgment at his appearing.
But, at what time does he appear? This is found by attending to what is said concerning the Little Horn power and the holy ones. It is to prevail against them until the Ancient of Days come, which “until” is indicated in the words, “The holy ones shall be given into his power until a time, and times, and the dividing of a time”. Hence, the Ancient of Days will come at the end of this period, which has not yet expired; for if it had, the Ancient of Days would now be in Teman, or the South of the Holy Land, the holy ones would now be preparing to execute judgment, and the season and time would be at hand. There are no data in the seventh of Daniel for the calculation of the three times and a half, or 1260 years, as they are well understood to signify. All that can be known from it is, that they pertain to the Græco-Roman Dragon, that they end with the commencement of judgment upon its Little Horn, and with the approach of the “season and time”: we must look to other testimonies to ascertain the duration of this, and the probable termination of the 1260 years.
Daniel does not tell us here how long a time after the ending of the 1260 years will be occupied in the executing of judgment by the holy ones upon the Body, Little Horn and Ten Horns, of the fourth beast, which are to be utterly destroyed. This can be learned from another source. He contents himself for the time with informing us of the general result of the judgment in the entire and complete overthrow of the Kingdom of Babylon represented by the four beasts; and in the setting up of the kingdom by the God of heaven (Dan. 2:44) through the agency of the holy ones inclusive of Christ, who is their chief. Hence, he concludes the account of his vision by saying, “And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the holy ones of the High Ones, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and whom all dominions shall serve and obey”. This accomplished, the kingdom will be “restored again to Israel” (Acts 1:6) and be in the hands of those for whom it has been preparing “from the foundation of the world” (Matt. 25:34), and who once seized of it will “not leave it to other people”, but retain it “for ever”.