Part 19—“Your Will Be Done on Earth”
Our semimonthly progress through the book “Your Will Be Done on Earth” has now brought us into its Chapter 8, entitled “The ‘Little Horn’ in Opposition.” This horn of world importance comes into view in Daniel’s prophecy, chapter seven, where Jehovah’s prophet describes the terrifying dream that he had in the first year of Belshazzar, the last king of the Babylonian world power. In this prophetic dream there rose up out of a sea stirred up by the four winds of heaven four unusual wild beasts, the first like a lion, the second like a bear, the third like a leopard, and the fourth like a terrible, strong animal that was different. Among the ten horns on its dreadful head there came up a little horn before which three of the other horns were uprooted; and, “behold,” says the prophet, “in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”—Dan. 7:2-8, RS.
4. What did the angel tell Daniel that the four wild beasts pictured, and with what other symbolisms do these four correspond?
4 The world of today is familiar with the British “lion,” the American “eagle,” the Russian “bear,” the Chinese lung or “dragon,” and the imperial German two-headed “spread eagle.” But what do the four different beasts of Daniel’s dream prefigure historically? In anxiety Daniel asked an angel for us that we today might know the “truth concerning all this.” Daniel tells us: “So he told me, and made known to me the interpretation of the things. ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth.’” Ah, then, the four beasts correspond with the four metals of the dream image that Daniel had interpreted to King Nebuchadnezzar more than fifty years previously. (Dan. 7:15-17; 2:31-45, RS) By means of two heaven-sent dreams the march of world powers from 607 B.C. down to modern times was to be made doubly sure, as by two witnesses.
5. In this vision, what does the sea picture, and what do the four winds picture?
5 Up out of a churning sea the four beasts arose, in the same way that hundreds of years later the apostle John saw in vision the seven-headed, ten-horned wild beast ascend out of the abyss of the sea, it being like a leopard, but having the feet as of a bear and a mouth as of a lion. (Rev. 13:1, 2) In Bible symbology the sea is used to picture “peoples and crowds and nations and tongues,” the vast body of mankind that cover the habitable earth as the waters cover the sea basins. They are all the people alienated from Jehovah God by sin and by the “ruler of the authority of the air,” Satan the Devil. (Rev. 17:15; Isa. 57:20, 21; Eph. 2:2) The four winds of the heavens stirring up the great sea to cause the four beasts to arise picture the “wicked spirit forces in the heavenly places” together with Satan, “the spirit that now operates in the sons of disobedience,” as all these together play their forces upon the sea of humanity exploited by Satan and raging against Jehovah God, in order that they may bring forth the world powers symbolized by the four vicious beasts.
6. How did this first symbolic beast arise, and how did it act like a lion?
6 Genesis 10:8-10 makes it plain that Babylon, which became the third world power, symbolized here by the lion that had eagles’ wings, arose, not from Jehovah’s people, but from Nimrod the “mighty hunter in opposition to Jehovah.” Hence this symbolic beast “came up out of the sea.” The king for which it stood was the dynastic line of Chaldean kings of Babylon, from Nebuchadnezzar to Belshazzar. This Babylonian kingly power devoured nations and peoples like a lion, including Jehovah’s nation of ancient Israel.—Jer. 4:5-7; 50:17.
7. How did the plucking of its wings, the standing of it on two feet and the giving to it the heart of a man affect this symbolic lion?
7 As if aided with eagles’ wings, this symbolic lion speeds forward in aggressive war for conquest. (Lam. 4:19; Hab. 1:6-8, AV) Toward the end of its dynastic rule in King Belshazzar, Babylon had its wings plucked. It lost its speed to the attack and its lionlike ability to continue as king of the beastly world powers. It became relatively weak, like a man with no more rapidity of movement than that of two legs. It was given the “mind of a man” in a beast’s body and was not able to act like king “among the beasts of the forest”; it no longer had the “heart of the lion.” (Mic. 5:8, AS; 2 Sam. 17:10) It went down in defeat before the symbolic bear. It yielded world domination to Medo-Persia.
8. What was symbolized by the bear, its being raised up on one side, and its having three ribs in its mouth?
8 The ‘king’ symbolized by the bear was the line of Medo-Persian rulers from Darius the Mede to Darius III the Persian, from 539 B.C. to 331 B.C. This line of world rulers was symbolized by the silver breast and arms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image. This symbolic bear was “raised up on one side,” either to attack in order to seize, spread and maintain world power or else to show that the Persian line of rulers would take the ascendancy over the Median king, Darius, who was the first and only Mede in the Medo-Persian world rulership. The symbolic bear had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. These may denote the three directions in which the Persian world power pushed its conquests, to the north to humble Babylon in 539 B.C.; to the west through Asia Minor and across into Thrace; and to the south to conquer Egypt. The number three being also a symbol of intensity or emphasis, the three ribs may also emphasize the greed of this symbolic bear for territorial conquests.
9. What resulted from its obeying the command to arise and devour much flesh?
9 It hungrily lunged against the nations in response to the command: “Arise, devour much flesh.” By devouring Babylon according to the will of Jehovah God, this fourth world power was in position through Cyrus the Great, Darius I the Persian and Artaxerxes I to let Babylon’s Jewish captives go home, and to help and encourage them to rebuild the temple of Jehovah at Jerusalem and to build and repair the walls of the holy city. Like a bear, this world power became fat with “a hundred and twenty-seven jurisdictional districts,” so that Ahasuerus or Xerxes I, the husband of the Jewish Queen Esther, was “king from India to Ethiopia.”—Esther 1:1.
10. What did the third wild beast symbolize, how did it have speed, and how was it true that dominion was given to it to rule over all the earth?
10 Under invisible active force of the demons the agitated sea of mankind produced another symbolic beast of world domination, the four-winged, four-headed leopard. The ‘king’ that it symbolized was the Macedonian or Grecian line of world rulers, beginning with Alexander the Great. The speed with which Alexander conquered the Persian world power, moving through Asia Minor, then down into Egypt and finally eastward to the western borders of India, can well be likened to the speed of a leopard, what with four wings to increase its bounding agility and speed. (Hab. 1:8, AV) His dominion was greater than that of the symbolic bear. It included not only the domains of the Persian Empire but also Macedonia and Greece as well as Thrace. Alexander set out to conquer the Persian Empire in 334 B.C. He still had ambitious plans when he died June 13, 323 B.C., at Babylon. Daniel’s prophecy was correct in saying of this symbolic leopard, “Dominion was given to it”; it “shall rule over all the earth.”—Dan. 7:6; 2:39, RS.
11. How did the symbolic leopard become four-headed?
11 The symbolic leopard became four-headed when Alexander died and four of his military generals sought to establish themselves as successors (Diádochi) over sections of his domain. Finally, General Seleucus was holding Mesopotamia and Syria; General Ptolemy, the domains in Africa; General Lysimachus, Asia Minor and Thrace; and General Cassander, Macedonia.
12. How was this symbolic leopard finally tamed and subjected?
12 Peaceful relations did not obtain between these divisions of the Macedonian Empire. A new menace arose from the west, from Rome; and this rising political, military power interfered more and more in the affairs of the Hellenic political divisions of the empire. One by one they were taken over by the western power, till at last the symbolic leopard was tamed and subjected to a stronger master.
13. What did the fourth wild beast symbolize, and what features did Daniel ask the truth about?
13 By the year 30 B.C. the symbolic fourth beast was in complete undisputable control as the sixth world power of Biblical history. This ‘king’ was the line of political world rulers, beginning with Emperor Caesar Augustus of Rome and ending with the dominant worldly rulers of today. Daniel was interested to know the identity of this decidedly different beast, just the same as God-fearing Bible students of today are. Said Daniel: “Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrible, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze; and which devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet; and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up and before which three of them fell, the horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and which seemed greater than its fellows. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints [the holy ones; qaddishín], and prevailed over them.”—Dan. 7:19-21, RS.
14. What interpretative information did the angel then give Daniel?
14 The angel gave Daniel interpretative information, which is really for guiding our understanding today. “Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast, there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth, which shall be different from all the kingdoms, and it shall devour the whole earth, and trample it down, and break it to pieces. As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise, and another shall arise after them; he shall be different from the former ones, and shall put down three kings. He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, two times, and half a time.’” (Dan. 7:23-25, RS) Recorded facts of history bear that prophecy out.
15. With what did this symbolic fourth beast begin, and in what way was its first development different from the beasts before?
15 Repeatedly it is stated that this symbolic fourth beast is different from the three before. This “beast” began with the Roman Empire, and of it H. G. Wells, in A Short History of the World, says:
Now this new Roman power which arose to dominate the western world in the second and first centuries B.C. was in several respects a different thing from any of the great empires that had hitherto prevailed in the civilised world. It was not at first a monarchy, and it was not the creation of any one great conqueror. It was not indeed the first of republican empires; . . . But it was the first republican empire that escaped extinction and went on to fresh developments. . . . it was never able to maintain itself in central Asia or Persia because they were too far from its administrative centres. It . . . presently incorporated nearly all the Greek people in the world, and its population was less strongly Hamitic and Semitic than that of any preceding empire . . . So that the Roman Empire was essentially a first attempt to rule a great dominion upon mainly Aryan lines. It was so far a new pattern in history, it was an expanded Aryan republic. . . . The Roman Empire was a growth, an unplanned novel growth; the Roman people found themselves engaged almost unawares in a vast administrative experiment. . . . It was always changing. It never attained to any fixity. In a sense the [administrative] experiment failed. In a sense the experiment remains unfinished, and Europe and America today are still working out the riddles of worldwide statecraft first confronted by the Roman people.—Chapter 33, “The Growth of the Roman Empire,” pages 149-151. Published 1922.
16. How did this sixth world power expand itself, but into what was it dissolved in fulfillment of prophecy?
16 The Roman world power extended itself all around the Mediterranean Sea, to include also Morocco and Spain. It spread northwestward across Europe and leaped across the English Channel into Britain itself. In 55 B.C. the first Roman invasion of Britannia took place under Julius Caesar, the granduncle of Caesar Augustus. In 120 (A.D.) Emperor Hadrian himself visited Britain and built the Roman wall from the Tyne River to the Solway inlet. In 204 (A.D.) the Romans subdued southern Britain and divided it into two provinces. But Jehovah’s prophecy marked out for this greedy, domineering sixth world power to go the way of its predecessors. It, too, was dissolved. The pieces into which it was broken up were symbolized by the ten horns on the head of the terrible and dreadful fourth beast. Their number ten symbolizes allness as to our earth.
17. What was symbolized by the other horn that overthrew three, and how does The Encyclopædia Britannica describe it as different?
17 Daniel specially wanted to know what the other horn that came up and caused three of the horns to fall meant. Today that horn is known and identified by unerring historical records. It arose as the British Empire, notably from the seventeenth century onward. The angel explained concerning the ‘king’ pictured by this victorious horn: “He shall be different from the former ones.” On this difference The Encyclopædia Britannica (eleventh edition of 1910), Volume 4, pages 606a and 610a, says as of the year 1910:
BRITISH EMPIRE, the name now loosely given to the whole aggregate of territory, the inhabitants of which, under various forms of government, ultimately look to the British crown as the supreme head. The term “empire” is in this connexion obviously used rather for convenience than in any sense equivalent to that of the older or despotic empires of history.
The vast congeries of states, widely different in character, and acquired by many different methods, holds together under the supreme headship of the crown on a generally acknowledged triple principle of self-government, self-support and self-defence. The principle is more fully applied in some parts of the empire than in others; . . .
18. How does a British historian describe that horn as different?
18 Says British historian H. G. Wells:
We may note here briefly the varied nature of the constituents of the British Empire in 1914 which the steamship and railway had brought together. It was and is a quite unique political combination; nothing of the sort has ever existed before. First and central to the whole system was the “crowned republic” of the United British Kingdom, . . . It will be manifest, therefore, that no single office and no single brain had ever comprehended the British Empire as a whole. It was a mixture of growths and accumulations entirely different from anything that has ever been called an empire before. . . . Like the Athenian Empire, it was an overseas empire; its ways were sea ways, and its common link was the British navy. Like all empires, its cohesion was dependent physically upon a method of communication; . . .—Pages 365, 366, 368 of A Short History of the World, Chapter 64, “The British Empire in 1914.”
19. In what way did this symbolic horn “devour the whole earth,” and what did part of it become to add further to its power?
19 The British Empire did “devour the whole earth” in that it became global, so that the sun never set upon its possessions and territories. It embraced one fourth of the land surface of the earth and one fourth of the earth’s population. It was the greatest empire of world history. But more than that: In 1775 the thirteen British colonies in America revolted and established their independence after eight years of fighting. The kingless American republic, with a president as chief of government, fought, expanded and spread across the North American continent from the Atlantic seaboard to the Pacific Coast. It purchased Alaska and gained possession of various islands of the sea. By force of compelling circumstances it became the ally of the Mother Country; and together Britain and America fought their painful way to victory through two world wars. From the second world conflict the American republic emerged as the dominant nation of the world, but still holding strong bonds and still co-operating in vital matters with Britain.
20. So, in its latest development, what did that horn symbolize, and what three horns did it cause to fall?
20 The foretold “horn which had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and which seemed greater than its fellows,” is identified by history as being the Anglo-American dual world power, the seventh world power foretold in Bible prophecy. The three horns or “three kings” that this mighty “horn” put down before 1914 were the naval powers of (1) Spain, (2) The Netherlands, and (3) France.a
21. In what way does this symbolic horn have eyes, and how has its mouth spoken great things and even words against the Most High?
21 This Anglo-American seventh world power is very observing, astute, diplomatic and worldly-wise; it is the “horn which had eyes.” It has a “mouth that spoke great things,” dictating the policy for a great part of the world, acting also as the mouthpiece or prophet for the world. (Rev. 16:13; 19:20) Nations have pricked up their ears at what it has had to say, before shaping their course. Like the preceding world powers of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome, it has used its mouth against Jehovah God and has had to do with Jehovah’s faithful witnesses, his “holy ones,” in the earth. “He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law.” (Dan. 7:25, RS) In spite of all this “he” claims to be Christian!
22. Of what is this symbolic horn a part, and how has it not worked for God’s kingdom or spoken according to God’s will?
22 The Anglo-American dual world power is undeniably a part of this unchristlike world. It is a part of “all the kingdoms of the world and their glory,” which Satan the Devil offered to Jesus Christ in the mountain of temptation but which Jesus refused, saying: “Go away, Satan! For it is written, ‘It is Jehovah your God you must worship, and it is to him alone you must render sacred service.’” (Matt. 4:8-10) In its conscienceless striving for world domination this symbolic horn with eyes and mouth has not worked in the interests of the promised Kingdom of God. In expressing its aims for leadership in this world its talkative mouth has not been without sin or without diplomatic falsities. It has spoken against the will and purpose of the Most High and has refused to recognize that “thou, whose name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most high over all the earth.”—Ps. 83:18, Authorized Version of 1611.
(To be continued)
a See Modern Europe to 1870, by Carlton J. H. Hayes, of 1953, pages 330-356, in chapter 8, entitled “British Expansion.” Note particularly paragraph 2 on page 356, which calls attention to two centuries of fighting by Britain with the Spanish, Dutch and French in order to come forth in 1763 as the “foremost commercial and colonial power in the world.”
[Maps on page 473]
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BABYLONIAN EMPIRE (607-539 B.C.)
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THE GREAT SEA
PERSIAN EMPIRE (539-331 B.C.)
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SCALE OF MILES
THE GREAT SEA
[Map on page 474]
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GRECIAN EMPIRE (331-30 B.C.)
Alexander’s Route ...
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Oasis of Ammon
[Map on page 475]
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ROMAN EMPIRE at its greatest extent (in the days of King Trajan)
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SCALE OF MILES
(Strait of Gibraltar)