5.—The Four-Headed Leopard Phasis
The third symbol representative of the Kingdom of Babylon under a new constitution shown to Daniel, was a Leopard with Four Heads and Four Wings. It answers to the brazen part of the Image, which “bore rule over all the earth”; and to the Goat with Four Horns pointing to the Four Winds in the eighth chapter; but without the Little Horn, which is represented by the fourth Beast. The Leopard is Macedonian, representing Alexander the Great’s dominion and those of his four principal successors who divided it among themselves. The body of the beast represents the power before it was divided: and each head, one of the subsequent divisions. The wings represented the position of the Macedonian Heads relatively to the Holy Land. At the death of Alexander a long period of war ensued, which resulted (b.c. 301) in the establishment of the following kingdoms on the territory of the Kingdom of Men.
First Head.—The Kingdom of the south, comprehending Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Cœle-Syria, and Palestine, under the Ptolemies.
Second Head.—The Kingdom of the north-west, including Thrace, Bithynia, etc., or the Thraco-Macedonian.
Third Head.—The Kingdom of the north-east, comprehending the rest of Asia inclusive of Babylon and its province; and extending beyond the Euphrates to the Indus. India beyond that river, though allotted to this head, revolted; so that the Indus became its boundary. This was the Macedo-Babylonish Kingdom of the Seleucidæ.
Fourth Head.—The Kingdom of the west, embracing Macedonia and Greece.
The Lion-Man, the Bear, the Leopard, and its Third Head, or Kingdom of the North, all established themselves in the city of Babylon, where Alexander “held, as it were, the States-General of the world”, and which he had resolved to make the throne of his empire. But the decree of heaven was against the city (Isa. 14:22, 23; 13:19, 22). The purpose of Alexander was frustrated by death; and by b.c. 293, it became an uninhabited desert by the inundation of the Euphrates and the building of Seleucia on the banks of the Tigris about forty miles above, to which its citizens removed. Thus, the tree of Babylon was hewn down, its branches lopped, its leaves shaken off, and its fruit scattered; so that the nations got away from under it, and their rulers from its branches. Nevertheless, the stump of its roots remained (Dan. 4:14, 15) under the sovereignty of the Third Head of the Leopard, founded by Seleucus, for almost 250 years, when the iron and brass became one dominion in Asia by the annexation of the Macedo-Babylonish territory to the Roman; and the band being thus formed, it was found at length encircled by it b.c. 65.
Of the four heads of the Leopard and the four horns of the Goat, but two only figure in the prophecy of Daniel’s book. The reason of this is, that the prophecy was not delivered to prefigure the history of the Gentiles; but to foreshow how the international policy of some of them in its bearing upon Judah, the Holy Land, and the saints, would at length create such a situation of affairs in the end, as would favour the execution of the divine purpose of demolishing the powers of the Gentiles in the establishing of the Kingdom of God. “The secret of Yahweh is with them that fear him.” The matter is therefore revealed for the information of those that obey him, that they may not be taken unawares. “The wise shall understand.” Let them know, then, that the policy of only two heads of the Leopard is foreshown, because they only of the four had to do with Judah and the Holy Land; and were sufficient to connect the iron with the silver of the Image. Hence the individual dominion of Alexander was the Belly, and these two heads also the two Thighs of brass; and therefore continuous with the iron Roman leg: so that the brass and iron limbs of the Image from hip to ankle represent the fourth form in its Græco-Roman constitution. The two thighs and the two heads represent the Kingdom of the South, and the Kingdom of the North-east, as above defined; and with the Little Horn of the Goat, or eastern element of the Fourth Beast, in relation to Judah and the Holy Land, are the powers of the eleventh chapter from the fifth verse to the end.