Four Kingdoms

The theme of the visions of Daniel is the description of four kingdoms that would arise and rule over the earth. These four kingdoms are described three separate times.

  1. In his first vision (Daniel chapter 2) they are described as various parts of a metal image; a head of gold,  chest of silver, thighs of brass and legs of iron.
  2. In the second vision (Daniel chapter 7) they are identified as different beasts that arise out of the sea, a winged lion, a bear, a winged leopard and a dragon.
  3. In his third vision (Daniel chapter 8 ) they are described as a ram, a goat, and two phases of a little horn.

The very fact the prophecy is repeated and the manner of repetition suggests that the the kingdoms repeat three times throughout history.  If this is correct then we should expect to be able to identify the repeating fulfillment of these four kingdoms throughout history and meet the prophetic specification in each case. Consider the kingdoms shown in the following table.

That which hath been is now; and that which is to be hath already been; and God requireth that which is past. Ecc 3:15

Cycle Kingdom Dates
First – Was
1. Sumer / Babel
2. Gutians / Elam
3. Egypt
4. Neo-Assyria
2500 – 2000 BC
2000 – 1800 BC
1800 – 1200 BC
1200 BC – 609 BC
Second – And is
1. Babylon
2. Medo-Persia
3. Greece
4. Rome
606 – 539 BC
539 – 331 BC
331 – 168 BC
168 BC – 476 AD
Third – is to come
1. Holy Roman Empire
2. Early Modern Europe
3. Modern Secular Europe
4. United States Empire
538 – 1530 AD
1530 – 1798 AD
1798 – 1989 AD
1989 – 20xx
One hour Babylon + ten kings Future

What is most interesting is that each of these respective kingdoms fulfills its corresponding prophetic descriptions as given in Daniel precisely as well as sharing many other characteristics not specified in the prophecy.  A summary of these characteristics are given in the following chart. (Click on the chart for a clearer image)


The chart above is just a summary of the many fascinating details in the prophetic history of the world since the tower of Babel to the end of time. An important point that we must not overlook is that the prophecy of the four kingdoms does not end with the fourth kingdom: each time it is followed by Babylon under various forms. We know from the book of Revelation, (ch.17) that Babylon, together with the beast she rides and ten kings, plays a large role in setting up a new world order at the end of time. It will be the thirteenth and final kingdom but will only rule for “one hour” before the ten kings turn against it and utterly destroy it when Christ takes control of the history of the world immediately before the second coming. Here is a side-by-side comparison of each repetition of the four kingdoms throughout history. You can see how all the main characteristics are essentially identical in each repetition.

Daniel’s Past Daniel’s Present Daniel’s Future
Sumer & Akkad (Babel)
2400 BC – 1900 BC
Gen 10:8-11
 Neo-Babylonian Empire
608 BC – 538 BC
 Holy Roman Empire
538 – 1500
(Mystery Babylon)

• Nimrod magnified himself above God (Gen 10:9)
• Built the tower of Babel
• Created a New World Order
• First to use force of arms
• One common language
• Worship of mother & child
• Worship Sun and moon
• After Nimrod passed away Shinar/Assur was ruled over by an Akkadian Dynasty

• Nebuchadnezzar magnified self above God (Dan 4:30-35)
• Boasted of having rebuilt the tower of Babel (see Travels and Researches in Chaldea and Sinai. p.29. by W.Loftus)
• Created a New World Order
• Subdued world militarily
• Common Semitic language
• Worship of mother & child
• Sun and moon worship
• After Nebuchadnezzar passed away Babylon was ruled over by his son and grandson
• Took God’s people captive for 70 years

• The man of sin magnified self above God
• Created a New World Order (the first riech)
• Subdued world militarily
• A common tongue-Latin
• Worship of maddona & child
• Sun (dies solaris invictus) & moon (Ishtar = Easter) worship
• Persecuted church in the wilderness for 42 prophetic months = 1260 years

Gutia and Elam
2000 BC – 1300 BC
Gen 14:1-4
 Medes and Persians
538 BC – 331 BC
 Early Modern Europe 1500 – 1798

• Came from the East
• A 4000yr old text called “The Curse of Agade” tells how the Akkadian dynasty was over thrown by the Gutians from the east
• They were followed by their cousins the Elamites who established themselves as the regional power
• Babylon was not destroyed
• Chedorlaomer king of Elam was the head of a confederacy of nations
• At this time Abraham was called out of Mesopotamia the kingdom of Nimrod to the promised land

• Came from East
• The Gutians were the ancestors of the Medes
• The Elamites were ancestors of the Persians
• Medes were followed by the stronger Persians
• Preserved Babylon and its culture
• At this time the Jews called out of Babylon, back to the promised land

• Turks came from the East
• Bibles came from East
• Turks came first but the Bibles prevailed
• These two broke the power of Rome in 1555
• Preserved Roman church and culture
• God’s people called out of Mystery Babylon, across the sea, west to the new world

Egypt (and Hittites)
1500BC – 1200 BC
331 BC – 198 BC
 Secular Modern Europe
1798 – 1989

• Came from the West
• Menes: great first king
• Babylon was destroyed at this time by Hittites
• Developed advanced scientific  knowledge (1 Ki 4:30)
• Split kingdom: upper & lower
• Culture was secular/pantheistic (Exo 5:2)

• Came from West
• Alexander: great king
• Destroyed Babylon
• Developed advanced scientific knowledge
• Empire split into north & south
• Secular culture derived (according to Plato) from Egypt : atheistic/pantheistic
• The cultural capital was Alexandria in Egypt

• Came from West
• Napoleon great king
• Destroyed Papacy
• Developed advanced scientific knowledge & Industrial Revolution
• Europe split into two competing factions
• Secular culture derived from Greece : atheistic French Enlightenment

Events in the Church
• At the beginning  under Moses (the law giver) Israel became independent (Exodus) and reorganized away from patriarchal model to levitical priesthood
• In the middle of the Egyptian period under David and Solomon the church prospered materially
Falling away:
• Towards the end of this period Israel fell away from faithfulness and imitated surrounding nations
Events in the Church
• At the beginning  under Ezra (the lawgiver) Israel was reorganized later under the Sanhedrin it became independent
• In the middle of the Greek period Israel prospered materially
• Towards the end of this period Israel adopted Hellenism and fell away from its ancient faith

Events in the Church
• At the beginning of this period the church was reorganized and becomes independent
• In the middle of the period 1950-1980’s the church prospered materially
• Towards the end of this period the church fell away from faithfulness and imitated the surrounding religions

1200 – 627 BC
2 Kings 15:29 – Hosea
167 BC – 538 BC
1989 – 2020

• Pushed south into Egypt
• Pushed east into Elam
• Initially Israel’s ally
• Destroyed Samaria & the 10 tribes of Israel
• Besieged Jerusalem during Hezekiah
• Relocated capital to Babylon – and prefigured (formed a replica or image of) the Babylonian empire that was to arise

• Capital called Rome, situated on 7 hills on the river Tiber
• As a republic it was diverse from other nations
• Pushed south into Egypt
• Pushed east into Syria
• Initially Judah’s ally
• Destroyed Jerusalem & the last 2 tribes of Israel
• Relocated capital to Constantinople and prefigured (formed an image or replica of) the Holy Roman Empire that was to arise

• Capital (Washington DC) was originally owned by Francis Pope, who called it Rome, situated on 7 hills on the Tiber Creek
• Diverse -from other nations being a Republic
• Pushes south and east
• Initially Israel’s ally
• Will destroy the Israel
• Will relocate its capital to prefigure (establish an image of) Babylon riding the beast of revelation

To understand the future we need to understand the past. We have now entered into the final fulfillment of the fourth kingdom.  Thus we are repeating the history of Rome. It started out as a republic having rejected their king but eventually repudiated its republicanism and became an empire. It destroyed its long time ally (Jerusalem) and persecuted bible believing Christians and all that would not conform to its religious ideas, its economy collapsed and it finally relocated its capital before it completely fell. Just like Rome was founded on seven hils on the banks of the Tiber River, so too Washington DC was originally called Rome and situated on 7 hills on the banks of the Tiber Creek and owned by a man called Francis Pope.   (also see this, and this and this) The 7 hills are

1. Capitol Hill
2. Meridian Hill
3. Floral Hills
4. Forest Hills
5. Hillbrook
6. Hillcrest
7. Knox Hill

Like the original Rome, the modern counterpart is in the process of repudiating its constitution. Its economy is also in the process of collapsing, and under the guise of fighting extremism,  after the union of church and state, it will persecute bible believing Christians and any that will not conform to its religious ideas. Finally it will destroy its long time ally (Israel), and relocate its capital before coming to its end.

When it is over a new Babylonian kingdom will arise in its place that the book of Revelation describes as ten kings ruling for one hour with Babylon’s beast. The preparations are already well underway for America’s fall and the rise of the final Babylonian empire that God himself will overthrow with the brightness of his coming. The sign of the rise of that final kingdom will be when the fourth beast imitiates the Babylonian first beast in its policies and practices – when it forms or becomes an image (or replica) of the Babylonian first beast. It will repudiate republicanism and unite church and state to persecute religious dissenters.

Evidence that the Babylonian first beast is already rising in power is easy to see because like Nebuchadnezzar they also boast of rebuilding Babel. The first image below is the famous image by Bruegel of the tower of Babel on the left and a EU publicity poster on the right that has been modeled after Bruegel’s painting. The slogan on the poster exhibits Nimrod’s defiant attitude and says “Europe – many tongues one voice” mocking God who at Babel confounded their language so that they were unable to complete the building.

The second image is the actual EU parliament building which has also been modeled on the same painting to look like a half-finished tower of Babel. The next two images are sculptures of the woman riding the beast  from Revelation 17 out side of  the entrances to the EU parliament building and EU Council buildings.

Finally the May 2000 of the well known Der Spiegel magazine (German) featured a picture of a scantily clad woman riding the beast carrying the EU flag with the title “Guten Morgen Europa!” Various coins and stamps also features various renditions of the woman riding the beast as did an article of time magazine. (see here). What the future holds is clearly spelled out in some detail in Daniel’s final vision (chap.11) that you can read about here.

Evidence for  Repeating Cycle

Unlike Revelation the book of Daniel does not give any specific indication that its prophetic four kingdoms have application to in the past, present and future. What we do see, is the repetition of the same basic prophecy four times over. In this context, the symbolism of the number four in the scriptures is interesting, as it represents the totality of all things earthly. For example, the entire earth is described as encompassing the four compass points: north, south, east and west; there are four seasons in a year; and there are four classical elements: earth, air, fire, and water. According to the scriptures, there are four books in heaven that record all that transpires on earth: the book of life, the book of remembrance, the book of the law, and the record of our sins. The number four also numbers all the powers of man: thought, action, speech, and feeling. The repetition of the kingdoms four times confirms that these kingdoms describes the complete history of the entire history of the world.

We have noted that the number four in Hebrew represents the totality of all things earthly. The number three in the scriptures represents perfect or divine confirmation.  The number twelve then combines both of these ideas and implies the completion or totality of all earthly authority. Specifically, the number twelve in the scriptures signifies perfection or completeness of government. It occurs as a multiple of everything that has to do with governance. The twelve months of the year are ruled over by the moon and the stars and these complete a yearly cycle ruled over by the sun. There were twelve patriarchs after the flood from Shem to Jacob after which the government of Jacob’s decedents, until the coming of the Messiah, was organised into twelve tribes. When Israel was finished, Christ called twelve apostles to govern over His church.

Further evidence is obtained from the fact that every Hebrew letter in the alphabet represents a number as well as having its own intrinsic meaning. The twelfth letter ‘Lamed’, in its original form, was a pictogram of a shepherd’s rod. This letter is taller than the others; figuratively standing head and shoulders, over the entire alphabet. It represents the complete authority of the shepherd over his sheep. We confirm this by considering the significance of the number thirteen. In Genesis 14:4, we find that the thirteenth year was the year when the kings of the Jordan valley rebelled against the rule of Chedorlaomer. In twelve successive kingdoms we have the complete authority of man exercised over his fellow men. We can consider further that Richard Amiel McGough tells us in his book, The Bible Wheel on pg 374, that the “name of the thirteenth Letter is based on the word mayim, meaning water. In the ancient Hebrew script, the pictograph for Mem was drawn as a wavy line – indicating waves of water and is still seen in the Latin M… God used four [key words all] derived from Mem to describe the Flood of Noah, the greatest hydrological event in the history of the world (Gen 7:4ff)… It is a precursor (type) of the Universal Judgment that awaits till the End of Time.” If twelve means the completion of all earthly government, then thirteen means the end of earthly government.

If we consider the four repetitions of Daniel’s prophecy in more detail we see that they can also be considered as two sets of two. Chapters two and seven make up the first set which describes the complete history from Babylon to the close of time and consists of four human kingdoms, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome; an intermediary period before the final, everlasting kingdom. The intermediate period is somewhat ambiguously described as the feet and toes of mixed material of the image in chapter two and as the ten horns of the dreadful beast in chapter seven. The second set, made up of chapters eight and eleven, omits Babylon and does not present any clear demarcation between the Roman Empire and the intermediary period, neither does it present the final everlasting kingdom. Chapter eight is in fact a summary of chapter eleven, just as chapter two is a summary of chapter seven.

So where does all this leave us? In chapter two we have an intermediate period after Rome in the feet where we are told that the various nations would not cleave to each other and in chapter seven we are told that after the kingdom of the little horn:

As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. Dan 7:12

What we are not specifically told is what occurs between this time and the establishment of Christ’s kingdom. It is during this period there is a repeat final fulfilment of the four kingdoms as described in  chapters eight and eleven. We must remember that in the final fulfilment, unlike the others, there is no single civil world government. Instead, each kingdom represents a system of government subscribed to by individual national governments.

For the Latter Days

When we consider the four times that Daniel’s vision of the four kingdoms is repeated in chapters two, seven, eight and eleven we notice a curious contrast. Daniel was told two times in chapter eight that the prophecy was for the “latter days” (Dan 8:17; 10:14) and two times in chapter eleven that it was for the “time of the end” (Dan 11:27,29,35). This stands out because no similar direction was given to Daniel that the prophecies of chapter two or seven applied to the last days or the time of the end.

I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. Dan 8:17

The reference to the “time of the end” is very clear. Since antiquity there has never been a time that can be more faithfully characterised in this way than the nineteenth and twentieth centuries. Since the industrial revolution, started by the development of the steam engine and steam locomotion in 1784 by James Watt, there has been constant advancement in methods of transport. The amount of scientific knowledge available to us since then has also exploded exponentially leading to the information revolution.

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased. Dan 12:4

The other consideration in understanding this ‘time of the end” or literally the “extremity of time” is in reference to the only time period specified in this prophecy, being the 3½ times (Dan 7:25; 12:7-9) that the little horn would prosper. This corresponds to the rise of the Holy Roman Empire in 538 AD. Starting here the period of 1260 years (3½ x 360) extends to the year 1798. The end of that time period therefore marks the beginning of the time of the end.

Daniel was also told the prophecy of chapter eight was for the “the last end of the indignation” This is specifically refers to the 2520-year prophecy foretold by Moses.

And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. Dan 8:19

Moses warned Israel four times that if they disobeyed God, He would punish them by destroying and scattering them seven times:

And if ye will not for all this hearken unto me, but walk contrary unto me; Then I will walk contrary unto you also in fury; and I, even I, will chastise you seven times for your sins. Lev 26:27- 28

And the anger of the LORD was kindled against this land, to bring upon it all the curses that are written in this book: And the LORD rooted them out of their land in anger, and in wrath, and in great indignation, and cast them into another land, as it is this day. Deu 29:28

Seven times is literally seven years, which is 7 x 360 = 2520 days = 2 x 1260. Following the day for year principle we noted before gives us 2520 years that began in 722 BC when Israel was taken into captivity by Assyria. Adding 1260 years comes to 538 AD and another 1260 years brings us again to 1798 completing the last half of the indignation and fulfilling the seven times. In telling us that the last two visions were for the last end of the indignation this can only mean that their fulfilment would commence about or sometime before 1798.

Now I am come to make thee understand what shall befall thy people in the latter days: for yet the vision is for many days. Dan 10:14

Daniel was also told that the fulfilment would be in the “latter days” which would be far in the future (many days). To understand what this means we must consider that Daniel must have understood the prophecy of the seventy weeks (Dan 9:25) to have been four hundred and ninety years rather than days (sixteen months) since it would be fanciful to expect both the temple and the walls of Jerusalem to be rebuilt in sixteen months given that Solomon’s temple alone was seven years in the building (1 Ki 6:38). Daniel had already received three previous visions revealing that four kingdoms would rise and fall before what could be considered to be the ‘latter days’. It is hard to conceive that he did not realise that the time appointed was not just a few hundred of years into the future but at least two thousand three hundred (Dan 8:14) if not 2520 years into the future. This explains why he mourned for three full weeks after understanding the vision in chapter eleven.

In the third year of Cyrus king of Persia a thing was revealed unto Daniel, whose name was called Belteshazzar; and the thing was true, but the time appointed was long: and he understood the thing, and had understanding of the vision. In those days I Daniel was mourning three full weeks. Dan 10:1-2

In the vision of chapter eleven we find two more specific comments that the vision was for “the time appointed” (Dan 11:27,29, 35) that is equated with the time of the end (Dan 11:40)

And some of them of understanding shall fall, to try them, and to purge, and to make them white, even to the time of the end: because it is yet for a time appointed. Dan 11:35

Unlike the “time of the end,” the expression the “time appointed” or “appointed time” does not necessarily imply a single specific point in time but can refer to any predetermined point in time. The time of the end in 1798 is the most identifiable predetermined (or appointed) occasion marking the end of the old European order and the rise of modern Europe but the beginning of this period in 538 AD is also an “appointed” occasion.

Daniel informs us the vision was for the time of the end and we should most properly understand this to mean that the primary purpose of the prophecy in chapter eleven was not to describe the history of the Medo-Persian and Greek Empire beginning 100 years after Daniel wrote but to describe the history of nations during the latter days or the time of the end. That is the primary fulfilment of the vision would occur after 1798 rather than that its fulfilment would be complete by the time of the end. We shall see that the vision of Daniel eleven, after a brief mention of the Medo-Persian Empire almost by way of introduction, the rest of the vision has its primary a application after the year 1798 in describing the series of events leading to the great apostacy of the last days and the rise of the man of sin that features so prominently in the new testament.

The second verse of chapter eleven introduces the start time of that vision. This has traditionally been understood to mean that there would be four more kings in Persia after Cyrus.

And now will I shew thee the truth. Behold, there shall stand up yet three kings in Persia; and the fourth shall be far richer than they all: and by his strength through his riches he shall stir up all against the realm of Grecia. Dan 11:2

The problem is that there were a total of thirteen kings before the Persian empire was overthrown by Greece, including Cambyses II, Smerdis, Darius I, Xerxes I, Artaxerxes I, Xerxes II, Sogdianus, Darius II, Artaxerxes II, Artaxerxes III, Artaxerxes IV, Arses and finally Darius III. The traditional and, quite valid explanation is that the prophecy does not intend to give a full delineation of the history of Persia but just those kings most relevant to the history of Israel. Another way to look at verse two is to consider that the word “in” in the expression translated as “yet three kings in Persia” is a supplied word not occurring in the original Hebrew. It is literally “beside three kings Persia” and could also be correctly translated as “three kings beside Persia.” These four kings are four kingdoms as Daniel had earlier stated:

These great beasts, which are four, are four kings. Dan 7:17

Since the four kingdoms complete a full historical cycle, adding four brings us to Persia in the third cycle representing reformation Europe. The verse said that its riches would stir up the realm of Grecia, literally ‘Javan’. The land of Javan however is not just limited to Greece but includes most of the Mediterranean coast and its islands all being to the west of Persia.

And the sons of Javan; Elishah, and Tarshish, Kittim, and Dodanim. By these were the isles of the Gentiles divided in their lands; every one after his tongue, after their families, in their nations. Gen 10:4 – 5

It was the riches of the European aristocracy and the poverty of the masses in the seventeenth century that led to the French Revolution. Who can forget the infamous Mary Antoinette who, on hearing that the peasants had no bread is reported to have exclaimed, “Let them eat cake.”? Significantly, it was under the Corsican born Napoleon that the states of Europe would give way to his Empire. Both this interpretation that sets the start of the vision of the eleventh chapter to the year 1798 and the traditional one are valid ways to understand this text and accurately fulfil the second verse of the vision in chapter eleven. While the traditional interpretation sets the context for the past fulfilment of the vision this interpretation sets the context for the current fulfilment of the vision.


7 responses

17 12 2014
Seth Marbell

Man cannot change the plan of God announced to the world through the prophets. It seems to me that, as the truth told from the lips of the prophets unfold before the world of what God had said concerning the behavior and the final outcome of world governments, leaders of these government use all the power they have, and through whatever means, to resist the fulfillment of what God had said, be it through political or military means. In so doing the world had been set on fire these modern days. God had reviled the future to His prophets who can do nothing but had to prophesy to warn and reveal the love of God towards man. So if there is anything to change, leaders of nations must better go to God in prayers for guidance and solution to the problems they face on their throne. However what has been written is written and no man can change it. The realization of this makes me yearn the more for the coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and the my abode with the Sons of God in the Heavenly Jerusalem…….. “even so come Lord Jesus Christ. Amen”

17 04 2015

What you say is so true, it is God that removeth kings, and setteth up kings.
All we can do is watch in awe as God’s Word is fulfulled even though many deny it or even fight against it.
The Lord is coming and that soon, so let us watch and pray for who shall stand when he appeareth?

29 01 2015
Pastor Anil Benjamin

I am blessed ! God bless you,very important information thanks!

17 04 2015

There is so much more in God’s Word than we can ever imagine,
His blessings are endless for those who seek them.

4 01 2016
Rhema Bat El

Do you think there is any correlation between the four kings mentioned in Genesis 14:1 and the four Kings of Daniel? Is this a type of foreshadowing? Your thoughts are much appreciated, thank you.

15 04 2016

These 3 kings that are in alliance with Chedorlaomer king of Elam with Chedorlaomer as the leader since in verse 4 we are told that the kings they conquered served Chedorlaomer for 12 years. So they are allies of Daniel’s 2nd kingdom.
The fact that there is four is somewhat symbolic since the number represents the totallity of all things earthly (eg 4 compass points). Also the alliance itself seemed to cover most of the known civilisations at the time Shinar (Sumer) Elam (Persia), Ellasar (Assyria) and Tidal king of nations is believed to refer to the Hatian empire (Asia Minor). So the type or forshadowing here is that the second kingdom was to control the whole known world, which it did.

6 08 2016
Jessica Fayville

Very informative and will have to look into this before I can comment. I do believe that in the beginning when God issued his Judgement on Satan, (then on Adam and Eve) this was the beginning of all prophecies: Genesis 3:13,14.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: