In Daniel, we have two attributes of the third beast. The third beast was “like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl” – Dan. 7:6. Wings, as already stated, indicate wealth. “The beast had also “four heads,” illustrating much wisdom, as, “the wise man’s eyes are in his head” – Eccles. 2:14, which is synonymous with perceptiveness. So the question is who was wealthy, and who was wise?
Solomon’s standout features are “four heads” and “four wings.” 1 Kings 10:23 tells us, “So King Solomon exceeded all the kings of the earth for riches and wisdom.” There are many phrases about Solomon’s wisdom in the book of 1 Kings: “He was filled with wisdom, and understanding” (7:14); “Solomon exceeded … for riches and for wisdom” (10:23); Hiram king of Tyre said, “Blessed be the Lord this day, which hath given unto David a wise son over this great people” (5:7). And in 2 Chronicles 9:23, we read, “All sought … Solomon, to hear his wisdom.” Quadruple heads with so much wisdom.
In the texts “heads” denote wisdom and “wings” riches. Solomon, increased in power and wealth, had gold in abundance, weapons of war, and a throne of ivory, built his own house, gave cities to Hiram king of Tyre and had numerous wives and concubines.
Let’s establish Solomon’s character and why he was recalled by Daniel as a leopard-beast.
Although Solomon had great wisdom, he found many people had been subdued by David when he took over the reign; their numbers were said to be 70,000 for transport, 3,600 overseers, and 10,000 for relay work of timber and hewed stones. He owned 12,000 horses with horsemen and 1,400 chariots. Solomon strengthened his kingdom through marital alliances. In fact, 1 Kings records that he had 700 wives and 300 concubines! Within his kingdom, he placed heavy taxation on the people, who became bitter, like Naomi.
A massive temple was constructed, with the upper chamber overlaid with gold. A grand ceremony for the temple’s dedication was held, along with a great feast, for seven days for the Feast of Tabernacles and another seven days for the dedication. Palaces of the king were arrayed around the court, including a great hall. The Hall of Judgment was the palace of Pharaoh’s daughter. Solomon surpassed Hittite fortifications.
But Solomon’s downfall was imminent. He built on the mount opposite the temple. He violated the law of kings – Deut. 17:14–20, called the temple Solomon’s Temple instead of the Lord’s Temple, and married heathen wives. Jeroboam denounced Solomon for his sins. Jeroboam was given ten pieces of clothing of the twelve and would rend the kingdom from Solomon’s hands. Solomon granted special privileges to the tribes of Judah, and this alienated the northern tribes. Although Solomon began well, he became separated from God, he separated the sacred and civil. He ended up in shame. Years later, this oral history, once written, was to be an early lesson.
By bitterness of spirit, Solomon learned the emptiness of life that seeks solely the corporeal, earthly things. Solomon lamented his error.
And now to the great mark of all time that encumbered Solomon with a heraldic identification. Let the trumpets blast.
The Mark of the Beast – 666: Solomon — Leopard King Beast
It was also said of Solomon, “Now the weight of gold that came to Solomon in one year was six hundred threescore and six talents of gold” – 1 Kings 10:14. Solomon has never, as far as I have researched, been identified as the source of the numerical number 666 which is kind of astonishing. Yet, once the derivative type is envisaged the association is absolutely straightforward – like day follows night. No more speculation, no hypothesis, no endless theological councils, no privy councils. It is there in the texts is it not? I doubt if Solomon was seen as the symbol 666 by William Blake?
Hebrew Writers the Masters of Metaphor
Wikipedia I believe is correct to say “Daniel 7, composed sometime before Judas Maccabeus purified the temple in 164 BC”. But the important point is that Daniel never attempted to change the metaphors established. Saul’s characteristics had been long established in 1 Samuel (eagles wings, lifted up, stand upon the feet (taller), wings plucked, and a new heart) and confirmed in Proverbs. David (raised up on one side, three ribs in its mouth, devoured much flesh) likewise from 2 Samuel, and 1 Kings. Solomon (four heads and four wings) confirmed from 1 Kings and 2 Chronicles. These characteristics were then used in the encyclopedic book of Revelation that draws types from alpha to omega. But the primary type was never to be changed despite the contention that it is an ever-completing process.
Daniel’s chapter 2 dream covered the post-exilic era in Nebuchadnezzar’s image. Just as the reign of the judges, Kings and the Kingdoms of Israel and Judah had been documented, Daniel set out to create a record of the post-exilic era with the Head (gold) – Nebuchadnezzar, Chest and arms (silver) – Media-Persia, Belly and Thighs (brass) – Greece, Legs (iron) – Ptolemaic rule, Feet (iron and clay) – Antiochus Epiphanes and the Rock – Judas Maccabees. Daniel knew great empires would rise and fall in the future. Documentation of the post-exilic era was absolutely necessary. But Daniel never predicted future empires or timing in any specificity. Gabriel showed Daniel the beasts of the past – from the time of moving on from community judges and David’s decree to build the Temple, the inner temple of mankind. Gabriel showed Daniel the process of continuation, of transition from era to era. Daniel joined the two epochs together using the ceremonial years of the king’s reigns in Kings and Chronicles into a 70 weeks symbolic period of 490 years with the division of Pre-exilic (49 + 434) years + Post-exilic (7) years. There is no room for Rome in Daniel’s 70 weeks symbol. Gabriel opened the book for Daniel and illustrated the connectivity and interconnections of the whole of Jewish recalled history.
So we have to stop looking at our own reflections in the water. We are coming into the sunshine. These are challenging times to be spiritually cognizant. There is no need for such postulations as evident in Wikipedia.
When we come to John of Patmos the warning is to understand the number of the beast. “Let him that hath understanding count the number of the beast” … “for it is the number of a man; and his number is Six hundred threescore and six” – Rev. 13:18. Countless times types in the OT are replicated for final archetype universal application. But the Hebrew writers maintained a specific association to their original type.
In Rev. 12:3 it is the dragon that draws upon the image of the three kings (Saul, David, Solomon) and two kingdoms (Israel and Judah) – “wonder in heaven … a great red dragon having seven heads and ten horns and seven crowns upon his head”. The dragon’s child appears as the beast of Rev. 13:1. And then a new beast arises out of the earth (governance) having two horns like a lamb.
But John of Patmos was certainly not specifically identifying future nations in the universal age – just as Daniel never identified Rome as the broken feet of iron and clay. He certainly knew Antiochus Epiphanes had been defeated or would be.
Linking to past types gives credence.
Daniel, thanks to Gabriel, knew the identification of these three beasts.