Prophet Daniel predicted the Emperor of the French as the third world power. In his description of successive world powers, he predicted that the French Empire will be the next world power after the Roman Empire. He identified the French Empire as the third beast.
Like the second beast, the French Empire revolved around three central figures. The three central figures constituting the second beast were identified as three ribs. The three ribs of the second beast were three powerful Generals.
Unlike the second beast, the three figures were identified by a common name – Napoleon. It therefore means that the Emperor of the French was Napoleon appearing in three different faces. The three faces of Napoleon were identified as Napoleon I, Napoleon II, and Napoleon III respectively. Each of these three had the title of the Emperor of the French such that the description of the French Empire was portrayed by the Emperor of the French.
The three Napoleons were also identified by the common surname Bonaparte; hence Daniel’s prophecy of the Empire of the French was the prediction of the reign of the House of Bonaparte over the earth.
The House of Bonaparte reigned over the Empire of the French four times. The four times the Napoleons reigned over the earth were identified as four heads. Napoleon I ruled twice, which were two heads. Napoleon II had a term which translated to a head. And Napoleon III had a term which was also a head.
The appearance of the Emperor of the French formed by the mixture of the three different faces of Napoleon gave the third beast the appearance of a leopard.
Recall that the second beast was also made up of three central figures. But the mixture of these three Romans was not described as ‘like a leopard’ because they were not identified by a common name; and they didn’t belong to the same family. The three rulers of the Empire of the French were identified by the common name Napoleon or the common surname Bonaparte. This means that they were a dynasty.
The Napoleons were no eagle because they didn’t have a sweeping power like the first beast. Rather, they were identified as a bird.And the four times they ruled the Empire of the French were identified as four wings.
“Another beast appeared. It looked like a leopard, but on its back there were four wings, like the wings of a bird, and it had four heads. It had a look of authority about it.” (Daniel 7:6)
It looked like a leopard: It was camouflaged. This means that it had different colours or characteristics in one.
The different colours or characteristics were different faces. The different faces were faces of people. The people were the three leaders identified as Napoleon. In other words, Napoleon was portrayed as having different faces or colours or characters.
The three faces of Napoleon are:
Napoleon I is Napoleon Bonaparte - Napoleon the Great. Napoleon II is Napoleon Francois Charles Joseph Bonaparte, son of Napoleon the Great. Napoleon III is Napoleon Francois Charles Joseph Bonaparte, nephew to Napoleon I, and cousin to Napoleon II.
But on its back there were four wings: It was made up of four governments or four reigns.
Though there were three Napoleons, one of the Napoleons governed twice such that there were four governments. Napoleon I had two reigns; while the other two Napoleons governed once each.
First Reign: From 18 May 1804 to 11 April 1814
Second Reign: From 20 March 1815 to 22 June 1815
Reign: From 22 June 1815 to 7 July 1815
Reign: From 2 December 1852 to 4 September 1870
Four wings – four reigns
This means that the House of Bonaparte reigned four times. Napoleon I ruled twice and the other two ruled once each.
Number of reigns:
1. Napoleon I (18 May 1804 to 11 April 1814)
2. Napoleon I (20 March 1815 to 22 June 1815)
3. Napoleon II (22 June 1815 to 7 July 1815)
4. Napoleon III (2 December 1852 to 4 September 1870)
Like the wings of a bird: a bird with four wings was used to portray or the House of Bonaparte.
Each wing of the bird was each of the four times the House of Bonaparte ruled as the Emperor of the French. The two large wings were the two times Napoleon Bonaparte was the Emperor of the French. And each of the two small wings were Napoleon's son and Napoleon's nephew respectively.
And it had four heads: the four times the Napoleons were rulers of the French Empire.
The four governments were headed by three persons. One of the three persons ruled twice; hence the fourth government. Napoleon Bonaparte ruled the Empire of the French twice. Napoleon’s son – Napoleon Francois Charles Joseph Bonaparte - ruled the empire once. And Napoleon’s nephew - Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte - ruled once.
It had a look of authority about it: the French people gave them authority to rule.
The French Senate gave Napoleon I the title Emperor on 14 May 1804. Napoleon II then inherited the authority the French people gave to his father. President Louis-Napoleon Bonaparte was elected by the French people.