Make a Donation
About The Author
Holy Day Calendar
Free Online Bibles
Bible Reading Plan
|Get Daily Bible Study on Facebook||Get Daily Bible Study on Twitter Follow @WayneBlank|
The Prophecies of Belshazzar's Reign
by Wayne Blank
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions"
The Four Beasts prophecy was given to Daniel "in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon." The beasts represented the Babylonian (see Ancient Empires - Babylon), Persian (see Ancient Empires - Persia), Greek (see Ancient Empires - Greece) and Roman (see Ancient Empires - Rome) empires - long before the Persian, Greek and Roman empires came into existence. The prophecy was written while the Babylonian empire was in power i.e. "in the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions."
"In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another." (Daniel 7:1-3 KJV)
In the third year of Belshazzar's reign, Daniel was given the vision of the "ram," the "he-goat" and the "little horn" that came out from the he-goat. As plainly explained in the Scriptures themselves, the ram that pushed "westward, and northward, and southward" (i.e. it was a power that came out of the east) was the Persian empire ("the ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia," Daniel 8:20 KJV), the he-goat that "came from the west" was the Greek empire, and Alexander the Great ("the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king," Daniel 8:21 KJV) and the little horn was Antiochus IV, one of the successor kings of Alexander (see The Seleucids; also The Ptolemies).
The prophecy is one of the most amazing of the Bible in that it accurately describes the rise and fall of the Persian empire while the Babylonian empire that it conquered still existed, and then accurately describes the Greek empire that would conquer the Persian empire, and more amazingly describes Alexander the Great perfectly, centuries before he was even born (see also Alexander The Great In Prophecy).
"In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first. And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great."
History and prophecy are sometimes dealt with separately, hence the prophecies recorded in chapters 7 and 8 of the book of Daniel actually occurred before the historical account of Belshazzar's fall in chapter 5, the famous Writing On The Wall that Daniel interpreted for Belshazzar, that marked the end for Belshazzar: "In that night was Belshazzar the king of the Chaldeans slain. And Darius the Median took the kingdom."
"Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand. Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the Temple which was in Jerusalem [see Why Babylon?; also Raiders Of The Lost Ark]; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein. Then they brought the golden vessels that were taken out of the temple of the house of God which was at Jerusalem; and the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, drank in them. They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone. In the same hour came forth fingers of a man's hand, and wrote over against the candlestick upon the plaster of the wall of the king's palace: and the king saw the part of the hand that wrote." (Daniel 5:1-5 KJV)
Fact Finder: How was the same prophecy about the four great empires (Babylon, Persia, Greece, Rome) that was given to Daniel as "four beasts" during the reign of Belshazzar given to an earlier king of Babylon, Nebuchadnezzar, in the form of a great statue?