The third beast that Daniel saw in his vision of the final world powers in Daniel 7 is a leopard that he described like this:
After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. v. 6
The Leopard as Germany
Germany, as far as I can tell, was only in modern times associated with a leopard, although its national symbol is a black eagle. The leopard association may have come about because of two of its army tanks that were engineered so well, they became the envy of armies around the world–the Panzerkampfwagen V Panther (that helped the Nazis blaze across Europe during WWII) and the Leopard series of tanks.
Bible prophecy uses heads to symbolize kingdoms, rulers, and empires. I believe the four heads of the leopards represent Germany’s four reichs, or empires. The First Reich began in 800 AD under Charlemagne I in a special agreement with Roman Catholic Pope Leo III that began a close relationship between every Pope and every German leader after that, continuing even today. It was helped along in 962 by Otto I. It ended in 1806 by a declaration of Emperor Francis II, due in part to his fear of Napoleon’s advances.
The Second Reich began in 1871 when Prussian leader Otto van Bismarck used diplomacy and violence to set up the rulership of Kaisers for Germany, trying and failing to shake off Rome’s hold on German politics. Germany’s defeat in World War I in 1918 brought about revolt against Kaiser rule to end the Second Reich and set up a republic which would be a springboard for the coming Third Reich under Hitler.
The Third Reich began in 1933 after Hitler’s use of street brawls, propaganda, diplomacy, and the Roman Catholic Church to gain power while evangelicals stood by with little or no resistance. But his aspirations of a pure race and world domination helped bring about his demise at the hands of Britain, France, the U.S., and Russia.
We are now in the time of the Fourth Reich whose foundations were laid in 1951 when the European Coal and Steel Community was established by the Treaty of Paris, with Germany and France as the main sponsors for what was to become today’s European Union. They are helping set the stage for the fourth beast to openly, instead of covertly, exert its power. This explains why Germany is now the most powerful nation in the EU.
Revelation 13:2 tells us the beast will have the body of a leopard. If we look at the leopard as Germany, they will be the ones giving functionality to how the Antichrist will operate as directed by the great whore of Babylon (Rome) in Revelation 17. Britain as the lion’s mouth on the beast will help and so will Russia, who acts as the beast’s feet symbolized by bear’s feet in Revelation 13. Then this alliance will peak as prophesied by Ezekiel 38 when “Gomer and his bands” join Russia to war with Israel. “Gomer and his bands” refers to the Cimmerians, whose descendants are most of the Europeans, especially the Celtic tribes (France, Germany, UK).
Four wings of a fowl
France is the most popular nation with a fowl as its national symbol–the Gallic rooster. At different points in history France and Germany were allies while at other times enemies. Since WWII, France and Germany (i.e. West Germany) have been inseparable on the world stage. France was an original member of the UN and was one of the main influences to get Germany moving toward establishing the EU. The four wings may refer to France’s four historical periods–the Kingdom of France, the Constitutional Monarchy, the French Republic, and the modern Constitutional Republic.
Robert Wild, The Other Reichs, About Education, About.com, [date unknown].
Ken Raggio, The Meaning of the Four Beasts in Daniel’s Dream, [date unknown].
Harry A. Gaylord