Four Great Earthly Kingdoms

by Gertrude Battle (Used by permission)

There are four great kingdoms mentioned in the prophecy of Daniel -- in three chapters: Daniel 2, Daniel 7, and Daniel 8. We will study all three of them in this lesson and let them interpret themselves. Read the story for yourself in Daniel 2 up to the 27th and 28th verses and tell it in your own words.

l. Daniel 2 - Written for Us Today

A. For whom was the prophecy in Daniel 2:28 written?

For those living in the latter days. That is why we are studying it now.

B. What was the dream that the king had? Verses 31-35

It is good to have a picture of the image in his dream.

C. As Daniel begins to interpret the vision or dream, who did he say was the first king or kingdom? Verses 37,38

Nebuchadnezzar was the first king of Babylon, which was the first world kingdom and began ruling about 605 B.C.

D. What was the second world kingdom? Dan. 2:39, first part ; Dan. 5:26-31

The Medes and Persians conquered the Babylonians in the year 539 B.C.

E. What was to be the third kingdom? Dan. 2:39, last part ; 8:3 , 20

The Persians were the second kingdom. After them, Grecia ruled the world. Dan. 8:5 , 21 the Grecians began to rule in the year 331 B.C. and ruled until 168 B.C.

F. What was the fourth kingdom upon the earth? Dan. 2:40-43

Who was ruling the world in the days of Christ? Rome.

G. What was to happen to this fourth kingdom? Verse 41

It was to be divided. Rome was divided into ten kingdoms: Alamanni, Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Suevi, Burgundians, Heruli, Anglo-Saxon, and Lombards. Seven of the countries still exist in Europe today.

H. In the days of these kings, what does the God of heaven plan to do? Dan. 2:44,45

He plans to set up His own kingdom after destroying all these other kingdoms.

Daniel 7 - Symbols used in prophecy:

Wind--warfare or strife. Jer. 49:36,37 ; 25:32

Sea or water--people. Rev. 17:15

Beast--nations. Dan. 7:17

Wings--swiftness of conquest. Deut. 28:49

II. Daniel 7 - Daniel's Dream

A. What did Daniel see in his vision? Dan. 7:2,3

In our language he saw four great kingdoms come up as the result of warfare among the nations.

B. What was the first beast like? Deut. 28:49

A lion with eagles' wings. (Wings to symbolize swiftness of conquest) Babylon, the first kingdom, began to rule about 605 B.C.

C. What was the second beast like? Dan. 7:5

Compare this verse with Daniel 8:3. The bear raised itself up on one side, indicating that the one kingdom would come up before the other. The Medes came up first, but the Persians were the stronger of the two kingdoms, indicated by the two horns. They began to rule in 539 B.C.

D. What was the third beast like? Dan. 7:6, first part

Compare with Daniel 8:5 , the leopard has four wings, and the goat was coming so fast he didn't touch the ground. Alexander the Great, the first king of Grecia, conquered the Persian empire before he was 31 years of age.

E. What else did this third beast have? Dan. 7:6, last part

He had four heads also. Compare with Daniel 8:8 , 22. Alexander the Great died while he was still in his thirties, and four of his generals divided his kingdom into four parts: Lysimachus in the north; Seleucus, east; Cassander, west; and Ptolemy, south. Within ten years after Alexander's death, every one of his relatives had been killed.

F. What was the fourth beast like? Dan. 7:7,8

Dreadful and terrible. It could not have been compared to any living creature. Rome conquered the Grecians 168 years before Christ and ruled until she was divided into the ten kingdoms. Another little horn came up from among the ten horns which had eyes like a man and spake great things against God. See verses 23-25

What was the only kingdom after Pagan Rome that ruled the entire world? Verse 25

Antiochus Epiphanes & the Little Horn of Daniel 7

Sir Isaac Newton - 1733

A horn of a beast is never taken for a single person; it always signifies a new kingdom and the kingdom of Antiochus was an old one.

1. Antiochus reigned over one of the four horns. The little horn was a fifth under its proper kings.

2. The little horn was at first little and waxed exceedingly great. Antiochus did not.

3. The little horn was to be great above all the former horns. Antiochus was not. His kingdom was weak.

4. The little horn was a king of fierce countenance and destroyed wonderfully and prospered and practiced...against the holy people.

Antiochus was frightened out of Egypt, afterwards routed and baffled by the Jews.

5. The little horn was mighty by another's power. Antiochus acted by his own.

6. The little horn stood up against the prince of the Host of heaven, and the Prince of Princes; this is not the character of Antiochus but of the Antichrist.

7. The little horn cast down the sanctuary to the ground. Antiochus did not. He left it standing.

8. The Sanctuary and Host were trampled underfoot 2300 days. In prophetic time, a day was a year. The profaning of the temple in the reign of Antiochus did not last but for so many natural days.

9. These 2300 days were to last until the time of the end, till the last end of the indignation against the Jews; and this indignation is not yet at an end. They were to last till the Sanctuary which had been cast down should be cleansed, and the Sanctuary is not yet cleansed.

Papal Rome, or the Roman Catholic Church, A.D. 538.

G. What was she to do? Verse 25

She was to speak great words against the Most High. She was also to wear out the saints of the Most High. Between 50 and 100 million martyrs were slain by her for their faith during her reign. What else was she to do? To think to change times and laws. She is responsible for the change of the Sabbath from Saturday to Sunday. She also took the second commandment out of the Decalogue and divided the last one into tow to make up the ten.

H. How long was she to rule? For a time, times, and the dividing of times.


A day is a year Eze. 4:6 ; Num. 14:34 1 prophetic year was 360 days A time is 1 year Dan. 11:13 margin 1 prophetic month was 30 days Times is 2 years Dividing of time, or half a time is one half year or 6 months. See Rev.12:14.

A time              360 days
Times               720 days                      42 months
One half time       180 days                      30 days to a month
                   1260 days or literal years   1260 days or years
While this great power was ruling the world Dan. 7:25 ; Rev. 13:5 the church was in the wilderness hiding from her persecutors. Rev. 12:6 ; 14 In 1798 Berthier of France captured the pope of Rome and took him into exile where he died. That broke up the Roman power. That was the deadly wound the beast received and from which she is recovering rapidly. (Rev. 13:3 --from 538-1798, 1260 years.)

III. Daniel 8 - Daniel's Dream

A. Comparing the little horn' of Daniel 7 and 8.

Dan. 8:3 , 20 , 5 , 21 , 8 , 22 We have already discussed these beasts. Just emphasize verses 9-12 and compare them with verses 23-25.

The little horn of Daniel 7:8 came up from among the ten horns of the fourth beast. But the little horn of Daniel 8 comes after the divisions of the third kingdom of verse 8. The little horn of Daniel 7:8 is Papal Rome and the little horn of Daniel 8:9-12 is both Pagan and Papal Rome.

B. To whom will the kingdom of Christ be given? Dan. 7:27

It will be given to the redeemed. This will be the new earth that is spoken of in 2 Peter 3:13 and in Isa. 65:17. It will be an everlasting kingdom. It will be a perfect kingdom, with nothing to mar the happiness of its citizens. Rev. 21:1-23

The history of this world has been like a courtship. Down through the ages Christ has been wooing His bride-to-be. Soon He will come for His bride, and the wedding will take place. He will take her to His home in paradise where they will have a thousand years of honeymoon. At the end of the thousand years they will come back to this earth, clean house and set up housekeeping. The earth is to be cleansed and a new, more glorious earth created.

God loves His black sheep and will never leave them. The father and the Son will dwell here with this little prodigal that has returned to the household of God. It was for this that Christ was willing to make the sacrifice on the cross. It was for this that God, the Father, was willing to suffer in His Son. Heb. 12:2 ; Luke 12:21

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Updated 6/19/2006 by Kim Rollins