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    CHAPTER 2. The Vision of Daniel Seven

    The symbolic language of the Scriptures is to be explained by the literal. All the figures of the Bible are defined by the literal language of the Bible. We have here the sea, winds, and four great beasts, none of which, of course, are to be regarded as literal. The sea, rivers, or waters, used as figures denote “peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues.” Revelation 17:15; Isaiah 8:7. Winds denote political strife and war. Jeremiah 25:32, 33. The beasts denote four kingdoms that arose on the earth, one after the other. Daniel 7:17, 23. The fourth beast is the fourth kingdom; therefore the other beasts denote kingdoms, though they are, like this one, sometimes called kings.SYNPT 11.1

    1. How is the symbolic language of Scripture to be explained?
    2. Are the figures of the Bible explained by the Bible?
    3. What figures are here introduced
    4. What is symbolized by the sea? References.
    5. What by the winds? Reference
    6. What do beasts, when used as symbols, represent?
    7. What is said of the fourth beast
    8. To what portion of the earth must we therefore look for the fulfillment of this representation?

    The consistency of the figures, as illustrating the events of human history, is at once seen. In the most populous civilized portions of the earth, which from earliest history have been Western Asia and Europe, political strife has moved among the people. As a consequence, revolution has succeeded revolution, and four great kingdoms have one after another arisen and fallen.SYNPT 11.2

    We have seen from the great image of Daniel 2, that there were to be but four universal kingdoms from Daniel’s day to the end of time. The fourth beast of this vision of Daniel 7, denotes the last one of these earthly governments; for he is given to the burning flame, and the kingdom passes into the possession of the saints with a perpetual title.SYNPT 12.1

    The four beasts of Daniel 7 therefore denote the same four kingdoms that are represented by the great image: the first beast, the lion, symbolizing Babylon, B.C. 677 to 538; the second, the bear, Medo-Persia, B.C. 538 to 331; the third, the leopard, Grecia, B.C. 331 to 161; the fourth, the great and terrible nondescript, Rome, B.C. 161 to A.D. 483.SYNPT 12.2

    The lion had at first two wings as of an eagle, representing the rapid conquests and ruling power of Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, who raised it to the hight of its power. The wings were plucked and a man’s heart given to it - as it was under the last king, the weak and pusillanimous Belshazzar.SYNPT 12.3

    9. How many universal kingdoms have existed on the earth beginning in the time of Daniel?
    10. By what is the last one of these governments here symbolized?
    11. What kingdoms, therefore, are brought to view by these beasts?
    12. Give the dates of Babylon.
    13. The dates of Persia; of Grecia; of Rome.
    14. What was signified by the two wings of the lion?
    15. What period of the empire was fitly represented by the lion with a man’s heart and no wings?
    16. What is shown by the bear raising himself up on one side?
    17. What by the three ribs?

    The bear raised itself up on one side, showing the ascendency of the Persian element in the Medo-Persian Persian empire, as more fully brought out in the symbol of the ram of chapter 8. The three ribs denote, probably, the three provinces especially devoured by this kingdom, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which greatly stimulated the Persian lust for power, or said to it, Arise and devour much flesh.SYNPT 12.4

    The leopard had four wings, denoting the rapidity of Grecian conquests under Alexander; and four heads, signifying the division of the kingdom into four parts after Alexander’s death, more particularly noticed under the symbol of the goat of chapter 8.SYNPT 13.1

    18. How did they say to it, Arise and devour much flesh?
    19. What is shown by the four wings of the leopard?
    20. What by the four heads?
    21. What do the ten horns of the fourth beast represent?
    22. To what do these correspond in the image of chapter 2?
    23. Between what years was Rome divided?
    24. Name the ten kingdoms and the dates when they arose.
    25. Who gives this enumeration of the kingdoms?
    26. Who furnishes the dates?
    27. What celebrated scholars indorse this work of Machiavel and Bishop Lloyd?
    28. What was seen coming up among the ten horns?

    The fourth great and terrible beast had ten horns. These are declared to be ten kingdoms which should arise out of this empire. Daniel 7:24. These correspond to the ten toes of the image. Rome was divided into ten kingdoms between the years A.D. 356 and 483, as follows: Huns, A.D. 356; Ostrogoths, 377; Visigoths, 378; Franks, 407; Vandals, 407; Suevi, 407; Burgundians, 407; Heruli, 476; Anglo-Saxon, 476; Lombards, 483. This enumeration of the ten kingdoms is given by Machiavel in his History of Florence, lib. 1. The dates are furnished by Bishop Lloyd, and the whole is approved by Bishop Newton, Faber, and Dr. Hales.SYNPT 13.2

    Among these ten horns another little horn diverse from the others thrust itself up, plucking up three in its course. This was the papacy, established in 538. The decree of Justinian,4 emperor of the East, declaring the pope the head of all the churches, was issued in 533; but before it could be carried out, three Arian powers who stood opposed to papal doctrines and assumptions had to be removed out of the way, namely, the Heruli, Vandals, and Ostrogoths. The Ostrogoths were forced into a final retreat from Rome in March 538, and Justinians’s decree was carried into effect.SYNPT 14.1

    29. What does this little horn represent?
    30. When was the papacy established?
    31. When was Justinians’s decree issued?
    32. Why does not papal supremacy date from the year of this decree instead of 538?
    33. What three horns were plucked up by the papacy, and why?
    34. When were the Ostrogoths forced to abandon Rome?
    35. In what way has the pope spoken great words against the Most High?
    36. How has he worn out the saints?
    37. What has he thought to change?
    38. What reading is given by the Septuagint, German, and Danish versions?
    39. How has the papacy endeavored to change the law of God?

    This horn spoke great words. Witness the titles the pope has assumed, and received from his flatterers. He has worn out the saints of the Most High. Between fifty and one hundred millions of martyrs testify on this point. He has thought to change times and laws; the law, say the Septuagint, the German, and Danish translations, pointing out the law of the Most High. This the papacy has thought to do, by endeavoring to change the fourth commandment, substituting the first day of the week for the Sabbath, in place of the seventh, which the commandment enjoins. See Hist. of the Sabbath, and Catholic Catechisms. They have been given into his hands a time, times, and dividing of time, or half a time: three times and a half. A time in Scripture signifies a year. Daniel 4:16, compared with Josephus who says that the “seven times” were seven years. Three times and a half are therefore three years and a half. As the Bible year consists of 360 days (12 months of 30 days each) three and a half of such years give us 1260 days; and these days being symbolic, a day for a year, Ezekiel 4:6; Numbers 14:34, we have 1260 years for the continuance of papal supremacy. This is the same as the 1260 days and 42 months of Revelation 12 and 13 applied to the same power. Reckoned from 538, they bring us to 1798. Feb.10, of that year, Berthier, acting under the French Directory, took Rome and carried the pope into exile where the next year he died. Here sat the judgment of verse 26, and his dominion was taken away (temporarily overthrown but not consumed), and has been waning away both temporarily and spiritually from that time to the present.SYNPT 14.2

    40. Where is proof of this found?
    41. For how long a time were the saints, times, and laws given into the hands of this little horn?
    42. How long a period is meant by “a time”?
    43. How many days in “a time, times, and a half”?
    44. Are these days literal or symbolic?
    45. How much time is represented by a symbolic day? References.
    46. How much literal time have we, therefore, for the continuance of papal supremacy?
    47. Where and in what terms is this same period of time elsewhere mentioned?
    48. Reckoned from 538, to what year do they bring us?
    49. What took place in that year?
    50. What judgment is brought to view in verse 26?
    51. What in verses 9, 10?

    In verses 9 and 10 judgement of another kind is brought to view: the investigative Judgment of the Heavenly Sanctuary, commencing in 1844.SYNPT 15.1

    In connection with that a special utterance of great words is heard by the prophet. The great Ecumenical Council, held in Rome in 1870, furnishes a marked fulfillment. There by a deliberate vote of the highest dignitaries of all the Catholic world, 538 against 2, July 21, 1870, the pope was decreed to be infallible. In two months from that time, Sept. 20, 1870, Rome surrendered to the troops of Victor Emanuel, and the last vestige of the pope’s temporal power departed. His destruction in the burning flame must be at hand.SYNPT 16.1

    The fifth kingdom of this vision, which the saints take and possess forever, is the one under the whole heaven, including the territory of these beast kingdoms. It is therefore the same as the kingdom of Daniel 2, which fills the whole earth. What folly, then, to talk of the kingdom of Daniel 2 being set up at the first advent of Christ, since it is not set up till after the papacy has run its allotted career, and is destroyed, - an event that takes place only at the second coming of Christ in power and glory! 2 Thessalonians 2:8.SYNPT 16.2

    52. When were the greatest and most presumptuous words of the papacy heard?
    53. On what day was the vote of infallibility taken
    54. How did the vote stand?
    55. What took place two months later?
    56. Into whose hand does the kingdom finally pass?
    57. Where is it located and what is its extent?
    58. What relation does this show between this kingdom and the kingdom of God of chapter 2?
    59. What then shall be said of the idea that the kingdom of Daniel 2 was set up at the first advent of Christ?

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