Third Beast: Leopard With
Image: African Wildlife
Pamela Ayn Austen
6. Next, as I watched, another beast appeared. It was like a leopard, and on its back it had four wings like those of a fowl of the air. The beast also had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
The third beast in Daniel 7 is the Empire of Greece. This imagery corresponds to the Bronze/Brass portion of the Statue of Daniel 2, and also to the shaggy Goat who destroys the Ram in Daniel 8, in which we are told outright that the goat is Greece, and the Ram is Persia.
A leopard symbolizes many races mixed together, and the tumult between them. Daniel 2:43 tells us that the races will mix, but they will not get along. Look at the leopard pictured above, and that's the races mixing into one animal, but the expression on that animal's face shows how they'll feel about it: contempt, distrust, envy, jealousy, violence, and ready for a blistering fight.
Alexander the Great of Greece may have been the first empire builder who was a globalist. He didn't want to just conquer other nations, but historians tell us that he wanted to glean knowledge from them, and also give them the understanding and education of Greek culture and learning, because it was in Greece that higher levels of learning began. He wanted to increase world-wide knowledge through multiculturalism, and the swapping of ideas.
Alexander began his reign and his campaigns to take the known world when he was 20, and he died at 32, but in that short time, he took nearly all of what had been the Persian Empire. So there is the spry, eager, quickness of the leopard in Alexander's youthful strength and fierce determination. Proverbs 20:29 says, "The glory of young men is there strength."
When Alexander soon died, his empire was parceled up into many different provinces, but there were four primary provinces, and four "heads", or authoritative rulers, of the parceled-up Grecian Empire. These are the four heads of the Leopard Beast, and the four horns on the shaggy Goat in Daniel 8:8, with their authority and rule going in all directions, which is what "pointing toward the four winds" means.
All of the provinces continued to spread Greek culture, so they were all one beast, one leopard.
Concerning the four wings on the leopard: Birds in Scripture represent influence, or an influencer, and their wings are what facilitate the influence, or take it out into the world. Since we have here four wings, it must be looked at as two sets of wings, which I think means double the influence.
Greece, due to its multiculturalism, and its spreading of Greek culture and knowledge, and by it assimilating knowledge of other people, wound-up spreading its influence twice as much, and its influence has gone out into all of the world.
But perhaps what truly helped Greece to spread its influence twice as much was the fact that many of the New Testament Scripture books were written in Greek, or were immediately translated into Greek from Arabic or Ancient Hebrew. And Greek became the standard by which most other Bible translations work off of; and scholars check their accuracy by it. Greece's influence was one of the greatest stepping stones to getting the Word of God and the Gospel of Jesus out to the people. This is most likely why the leopard is given the two sets of bird wings, or double the influence the world-over.
The Greek Empire did more to mix the races and cultures than anything to that date, because the Greeks' motivation was higher learning, and not so much world dominance. Even later when the Romans came to power, they still went on spreading the Greek culture, they didn't minimize it; and today, Greek literature, learning, and architecture is seen in all corners of the globe.
These two stories of Alexander and Greece, (i.e. the Goat story and the Leopard with Wings story) also correlate with the bronze mid-section of Daniel's Statue. I believe bronze or brass symbolizes: propitiation; atonement; a sacrifice that saves another.
Stay with me. . .
What I'm referring to is the propitiation of Jesus dying on the cross for our sins, but before that could happen during the Roman Empire, the world had to be made ready so that the Gospel could spread throughout the entire world. The Greek Empire brought the world together by mixing the races and the languages and the cultures, and making the learning of new knowledge and new wisdom a hip and modern thing.
Due to the Greek age of enlightenment, people were eager to learn and understand new wisdom, and to hear new things. Even the Apostle Paul said, "The Jews demand signs and the Greeks search for wisdom. . " 1 Corinthians 1:22
Brass or bronze, by the way, is an alloyed metal, with mixed metals to create it, partly copper, partly tin, and aluminum, magnesium, zinc, etc. Therefore, the bronze portion of Daniel's Statue also represents the mixing of the races caused by Alexander the Great's globalization of the world, and the mixing of knowledge and languages and religions, and the mixing of human pride too.
It wasn't the Greek Empire that represented the "atoning sacrifice", but the Greek Empire's role in history was to make the world capable of hearing about the "propitiation of Jesus's death for our sins" so that the Gospel could spread rapidly; and that is the waist of bronze on the statue.
The Greek Empire made the world ready to hear about its Savior, and much of the Bible was written in Greek, because that was the prevailing common language throughout the world then. Therefore, Greece is symbolized as bronze, or the atoning sacrifice, because due to the full-covering of their language and culture around the world, they could then point to Jesus in a multicultural manner, and the message could travel rapidly due to it.
Since Daniel's Statue, in its entirety, represents human pride, how was Greece (the bronze waist) prideful? I believe Alexander and Greece were prideful because they thought that if they mixed the races and thereby learned from one another and increased wisdom, it would ultimately save the world. But Proverbs 21:30 says: "There is no wisdom, no counsel, and no understanding against the Lord." And it's ironic that Greece, through trying to save the world through gleaning the wisdom of the races, was actually being used by God to usher in the True Wisdom from Heaven: Jesus.
The Greek portion of Daniel's statue dividing into two legs may represent the increased mobility of information through multiculturalism and the spread of the Greek language and learning. When the Greek Empire and Roman Empire meet at the knees, the increase in mobility of multiculturalism and knowledge doesn't diminish but intensifies to the feet and toes, making the spread of knowledge perfect through the symbolism of two feet that can walk and run. And we're told in the last days, "Many will run to and fro, and knowledge will increase." Daniel 12:4
Isaiah 40:4-5: "Every valley shall be lifted up, and every mountain and hill made low; the uneven ground will become smooth, and the rugged land a plain. And the glory of the Lord will be revealed, and all mankind together will see it. For the mouth of the Lord has spoken." The Grecian Empire helped level the ground so that the Good News of Jesus's atoning sacrifice could be spread all over the world.
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