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Beast Suggests a Kingdom
Page 14 (pages 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35)
So on the prior page we observed, that when used in the figurative language of Daniel's prophetic dream, the term "beast" is defined as a "kingdom".
Daniel 7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
Daniel's prophecy illustrates a lion, bear, leopard and fourth kingdom "beast" that were to unfold in a steady succession over hundreds of years in Daniel's future, and he describes those kingdoms in such great detail that through the traditional historicst approach to Bible prophecy tens (and perhaps even hundreds) of millions of Jews, Messianic Jews and Christians, understand Daniel's lion, bear, leopard and fourth "beasts" to be figures that represented the successive kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, ancient Greece, and the Roman Empire. Indeed a Google search of "babylon, medo-persia, greece, rome" - even in quotes - produces over 150,000 results! Here are maps representing the approximate territory that each of these kingdoms occupied in its turn:
Daniel 7:4 The first [was] like a lion, and had eagle's wings...
lion = Babylon
Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear...
bear = Medo-Persia
Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard...
leopard = ancient Greece
Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly...
fourth beast = The Roman Empire
It is important to note that scholars use the science of "hermeneutics" to study everything from literature, to poetry, to scripture, and even legal documents. Employing hermeneutic tools in study of scripture allows the Bible to define and explain itself. The prior example is an "adjacent hermeneutic" in which we search an ever expanding area to discover other instances, in which a particular word or term may occur, that might help us understand its use in the immediate area of our interest. In the case of the Bible we search for another occurrence first in the same verse, then the same chapter, then book, then Testament, then the whole Bible.
For an introduction to the use of an adjacent hermeneutic let's click on this Bible search for the term "leopard", and explore other uses of the term, with Daniel's chapter seven "leopard" beast kingdom as the starting point of our expanding search. With what we discovered thus far in Daniel's "times" problems and "beasts", through the use of powerful Bible study tools and the internet resources available today, it's no wonder Daniel prophesied that "knowledge shall be increased", during this "time of the end".
Out of the six verses that Bible search reveals, is there a verse that is also found within the same context, of the figurative language of a prophetic dream or vision? In which book in that search do we find the most significant, and most related use, of the term "leopard"?