Bible Prophecy

Daniel 7, Part I: Iraq

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon [modern-day Iraq] Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream… ~ Daniel 7:1

Daniel was a Jewish boy taken captive to Babylon. In Chapter 7 of the Bible book that bears his name, Daniel describes his prophetic dream of four empires that will dominate the geography of Babylon.

The Babylonian Empire conquered the Kingdom of Judah (Southern Israel) around 600 B.C., and took the Jewish population captive to Babylon. Babylon was the capital city of the Babylonian Empire, and was geographically located in modern-day Iraq. It is crucial to remember that the Book of Daniel takes place outside of Jerusalem, and inside Babylon. In Daniel 2, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar has a prophetic dream about the four world empires that will dominate the geography of Babylon. I wrote about that dream in My Big, Fat, Greek Revived Empire, Part I.

Remember, Nebuchadnezzar was the King of Babylonia, not the King of Israel– this is crucial because it anchors the prophetic significance of his dream to Babylon, not Jerusalem. Jerusalem is the city to which the compass of all Bible prophecy points. However, the worldly empires God uses to chasten Jerusalem are outside of Jerusalem. In the Book of Daniel, God wants our attention on Babylon (modern-day Iraq) because of the end-times role it will play against Jerusalem. In the Babylonian captivity, God moved an entire population of his chosen people (the Jewish people) to Babylon to get our attention on Babylon as we read Daniel. We had better pay attention.

Daniel dreamed of the same four empires as Nebuchadnezzar. But whereas God illustrated these empires to Nebuchadnezzar as separate body parts of a statue, he illustrated them to Daniel as different beasts. Finally, Bible prophecy often has multiple fulfillments. That is, God gives us previews of the ultimate fulfillment of a prophecy by fulfilling the prophecy on a smaller scale in antiquity. He gives us not only the detailed writings of the prophetic Bible, but historical fulfillments of these writings as examples of what to look for in the ultimate, end-times fulfillment of these writings. Provided with God’s detailed written plan, and his historical templates of its end-times fulfillment, we are left with no excuse for not knowing the prophetic word of God. In the historical fulfillment of Daniel 7, the four empires described by the four beasts were:

  1. Lion = Babylonian Empire (modern-day Iraq)
  2. Bear = Medo-Persian Empire (modern day Iran)
  3. Leopard = Turkish Empire (modern-day Turkey)
  4. Terrifying 4th Beast = Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire (modern-day Caliphate)

Click the links for my full explanation of these empires. These empires fulfilled Daniel 7 in antiquity, and provided us a template for the ultimate fulfillment of Daniel 7, which is happening right before our eyes.


The first was like a lion [Iraq], and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked [power forcefully removed]… ~ Daniel 7:4

For the modern-day, end-times fulfillment of this prophecy, we need simply look to see if this has happened. Has power been forcefully removed from Iraq, as wings are forcefully plucked from a winged creature? Absolutely.

Bush Mission Accomplished Daniel 7:4 continues:


And it [Iraq and its ruler] was lifted up from the earth… ~ Daniel 7:4

Saddam Hussein’s Iraq was lifted up from the earth by the USA as if it were a weed being pulled out of the ground. But this prophecy has an even more stunningly specific fulfillment. The fact of the matter is that Saddam Hussein was found by the U.S. Army literally hiding in the earth, and was literally “lifted up from the earth” out of this hiding spot. I need to give a hat tip to a friend of mine who pointed this out to me just days ago in a Bible study. Wow!

Saddam's Hole In Earth_UKDailyMail

Saddam Hussein was LITERALLY lifted up from this hole in the earth, EXACTLY as foretold in Daniel 7.

Let me just add that this is why I like the open forum method of studying the Bible. In other words, everyone brings to the table unique insights with which God blesses them. People can only reveal these gems of wisdom if they have the ability to speak up! However, the popular method of learning the Bible involves sitting in a church containing many hundreds of people on a Sunday morning, and listening to a pastor give his take on Scripture with no feedback from his audience. It is a one-way conversation– a lecture imposed, rather than a discussion led. This not only precludes audience members from revealing gems of wisdom that God blessed them with uniquely, it also creates a prideful refusal on the part of pastors to admit when they are wrong. When you are the only one teaching, your pride is fed and nurtured. When you listen to the input of your audience, your humility is fed and nurtured. Humility is the more excellent way, and I am convinced that the link between pride and one-way teaching is the reason our Lord gave this instruction:

do not be called teachers… whoever exalts himself will be humbled… ~ Matthew 23:10-12

Daniel 7:4 continues:


And made stand upon the feet as a man… ~ Daniel 7:4

former Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein moments after his capture by US forces in a farm house outside Tikrit

After this photo, Saddam was literally made to stand upon his feet, like an ordinary man. (Image source. UK Daily Mail)

Daniel 7:4 continues:


And a man’s heart was given to it. ~ Daniel 7:4

Saddam Given The Heart Of A Man

by alwaysproventrue.com

On to Daniel 7:5:


And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear [Iran], and it raised up itself on one side… ~ Daniel 7:5

In antiquity, the Medo-Persian bear “raised up itself on one side” as Persia became stronger than Media. But this lopsided imbalance of power remains true today (yet again proving the Bible’s 100% prophetic accuracy) among the descendants of the Medes and the Persians. Modern-day Kurds are the descendants of the Medes. The Kurds have no country, and inhabit the northern part of Iraq. To the contrary, ancient Persia is modern-day Iran. Iran is an oil rich Islamic Republic with a huge army, a navy, and soon-to-be nuclear weapons. The Medo-Persian bear has raised itself up decidedly on the Persian (Iranian) side.

Image source: University of Birmingham (U.K.)

Nuclear Iran (Image source: University of Birmingham – U.K.)

Daniel 7:5 continues:


And had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ ~ Daniel 7:5

With this passage of Scripture, let’s work in reverse and talk about the second underlined phrase first, “devour much flesh.” The Islamic Republic of Iran has always aimed to devour Iraq. Iran fought an 8-year war with Iraq in the 1980s in which over 1 million people were killed. Saddam Hussein, as evil as he was, was not evil enough for Iran’s liking. Saddam jailed and killed many Islamists. Iran supported them. So, when the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003 and removed Saddam’s restraining power over the Islamists, Iran was all-to-willing to fill the power vacuum. For years, Iran fought a proxy war with the U.S.

American troops were killed largely by Iranian bombs and bullets deployed by those Iraqi “insurgents” we heard about every night on the evening news. Even with the mighty U.S. military on the scene, Iran devoured Iraq.

huffingtonpost_logo-tiny

Iran’s Arming Of Iraqi Insurgents A ‘Challenge’ For U.S.: Panetta

Robert Burns 07/11/11 02:50 PM ET

Here are some excerpts:

  • Iranian influence in Iraq is a key issue…”
  • “Shiite insurgent groups… have been using… Iranian-provided weapons to attack American troops…”
  • “…the top U.S. commander in Iraq… expressed concern about an Iranian connection to the… rockets and other projectiles being used by Shiite militiamen.”
  • U.S. Defense Secretary Leon Panetta: “This is not something we’re going to walk away from.”

Read entire article at huffingtonpost.com.

After saying, “this is not something we’re going to walk away from,” the U.S. walked away. By December of 2011, the U.S. pullout of Iraq was complete, and Iraq was left as an unguarded feast for the Iranian bear.

New York Times Logo

Ten Years After the Iraq War: Iran’s Influence Is Strong

MARCH 20, 2013, 1:34 PM

Here is the first sentence in the article:

  • “Iran is undeniably the most influential external actor in Iraq today.”

Read entire article at nytimes.com.

Daniel 7:5 continues:


And had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’ ~ Daniel 7:5

Iraq is culturally divided into three regions: the Sunni Muslim Region, the Shiite Muslim Region, the Kurdish Region.

Iraq Three Sections

These are the three ribs in the mouth of the Iranian bear.

These three regions already exist (by God’s design, to fulfill his prophetic word). However, a heaping scoop of further authentication is added to this prophecy by unwitting Western politicians who actually proposed formalizing these three regions.

NPR Logo JPEG

Sen. Biden: Divide Iraq into Three Regions

September 29, 2006 1:00 PM ET

Here is the first sentence in the article:

  • “Sen. Joseph Biden (D-DE) talks about his plan for a decentralized Iraq, divided along ethnic and religious lines — a Kurdish area to the north, and the rest divided between Shia and Sunni Muslims.”

Read entire story at npr.org.

On to Daniel 7:6:


After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. ~ Daniel 7:6

In antiquity, the “template” fulfillment of this prophecy was fulfilled by the Greek Empire of Alexander the Great. Therefore, it follows that Greece will fulfill the modern version of this prophecy too, right? Not so fast. The word “Grecia” (Greece) is used three times in the book of Daniel. The Hebrew word used here is “Yavan.” Look at what the word “Yavan” means:

Yavan (yaw-vawn’); effervescing (i.e. hot and active); Javan, the name of a son of Joktan, and of the race (Ionians, i.e. Greeks) descended from him, with their territory… ~ Strong’s Concordance

Note these words: “Ionians… with their territory.” Now, in which modern-day nation do we find the Biblical land of “Ionia”?

Ionia is in Turkey, Not Greece.

by alwaysproventrue.com

The geographical anchor for this third empire is modern-day Turkey, not Greece. Alexander’s empire included Ionia, and just as Ionia (Turkey) was the anchor geography for the historical fulfillment of this prophecy, Ionia (Turkey) will be the anchor geography for the modern fulfillment of this prophecy.

Keep your eyes on Turkey in the coming months and years. It is Turkey that armed the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS) militants now tearing apart Iraq. Having said that, let me also say that I do not believe Iran is done with Iraq. In fact, it is likely that Iran’s influence in Iraq will continue to rise, for now. However, Turkey will ultimately have the biggest muscles in Iraq. And I mean Turkey proper, not ISIS, nor any other group serving as Turkey’s temporary proxy. I do not know how all this will play out. I only know that it will all play out. The Bible says it will, and the Bible is always proven true.

In Part II (coming soon), I will write about the fourth beast– the revived Islamic Ottoman Turkish Empire. For a primer on this subject, see my previous post My Big, Fat, Greek Revived Empire: Part IV.


In closing, I want to revisit a comment I made in the beginning of this post, the comment that we have no excuse for not knowing the prophetic word of God.

The Bible is being fulfilled right before our eyes, but even of the few American Christians who actually care to see God’s word fulfilled, most are missing it. This is because they wait for the revival of the Roman Empire, which they have been taught about in church, but which cannot be supported by any level of serious Bible study. What’s more, the Christians who wait for Rome’s revival do not even believe they have skin in the prophetic game (so to speak) because they believe they will be raptured out before the Great Tribulation begins. The pre-tribulation rapture is nowhere in the Bible, and is (in my opinion) the most damaging and dangerous theological error in the modern Evangelical American church, with the revived Roman Empire being a close 2nd.

As American Evangelicalism looks to Europe for the Antichrist, and believes they will be raptured before he appears, they will be blindsided when the Antichrist comes from the Middle East, and they are still here for his reign of terror!!! When this happens, many will be shocked and disillusioned, and will fall away from Christianity.

This is why we must study the word of God, and why we must do as the Bereans did. That is, we must use the Bible to scrutinize the words of Bible teachers, not the other way around. If the Bible does not match what our favorite teachers say, we must disregard the teachers, not the Bible!

The Bible is 100% prophetic– not 30%, or 60%, or some other nonsensical figure. It is 100% prophecy, and it is 100% accurate. Prophecy is not a “compartment” of the Bible that we get to disregard as “non-essential.”

For days will come upon you [Jerusalem] when your enemies will build an embankment around you, surround you and close you in on every side, and level you, and your children within you, to the ground; and they will not leave in you one stone upon another [fulfilled in 70 A.D. when Jerusalem was sacked by the Roman Army], because you did not know the time of your visitation.” ~ Luke 19:43-44

The very day that Jesus rode into Jerusalem on a donkey was foretold in the Book of Daniel. However, this was a “non-essential” issue, so people ignored it. Furthermore, the fact that Jesus would ride into Jerusalem lowly on a donkey was foretold in the Book of Zechariah. Despite this fact, religious leaders of the day said that Messiah would ride into Jerusalem triumphantly on a horse, not lowly on a donkey. The donkey prophecy was another “non-essential” issue. Get your “essentials” straight, and you will be saved, said the Bible teachers of the day (sound familiar?). So, when Jesus rode into Jerusalem on the very day foretold in a “non-essential” prophecy, and by the very means (a donkey) foretold in another “non-essential” prophecy, his people rejected their Messiah.

I am convinced that just as this happened with the majority of the Jewish nation with Christ’s first coming, it will happen with the majority of the church in his second coming. Because so much of the church dismisses prophecy as a compartment of the Bible (rather than the totality of the Bible), legions in the church will reject their Messiah when he appears. Many Evangelical churches will reject the Messiah because they expect to be raptured before he appears (a fatal error!). Many mainline denominations (Presbyterians, Lutherans, Episcopalians, Methodists, Catholics), which in recent decades have veered catastrophically off the rails of Biblical morality, will reject Christ as an Islamophobic, homophobic, Zionist hatemonger.

Let me make this very clear. John 1:1 inseparably links God, and Jesus, and the Bible.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God. ~ John 1:1-2

American pastors have given themselves permission to divide the Bible into “essential” and “non-essential” issues, and into “salvation issues,” and “non-salvation” issues. Ask yourself this question and be honest in your answer: If the average modern American pastor were alive in Jerusalem before Jesus entered the city, would he classify the donkey prophecy as “essential”? I say absolutely not. This demonstrates the theological peril the American church is in at this late hour of history. Jesus said that man lives on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God, not just the words American pastors deem “essential.”

The Bible is always proven true.

4 replies »

  1. I agree with you 100%. Just like we missed him the first time, we will also miss him the second time. Yes, due to the pre-rapture idea and to the fact that we are missing all the prophesies that are being fulfilled right before our eyes. The time is near and we need to be ready. The trumpets have started to blow and we are missing them. Let us get ready.

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