2.—The Kingdom of Men in its Various Phases
In the first year of Belshazzar’s reign, which was nineteen before his overthrow by Cyrus, further particulars were represented concerning the relation of the Kingdom of Men, or Serpent-power, to Messiah the Prince and his coadjutors, through whom at length the might of God’s Kingdom was to be brought to bear on the Serpent-kingdom for its utter destruction at the end of the Seven Times. These things were not represented to the King of Babylon, but to Daniel himself, as specially interested in them.
In the vision of the Four Beasts he saw the Kingdom of Babylon in its golden, silver, brazen, iron and iron and clay manifestations. Through these distinct symbols he saw what could not be represented in a statue, where the metals in juxtaposition signified merely one united confederacy in the latter days. By the Four Beasts he saw that the successive phases through which the Kingdom of the Serpent was to pass, were to result from the tempest of war in the Mediterranean countries. His words are, “The four winds of the heaven strove upon the Great Sea, and four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another”. The winds were not all blowing at once, but successively and at long intervals, each tempest resulting in a change in the constitution and government of the Kingdom of Babylon, as represented by the Beasts. By these belligerent tempests the Macedonian-brass and the Roman-iron dynasties incorporated themselves with the gold and silver Babylonish dominion, and with one another, forming thus the Band of Iron and Brass, and setting itself around the Tree-Stump when the royalty should be transferred to Rome as the seat or throne of the power in its fourth beast or dragon manifestation.