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World Empires

In his 685-page book, “Every Prophecy of the Bible,” highly respected theologian, prophecy expert, and former president of Dallas Theological Seminary (now deceased), John F. Walvoord identifies every single prophecy found in scripture. In his book he also includes detailed commentary about their fulfillment. Since we don’t have 685 pages to cover them here, I have written a brief overview highlighting just three categories of fulfilled prophecy for you to consider.

Major World Empire Prophecies

In chapter two of the Book of Daniel—written in the 6th century B.C.—the prophet, a Babylonian captive, interprets a vision of a statue for King Nebuchadnezzar who had the dream. The statue in the dream had a head of gold, a chest and arms of silver, a belly and thighs of bronze, legs of iron, and feet and toes of iron mixed with clay. (See also Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts in Daniel Chapter 7.) Impressive right? No, what’s impressive is the interpretation of the dream.

In Daniel 2:39-42 as Daniel is speaking to Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar we read, “But after your kingdom comes to an end, another kingdom, inferior to yours, will rise to take your place. After that kingdom has fallen, yet a third kingdom, represented by bronze, will rise to rule the world. Following that kingdom, there will be a fourth one, as strong as iron. That kingdom will smash and crush all previous empires, just as iron smashes and crushes everything it strikes. The feet and toes you saw were a combination of iron and baked clay, showing that this kingdom will be divided. Like iron mixed with clay, it will have some of the strength of iron. 42 But while some parts of it will be as strong as iron, other parts will be as weak as clay. “

In verse 45, Daniel tells Nebuchadnezzar, “The great God was showing the king what will happen in the future. The dream is true, and its meaning is certain.”

History has proven Daniel’s interpretation of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream and his claim that it foretold the future in certain terms. From Daniel’s time to our day history records a succession of four increasingly larger empires symbolized by the metal that each was known for—Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome—and then a switch in format where the fourth empire eventually breaks down into an unstable mix (iron and clay) of nation states—with some strong and some weak. The final state of the empires will consist of 10 toes which represent ten powerful rulers during the tribulation period (but more on that in a future article).

So accurate were Daniel’s predictions of the four empires that critics have argued that the book of Daniel must have been written after those events took place, sometime in the second century.
However, we know from modern textual studies that Daniel wrote in languages no longer used by the second century. Also, the book of Daniel had long been part of the accepted Jewish Canon or what we now call the Old Testament. Fragments making up most of the book of Daniel were discovered in the Dead Sea Scrolls (150 B.C.-60 A.D.) demonstrating that the Book of Daniel was already a well-established holy scripture for the Jewish people living in the ancient Qumran community.

Aside from those facts, we clearly see that the fourth Empire did split and then break into unstable nation states. WWI, WWII and even the current instability in Europe caused by the influx of millions of Mid-East refugees and the tension between globalism and nationalism, all bear witness to the “iron and clay” instability that leads into the time of the end.

Any way you slice it, this prophecy has come true on every level and critics literally don’t know what to do with this passage. Every argument they have come up with has been dismantled by new manuscript evidence and our daily news.

How would Daniel have known that there would be four successive empires, each swallowing up the previous, followed next by a breakdown of the empire paradigm into an unstable confederation of countries? Because Biblical prophecy is pre-recorded history and compelling evidence that God spoke his message through the prophets.

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