Revived Roman Empire
“EASTERN LEG” 1
In the vision of the great metallic statue Daniel 2 predicts an End Time Revived Roman Empire symbolized in the 2 iron legs (and feet). Many prophecy teachers see a strictly “European” Revived Roman Empire.
However, I expect to see the Revived Roman Empire with a prominent Eastern Leg in union with the European Western Leg.
That is, I expect to see the Middle East—in a prominent role—joined together with Europe as the Eastern and Western “legs” of the End Time Revived Roman Empire.
The Europe-only Revived Roman Empire fits neither the Biblical prophecies or the historical record. An incorrect understanding of the Revived Roman Empire distorts our understanding of the signs of the End Time.
Following, in two parts, we present first the reasons for the Existence of the Eastern Leg, and second the evidence for the Prominence of the Eastern Leg in the coming Revived Roman Empire—the Empire of the Antichrist.
The Existence of the Eastern Leg in the Revived Roman Empire
It may seem unnecessary to give reasons for the existence of an Eastern leg in the Revived Roman Empire. After all, since the original Roman Empire is the key to understanding that empire’s “revival” it would seem obvious that both prophecy (2 legs) and history (2 divisions) testify to the Empire’s Eastern leg. Yet the rise of a Euro-centric view of the End Time Roman Empire, ignoring the prophetic-historical testimony, creates a blind spot to any relationship current events have to prophetic stage-setting in Europe and the Mid East. Here are 9 reasons for taking seriously the Existence of the Eastern Leg in the Revived Roman Empire.
1. Since Daniel 2:28-29 says that in the symbolic statue God is showing “what would take place in the future”, then we expect that statue to give an accurate and detailed foreview of the future. Since the “head” through the “legs” stages have already been precisely fulfilled in prophecy, we can see that the details of prophecy matter! And there are TWO "legs," not One leg.
2. A lesson we learn from the prophecies of nations is that nations retain their identities across time through “recognizable” territories. That is, they have definable geography and boundaries. When Isaiah 19:24 says,
“In that day Israel will be the third party with Egypt and Assyria, a blessing in the midst of the earth”
these 3 countries (Egypt, Israel and Assyria) are predicted to co-exist during the Millennium.
If these 3 nations were not understood to be located where they have always been located, then the prophecy could never claim fulfillment since the nations would be unrecognizable.
Since we know that Israel is located “at the center of the nations” (Eze. 5:5; 38:12), then the phrase “midst of the earth” as it is applied to all 3 countries simply reaffirms that during the Millennium Assyria and Egypt will be where they have always been, in a recognizable location adjacent to Israel. Assyria and Egypt will be immediately north and south (respectively) of Israel, and thus all 3 nations located “in the midst of the earth.” Likewise we expect the Roman Empire to be “revived” in the Last Days as a recognizable political entity within its original territory.
3. When the Bible predicts the End Time existence of Persia (Eze. 38:5), Damascus (Isa. 17:1), Ammon (Dan. 11:41), and Beth-togarmah (Eze. 38:6), prophecy teachers understand this to mean that at the End Time, in respective order, Iran, Syria, Jordan and Turkey will exist. That is because we identify nations by recognizable (approximate) boundaries. There is every reason to expect the same for the End Time revival of the ancient West/East Roman Empire.
4. The DETAILS of the Daniel 2 Statue matter. Everybody expects the 10 toes to describe 10 divisions of Revived Rome. Why would the 2 legs not describe 2 divisions of the original Roman Empire, as well as its End Time revival?
5. The Daniel 2 Statue shows Greece as the “belly and thighs.” (v.32). The “thighs” and “legs” must match to make sense of the statue-vision. Just as the common referent between the legs and the feet is that there are two of each, so it is likewise with the thighs and legs. There are two of each. The historical “common-denominator” is that Greece had a European base (Greece-proper) and an Eastern “half,” which was Alexander the Great’s Empire that reached throughout the Middle East all the way to India. Extending from the Greek 2-thighs, the 2-legs continue the West-East match-up to the Roman Empire. The Roman Empire also had a European base (Italy) and an Eastern “half”, covering the entire Middle East all the way to Persia. For the ancient Roman Empire to have a recognizable revival, the Western and Eastern (Mid-East) halves would both be expected to “revive,” keeping intact the 2-thighs/2-legs symbolism of the prophetic statue.
LEFT: Magazine espousing the typical
Euro-centric view of 'HALF' of the Roman Empire.
Both Prophecy & History are distorted in this view.
6. Just as the 2-sticks represent the restoration of the southern and northern halves of Israel at the End Time, so too do the 2-legs represent the revival of the Western and Eastern halves of the Roman Empire at the End Time. (Eze. 37:15-22; Dan. 2:43, 40) Nobody expects the restoration of half of Israel; nobody should expect the revival of half of the Roman Empire.
7. In the prophetic symbolism of Ezekiel 37’s two sticks and Daniel 2’s two-legged statue (see above, #6), there are 2-sticks, 2-legs, 2-feet and 10-toes. No one predicts the End Time appearance of only 1-stick, only 1-foot, or only 5-toes. Why then, the revival of only 1-leg? This Euro-centric view stands isolated from the 2-sticks, 2-feet and 10-toes expectation of precise fulfillment. Precise fulfillment is why I expect a revival of both the Western (European) and Eastern (Middle Eastern) legs of the Roman Empire in these Last Days.
8. Greece originally arose within the Greece/Athens European mainland. Rome did the same, within the Italy/Rome-city European mainland. But Daniel saw the Greek Empire at its greatest extent, from Europe to across the Middle East. So too did Daniel see the Roman Empire at its greatest extent, from Europe to across the Middle East. For THAT Roman Empire to revive at the End Time, both the Western and the Eastern legs must revive. Otherwise, we would be looking for the Half-Revived Roman Empire.
9. Daniel’s prophecies show that the Greek Empire would break into 4 parts. Daniel also predicts that the Roman Empire would break into 10 parts. History fulfilled the Greek prophecies precisely. Greece broke into 4 sub-kingdoms. But these 4 parts were all WITHIN the extended Greek Empire West-East territorial boundaries. If the Roman Empire prophecies follow the same pattern, the 10-parts would be within the recognizable territorial boundaries of the West-East Roman Empire, that is, European/West and Mid-Eastern/East. Today that translates into the European Union and the Middle Eastern States.
Here’s Why I Expect To See A Prominent Eastern “Leg” in these Last Days
1. The original Roman Empire’s Eastern-leg outlasted its Western-leg by 1000 years.
Essentials Of World History, Revised Ed., Jean Reeder Smith & Lacey Baldwin Smith, Barron’s Educational Series, Inc., Woodbury, NY, 1980, p.60
The birth of Christianity, Paul’s first 2 mission trips, and John’s letters to the 7 Churches of Revelation occurred in the Eastern-leg of the Roman Empire.
2. Daniel’s Statue is dominated by Eastern kingdoms.
Daniel 2 says that 6 EASTERN nations identified on the Statue (in this order, by their modern names; Iraq, Iran, & 4-part Greece/Egypt/Syria/Turkey; Dan. 2:38-40; 7:17; 8:20-22; 11:2-4) will exist in the last days, and will not be destroyed until the destruction of the Revived Roman Empire at the Second Coming of Christ. (Daniel 2:35, 44; These are not just “kingdom-traits”, but a statement of the TIME of their destruction).
3. Revelation’s Beast is dominated by Eastern kingdoms.
Lion/Babylon; Bear/Persia; Leopard/Greece + 3 Mid-East “heads”, i.e., Turkey, Syria-Iraq, and Egypt. (a direct application of the KNOWN heads of Daniel 7's beasts to the Revelation 13 & 17 beast; Scripture interpreting Scripture!)
4. Israel, the earthly-focus of Bible Prophecy, is in the Eastern Leg.
Jerusalem and the Temple, at the center of Israel—God’s land—are front and center in ALL End Time prophecies.
5. The “Bible Lands” arise at the End Time—in the Eastern Leg.
The Bible Lands, as mentioned, are in the Mideast. And it is this “Eastern-leg” of the Revived Roman Empire that dominates the narrative of End Time Bible Prophecy. Babylon-city in Iraq rises up for its final fall. The King of the North in Syria-Iraq arises. Egypt, the King of the South, is prominent. Expect Israel, Persia, Egypt, Assyria, Ammon, Edom, Moab, Asia Minor and all the Bible Lands to RISE UP!
6. Babylon, the capital of the Antichrist, is in the Eastern Leg.
(John Phillips, Exploring The Future, Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1983, p.54; Others who agree—Henry Morris, Mark Hitchcock, Joseph Seiss, etc)
7. The Euphrates River is in the Eastern Leg. The Euphrates River is a Defining boundary and a Prominent landmark at the End Time (Revelation 9:14; 16:12)
8. The 2 Witnesses return from heaven into the Eastern Leg. (Revelation 11:3 & 8
9. The Kings of the East march into the Eastern Leg. (Revelation 16:12 & 16
10. The Kings of the Earth march into the Eastern Leg. (Zechariah 12:3; Joel 3:2; Revelation 16 & 19
11. The Antichrist invades the Eastern Leg. (Revelation 16:15-16; 19:19-20—It is TO THE EASTERN LEG that the Antichrist scrambles to Armageddon.
12. Christ returns to the earth & sets His foot down... Where?...the Mount of Olives in the Eastern Leg. (Zechariah 14:4; It makes sense that Christ will return victorious to the same Eastern-leg of the Roman Empire where He was born, ministered, and that crucified Him.
13. As a "Great Stone" Christ smashes--NOT a one-legged--but a TWO-legged West & EAST Revived Roman Empire.
CONCLUSION: As we’ve seen, most prophecy writers talk of Rome as though it were strictly Europe. They discuss the Revived Roman Empire as though it will develop exclusively within a European configuration. The unification of Europe is of great significance, yes—but as the WESTERN LEG only. Europe is not—& was not—the whole of the Roman Empire. The statue of Daniel 2 shows two apparently equal halves, & the End Time prophecies consistently gravitate to the Eastern Leg.
Just as the Eastern-leg of the original Roman Empire was already in place when the ancient Empire began (see Part 2 Here), so too is it likely that the Eastern-leg (the Mid East) will dominate the headlines of the last days BEFORE the Euro-Mideast Roman Empire is Revived. And, indeed, today’s headlines are dominated by those “Bible Lands.”
The Western-leg is by no means silent ...but the Eastern-leg is indeed very, very prominent—a clear return to the Bible Lands in the last days. And the current clarity of the rise of the Eastern-leg gives focus to the impending End Time!