The Ten Kings

(Daniel 2:42-43; 7:24; Revelation 17:12)

Daniel described the ten toes in the image of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. These were said to come out of the fourth beast, the Roman Empire, in Chapter 7. Of course, more than ten states came out of the Roman Empire, but at the time of the Reformation, only ten states had a relationship with the pope, who was called “the king of the north” in Chapter 11.

In the Book of Revelation, John said that these ten kings ruled “as one hour with the beast.” The Book of Revelation uses the expression of an “hour” seven times to describe a period of about 500 years, 1/12 of the human clock of 6,000 years. The ten kings ruled with the pope from the East–West Schism of 1054 until the 16th century. In Daniel 7:8, we are told that the little horn subdued three states, which were the three Latin states of France, Italy, and Spain. They are still subdued by Catholicism today. In Chapter 9, Daniel calls these peoples “the people of the Ruler to come.”

Daniel said the ten states would not adhere to one another in the seed of men. They were separated by language and culture. The Protestants had different ways of counting these states, but the most credible listing came from Machiavelli in 1532. He was an advisor to the pope and did not favor this prophecy. In his history of Florence, he described the following ten states as the “irruption of the Northern people upon the Roman territories:”1Machiaveli, History of Florence, Book 1 Chapter 1,

• the Ostrogoths in Moesia (Romania);
• the Visigoths in Pannonia (Austria);
• the Sueves and Alans in Gascoign and Spain;
• the Vandals in Africa;
• the Franks in France;
• the Burgundians in Burgundy (Germany);
• the Heruli and Turingi in Italy;
• the Saxons and Angles in Britain;
• the Huns in Hungary; and
• the Lombards in Switzerland.