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Elpis Israel
by Dr. John Thomas

A dominion represented by the Bear, its dynastic branch by the higher side, and its three presidencies by the three ribs, were the principal points which distinguished the realm of the Chaldeans, under the Medo-Persian sovereignty, from that of the Lion, or the Head of Gold.

And it is worthy of remark here, with reference to the image at the crisis of its fate, that the Power which shall possess Persia in the latter days will be the Bear, and consequently answer to the breast of silver.

We have already in the heraldry of nations an intimation of the Power destined to act the part of the Bear, when the Four Beasts have "their dominion taken away".

This Power is the Russian, whose symbol is a Bear.

This is so well-known that the phrase "the Russian Bear" is as familiar as household words.

Russia, which already comprehends some of the Persian territory in its bounds, is destined to conquer Persia, and to possess it from India to Ethiopia.

This is not conjecture but an absolute certainty; for God has declared by Ezekiel that Persia in the latter days shall be a constituent of the dominion of Gog; and that Gog is the autocratic dynasty of Russia will be seen when we come to treat of that prophecy in its proper place.

We proceed now to the consideration of the Third Beast, or FOUR-HEADED AND FOUR-WINGED LEOPARD This beast represents the Macedonian dominion which superseded that of the Bear, as the belly and thighs of brass did the breast and arms of silver.

The Leopard-dominion was more extended than its predecessors; for it embraced all that belonged to the Lion and the Bear, with the addition of that which had been established by Philip of Macedon, the predecessor of Alexander "the Great".

It bore rule "over all the earth," or Image-territory, thus far subjugated to "civilization," such as it was at that era of the world.

In the year 301 before Christ, the Macedonian dominion in its divisions, and their relative position, is illustrated by the Four Wings of a fowl, and the four Leopard-heads.

Alexander ruled his conquests for the short space of six years, when he died in Babylon of intoxication.

After a long period of war, his unwieldy empire was resolved into several kingdoms of which the four principal ones are represented by the Four Heads of the Leopard.

These were its mighty Powers to which the others looked up as the lesser States do now to the great military potentates of the age.

The four great Powers, or heads, of the Grecian Leopard were: The kingdom of the South, which comprehended Egypt, Libya, Arabia, Caele-Syria, and Palestine, under the Greco-Egyptian dynasty; The kingdom of the North-west, including Thrace, Bithynia, etc. ; or the Thraco-Macedonian; The kingdom of the North-east, comprehending the rest of Asia, and beyond the Euphrates to the Indus; India beyond the river, though allotted to this dominion, revolted; so that the Indus became its boundary: this was the Assyro-Macedonian; and, The kingdom of the West, which embraced Macedonia and Greece.

Such were the heads.

But how was it to be determined that they should stand related to these four points of the compass?

This was indicated by the wings of the Leopard -- an interpretation made evident from the words of the prophet, saying, "The Lord shall gather Judah from the four corners (in Heb., the four wings) of the earth".

The addition of the wings, then, to this beast, signifies that the kingdoms represented by the heads would be towards the east, west, north and south, of Judea.

A Leopard is sometimes used to indicate the British power.

During the war in the Peninsula, Napoleon and his generals often threatened to "drive the leopard into the sea"; by which they meant, that they would drive the British out of Spain and Portugal.

Now, in Daniel the dominion of Alexander, which extended into British India, is represented by a Unicorn -- that is, a goat with one horn.

Hence, the Leopard, without additional heads, and without wings, represents the same dominion as the Unicorn.