The "Big Three" during the Tehran Conference in 1943
And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’(Daniel 7:5)
Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. (Dan 7:2-8)
We can thus gain an insight as to why Our Lady appeared at Fatima to coincide with the rise of the Soviet Union. The Miracle of the Sun occurred just weeks before the October Revolution of 1917, which saw the Bolsheviks consolidate power in Russia.
We are told that "dominion" was given to the beast like a leopard with four heads, and a little later in Dan 7:12 we are informed that this dominion would be taken away. A little further on again, we find that this dominion is then given to "the saints of the most high".
“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time...
‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’
And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High; his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’ (Dan 7:27)
With this information we can establish that the "dominion" that the beast like a leopard possesses is that over the Holy Land. This would then help to identify this beast as representing Britain, which controlled Palestine after defeat of the Ottoman Empire in the First World War, through the British Mandate commissioned by the League of Nations in 1922. The four heads of the beast like a leopard would thus represent the four nations which comprise the United Kingdom. The British Mandate over Palestine then ended with the creation of the modern State of Israel in 1948 - which was exactly 1,260 years after construction first began on the Dome of the Rock in Jerusalem over the site of Solomon's Temple, thus fulfilling the prophecy of the "42 months" or "1,260 days" of Rev 11:
Then I was given a measuring rod like a staff, and I was told, “Rise and measure the temple of God and the altar and those who worship there, but do not measure the court outside the temple; leave that out, for it is given over to the nations, and they will trample the holy city for forty-two months. (Rev 11:1-2)
(See the earlier post The Abomination of Desolation for a more detailed commentary on this subject)
This would leave the beast like a lion with eagle's wings to represent the other major power during the Second World War - the United States. The symbolism of this beast is more difficult to ascertain, but it shouldn't need to detain us here for too long (I attempt an explanation in the book, but it isn't of any pertinence here, other than that the eagle is the national symbol of America).
The above passage in Dan 7:11-12 which describes the outcome of the conflict between the four beasts also closely follows the aftermath of the Second World War. The beast with ten horns from which the Little Horn appears is completely defeated, and the other three beasts survive, but the dominion (that over the Holy Land) is taken away from them, and given over to the "saints of the Most High". (See the earlier post Daniel and the Jewish Restoration)
In Unveiling the Apocalypse, I argue that the four beasts described in Dan 7 are to be identified with the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Rev 6. Both of these sets of otherworldly beings have similar attributes:
Now I watched when the Lamb opened one of the seven seals, and I heard one of the four living creatures say with a voice like thunder, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a white horse! And its rider had a bow, and a crown was given to him, and he came out conquering, and to conquer.
When he opened the second seal, I heard the second living creature say, “Come!” And out came another horse, bright red. Its rider was permitted to take peace from the earth, so that people should slay one another, and he was given a great sword.
When he opened the third seal, I heard the third living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a black horse! And its rider had a pair of scales in his hand. And I heard what seemed to be a voice in the midst of the four living creatures, saying, “A quart of wheat for a denarius, and three quarts of barley for a denarius, and do not harm the oil and wine!”
When he opened the fourth seal, I heard the voice of the fourth living creature say, “Come!” And I looked, and behold, a pale horse! And its rider's name was Death, and Hades followed him. And they were given authority over a fourth of the earth, to kill with sword and with famine and with pestilence and by wild beasts of the earth. (Rev 6:1-8)
Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse, by Victor Vasnetsov, 1887
The fourth, and most terrifying horseman - whom Hades follows, corresponds to Daniel's fourth beast - which we have identified as the Axis Powers. The first horseman who is given a crown parallels the beast like a leopard with four heads, to which dominion is given, and thus would refer to the British Empire. The two remaining horsemen are rather more difficult to identify. The second rider who is given a great sword may represent the United States' development of the Atomic bomb as part of the Manhattan project. This recalls the angel with the flaming sword described in the Third Secret of Fatima, about which Cardinal Ratzinger stated:
The angel with the flaming sword on the left of the Mother of God recalls similar images in the Book of Revelation. This represents the threat of judgement which looms over the world. Today the prospect that the world might be reduced to ashes by a sea of fire no longer seems pure fantasy: man himself, with his inventions, has forged the flaming sword... (The Message of Fatima)
And the third horseman, which personifies famine, would then reference the aforementioned Soviet Famine, which claimed the lives of 6 million people.
In the next post, we will discuss how the cycle concerning the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse in Rev 6 is recapitulated again in Rev 9, and if we study this portion of the Book of Revelation carefully, we can see that it too may have prophesied the Holocaust - which claimed one third of the world's Jewish population.
See also the related posts:
The False Prophet
Daniel and the Jewish Restoration
The Jewish Holocaust in Biblical Prophecy
The Abomination of Desolation
The Apocalyptic Locusts