Summary: With this section we cover the rest of the Old Testament period. "Babylon" has served as a backdrop to the Biblical story from early Genesis. It is still the backdrop, in our own day!
7: DANIEL AND BABYLON
In captivity, the Jews continue to manifest a presence. Daniel in particular is a thorn in the side of Babylon, and Satan takes special measures to rid the earth of him, all of which are unsuccessful.
(For those who have not done so recently, a quick reading of Daniel's 12 chapters would be in order now.)
An analysis of some of the prophecies of Daniel is critical to our understanding of what is to come.
In chapter two, Daniel is asked to interpret a vision given to Mystery-minded Nebuchadnezzar. The emperor has seen a huge statue in the form of a human being, with body parts of various substances.
The head is of gold. The interpretation given is that Nebuchadnezzar is that head, and we can add that the entire Babylonian kingdom is included.
As the glance of the eye passes downward on the body, so the glance of history will pass Nebuchadnezzar and focus on another era, called in the statue the arms and chest. This is to be a 2-part kingdom, which we, looking back, easily identify as the great Medo-Persian Empire.
The body comes back together. Headship of the next kingdom is singular. Greece fills this space in the story of man.
Then comes the fourth kingdom, attached to a fifth, ushering in a sixth.
The fourth realm parallels the human body in that it is the longest portion of history, and in that it divides into two parts. Then it divides into ten portions. And in the days of these ten portions (toes), the Kingdom of God is established.
I wish that at this moment I had a way to come off the printed page and shake my reader, in case there is even the slightest inattention. Please hear what the Holy Spirit is saying through Daniel:
Following the reign of Greece will come the reign of another World Kingdom, a stronger one, eventually dividing into two parts. Without question this is Rome, later the eastern and western Empires.
Much has been made of the "ten kings" of these latter days. Bible scholars abound who will tell you that these ten kings are the antichrist government, ruling the world, most would say, from Rome. Now the idea is even being presented that the ten kings correspond to ten world divisions. It is reported that before the flood, the world was indeed divided in this manner, and that Satan is waiting to reconstruct that one-world configuration. Even so, Rome is a likely candidate for world headquarters, many will agree.
Others are now saying, with some insight I believe, that ancient Rome had an eastern and western division (leg) and that therefore we should see a resurgence of both parts, not just Europe.
Regardless, the beginning of the "legs" of Daniel's statue, and the end -the ten toes - are largely assumed to have something to do with Rome. But there is an eerie silence about the area on the statue from roughly the knee to the foot.
On all human bodies that I have seen, the legs are connected and fleshed out all the way down. There is no stopping and starting to my leg, no interruption. My leg reaches the floor! And there was no gap between Babylon and Assyria, or between Greece and Rome. The only Biblical "gaps" are those in God's dealings with Israel.
So, the final kingdom seen by Daniel is uninterrupted, and reaches the floor of human history. It begins at the end of the Grecian period and continues until the final world government is about to bring God's judgment on the planet.
But you say, how can this be if there is no "world government" ruling from Rome now?
It is one of the purposes of this book to suggest that such a government does indeed exist, and has never stopped existing, in the city of Rome. I contend, with Daniel, that from Nebuchadnezzar until the present time only four (4) kingdoms rule:
Think about it. In the years before Christ, one Kingdom after another ruled the planet. Since Christ and Rome, though there have been many attempts (Napoleon, Hitler, Communism, to name three), none have been successful. The harlot keeps trying to mount a beast, but either she slips off, or the beast falls down. A pitiful sight, actually, as she seems bound to this lame horse called Rome. But soon, we believe, her wounded animal will be healed, and on him she shall ride to great power, if only for a short time. While we wait for that horrid sight to appear, it is still important to remember that, though Rome ,like old Babylon, declined and even fell, she never died.
I am far ahead of myself. Let's go back to about 600 B.C., during the days of Nebuchadnezzar, and continue listening to the words of Daniel.