(Ezekiel 14:14; Daniel 7:1-12; Matthew 24:15)
The prophet Ezekiel described Daniel as one of the three most righteous men in history.1Eze 14:14
In Daniel 7, Daniel saw a vision of four great beasts rising from the sea. “The Great Sea” was the Mediterranean, which bordered Israel. It was ruled by four great “beasts” or powers from the time of Babylon, in 600 B.C., until the saints were taken into captivity in “Mystery Babylon,” by the fourth beast, in the fourth century.
The first beast was a lion, which we know as Babylon.
The second was a bear, the Persian Bear as it is still called today. It had “three ribs in its mouth:”2Dan 7:5 the Median Empire, the Lydian Empire, and the Babylonian Empire.
The third was a leopard with four wings and four heads. This was the Greek Empire. The map of the Greek Empire looks like a leaping leopard. It was divided into four territories governed by the four generals of Alexander the Great.
The fourth was an exceedingly dreadful beast with ten horns. A “little horn” came up among the ten horns. It had the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke pompous words. Daniel said the saints would be given into its hand for “a time, times, and half a time.” After Rome fell, its power continued through a relationship between the bishop of Rome and the ten horns, ten states of Europe.
Speaking of this little horn, Jesus said, “When you see standing in the holy place the one spoken of by Daniel the prophet, let him who is in Judea flee to the mountains.”3Mat 24:15
Daniel watched until this beast was slain. “As for the rest of the beasts – the lion, the leopard, and the bear – they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.”4Dan 7:12 A season has three months and a “time” has 365 days—in total 455 days or years, from the first year of the reign of King Belteshazzar until 95 B.C., when the Greek Empire fell to the Romans and the dominion of the first three beasts was taken away.