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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

They will contend for the dominion of the East; but neither will obtain it.

It is not for mortal man to rule the world, and grasp the sole dominion of the globe.

This is an inheritance, the divine legacy of Omnipotence, to Abraham, Shiloh, and the saints.

It is evident that the dominion of the Image is not broken by a human power.

The stone which destroys it is represented as not in hands; that is, it symbolizes a supernatural power.

If the stone had been poised in a man's hands ready to smite the image, we might look for an earthly conqueror to overthrow the dominion of the Autocrat, as he will overthrow the rest.

But the power that wields the stone is plainly declared in the interpretation.

It is the God of heaven Who pulverizes the image, and sweeps its chaffy dust away by the whirling tempest which wrecks the kingdoms of the world and transfers them to His saints.

The kingdom of the stone grinds to powder whatsoever it falls upon, and then becomes a great mountain, or empire of nations, and fills the whole earth.

THE VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS.

There were certain important particulars to be revealed in connection with the empires and kingdoms of the Metallic Image, which could not be suitably expressed through a symbol of the human form.

It became necessary, therefore, to introduce other representations, that would admit of appendages more in harmony with them.

Wild beasts were selected to represent dominions instead of parts of a metallic figure; and as there were four different metals, four different animals were selected, according to the following order: The head of gold, was illustrated by a Lion: The breast and arms of silver, by a Bear; The belly and thighs of brass, by a Leopard; and, The legs, feet, and toes of iron, by a Fourth Beast with Ten Horns.

OF THE LION.

The beasts being substituted for the metals represent of course the same dominions.

The lion was a very appropriate symbol for the Assyrian dynasty; as was well understood in the days of the prophets.

Hence, speaking of the overthrow coming upon Judah by Nebuchadnezzar, Jeremiah says, "I will bring evil from the north, and a great destruction.

The Lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way.

He is gone forth to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste without an inhabitant".

But in Daniel, the Assyrian lion appears under different aspect.

He is represented first, as a lion with eagle's wings, crouching; and, secondly, as a lion without wings, standing erect.

The lion in these two aspects represents the Assyrian monarchy in two phases; first, while Nineveh was its capital; and secondly, when by conquest the seat of government was transferred to Babylon.

Esarhaddon was king of Assyria while Merodach-Baladan was king of Babylon, and both were contemporary with Hezekiah, king of Judah; Baladan, the father of Merodach-Baladan, was probably the founder of Nebuchadnezzar's dynasty.