A Response to the Fourth Beast of Daniel 2 and Islam
These assertions are frankly silly. Whether they relate to Walid’s newfound role as an apologist for Roman Catholicism (therefore wanting to discount Rome as villainous) we do not know, but we are reminded that Walid’s claim that the mark of the beast is not 666 but an Arabic inscription is an implausible notion is missed by every Greek and Arabic scholar who has his thesis linguistically.
1) To begin with the Aramaic term ‘shatter’ is the prepositional form of “re eah” which is simply the Chaldee term for the Hebrew ” ra ah” meaning to ‘ render no good ‘ or ‘spoil’, And that is all. In no way does the term entail or imply “occupy”. When the Roman Emperor Trajan defeated the Parhians ( Persians) in 118 AD , Persia never recovered but went into a spiral of decline and disintegrated into the insignificant Sassanid Empire although fruitless border wars continued against the Roman and Byzantines for centuries until the Caliphate invasion. The notion that the fourth beast had to occupy all of the land of the previous empires is not stated in the prophecy. Walid has plainly read something into the text of his own misguided design that is simply not in there. Walid introduces a completely bogus presupposition not contained in the text.
None of the empires in Daniel occupied all of the territory of the empires they conquered. Alexander The Great reached Beluchistan but never occupied it. The Persians conquered the Babylonian Empire but never occupied or even invaded the Arabian Peninsula and they ignored most of the Sinai when they took Egypt. Walid’s idea is his own invention. It is not scripturally predicted nor did it ever historically transpire in the manner he mistakenly contends in any of the prophetically predicted conquests.
2) The fact of the matter is that for Walid Shoebat to be right, there would have to be a hiatus between the fall of the four sectors of the post Alexander Greek Empire and the rise of the Caliphates nearly 900 years later. This is inconsistent with the rest if the text if Daniel for two reasons. First of all after the fall of Assyria and the meteoric rise of Babylon, the four beasts are sequential not non sequential. Secondly, the idea that Rome is omitted and a post-scriptural Islamic Caliphate inserted centuries later violates the sequence of the previous three empires. Secondly, Daniel must be read as a whole book and the prophetic place of Rome is indisputable in Chapter 9:24 that the Messiah would have to come and die before after a coming invader, which was obviously Rome, destroyed the Second Temple in 70 AD.
When we see moreover that the Gospel narratives and The Book of Acts and the Epistle to the Romans devote so much importance to Rome , to such Daniel omitted it when it was do crucial to the coming of Christ ( eg. Luke 2:1) is again not a plausible proposition.
In addition to this Walid’s theory ignores the fact that the Islamic Empire was not a historical & religious monolith but involved the triumph over the Arab Islamic world by the Turkish (later Ottoman) Moslem world, which would be two beasts, not one. They were never concurrent allies but successive rivals. Neither dies the mixture if iron and clay in any discernable manner fit a description of Moslem civilization. While Europe was in the Dark Ages, one could write a check in Bagdad and cash it in Morocco. It was a unified centralized empire that was strategically, culturally, technologically, and economically advanced by the standards if its age. It was all iron – no clay. It just does not fit.
3) To take Walid’s post scriptural citation of the Ottoman Empire, we could just as readily point out that England and France were both in the Roman Empire. The British Empire controlled Iraq, much of Arabia and the Persian Gulf, later the Trans Jordan, Egypt and Sudan. France controlled Lebanon and Syria and all of North Africa including Tunisia, Algeria, Libya, and Morocco. But again, this too like the Ottoman Empire was post scriptural.
While we have no doubt whatsoever that Mohammed was an anti christ and Islam is an anti christ religion and that these Islamic countries arising in importance today are the same countries at the center of world events in scripture is all of prophetic significance eschatologically, Walid’s assertion about the fourth beast however is simply not a credible argument theologically or historically.
I would also add that there are a number of things I appreciate about Walid in terms of his support for Israel and his sober warnings to the Western church about the true nature if Islam. He is not by any means wrong in all of what he says. On a personal basis moreover, we have always been friends and where possible I have in the past defended him from his critics. But in his eschatology he is doctrinally wrong and in his recently expressed apologetics case on behalf of Roman Catholicism Walid is doubly wrong.