Is the United States of America found in prophecy? Many prophecy teachers claim that the United States, Great Britain, Russian and other modern nations are mentioned in the Bible. Most of these prophecy teachers place great importance on the “Beasts” found in Daniel 7:1-28. Let’s look at a portion of these scriptures:
Daniel 7:3-7 (KJV) – And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it. And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
The basis for believing that the Bible contains references to America is the belief that each of the “beasts/animals” of Daniel chapter 7 is an easily recognizable symbol of countries today. The popular interpretation is that the “Bear” is Russia, the “Eagle” is the United States, the ten horn Kingdom is the European common market, and the “Leopard” is Germany. On the surface this teaching makes sense but upon closer examination we can see some problems.
Many prophecy teachers think that the Nazi “Panzer” units are the “Leopards” of Daniel chapter 7. The major problem with this interpretation is that there never has been a time when Germany used a “leopard” as their national symbol. Never! So what is the national symbol of Germany? In 1871, the one-headed eagle was adopted as the coat of arms of the German Empire, and this remained the symbol until 1933. Later during the reign of the Nazis the symbol was a two-headed eagle. During World War I there was a poster showing German and US aircraft dog fighting. Superimposed over these planes was a U.S. Bald Eagle sinking its talons into a black two-headed eagle. In 1950, a one-headed eagle with a red beak, tongue and talons, superimposed on a gold background was declared the coat of arms by then Federal President Theodor Heuss. This eagle, not a leopard, is the recognized symbol of Germany today. While it’s true that the chief battle tank of Germany is the “leopard tank” never in the history of Germany has the leopard represented that country. Therefore, the idea that the leopard in Daniel chapter 7 refers to modern day Germany falls short.
What about the “Eagle”? What country does it represent? Doesn’t the “Eagle” and America go hand in hand? Well before we draw any conclusions let’s see what the scriptures reveal:
Daniel 7:4 (KJV) – The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
Many claim that the “eagle’s wings” in Daniel 7:4 and Revelation 12:14 refers to an airlift by the United States. However, we see this same language of “eagle’s wings” used in Exodus 19:4: Ye have seen what I did unto the Egyptians, and how I bare you on eagles’ wings and brought you unto myself. Does this mean that the United States airlifted the children of Israel out of Egypt back in the days of Exodus? I think you know the answer to that question. When you examine scripture, you’ll find that the first mention of “eagles wings” was in Exodus 19:4. In searching the scriptures, there’s an interpretive law of first mention. This law or principle teaches that we should go to the first reference to see the context in which God used “eagle wings.” This will give us a better understanding how the term is used in the rest of the Bible. When we apply this rule to Revelation 12:14 we will see that “eagles wings” could not be referring to either America or an airlift by the United States. In Revelation 12:14 St. John uses imagery from Exodus 19:4, in which the angel-filled pillars of the Glory-Cloud were described as “eagles wings,” by which God had brought Israel to Himself in the wilderness, to be a people for His possession.
Adam Clarke’s Commentary states that the word נשר nesher does not mean the bird we term eagle; but a bird which the Arabs, from its kind and merciful disposition, call rachama, which is noted for its care of its young, and its carrying them upon its back. There’s certainly no implication that any nation, much less the United States is being referred to.
The Lion in Daniel chapter 7 is usually identified as being the symbol of Great Britain. While it’s true that the Lion does in fact represent England it doesn’t mean that the Lion in Daniel 7 is speaking of England. A careful examination of Daniel 7 proves this to be true. Daniel 7:4 says “lion” (singular) and “wings” (plural). The lion had eagles wings. This lion with eagle’s wings was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon the feet as a man and a man’s heart was given to it. This lion with eagle’s wings is the “it” that is referred to. “It” is a singular pronoun, not a plural pronoun. So instead of two “beasts/animals” we have one. You really have to read a lot into this scripture to conclude that the eagle represents America. And it’s not the eagle referred to but “eagles wings”. It’s impossible to split this beast into two. It’s a lion with eagle’s wings!
The 10-Horned Kingdom
What about the ten horned Kingdom? The popular interpretation is that this represents the European Common Market. The biggest problem I see is that this union has far surpassed the original twelve (12) members. Today (March 2016) there are 28 countries in the European Union. Do you see the glaring error in teaching that the 10-horned Kingdom is the European Union? Has God changed His mind? I think not.
It’s obvious (at least to me) that there are serious problems with this type/system of prophecy interpretation. This is a classic example of “newspaper exegesis” gone haywire. Let’s take this line of interpretation to its logical conclusion. Should we assume that the “Ram” mentioned in Daniel chapter 8 is referring to the United States? Why not? Doesn’t the Dodge Motor Company manufacture a “Ram” truck? Silly isn’t it? Well, it’s the same as saying that the Leopard In Daniel 7 represents Germany because Germany’s main battle tank is called the “leopard.”
The Bible always interprets itself. The scriptures give us a clear indication who these “beasts” were. What is required is that we look for the context of who these beasts were. When read within their context it is easy to interpret Daniel’s vision and the remainder of his related prophecies. To summarize:
The Lion is the Babylonian Empire.
The Bear is the Medo-Persian Empire.
The Leopard is the Greek Empire.
The 4th Beast is the Roman Empire.
This interpretation agrees with the historical succession of world empires, from Babylon until the time of Jesus Christ. This was foretold in the image described in Daniel 2:31-45:
Daniel 2:31-45 (KJV) – Thou, O king, sawest, and behold a great image. This great image, whose brightness was excellent, stood before thee; and the form thereof was terrible. 32 This image’s head was of fine gold, his breast and his arms of silver, his belly and his thighs of brass, 33 His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay. 34 Thou sawest till that a stone was cut out without hands, which smote the image upon his feet that were of iron and clay, and brake them to pieces. 35 Then was the iron, the clay, the brass, the silver, and the gold, broken to pieces together, and became like the chaff of the summer threshingfloors; and the wind carried them away, that no place was found for them: and the stone that smote the image became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth. 36 This is the dream; and we will tell the interpretation thereof before the king. 37 Thou, O king, art a king of kings: for the God of heaven hath given thee a kingdom, power, and strength, and glory. 38 And wheresoever the children of men dwell, the beasts of the field and the fowls of the heaven hath he given into thine hand, and hath made thee ruler over them all. Thou art this head of gold. 39 And after thee shall arise another kingdom inferior to thee, and another third kingdom of brass, which shall bear rule over all the earth. 40 And the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron: forasmuch as iron breaketh in pieces and subdueth all things: and as iron that breaketh all these, shall it break in pieces and bruise. 41 And whereas thou sawest the feet and toes, part of potters’ clay, and part of iron, the kingdom shall be divided; but there shall be in it of the strength of the iron, forasmuch as thou sawest the iron mixed with miry clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were part of iron, and part of clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong, and partly broken. 43 And whereas thou sawest iron mixed with miry clay, they shall mingle themselves with the seed of men: but they shall not cleave one to another, even as iron is not mixed with clay. 44 And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever. 45 Forasmuch as thou sawest that the stone was cut out of the mountain without hands, and that it brake in pieces the iron, the brass, the clay, the silver, and the gold; the great God hath made known to the king what shall come to pass hereafter: and the dream is certain, and the interpretation thereof sure.
So can modern day America be found in Bible prophecy? Sorry but the answer is no!