In the previous examination we looked at Jesus’ timeline from 70 CE until the coming asteroid impact and rescue, and found out the event preceding the asteroid will be the abomination of desolation standing in the holy place:
In order to understand this, in Matthew 24:15 Jesus referred us to the book of Daniel, which provides more details about the countdown to the asteroid impact, and its necessary to look at the whole Daniel timeline in order to fully understand this. In this examination we are going to chart the four major empires Daniel says will precede the asteroid impact:
Just for reference, the majority of the book of Daniel is believed by scholars to have been written at the very latest by the 2nd century BCE, but the writings themselves indicate they were written in the 6th century BC. In the book, Daniel claims he received the information from dreams and visions, but he also talks about interacting with people who were giving him the information, so its not clear how exactly he received the information, but in short, he is told there will be four great empires and the fourth will be destroyed by an asteroid impact.
The entire book of Daniel was written in code, and chapter 2 is the first place these empires are listed. In the story, the king of Babylon has a dream of an image and asks Daniel to tell him what it means. In verse 28 Daniel says God in heaven is going to make known to king Nebuchadnezzar what shall be in the latter days, in other words, the end time. Then in verse 32 it lists the four parts of the image. The first part is the head of fine gold:
The next part is the breast and arms of silver:
Then the belly and thighs of brass:
Then the legs of iron, and the feet of both clay and iron:
Then it says in verse 34, “And you saw this image until a stone that was cut out without hands smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay and broke them into pieces.” So its telling us a stone will break the feet of the image, which is the final section of the “image”:
Then it says in verse 35, “The stone that smote the image became a great mountain and filled the whole earth.” By the way, the word translated as “earth”, number 772, also means “land”. So its saying in verse 35, “The stone that destroyed the image became a mountain and filled the whole land.” Then it says in verses 37 and 38, “You, o king…”, “…you are the head of gold.” So again, we are told the king is Nebuchadnezzar, who bible scholars agree refers to Nebuchadnezzar II, who was king of the Neo-Babylonian Empire from 605 BC until 562 BC. So it tells us up front in Daniel 2 that the head is the king of babylon:
Then verse 39 says, “And after you, will arise another kingdom inferior to you…”, so that implies that the head represents the whole kingdom, not just Nebuchadnezzar, because it says another kingdom inferior to you, “…and another third kingdom of brass…”, “And the fourth kingdom shall be as strong as iron…” So this tells us the head, the arms, the belly and the legs represent kingdoms, or empires:
And verses 41-43 say where you saw the feet and toes part clay and part iron, the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly broken. And they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men, but they shall not cleave to one another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. We’re not going to talk about who that refers to in this examintion, but its talking about what is going on in the last end of the fourth empire. It says during the feet of iron and clay someone is mingling with the seed of men unsuccessfully.
Then verse 44 says in the days of these kings the God of heaven shall set up a kingdom that will never be destroyed. So that will happen during the end of the fourth empire as well, at the feet.
Then verse 45 says the stone will break in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold. In other words, the stone will destroy what these empires built.
So this is what Daniel 2 lays out; four empires, the fourth empire is split into two sections, and at the end of the second part of the fourth empire, all of it will be destroyed by a stone that is not cut out with hands. So that implies its a natural stone of some kind, that is so big, it becomes a mountain in the land.
The next chapter in the book of Daniel that talks about this timeline is chapter 7. It describes the four empires as beasts.
Verses 3 and 4 say four great beasts came up from the sea, and the first was like a lion and had eagles wings. So the first empire is a lion with wings, and there is an ancient artifact located at the berlin museum called “The Lion of Babylon”. It is a brick panel of a lion with wings that existed in ancient Babylon during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II. So daniel 7 is confirming that the first beast, the lion with wings, represents the Neo-Babylonian empire. So the first beast in daniel 7 is a lion with wings, which also represents Babylon, and that matches what chapter 2 said about the first part of the image:
Then verse 5 says the second beast was like a bear with 3 ribs in its mouth. So the bear is the second beast in daniel 7:
Then verse 6 says another beast like a leopard that had four wings and four heads. So a leopard with four heads and four wings is the third beast:
Then verse 7 says next is a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, strong exceedingly, with great iron teeth. So the fourth beast has iron teeth, which also matches the fourth part of the image in chapter 2 that has iron legs and feet:
And verse 7 also says it has 10 horns. So there are ten horns on the fourth beast:
Then verse 8 says Daniel considered the horns and there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots. So the little horn comes after three horns, and out of the ten:
Then verses 9-11 says Daniel beheld til the thrones were cast down and the ancient of days did sit, and a fiery stream came from him, and Daniel beheld until the beast was slain and given to the burning flame. Notice Daniel 7 says a burning flame will destroy the fourth beast at the time of the little horn. Both Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 say the fourth empire will be destroyed, but Daniel 2 says a stone will destroy it, and Daniel 7 says a burning flame will destroy it:
So this tells us a burning flame stone, or a burning stone that is not cut out with hands, will destroy the fourth empire and become like a mountain in the land afterward. In other words, all of this is leading up to a catastrophic ASTEROID IMPACT:
But then notice in verse 12 it says, as concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. So after the burning stone destroys the empire, some of the governments survive for a season and a time, but without dominion:
Then verses 13 and 14 say one like the son of man came with the clouds of heaven and came to the ancient of days, and his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, and his kingdom will not be destroyed. The phrase son of man literally means son of mankind. So this can also say one like a son of mankind, or a descendant of humans, came and reached the ancient day that was approached before. Notice the word “him” is not actually in the hebrew. So that implies a cycle, we see that a lot in these texts.
Then it says in verses 15-17 that Daniel was grieved in his spirit and the visions troubled him, so he went near to one of them that stood by and asked him the truth of all this, and he told Daniel the four beasts are four kings.
Then verse 19 says the truth of the fourth beast with teeth of iron and of the ten horns in his head and the other one which came up and before whom three fell, whose look was more stout than his fellows. It says the same horn (the little one) made war with the saints and prevailed against them until the ancient of days came. So that’s confirmation that this little horn will exist right at the end, when the burning stone destroys them and the ancient of days returns.
But notice in verse 23 it says the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom. Verse 17 says all four beasts are kings, but verse 23 says the fourth beast is a kingdom. So that establishes that the word king can also mean kingdom. So these beasts represent kings and/or their corresponding empires. We know the first one is Babylon, and verse 23 tells us the fourth is an empire that rules the whole earth:
Then verse 24 says the ten horns are ten kings and another will rise after them and subdue three. So the ten horns of the fourth beast are ten kings, which we now know can also refer to kingdoms, in other words the ten horns are 10 countries or territories, and another will rise after them and subdue three. That is the little horn, or the little king, or little country that will subdue three other kings, countries or empires:
Then verse 25 says he (the little king or little country) will speak against the most high, wear out the saints, think to change the times and laws, and they will be given into his hand for “a time, times and the dividing of a time”. So the saints will be given into the hand of the Little Horn for “a time, times, and the dividing of a time”, in other words, “a time, times, and ½ a time”. So remember in verse 12 it said the lives of the other governments will be preserved for a season and a time after the burning flame. So that may occur during the “time, times and half a time”:
But after that final “time, times, and dividing of a time”, the everlasting kingdom will be set up in verses 26 and 27.
So those are the beasts of Daniel 7, the first one matched the first part of the image in chapter 2, so let’s look at Daniel 8 next, because it gives more clues.
In chapter 8 verses 2 and 3, Daniel says he saw a vision of a ram with two horns and it was pushing west, north, and south:
Then verses 5-7 say a goat from the west that had a notable horn between its eyes came to the ram and smote the ram breaking its horns. So the goat is next after the ram:
Then verse 8 says the goat waxed great and when it was strong its horn was broken and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven. So the horn of the goat breaks into four sections, and that corresponds to the four heads of the leopard in daniel 7:
Then verse 9 says out of one of the four horns came forth a little horn. So the little horn, it says, is going to come out of one of the four horns of the goat:
Then verse 10 says the little horn waxed great even to the host of heaven. So that has to be the end time right there because countries didn’t go up to heaven until the last hundred years.
Then verse 11 says and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away and the place of the sanctuary was cast down. So we’ll put a note here because that’s important, the daily sacrifice will be taken away by the little horn in the end time:
Then Verse 12 says a host was given to him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression. And in verse 13 he asks the question, “How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice and the transgression of desolation to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot?” And the saint says to him “until two thousand three hundred days, then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. Then he clarifies in verse 17 “at the time of the end shall be the vision”. So it says the 2300 days will occur at the time of the end:
Then in verses 15 and 16 Daniel says he sought for the meaning of what he was shown and he heard a man’s voice say “Gabriel make this man understand the vision” and Gabriel tells him the vision will occur at the time of the end.
Then in verse 19 he says at the time appointed the end shall be. The texts say this a lot. The end event will happen at the appointed time. Its not something that can be delayed or changed. Its an asteroid travelling at a certain speed. The date is set, its the appointed time.
Then in verse 20 Gabriel tells Daniel exactly which empires the ram and goat represent. He says the ram that you saw having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. So remember the second horn of the ram rises higher than the first. That was Persia. In history, the Persian Empire conquered the Medes. So Gabriel says the ram represents the Medes and Persians, of which Persia took over. So the Persian Empire is the section corresponding to the bear of Daniel 7:
Then in verse 21 he says the goat is the king of Greece and the great horn is the first king, and that being broken, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. So the next section mentioned in Daniel 8; the goat, represents the king of Greece and the four kingdoms that his empire was broken into. That corresponds to the four heads of the leopard in Daniel 7:
Then verse 23 says “And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.” So in the latter time, or the end time of these four kingdoms a king will stand up. That confirms what it said earlier; that the final king or kingdom will come out of one of the four sections of the Greek Empire, and it clarifies now, that it will rise at the end time of these four kingdoms.
Then verse 24 says his power shall be mighty and shall destroy the mighty and holy people and by peace shall destroy many and he shall also stand up against the prince of princes but he will be broken. So this king or kingdom will fight against the prince of princes, which refers to Jesus, so that confirms again that the king of fierce countenance will rise at the end time.
Then Verse 26 says shut up the vision, it shall be for many days. So according to the book itself, these visions occurred during the 5th or 6th century BC, and it says these things will not happen until the end time, which Jesus said will be after the gospel reaches the whole world, which has only recently happened in the last hundred years. So these four empires should span from 605 BC during the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II until the present day.
So now that Daniel chapter 8 has clarified that the kingdom that will be split into four sections is the king of Greece, and the kingdom before that is Persia, all we need to do is confirm that is what was meant in Daniel chapter 7. The second beast is the bear with three ribs in its mouth, and it rises to power after the Neo-Babylonian Empire. In 539 BC Cyrus the Great invaded Babylon during the rise of the First Persian Empire, and Babylon was one of three empires he had to conquer to build the First Persian Empire. In the Wikipedia article on the Achaemenid Empire it says Cyrus the Great defeated first, the kingdom of Media (the first horn of the ram), second, the kingdom of Lydia, and third, the Babylonian Empire (the first beast). So the First Persian Empire, beginning in 550 BC was the second empire on Daniel’s countdown:
Daniel 8 then tells us the next empire, the goat, is the king of Greece.That was Alexander the Great, who was the king of the ancient Greek kingdom of Macedonia. In 334 BC, he invaded the Achaemenid Empire (First Persian Empire) and subsequently overthrew the Persian king Darius III and conquered the entirety of the First Persian Empire. So the Greek king here was Alexander the Great, and when he died, there was a dispute as to who his successor should be, and by about 281 BC the dispute settled into four major domains: first, the Antigonid Dynasty in Macedon and central Greece. So Greece is the first of the four horns of the goat:
The next one was the Ptolemaic Dynasty in Egypt, so Egypt is the second of the four horns of the goat:
Then the Seleucid Dynasty in Syria and Mesopotamia. So we’ll use the word “Syria” as the abbreviation for the third horn of the goat:
And the fourth section was the Attalid Dynasty in Anatolia, which is modern-day Turkey. So the Turkey region was the fourth horn of the goat:
This time period is historically called the Hellenistic Period. So Daniel’s third beast was the Greek Empire and the Hellenistic Period:
This is a map of the dynasties during that time:
The green section represents Macedonia, which is modern-day Greece. The orange section represents the Attalid Dynasty which is in modern-day Turkey. The yellow is the Seleucid Dynasty, which included modern-day Iraq and Syria, and the Ptolemaic Dynasty in purple, which is modern-day Egypt:
So those are the four sections that Alexander’s Greek Empire was split into. The areas roughly corresponding to modern-day Greece, Syria, Egypt, and Turkey. So in Daniel 8, verse 23 it says in the latter time of these four kingdoms, a king of fierce countenance will stand up, who will also stand up against the prince of princes. So that king of fierce countenance will arise at the end time of those four kingdoms. Well each of those four regions corresponded to a major empire at some point in history. Greece corresponds to the Greek Empire that we just looked at under Alexander the Great. Syria corresponds to the Neo-Assyrian Empire in Mesopotamia that some regard as the first real empire in human history, and Egypt corresponds to the Ancient Egyptian Empire, which reached its height during the New Kingdom where it rivaled the Assyrian Empire. So three of these dynasties reached their full potential prior to the Hellenistic Period, but the Turkey region did not rise to its full potential until the Turkish Empire, otherwise known as the Ottoman Empire, which dominated the region from 1299 CE until 1923 of the modern era. So the Turkish Empire reached its full potential from 1299 until 1923, and that is interesting, because the “latter time of their kingdom” that is mentioned in verse 23, occurred in 1923, when the Turkish Empire ended:
So finally, we need to identify the fourth beast. Daniel 7 says the fourth is a terrible beast, exceedingly strong, with iron teeth, and Daniel 2 clarifies that there are two sections of the fourth beast, the legs of iron and the feet of both iron and clay. Historically, we know the Roman Empire rose to power after the Greek Hellenistic Period, with the victory of Octavius over Mark Antony and Cleopatra. In 27 BC the Roman senate granted Octavius power and gave him the title Augustus, which ended the Roman Republic of Ancient Rome and started the Western Roman Empire from 27 BC until 476 CE. So the Roman Empire is the fourth beast and the Western Roman Empire was the first phase beginning in 27 BC:
The second phase, the Eastern Roman Empire started in 330 CE during the reign of Constantine the Great, who established Christianity as the official religion of the empire. This phase of the Roman Empire lasted until 1453. So the Eastern Roman Empire was the second phase, starting in 330 CE:
The third phase of the fourth beast was the Holy Roman Empire, which began in 962, with its largest territory in modern-day Germany. However, some historians consider the start of the Holy Roman Empire as having occurred in the year 800 CE, when Pope Leo III crowned Charlemagne as Emperor on Christmas day. But in either case, the Holy Roman Empire was formally dissolved in 1806 by Emperor Francis II. So the third phase of the fourth beast was the Holy Roman Empire that started in 800 or 962, depending on which historian you ask:
Then three years before the end of the Turkish Empire, on January 10, 1920, the League of Nations was established. It was the first international organization whose principal mission was to maintain world peace. So daniel 8, verses 23 through 25, say “in the latter time of their kingdom” “a king of fierce countenance shall stand up”, and Daniel already established that the word king can also refer to a whole kingdom. So his, or its power shall be mighty, but not by its own power, and he or it shall destroy by peace. And in Daniel chapter 7 in the same verses as chapter 8, verses 23-25, it says the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom and shall devour the whole earth. So the kingdom of fierce countenance that rises at the end of the Turkish Empire (1920) is the final part of the fourth empire that will rule over the whole earth:
The League of Nations was replaced by the United Nations in 1945, and there are currently 193 member states, which cover the whole earth, as you can see in this map:
Everything in blue is a member of the kingdom that came in the name of peace, the United Nations, and their flag still displays the old Roman Empire symbol of the wreath, which was under the feet of the two headed eagle:
This was the emblem of the Byzantine Empire (Eastern Roman Empire). On the UN flag, the wreath under the feet has remained, but the eagle has been replaced by an image of the whole earth, possibly representing the Roman Empire’s conquest of the whole world:
So again, the League of Nations was established in 1920, just three years before the Turkish Empire officially ended, and the League of Nations was renamed the United nations in 1945. So the United Nations appears to be Daniel’s “Kingdom of Fierce Countenance” that “Destroys by Peace” and “Devours the Whole Earth”:
That is the basic timeline in the book of Daniel that was written in code, but is fairly easy to determine in modern times. It begins with the Babylonian Empire and ends with a world empire that will “go up to heaven” but be destroyed by a catastrophic asteroid impact.