I am currently reading the book of Daniel and I know that you have a lot
of knowledge about this book. However, I cannot make the
connection from Daniel 7:24 to anywhere else in historical times. It
reads: “The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom.
After them another king will rise, different from the earlier ones; he
will subdue three kings” Assuming the ten horns are Roman Emporrors, how
can the last Roman Emperror subdue three emperrors who are already dead.
I am puzzled.
This is a good question. I still remember reading Daniel the first
time and being mystified by the imagery and symbolism of the visions.
Later, I began to study the history of the Near Eastafter the time Daniel
wrote, and the prophetic implications of the visions was made clear. You
can read about this is great detail in my book Daniel, Prophet to the
Nations. This book is temporarily out of print, but will come back into
availability in January, 2006 at www.ipibooks.com. In the mean time, you
can read the book on line free at www.greatcommission.com.
But let me get to your specific question. Daniel 7:24 is part of
the angel’s explanation of the prophecy of four beasts. The first beast,
the lion, represents the Babylonian Empire, as personified by
Nebuchadnezzar (who happens to be the one who was given the heart of a
man, see Daniel chapter four). The second beast, the bear, is the
Persian/Median empire which, by the way, conquered three major empires
(Lydia, Babylonia and Egypt), which is represented by the three ribs in
verse 5. The third beast, the leopard, is the Greek empire, begun by
Alexander the Great. The vision focuses on the fourth beast, which is the
Roman Empire. As Daniel was told, the fourth beast is a fourth empire,
which has to be Romeif one studies Near Eastern history. As the angel
tells Daniel, the ten horns are ten kings. These are the first ten
emperors of Rome, which are Augustus, Tiberius, Claudius, Caligula, Nero,
Galba, Otho, Vitellius, Vespasian and Titus. The eleventh horn, the
prideful one who persecuted the saints is Domitian. Domitian was the
first systematic persecutor of the church. The three horns uprooted by
Domitian are Galba, Otho and Vitellius. This may seem strange. How can
the eleventh emperor subdue the sixth, seventh and eighth emperors? That
is exactly what happened. In the year 69/70 AD, when Nero died, three
generals, Galba, Otho and Vitellius ruled more or less simultaneously for
very short times. All three were uprooted by the favorite general of the
Roman troops, who was Vespasian. At this time, the young Domitian was in
Rome, while Vespasian was off at Jerusalem, attempting to put down the
Jewish rebellion. Domitian was one of the military leaders who helped
defeat Galba, Otho and Vitellius. Therefore, in a very real sense he did
in fact subdue three kings.
How is that for a very specific prophecy? I would agree that the
prophecy seems very strange: almost impossible to even happen under any
circumstances, never mind having someone accurately predict it six hundred
years before the events. How can the third king in the succession over
throw three kings who ruled before him? Yet that is exactly what
happened. Truly, the Bible is inspired by God!
I hope this clears up your question.