The prophet revealed the political instability, civil war and military exploits associated with three powerful Roman Generals – General Pompey, Julius Caesar and Mark Antony – as the height of the Roman Empire.
‘The second beast looked like a bear standing on its hind legs. It was holding three ribs between its teeth, and a voice said to it, “Go on, eat as much met s you can!”’ (Daniel 7:5)
The second beast looked like a bear standing on its hind legs: the second empire was huge and was at its height.
Standing on its hind legs – was at its height.
The height of an empire was when the empire is most powerful.
It was holding three ribs between its teeth: loyalty within its military was divided between three Generals. The three military leaders at the height of the Roman Empire were Julius Caesar, Mark Antony and Pompey the Great. These three were also political leaders.
A bear is a large and powerful mammal; hence the term ‘bear’ was used to describe the size and strength of the Roman Empire. This means that the Roman Empire was a very large and powerful empire.
Three Ribs = Three Pillars
= Julius Caesar, Mark Anthony and Pompey
Its Teeth = the Military
Between its teeth: within its military.
Teeth: used for biting. The Roman Army was what the Roman Empire used to tear to pieces and chew other kingdoms and nations. Therefore, the Roman Army was described as the teeth of the empire.
The teeth of a bear are used for tearing its preys. Other nations and kingdoms were prey to the Roman Empire.
The military or army is what an empire uses for biting.
The three pillars were the following three military leaders:
- Julius Caesar
- Mark Antony
- General Pompey
These three were three characters who caused and led major bloodbaths within and outside the Roman Empire. These three leaders also share the same fate as follows:
- Each was declared Hero by the Roman People
- Each was declared Traitor by the Roman People
- Each was killed by the Roman People
The Roman Empire was allowed to murder so many people within and outside the empire:
“Go on, eat as much meat as you can!” (Daniel 7:5)
Go on, eat as much meat as you can: murder or kill as many people as possible.
‘Meat’ here means the flesh of humans. Many people died while the empire engaged in conflicts and wars; and it was as though the empire ate the flesh of those who died during its military campaigns.
Apart from expanding the Roman Empire on different fronts, Julius Caesar launched war against the army of Pompey which led to the death of Romans on both sides. Julius Caesar, who was once the Hero and darling emperor of Rome, was murdered by the Romans at the floor of the senate.
By the order of Emperor Augustus, the Romans launched war against the army of Mark Antony. Mark Antony was defeated by the Roman Army, and he died as a result of his defeat.