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    October 1, 1885

    “The Four Kingdoms of Daniel 7” The Signs of the Times, 11, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.” Daniel 7:1. The exactness of the Bible narrative is worthy of note. “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon.” Concerning Belshazzar as king of Babylon, and the time of his reign, we extract the following from Rawlinson:-SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.1

    “Nebuchadnezzar expired at Babylon in the forty-fourth year of his reign, B.C. 561, after an illness of no long duration. He was probably little short of eighty years old at his death. The successor of Nebuchadnezzar was his son Evil-Merodach, who reigned only two years, and of whom very little is known.... He had been but two years upon the throne when a conspiracy was formed against him; he was accused of lawlessness and intemperance; his own brother-in-law, Neriglissar, the husband of a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, headed the malcontents and Evil-Merodach lost his life with his crown. Neriglissar, the successful conspirator, was at once acknowledged king.... Neriglissar reigned from B.C. 559 to B.C. 556, and, dying a natural death in the last-named year, left his throne to his son, Laboroarchod, or Labossoracus. This prince, was a mere boy, and therefore quite unequal to the task of governing a great empire in critical times, was not allowed to retain the crown many months.... On the death of Laboroarchod the conspirators selected one of their number, a certain Nabonadius, or Nabannidochus, and invested him with the sovereignty.... It is probable that one of his first steps on ascending the throne was to connect himself by marriage with the royal house which had preceded him in the kingdom.... Very shortly after the accession of Nabonadius (B.C. 555) he received an embassy from the far northwest.... At the earliest possible moment-probably when he was about fourteen-he had associated with him in the government, his son, Belshazzar, or Bel-sharuzar, the grandson of the great Nebuchadnezzar.”-Fourth Monarchy, chap. 8, part. 38-50.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.2

    This gives us the Babylonian succession from Nebuchadnezzar to the end of the monarchy. The monument contains the names of both Nabonadius and Belshazzar, and for a long time historians thought they referred to the same person. Further research has shown their true relationship. As Belshazzar was left in Babylon, never leaving it, so far as known, he is very properly termed king of Babylon, the more so, as he really held that title, in conjunction with his father. Cyrus, king of Persia, is in one place (Ezra 5:13) called the king of Babylon, because that was his capital. As will be noticed, the date in the margin of Daniel 7:1, agrees with the historian, in placing the first year Belshazzar in B.C. 555.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.3

    “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.” Daniel 7:2, 3. The Scriptures never put a man under the necessity of guessing at anything that is intended for him to know—and whatever is revealed is designed for us. Deuteronomy 29:29. So we find in this same chapter the clew to unravel the whole thing. In verse 17 we are told in plain words that “these great beasts which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” And then, showing us that not individual kings but kingdoms are meant, the next verse continues: “But the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.4

    Another thing is shown by verse 17. We learn from it that these four kingdoms terminate with the kingdom of God, of which the saints are heirs, and in which they are to dwell for ever. We found that this was the termination of the four kingdoms of Daniel 2. Now when we note that these beasts came up one after another (see verses 4-7), and that they represent kings that bear rule over all the earth (see verse 25), we know that the four kings of Daniel 7 must be identical with the four kings of Daniel 2. For it is an utter impossibility that two series of universal kingdoms should exist in the earth at the same time.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.5

    There are two other symbols in this prophecy, but they are easily explained. We know that the winds and the sea are symbolical, for the beasts are symbolical, and literal winds and waters do not produce real kingdoms. Winds blowing on the ocean produce commotion; and since it is as the result of the commotion thus produced that the four kingdom arise, we must conclude that by the blowing of the winds on the sea, wars are indicated, since it is through strife and bloodshed that kingdoms arise. We shall find that prophecy bears us out in this conclusion.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.6

    It must be accepted as a fact that when a symbol is once used in a prophecy, with a certain meaning, it must have the same meaning in whatever other prophecy it is found. If this were not so, we would have no harmony in the Bible. By following this principle, all is harmonious. In the 17th of Revelation, John speaks of a woman that he saw, sitting on many waters (verse 1), and the angel told him (verse 15) that these waters were “peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and kings.” Then the great sea of Daniel 7, represents the people of the earth. See also in Isaiah 8:7, where the king of Assyria is called “the waters of river.” If the sea means people, then of course the stirring up of the sea, by winds, denotes the stirring up of the people-strife. In harmony with this, we find in Jeremiah 25:32, 33, that as a result of a great whirlwind in all the earth, the slain cover all the earth. In Revelation 7:1-3 the wind,-the fierce passions of men-are represented as being held so that the earth may not be hurt.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.7

    The prophecy, then, simply brings to view the four universal empires,-Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome,-each arising as the result of the ungoverned passions of the people. The first, Babylon, with its power and glory, was represented by a lion, with eagle’s wings. Daniel 7:4. It was described as follows: “For, lo, I raise up the Chaldeans, that bitter and hasty nation... Their horses also are swifter than the leopards, and are more fierce than the evening wolves; and their horsemen shall spread themselves, and their horsemen shall come from far; they shall fly as the eagle that hasteth to eat.” Habakkuk 1:6-8.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.8

    But the prophet beheld until the wings wherewith it was lifted up from the earth, were plucked, and it was made to stand on its feet as a man. Instead of flying over the country, in conquest, it came to a full stop. Then the second, Medo-Persia, was represented by a bear with three ribs in its mouth, indicating its ferocious disposition. Calmet, a Catholic commentator, in reference to this passage, says that the Persians have exercised the most severe and the most cruel dominion that we know of. The cruelty of the Medes is described in Isaiah 13:17, 18. The third kingdom, Grecia, was represented by the leopard with four wings. Nothing could more fitly represent the Grecian empire under Alexander, whose very name is a synonym for celerity of movement. Says Rollin (Book XV, sec. 2. last part.), “Alexander, in less than eight years, marched his army upwards of seventeen hundred leagues, without including his return to Babylon.” And he conquered enemies as he went.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.9

    But the fourth beast was the one concerning which Daniel wished information. He knew what they all represented, but the fourth was “dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it; and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.” Daniel 7:7. It needs no further argument to show that this represents Rome, for the 23rd verse says: “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” For the more full proof that the fourth kingdom is Rome, see note in preceding number of the SIGNS.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.10

    “And the ten horns are ten kings that shall arise.” Verse 24. This does not refer to ten successive kingdoms, because, “Another shall arise after them, and he shall subdue three kings.” When the little horn arose, he plucked up three of the first horns by the roots. Verse 8. If the ten came up one after another, then there would simply have been eleven kings; and he could not have plucked up three out of the ten as he came up, if all had not existed at once. The ten horns refer to the ten divisions of Western Rome. While different commentators have differed slightly as to the names of these divisions, all agree that they were formed, and that they exist to-day as the various States of Europe.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.11

    These divisions are also indicated by the toes of the image. We know this from the statement that “in the days of these kings shall the God of Heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed.” Daniel 2:44. The expression, “these kings,” could not by any possibility refer to the four kingdoms, for the kingdom of God could not be set up in the days of all of them, since one succeeded the other. It could not have been set up in the days of Babylon, and also in the days of Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. Not until after the division of Rome, which took place in the fifth century, was that kingdom to be set up. When it is set up, it will fill the whole earth, to the exclusion of all human governments.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.12

    Comments on the kingdom represented by the little horn, must necessarily be reserve for other lessons. E. J. W.SITI October 1, 1885, page 582.13

    “The Lord’s Sabbath Definite” The Signs of the Times, 11, 37.

    E. J. Waggoner

    “The great majority of Christians believe that the [fourth] commandment only requires the observance of one day in seventh, and that it believes the children of God at liberty to select the day, and they accordingly accept the first instead of the seventh day, because tradition and the habit of the church have hallowed it.”-Christian Union.SITI October 1, 1885, page 584.1

    We quote these words simply because they do express the belief of the “great majority of Christians,” and therefore in what we say it may not seem that we are beating the air. We wish to call attention to the fourth commandment, and to the popular belief concerning it, in such a way that all who desire truth may be able to discern it.SITI October 1, 1885, page 584.2

    1. What reason have the great majority of Christians, or any class of people, whether few or many, to believe that the fourth commandment requires the observance of one day in seventh, and not a definitely specified day? Is not the commandment plain enough in its declarations and injunctions? Let us read it and see. “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy.” Literally it reads, “Remember the day of the Sabbath.” That certainly carries the idea of definiteness. Our attention is called not to “the Sabbath institution,” but to “the Sabbath day.” It is “the Sabbath day,” indicating that there is only one, just as we say the Lord, for a while there be “lords many,” to us “there is but one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things.” Different people may have Sabbaths of their own, but the Bible knows but one Sabbath.SITI October 1, 1885, page 584.3

    Having indicated that there is but one Sabbath, and that it is a definite day, the commandment goes on to tell what day the Sabbath is. “Six days shalt thou labor, and do all thy work; but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God; in it thou shall not do any work.” Here is a definiteness. The Sabbath is “the seventh day.” Note that it is not said, nor are we warranted in saying that the Sabbath comes, or did come, on the seventh day, but that the Sabbath is the seventh day. The seventh day and the Sabbath are inseparable. When God said, “Remember the Sabbath day,” it was the same as though he said, “Remember the seventh day.” And after it has been stated that “the seventh day is the Sabbath,” when it is said that “God blessed the Sabbath day, and hallowed it,” we know that God blessed the seventh day, and hallowed it.SITI October 1, 1885, page 584.4

    This point is made emphatic in Genesis 2:3, to which the command of refers: “And God blessed the seventh day, and sanctified it; because that in it he had rested from all his work which God created in made.” If anyone thinks there is any doubt as to which day of the week the seventh day is, let him consult the almanac, the dictionary, or the first man he may meet on the street. Ask your neighbor some Sunday morning, “What day of the week is to-day?” and without an instant’s hesitation he will answer, “The first.” Read the extract at the beginning of this article, where it is said that “the great majority of Christians” observe the first day of the week instead of the seventh; and knowing that “the day called Sunday” is the popular day of “rest and recreation,” you can have no trouble in accounting and determining which is the seventh day.SITI October 1, 1885, page 584.5

    That there may be no possibility for doubt, we will state another point, which has often been noted. The crucifixion of Christ, as is generally conceded, was on Friday; the record says, “And that day was the preparation, and the Sabbath drew on.” Luke 23:54. “And the women... followed after, and beheld the sepulcher, and how his body was laid. And they returned, and prepared spices and ointments; and rested the Sabbath day according to the commandment. Now upon the first day of the week, very early in the morning, they came unto the sepulcher, bringing the spices which they had prepared, and certain others with them.” Luke 23:55, 56; 24:1. No first-day advocates ever dreams that these events did not occurs in order on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday; and concede that the day on which the women rested was the seventh day of the week, because it immediately preceded the first day of the week. Therefore it is as clear as a mathematical demonstration that the fourth commandment declares the seventh day of the week to be the Sabbath. Now then, we ask, What right have “the great majority of Christians” to believe that the commandment requires simply one-seventh portion of our time, and not rest on a definite day? What right has anybody to so believe? None whatever. There is no excuse for such a belief on the part of one who can read the commandment.SITI October 1, 1885, page 585.1

    2. Suppose that the commandment did leave it optional with us, as to which day we would observe, what would be the result? Nothing but confusion. If the commandment does not specify any day to be observed, then one person has as much liberty of choice as another. If it were so, then no man would have any right to require another for differing with him. Every man would be a law unto himself. It is a fact, however, that the majority of people do not believe that the commandment leaves to individuals the choice of selecting the day upon which they will rest; if they did so believe, they would exercise their right, and there would not be the uniformity which we now see. If there is uniformity of practice, some one must be recognized as competent to declare which day must be observed. This leads directly to popery, and it is a fact that Roman Catholics are the only Sunday-keepers whose practice is consistent with their profession. Given these two things, definiteness in the commandment, and the desirability of uniformity of practice, and a pope is an absolute necessity. For ourselves we will accept no pope, nor the dogmas of a pope, and the commandment does not lay us under any such necessity. It is as plain and definite as Infinite Wisdom could make it.SITI October 1, 1885, page 585.2

    3. The people have accepted the first day, “because tradition and the habit of the church have hallowed it.” And that is indeed all the hallowing that the first day of the week has ever received, and that is just none at all. Can the custom or decision of any man determine the sacredness of a day? No. Can the custom and decision of two men hallow the day. No; and so all will say. Then the question arises, How many men does it take to reverse the decrees of God, and make wrong right? If in comparison with God the inhabitants of the earth “are as grasshoppers” (Isaiah 40:22), and all “the nations are as a drop of a bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the balance,” yea, even as “less than nothing, and vanity” (verses 15, 17), then the custom and decision of a majority of the people of the earth, or even of all of them, are of themselves of no more account then the custom and decision of a single man.SITI October 1, 1885, page 585.3

    Man is sinful; he cannot hallow anything. Even if he were perfect, his power to hallow anything would be no greater. The mightiest angel in Heaven could not hallow any day which God had not hallowed. “God hath spoken one; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God.” Psalm 62:11. The “tradition and the habit of the church,” when contrary to the word of God, are of no more consequence than the tradition and habit of infidels or pagans.SITI October 1, 1885, page 585.4

    Compare the two days. Of the seventh day of the week it is said that “God blessed the seventh day and hallowed it.” The most that can be said of the first day of the week, is that “tradition and the habit of the church have hallowed it.” God hallowed the seventh; man “hallowed” the first. Reader, which will you choose? Whom will you obey? “Choose you this day whom ye will serve;” whether the Lord Jehovah, or the apostate church of Rome. May God help you to remember that under all circumstances “we ought to obey God rather than men.” E. J. W.SITI October 1, 1885, page 585.5

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