[b-hebrew] Four Beasts in Daniel

Bryant J. Williams III bjwvmw at com-pair.net
Wed Sep 13 01:01:05 EDT 2006


Dear Yitzhak,

The traditional dispensationalist interpretation of Daniel and the 4 beasts
is that they refer to Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece and Rome. This
corresponds to the same parts of the image of Daniel 2. Rome finally took
over control of Judah when Gnaeus "Magnus" Pompeii entered Jerusalem in 64
BCE at the instigation of Hyrcanus II against Aristobulus. Of course, Roman
control eventually led to Herod the Great, etc., etc., etc. This, of course,
led to the Jewish Revolt of 66-73 CE.

Rev. Bryant J. Williams III


----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Yitzhak Sapir" <yitzhaksapir at gmail.com>
To: <b-hebrew at lists.ibiblio.org>
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2006 6:51 PM
Subject: Re: [b-hebrew] Four Beasts in Daniel


> On 9/12/06, Shoshanna Walker <rosewalk at concentric.net> wrote:
>
> > Really it is not about anyone's view, because Daniel was receiving a
> > prophetic vision, his own points of view were not relevant, re Rome.
> > But he was getting prophecy that was relevant to Bnei Yisrael.  It is
> > considered that Rome had so much influence on the world that we are
> > still under its domination, hence its exile.
>
> I was not discussing Daniel's points of view regarding Rome.  I was
> discussing views of interpretation of the text of Daniel.
>
> The standard traditional Jewish view sees Rome as a name for
> Christianity.  This is much more true of the later Roman empire than
> of its original foundation.  The original Roman emperors erected a
> temple to Aphrodite in Jerusalem.  Later, when Christian views began
> to dominate the Roman empire, a lone polytheistic Roman emperor
> sanctioned the rebuilding of the Jewish Temple in hopes of combating
> Christianity.  But this doesn't mean that Daniel is speaking of Rome
> or Christianity in his fourth beast.  In fact, Daniel seems to speak of
> several centuries before the end of days and we are now a couple of
> millenia afterwards.  Daniel's several centuries end before the Roman
> conquest of Israel.  Daniel explicitly names Babylon, Media, Persia,
> and Greece.  He never mentions Rome.  The one place where Edom
> (often in later Jewish writings taken as a name for Rome) is named is
> in Dan 11:41 where it is described as a nation saved from Greece,
> far from an influential empire to be.  He describes how Babylon is
> conquered by Media (Daniel 9:1), and how Media gives way to Persia
> (Daniel 11:1-2) which in turn gives way to Greece (Daniel 11:2).  After
> Greece, no one else comes up.  We may also ask how are we today
> under distinctly Roman influence, rather than Greek influence?  You are
> invited to read the two pages I gave you for more information leading to
> identification of the fourth empire as Greece.
>
> > And surely they are beasts - not simply living creatures - a lion
> > with eagle's wings, which stood on two feet like a human, a leopard
> > like beast with 4 heads and and 4 wings on its back, etc.
>
> This usage or nuance of the word beast is not found in the Hebrew or
> Aramaic language.  That beasts are meant may be so, but this is not
> to be learned from the word used by the book of Daniel ("xywt").
>
> Yitzhak Sapir
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