Pieces of the ancient Middle East are described in Scripture, forecasted by the Biblical prophets, and are the basis for forming the end time picture of unfulfilled prophecy today. Traditional Christian interpretation of the same has been to place the focus on a European common market or some sort of global world government which would dominate the picture at the end of this present age. Closer investigation and a more precise study of the Bible's view reveals otherwise.
There are seven kingdoms defined in the scope of prophecy presented in the Scriptures and all of them are Middle Eastern based, both those of the past and the ones that will exist in the future. These are human dominions ruled over by human king positions and influenced by Satan and his agents who are all fallen angelics. Five of them are historical and succeeded one another in an unbroken change of political power and authority. These began shortly after the flood and all were centered in the northern sector of the Asian Middle East.
This type of human self government apart from the Lord began when humans began to build cities which eventually became the cores of the kingdoms that were developed. The first geographical outline of the northern Middle East presented in Scripture related to empire building was the land of Magog and his brothers with the next four including the Akkadian/Assyrian, the neo-Babylonian, the Medo-Persian, and the northern Greek. These are the five "fallen" according to the prophetic Scriptures.
Each succeeded one another with different human rulers over the same central location in the Middle East and each came and went with some difference in geographical coverage as they grew and then diminished to some extent as they were conquered by the next. The inhabitants in these kingdoms were primarily the same with different governing conquers and they still remain the same for the most part today. Human migrations out of the Middle East have formed other nations around the globe today, but the scope of Bible prophecy is focused upon the same initial area of human development and is for the time of the end. The later inclusion of the nation of Israel in the Middle East and the relationships with these first five human kingdoms are the subject of both O.T. and N.T. visions of the Bible prophets. Israel's return to the land after centuries of exile is predicted by the visions of the prophets and the stage is being set up today for the Lord's return and dealings with Israel and the nations of our time.
The scope of Bible prophecy is limited primarily to the Middle East and Israel. The time frame of events recorded is also unique and does not include the last 2,000+ years of human history, but only the era of the first five human kingdoms, which ended just before the first century, and the next two that will exist there at the time of the end. These two future kingdoms will be different, but will develop in the same area of the northern Middle East. The first will be a smaller kingdom, the sixth, and it will then be expanded into the larger seventh divided kingdom which will include ten separate, but confederated kingdoms. Each will have its own human ruler and the ten kingdoms will be ruled over by Satan's beast who will be the same as Daniel's little horn. This human ruler will be incarnated by the beast of Revelation from the abyss. This beast is a fallen angelic who has ruled for Satan over the five kingdoms of the past and will rule again over the next two at the time of the end.
Today's current turmoil and instability in the Middle East will eventually produce the setting for these last two kingdoms to emerge. It is the little horn, human king of the northern Middle East, of Daniel's visions of the end time who will form the sixth smaller kingdom in the area of the ancient land of Magog and his brothers who first ruled there. This area today would include the Middle Eastern countries of Lebanon, Syria, and northern Iraq. He will overthrow and replace the leaders of these three countries. Then seven other primary countries of the Middle East will be added to his confederacy to form his seventh divided kingdom which will include ten other leaders and their dominions that will follow him. These will be the pieces of the ancient Middle East that will form and set the stage for the time of the end.
Daniel's vision of the primary rulers of the Middle East is limited in scope and the student of Bible prophecy needs to consider this when interpreting those of the ancient past and future. Distinct changes of the elements in the scope of the vision represent changes in human rule of the Middle East except for the 6th and the 7th where the iron element is contained in both. These are the major rulers of the Middle East from ancient times to the present:
Post Flood (not included in the vision of the image)
1. Land of Magog ad his brothers
Ancient Image Elements
3. Neo-Babylonian – One head of gold
(Medo/Persian) – Two arms of silver
4. Persian – One chest of silver
5. Greek – One belly of Bronze
(Greek North/South) – Two thighs of bronze
Non-Image Elements (not included in the vision of the image)
These are all subsequent major rulers of the Middle East with distinctive changes, but they do not appear in the scope of visionary prophecy and all exist between the end of the 69th week decreed for national Israel and the beginning of the future 70th week.
10 primary Islamic nation states and Israel (current)
Future Image Elements
6. Unnamed (North (little horn)/South) – Two - legs of iron
7. Unnamed (10 divisions ruled by little horn/beast) – Feet and toes of iron and clay
8. The Lord's millennial Kingdom – Stone
There is a break in the image elements presented between the 5th and the 6th. This period represents the last 2,000+ years of history (list of non-image elements) and is still running. It corresponds with the lapse time of the 70 weeks of years (490 years) decreed for national Israel which began in 445 B.C. under Persian rule. 483 years of this time lapse transpired at approximately 33 A.D and the balance of 7 years is still pending. This future period will include the future image elements of the 6th and 7th which are unnamed and unknown, and then the Lord's millennial Kingdom which will replace all human rule, will be centered in Israel and the Middle East, and will include the entire world.
Daniel's other corresponding vision of the 4 "beast" dominions of the Middle East includes the rule of Neo-Babylon, Persia, and Alexander's Asian dominion (his kingdom was broken and the two bronze thighs represent the kingdoms of the northern and southern Greeks who ruled the Middle East, one north of Jerusalem and one south). The 4th dominion is a combination of the 6th and 7th elements of the unnamed and unknown rulers of the Middle East at the future time of the end. The 6th will be the northern iron leg (northern sector of the Middle East) of the little horn/beast who will conquer the southern iron leg, the rest of the Middle East, and Israel. He will rule over the Middle East for 42 months with 10 other kings, will cause horrific destruction and upheaval for the rest of the world, and then his kingdom will be destroyed and replaced by the Lord's millennial Kingdom.
Revelation has this same identical line up and limited scope of image elements and they are described as the 7 heads (dominions) of Satan's angelic beast who rules over the Middle East. The first two elements not included in Daniel's vision are added to the next 5 in the scope bringing the total to the 7 dominions of the Middle East. This is why the beast has 7 heads (dominions) in the scope of the visions of which 5 have fallen (are historical) and two will exist in the future in succession. The 6th will be the one that "is" (at the beginning of the 70th week) and the 7th will follow. The beast's 6th rule will be a small (little horn) northern kingdom located in the Middle East, and he will expand it into the 7th divided kingdom of iron and clay. The chapters for study are Daniel 2, 7, and 8; Revelation 17.