3.—The Lion-Phasis of the Kingdom of Babylon
The Beasts being substituted for the metals of Nebuchadnezzar’s Image, they represent of course the same phases of the Kingdom of Men. We learn from Jeremiah that the powers of Nineveh and Babylon were each represented by lions. He says, “Israel is a scattered sheep; the lions have driven them away: first the King of Assyria hath devoured him; and last this Nebuchadnezzar King of Babylon hath broken his bones” (Jer. 50:17). The Ninevite Assyrian was represented to Daniel as a lion with eagle’s wings. Many years before, the Deity had punished the King of Assyria and his land for scattering the Ten Tribes, by transferring the dominion over the Nimroudian empire from Nineveh to Babylon. This revolution is represented by the eagle-wings being “plucked” from the lion’s back; while the lion itself was made to stand erect as a man, and to receive in exchange for its lion-heart, the heart of a man. Thus the Lion-Man became the symbol of the Kingdom of Babylon so long as the government continued in the family of Nebuchadnezzar; which with all its faults was more human than that which it succeeded.