In my previous post, I explained why I believe the lion in Daniel 7 was symbolic of Britain. Now I’ll explain why I believe the bear in that chapter is Russia.
The Bear as Russia
To recap what I said previously, it’s my opinion Daniel 7 spoke of prominent kingdoms that would be around right before the Lord’s return because Daniel 7:9-14 says the Lord will be the one to take away the dominion of the four beasts once he returns to set up his own dominion on Earth. Given that scenario, the most prominent nation associated with a bear would have to be determined. Since at least the 16th century up to our time, the bear has been used to symbolize Russia regardless of the type of government it had.
In Daniel’s prophecy the bear rises up on one side. A look at history shows that Russia’s dominant side is it’s western side, where Eastern Europe is. That’s also where most of its aggression has taken place. It’s also interesting to note that the Ezekiel 38 prophecy is in agreement with this since it points out that Meshech and Tubal are both dominant in pushing for the aggression against Israel in the future. Both of them are in Western Russia.
Russia’s ancient history
Russia was first called Kievan Rus’ and was established by several tribes of Eastern Slavic people. An examination of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal mentioned in Ezekiel 38 gives some good background on them. Quoting from another post of mine about that prophecy, “Meshech and Tubal were two tribes closely associated with each other who were the original inhabitants of what is now the nation of Georgia [they were also known as Caucasian Iberians]. The Tubal tribe of these early Georgians migrated to the northeast across the Caucasus Mountains to become the settlers of the modern city of Tobolsk and named the river Tobol after their tribe.
“Meshech, also known as the Moschoi, the Mushki, and the Muscovites, inhabited the mountainous region of Georgia (Caucasian Iberia) and migrated across the Caucasus to settle what is known today as Moscow. The Meshech people are also associated with early tribes that inhabited Anatolia, a region that became Asia Minor which we know today as Turkey.”
The three ribs
The three ribs are obviously the leftovers of what the Russian bear consumes that gives it the energy and nourishment to thrive. There are several patterns of threes that are part of Russia’s history. Any of the following “threes” may apply to the three ribs in the bear’s teeth:
1) Three Eastern Slavic groups have a hand in Russia’s foundation–Russians, Ukrainians, and Belorussians.
2) Ezekiel 38 tells us Russia is made up of Magog, Meshech, and Tubal. It’s possible that these may be the equivalent of the Eastern Slavs mentioned in number 1.
3) Russia has embraced and mixed three philosophies that has helped it expand and exert power over the past several centuries–Russian Orthodoxy (an offshoot of Eastern Orthodoxy of the Byzantine (Eastern Roman) Empire), autocracy, and Marxism.
4) Russia’s influence spans the globe, but most of their influence is on three continents–Asia, Europe, and Africa. According to Ezekiel 38, the main nations who back Russia’s upcoming aggression against Israel will come from these continents.
5) Three conferences during WWII with the help of Britain and the U.S. encouraged Russia’s aggressions which continue today:
the Tehran Conference (1943), the Yalta Conference (1945), and the Potsdam Conference (1945).
Whatever these three ribs may be, even though they were consumed or conquered by Russia, according to Daniel 7:5 they cheer Russia on by encouraging the bear to devour much flesh. In other words, they cheer Russia on to go out and conquer more people and territory.
Harry A. Gaylord