The fourth Beast is a beast, different from the three beasts before it. It is a type of male ruler. It is also used as the symbol of a ruling nation.
Nebuchadnezzar had a dream about a male statue. The dream meant that Babylon, (the first empire on earth) is considered the golden empire by God (or the best type of empire). The kingdom that would replace Babylon would be a confederacy of two countries (the silver portion of the statue, made of the chest and two arms) = Persia (Iran/Iraq today) and Media (Saudi Arabia today). Then the brass empire would come into power (Greece, made of the loin area).
The Greek empire of Alexander would be the next empire to be replaced by an empire that developed by the use of better weapons. Weapons of iron, which would be made from iron. This empire would be the two iron legs of the statue in Daniel’s dream. This empire would grow out of the collapsed empire of Greece, which was separated into four parts after Alexander the Great died.
The fourth and last empire to rule the world is Rome, which would diminish until it was forced by conditions to separate itself into two parts: The Eastern (Constantinople) and Western (Rome) seats of the Ancient Roman Empire. The diminishing of the Ancient Roman Empire would be caused by the feet of Daniel’s prophetic dream, which were made of Iron mixed with clay. The iron represented the Ancient Roman Empire before Christ, and the clay represented Christianity after Christ’s death on the cross.
Iron and clay cannot mix. When iron is mingled with clay, as you break (kill) the clay, the iron becomes perforated. Thus weakening the iron and causing it to collapse. Therefore, Daniel’s dream foretold that Ancient Rome’s genocide of Christianity would ultimately lead to Ancient Rome’s downfall. These future prophecies were fulfilled by Rome from the first to the fourth centuries A.D. leaving the fourth Beast killed by a deadly wound (see Revelation 13:3).
The characteristics of the beasts tell us the characteristics of the empires and their leaders (God chooses these animals because God knows what these people are going to do and how they are going to act):
- Babylonian Empire used the Lion to represent itself.
One head of power (king can make and change the laws, and is above the law = dictatorship)
- Persia and Media Empire used a Bear to represent itself.
Two heads to share power (kings can only make the laws and cannot change a law, and are subject to the laws = Limited dictatorship)
- Grecian Empire used the Leopard to represent itself.
One head with many counselors to share power (all counselors make the laws and change the laws and are subject to the laws = democracy)
And I saw him (Greece) come close unto the ram (Persia/Media), and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. Therefore the he goat (Alexander of Greece) waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones (4 rulers of the 4 parts of the Grecian Empire) toward the four winds of heaven (separated in 4 directions = north, east, south, west).
The Grecian empire was the forerunner to Rome (the fourth Beast). The last 30 years of the Grecian Empire had a king, who was Alexander the Great. The Ancient Roman Empire begins by re-establishing itself as a kingdom and begins a land of democracy just like the early kingdom of Greece, before Alexander conquered all civilization to become an empire.
The great horn, or king, is Alexander the Great.
Leopard with four wings on its back and four heads = Alexander, emperor of the Grecian Empire with four parts governed by his four generals.
Leopard is a goat with a great horn = the great horn is Alexander the Great.
Then, four notable ones replace Alexander the Great = the four Generals who make themselves kings of their parts of the Grecian Empire.