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Prophecies or History

Reader comment on item: Middle East threats, American retreat
in response to reader comment: The Gog Magog War

Submitted by Michael S (United States), Jul 1, 2014 at 13:59

Hi, Lujack

First, let's talk about the "little horn". Daniel 2 speaks of a statue, representing the progression of great powers in the Western World (East and South Asia are ignored in Biblical prophecies -- propehcies in the usual English sense, that is, since Jews do not consider Daniel a prophet in the Jewish sense). In the "statue" vision, the LAST great world power is represented by the ten toes. Immediately after them comes a new ruler who was not part of the statue, namely Messiah.

Daniel 7 is a repetition of the vision of Daniel 2, in a different form. Here, the progression of great powers is presented as a succession of beasts. The last such beast, coming after the one representing Alexander the Great and his successor kingdoms, was a terrible beast with ten horns. Preusmably, this was the Roman Empire, which grew up alongside Alexander's successors and ultimately took them all over, one after the other. The fact that this beast had ten horns, has led some to think they represented SUCCEEDING Roman Emperors; but we see in Daniel 7 that they were not: They were contemporary with one another; and three of them were defeated by a new horn that came on the scene.

According to Daniel, you and I must be living in either (1) the Messianic Age, or (2) the Roman Empire. Since the dead have yet to be raised en masse, the "wolf doesn't lie down with the lamb", the "lion doesn't eat straw like an ox", and we haven't yet beaten our swords into plowshares, we can be pretty certain that we do not live in the Messianic Age. We must therefore be part of the "Roman Empire".

In Daniel 7, Alexander's Graeco-Macedonian Empire is protrayed as leopard, with four heads. As this worked out, Alexander died, and left his son in the hands of a regent. The son died, and the generals made war with the regent, Antigonus. The outcome of that war was the division of Alexander's empire into Ptolemaic Egypt, Seleucid Syria, Antigonid Macedonia; and Lysimachian Thrace. a map of this is at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysimachus#mediaviewer/File:Diadochen1.png Note that Italy, from which the Roman Empire grew, is off on the left margin of the map.

The ten horns of the final beast (corresponding to the ten toes of the "statue" vision) are analogous to the four heads of the leopard. They therefore should be interpreted similarly: They come AFTER the collapse of the first empire (as the diadoci came after the demise of Alexander's empire), occupying roughly the same place of the original empire (though note that significant parts, namely Bactria, India, Iran and Armenia, were left out). The Roman Empire divided into two , with the Western half collapsing in 476 CE and the Eastern half in 1453.

The western half was revived in 800 CE, as the "Holy" Roman Empire, which was disbanded in 1806. In 800 CE, it had stretched from the Christian kingdoms in Spain, throughout Germany and most of Italy, and into Eastern Europe. When the first such Emperor died, he divided his lands between his sons, setting off a pattern which was repeated over the centuries which resulted in the great powers of Europe (the "ten horns").

The European powers spread throughout the earth, becoming, collectively, the largest empire ever known to man. Roghly speaking, it included Portugal, Spain, France, Britain, Belgium, Netherlands, Germany, Italy, Russia and Westernized Japan. After the defeat of Napoleon, the great powers of Europe settled important matters between them with the "Congress Europe" system led by Britain, Prussia, Russia, Austria and France. During the Opium War, the "Eight Nation Alliance" was formed, comprising Austria-Hungary, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Russia the UK and the USA, which effectively divided China up into speres of influence. By the end of the First World War, these associations had developed into the League of Nations, with lesser countries tagging along.

World War II spelled the end of this "Alliance of the Ten Horns", if you will. Japan, Germany and Italy were defeated and occupied. Britain's empire proceeded to crumble, starting with the loss of India. France lost Indochina, then Africa. The Dutch lost Indonesia, and Belgium lost the Congo. By 1991, the Soviet Union suddenly collapsed, and the "Colonial" era came to an end. The one country left standin was the US, which had become the greatest empire in all of history -- the mainstay of NATO, with Russia and others as "Partners for Peace"; the mainstay also of Japan and South Korea, and the chief trading partner of China. The ten horns, therefore, had been replaced by a different horn -- one which, shortly before Napoleon's time, did not even exist as a nation.

The peak of American influence was during the Administration of George W. Bush, who was able to marshall 45 countries of the world to attack Afghanistan. Even the Russians allowed him to transit their country with troops, and the Chinese did not interfere. The oceans were patrolled in those days by eleven supercarriers, backed by a nuclear arsenal of thousands of warheads.

Yes, the US is TEMPORARILY in a state of decline; and upstarts like China are AT THE MOMENT in the ascendant. I wouldn't be awfully taken aback by these things. Forty years ago, it was the Japanese who seemed to be taking the world by storm; but their growth hit a lull, and they were surpassed by the Chinese. The Chinese will certainly face a similar fate. As for the US, we are in a situation similar to the French Empire shortly before Napoleon, and the German Republic shortly before Hitler. This ought to cause the world's leaders to take notice; and I think some have.

Concerning what you said about Ezekiel 38, drawing a line north from Jerusalem leads to Lebanon, Syria, Turkey, the Ukraine, and ultimately to the US. Where do you want to stop? In Ezekiel's time, the only great power to the north of Israel was Lydia, in the western part of today's Turkey. Gomer, Meshech, Tubal and Beth Togarmah were in central and Eastern Turkey. Russia was not mentioned, not once. "Rosh" does not mean "Russia"; it is Hebrew for "head" or "chief"; and the "Rus", from whom Russia was named, were a Scandanavian tribe then living in Sweden. Perhaps the Swedes will attack Israel; all things are possible.

When Israel became a state, it developed "next neighbor" diplomacy. All her enemies were her Arab neighbors, so Israel aligned with "next neighbors" such as Turkey and Iran. Today, the old Arab enemies are in turmoil, and Israel's "next neighbors" have become her most dangerous enemies. I think Ezekiel 38-39 reflects this situation.

I don't connect the brutal killing of those three boys to any prophecy. It was simply yet another barbarous act by the exceedingly barbarous Arab people. Should we be surprised when they do this? Just look at what they are doing to one another, in Syria and Iraq! They are not a people who love peace; end of story.

Submitting....

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Note: Opinions expressed in comments are those of the authors alone and not necessarily those of Daniel Pipes. Original writing only, please. Comments are screened and in some cases edited before posting. Reasoned disagreement is welcome but not comments that are scurrilous, off-topic, commercial, disparaging religions, or otherwise inappropriate. For complete regulations, see the "Guidelines for Reader Comments".

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