Daniel’s Fourth Beast Identification: The Diverse Beast — Israel (Ten Tribes) and Judah (Last Seven Kings before Babylonian Captivity)
Are the kingdoms of Israel and Judah, in the first temple era before Babylonian captivity, the diverse beast? Why were these administrations utilized as types? Why is the diverse beast differentiated from the three kings? Why did these types have to be firmly nailed down before they could be regurgitated in Revelation?
It is no secret that one must start with Daniel 7 to find what the “minister” preached and what ministers ought to preach.
Daniel 7:7–8 says,
After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns … and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things. (emphasis added).
Oh, so many tag identifiers. We should be able to google and find the links! It can’t be so cryptic that we can never work it out. Don’t tell us Luther that it’s imponderable.
There are many features of this diverse beast. Each building block must be aligned to Daniel 7:7–8 to construct a solid retaining wall. We are moving rapidly from kings to kingdoms. All the specifications are on paper in this verse. We must see how the typologies are built, aligned, and grouted. You must be able to build typologies as we proceed, adjusting your knobs of strings for the right melodic and harmonic chords. It’s like finding the culprit in a mysterious thriller. Let’s find the constituents. Any fictional writer would be proud of the integrated plot characterizations. Judah’s and Israel’s standout features are as follows:
- “Dreadful and terrible”: — Amos 2:6 says regarding the transgressions of Israel and Judah, “They sold the righteous for silver, and the poor for a pair of shoes.” Micah 3:1–5 says, “Oh heads of Jacob, and ye princes (from qatsiyn, meaning “magistrates,” “guides,” “leaders,” or “rulers”) … Who hate the good, and love the evil; who pluck off their skin from off them, and their flesh from off their bones; Who also eat the flesh of my people … break their bones … the prophets make my people err, that bite with their teeth and cry, Peace …” Nearly all of the prophetic books speak of the philosophical religious erring of Israel and Judah recorded in the spider’s web of the fertile ground of OT illustrative history.
- “Diverse from all beasts that were before”: — Daniel writes, “I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others” (Dan. 7:19). The word diverse is from shena, meaning “changed” or “made different.” This change is explained as follows: Daniel was told regarding the four beasts, “These great beasts are four kings which shall arise.” The word king is from When Daniel says, “I would know the truth of the fourth beast,” the transcriber says, “The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.” The word kingdom is from malkûw. Note the difference—melek refers to “king,” while malkûw refers to “kingdom.” This is a key difference from the earlier discussion about the three kingly beasts.
The fourth beast was diverse, a nondescript beast, comprising two powers, Israel and Judah. As the story goes, they had regressed, and the writers vividly conjured the graphic image of the beasts’ devouring the people. Bible “history” tells us that, because of Solomon’s idolatry (1 Kings 11:4–11), the kingdom of Israel was divided. The northern kingdom of ten tribes became Israel with Samaria as its capital, and Jeroboam became king (1 Kings 12:20). Jeroboam’s kingdom slipped into idolatry. The prophets vehemently condemned this vacuous, nihilistic void, but Jeroboam made two calves of gold, which the people worshipped. This became known as an abomination (see 1 Kings 12:25–33). The southern kingdom of Judah, with the small tribe of Benjamin, had its capital at Jerusalem. Rehoboam, son of Solomon, was their first king.
The fourth beast of the two kingdoms displayed the same cruel, ferocious characteristics with an emphasis on Judah following Israel’s demise, when Israel was assimilated into Assyria. All of this is synoptically recorded in the four books of Kings and Chronicles with the same story duplicated.
- “Ten horns”: — Daniel continued to seek to solve this mystery, saying, “I would know the truth … of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and of mouth that spake very great things, and whose look was more stout than this fellows” (Dan. 7:20). The interpreting minister said, “The ten horns … are ten kings” (Dan 7:24). Micah 3:1 called them princes or royals when drawing the ten tribes of Israel. Revelation 13:1 reads, “Upon his horns ten crowns.” And Daniel goes further: “the ten horns … are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them … and shall subdue three kings” (Dan. 7:24).
These ten horns are ten kings that arose and became the northern kingdom, having split off from the twelve tribes at the end of King Solomon’s reign:
The Ten Horn Type: Tribes of Israel:
- Asher (plucked—moved permanently to Jerusalem)
- Zebuluon (plucked—moved permanently to Jerusalem)
- Manasseh (plucked—moved permanently to Jerusalem)
To confirm definitely that Israel is the “ten horn” type we have to document that out of these ten tribes, three were plucked, and return to Jerusalem. Returning to Jerusalem has significant meaning which we cover further well into the manuscript in Revelation.
- “before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots”: — Daniel said there came up among them (Israel) another little horn (Judah), and these three horns were uprooted.
Just before the time the ten horns (ten tribes) of Israel surrendered to Assyria (721 BC), Hezekiah became King of Judah (726 BC). Hezekiah brought about a great reform, opening, restoring, and cleansing the temple and its services. His idolatrous father, Ahaz, had polluted the temple. Hezekiah, having cleansed the temple, invited all of Judah (Benjamin, Judah, and Levi) and Israel to come to Jerusalem to keep the Passover (2 Chron. 30:5). “Divers,” which means “men” or “mortals,” of Asher, Manasseh, and Zebuluon humbled themselves and came to Jerusalem (2 Chron. 30:10–11). These are the three horns out of the ten that were “plucked by the roots.” Their move to Jerusalem was permanent (“before whom three fell,” Dan. 7:20). “Fell,” from the word nephal, means “was accepted and made welcome.” So the form-pattern fits perfectly. This return to Jerusalem refers to no other text. It is the only instance where three of the first horns were plucked by the roots. Why stretch the imagination needlessly to please masters? Elasticity can morph the symbol. These three tribes came back to Jerusalem during the late reign of Hezekiah or beginning of the recorded reign of the last seven kings of Judah.
The seven last kings of pre-exilic Judah reigned up until Babylonian captivity. With the exception of King Josiah, who conducted a partial correction (repairing the temple), these kings did, “evil in the sight of the Lord.” Together with the people, they continued to pay homage to idols, worshipping a variety of gods. Note that these seven kings exemplify another type, the little horn. The status of this seven kings’ type will be corroborated later in the exposition of Revelation 13:1, where seven heads prominently dominate the landscape.
OT types must be ingrained and thoroughly embedded in the psyche for the final antitypes and archetypes to give warmth. These types are a remembrance, just as we honor modern-day soldiers. Often, it can seem like pretense, maybe a charade, to repeatedly imply type. This style of concatenation is lesser taught, in Anglo-Caucasian circles, where facts are digitally sought as absolute proof. Without such reference, linkages in the NT become obscure, unverifiable, indecipherable gossip. Revelation has remained enigmatic to this day. However, the strings must be strung as the percussion is reliant on the prior script. The major OT embers are burning into the beasts of Revelation. Down the road, many more signposts to decipher lie ahead. Maybe the light is dawning.
The seven kings of Judah (little horn) of Daniel 7:8, reigning after the passing of Hezekiah, were grouped together and denoted by the signification “he.” Also, in the verse, “In this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man,” the word eyes, from ayin, means “outward appearance.” A much later writer put this condition of the little horn thus: “Having a form of goodliness, but denying the power thereof; from such turn away.”
We are told in Daniel 7:8 that this horn had a mouth speaking great things. “Great things,” from the word rabrab in Chaldean, means “domineering in character.” “His look was more stout than his fellows,” or more mighty and domineering. See Jeremiah 23:1–40 (speaking after the “prophecies against the kings of Judah” of chapter 22) for more details about the “great things” he spoke. “Woe be unto the pastors that destroy and scatter the sheep of my pasture!” saith the Lord. Pastors have been known to mislead wide-eyed congregations. Daniel 7:21 states that the same horn made war with the saints and prevailed against them. And that is putting it mildly.
The last seven kings form a type in pre-exilic Judah and are clustered as a group. This type fittingly ends with Babylonian captivity, ending the first temple era. The nation was in desperate windblown straits and was soon in straitjackets “among the captives by the river Chebar” (Ezek. 1:1).
The Seven Heads Type: The Little Horn — Judah Kings after Hezekiah/Immanuel up to Babylonian Captivity:
- Manasseh — “shed innocent blood till he had filled Jerusalem” (2 Kings 21:16)
- Amon — “did evil” (2 Chron. 33:22)
- Josiah— great reformer, but people remained in idolatry (2 Kings 23:4–27, 2 Chron. 34:22–25)
- Jehoahaz — “did evil” (2 Kings 23:32)
- Jehoiakim — “taxed … the people” (2 Kings 23:34–37); “They shall not lament him.… He shall be buried with the burial of an ass” (Jer. 22:18–19)
- Jehioachin — “did evil” (2 Kings 24:9); “a despised broken idol … a vessel wherein is no pleasure” (Jer. 22:28–30)
- Zedekiah — “did evil,” rebelled against Nebuchadnezzar with whom he made a covenant, then broke it, and was blindly led into Babylonian captivity (2 Kings 24:17)