Same Empires, Different Views of Them

“Daniel spoke and said: I saw in my vision by night…Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse from one another.”

— Daniel 7:2-3

In the book of Daniel, two dreams are described. The first is Nebuchadnezzar’s and the second is Daniel’s. In these two dreams the same four earthly kingdoms are described.

In Daniel 2, Nebuchadnezzar had a dream of a great image whose head was of gold and whose shoulders and chest were of silver, loins of brass and its feet and legs of iron mixed with clay with ten toes. Scholars believe this was a vision of the four great world kingdoms that were to ensue. Babylon being the first, the head of gold, to be followed by the shoulders, the Medo-Persian empire, and then the Grecian empire, or Macedonian, if you will, of Alexander the Great, followed by the Roman Empire and its ten rulers.

In Daniel 7, we find a similar picture of the same forthcoming world empires. In each case these were to be succeeded by the kingdom of Jesus Christ, which would have no end.

Nebuchadnezzar saw these kingdoms in terms of their outward glory. Daniel, with spiritual eyes, saw the same kingdoms as beastly.

We are in the world, but not of the world. Jesus is the King of kings and Lord of lords. God is sovereign over the nations, and one day Jesus will inherit the nations. The God we worship is not only the great Creator, but He rules over the world.

Jesus, Ruler of the Nations, we praise You that You are sovereign over all of history. You raise up and You tear down whom You will, but all for the greater good of the advance of Your kingdom. Help us not to fear men, but only to fear and reverence You…