The Seven Heads Part 2 And the Other is Not Yet Come
Copyright 1994 - 2018 Bill's Bible Basics

Authored By  :
Bill Kochman

Published On :
April 22, 1997

Last Updated :
January 3, 2009


Rome And Palestine, The Byzantine Empire, Muslim Rule Over
Palestine, The Balfour Declaration, The State Of Israel Is
Born, Identifying The Seventh King Of The Book Of Revelation




In part one of this series, I began a study to help us to
try to identify the eight mysterious kings which form part
of the seven-headed ten-horned scarlet Beast of the Endtime.
This concept is based upon the following Scriptures found in
the Book of Revelation:

"And here is the mind which hath wisdom. The seven heads are
seven mountains, on which the woman sitteth. And there are
seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and the other is
not yet come; and when he cometh, he must continue a short
space. And the beast that was, and is not, even he is the
eighth, and is of the seven, and goeth into perdition."
(Revelation 17:8-11)

After presenting a considerable amount of Scriptural
evidence, I concluded part one by stating that I believe
that the first six kings, or heads, of the Beast are
represented by the ancient empires of Egypt, Assyria,
Babylonia, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. To begin this
article, I am going to share some additional information
regarding the sixth empire, Rome, which I think you will
find quite interesting being as it relates ancient history
with names and places found in the New Testament.

The Imperial Roman Government was founded by Gaius Octavius,
(63 B.C. - 14 A.D.), who was also known as Octavian, or as
Caesar Augustus. The term 'Caesar' was actually the surname
of Roman general, statesman and historian Gaius Julius
Caesar, (100 - 44 B.C.) whose fame is well known to
historians, playwrights, readers of literary works, and
students alike. When Gaius Octavius founded the empire, he
converted Julius' last name into an actual title. In the New
Testament, the word 'Caesar' is of Latin origin. It means
'severed', and whenever it is used by itself, it refers to
the Roman emperor who happened to be in power at the time.
In our English language, 'Kaiser' is derived from the
transliteration of the Greek variation 'Kaisar'. You may
recall that in times past, the leaders of Germany and
Austria were both referred to as 'Kaiser' being as they
considered themselves vestiges of the Holy Roman Empire. In
fact, it is said by some that all of the evil atrocities
committed by Adolf Hitler were a result of his endeavors to
restore Germany as the leader of the Holy Roman Empire.

It was on Yom Kippur of the year 63 B.C. that Roman general
Pompey, (who had marched in from his conquests in Syria),
conquered Jerusalem for Caesar Augustus. For the next four
hundred years, Israel would remain under the domination of
Rome, until about the year 330 A.D., at which time the
Byzantine Empire, (which ruled from Constantinople), would
assume control over the Holy Land. It was during the reign
of Caesar Augustus, the first emperor, that our Saviour was
born in a small Judean town called Bethlehem, located about
six miles south of the religious center of Jerusalem:

"But thou, Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among
the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall he come forth
unto me that is to be ruler in Israel; whose goings forth
have been from of old, from everlasting." (Micah 5:2)

"And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a
decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be
taxed. (And this taxing was first made when Cyrenius was
governor of Syria.)" (Luke 2:1-2)

As I have described in other articles, while the rule of the
Caesars was indeed harsh, it was all a part of God's plan as
it helped to create a period of relative peace over much of
the known world, including in the land of Palestine. There
were resistors to Roman authority such as the Zealots;
however, they were a minor issue which were easily dealt
with. While Roman taxes were heavy, the conquerors did make
some attempt to enhance the living conditions of the
subjugated peoples by improving their road systems, building
aquaducts, etc. Of course, one could always argue that this
was really just to further consolidate their own power, plus
to make life more bearable for those who had to uphold
Roman justice in the foreign lands. Regardless of their true
motivations, with an improved system of transportation,
general peace, the freedom to travel throughout the empire,
plus several universal languages, that is, Latin, Greek and
Aramaic, the job of spreading the Gospel of Jesus Christ was
made all that much easier for the First Century Disciples.

By the time that Jesus was crucified, the stepson of Caesar
Augustus, Tiberius Claudius Nero, (14 - 37 A.D.), had
ascended to the Roman throne. This is not the same Nero who
would later burn Rome, behead the Apostle Paul, and
persecute and kill many other First Century Christians. This
emperor's first name is transliterated from the Greek
'tiberios' and means 'from the Tiber (as god-river)'. The
Tiber is a river of central Italy which finds its origin in
the Apennines. It flows southward for about two hundred and
fifty miles past Rome, and empties into the Tyrrhenian Sea.
Tiberius was noted for his vicious and infamous lifestyle.
It was in the fifteenth year of his reign that John the
Baptist began his ministry of Baptism at the Jordan River:

"Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar,
Pontius Pilate being governor of Judaea, and Herod being
tetrarch of Galilee, and his brother Philip tetrarch of
Ituraea and of the region of Trachonitis, and Lysanias the
tetrarch of Abilene, Annas and Caiaphas being the high
priests, the word of God came unto John the son of Zacharias
in the wilderness." (Luke 3:1-2)

We also find Claudius I, (41 - 54 A.D.), mentioned by name
twice in the Book of Acts. His name is transliterated from
the Greek 'Klaudios' and means 'lame'. He was in power at
the time that a dearth, or famine, hit Palestine. When the
Jews became too numerous in Rome, he was the one who kicked
them out; although they returned not too long after that. He
was poisoned by his 'loving' wife, Agrippina, thus ending
his reign:

"And there stood up one of them named Agabus, and signified
by the Spirit that there should be great dearth throughout
all the world: which came to pass in the days of Claudius
Caesar." (Acts 11:28)

"After these things Paul departed from Athens, and came to
Corinth; And found a certain Jew named Aquila, born in
Pontus, lately come from Italy, with his wife Priscilla;
(because that Claudius had commanded all Jews to depart from
Rome:) and came unto them." (Acts 18:1-2)

When Paul was beheaded, it was Nero, (54 - 68 A.D.), who was
responsible for his martyrdom. This emperor's name is a
transliteration of the Greek 'neron' which means 'brave':

"The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with
you. Amen. [[The second [epistle unto Timotheus, ordained
the first bishop of the church of the Ephesians, was written
from Rome, when Paul was brought before Nero the second
time.]]" (2 Timothy 4:22)

It was only a few years later, after Nero had committed
suicide, that Emperor Vespasian, (69 - 79 A.D.), sent his
son General Titus to complete the invasion of Israel which
he himself had begun before having to return to Rome to fill
the vacancy left by Nero. It was during Titus' invasion in
70 A.D. that the Second Temple in Jerusalem was destroyed.
It is commonly believed that around one million Jews lost
their lives during the next three brutal years. The final
battle for Jewish independence was lost when the famed
Jewish fortress of Massada succumbed to a Roman siege. As I
have shared in other articles, the destruction of the Second
Temple was prophesied by Jesus during one of his Endtime
sermons:

"And Jesus went out, and departed from the temple: and his
disciples came to him for to shew him the buildings of the
temple. And Jesus said unto them, See ye not all these
things? verily I say unto you, There shall not be left here
one stone upon another, that shall not be thrown down."
(Matthew 24:1-2)

About nine years after the Jerusalem massacre, Titus
succeeded his father as the next emperor of Rome and ruled
for only two years, from 79 - 81 A.D. The only emperor who
ruled during this time period which I cannot directly
connect to any events in the Bible is Gaius Caesar, (37 - 41
A.D.), who was also known as Caligula. One common habit of
the Roman invaders was to change the names of some of the
places they conquered in order to give honour either to
themselves, or else to the reigning emperor. Thus, during
the time of Jesus' ministry, we find such named places in
Palestine as Caesarea on the Mediterranean coast, the Sea of
Tiberias, (also known as Galilee or Kinnereth), Caesarea
Philippi, etc.:

"After these things Jesus went over the sea of Galilee,
which is the sea of Tiberias." (John 6:1)

"And Jesus went out, and his disciples, into the towns of
Caesarea Philippi: and by the way he asked his disciples,
saying unto them, Whom do men say that I am?" (Mark 8:27)

"And after certain days king Agrippa and Bernice came unto
Caesarea to salute Festus." (Acts 25:13)

As I stated in part one of this series, initially, the seat
of authority of the Imperial Roman Empire was located in the
city of Rome itself. However, due in part to heavy influence
from the First Century Christian Church, as well as to
internal power struggles, treachery, and other nefarious
reasons, the empire was ultimately divided into two
powerbases; one in the East, and one in the West. Exactly
how this came about is a bit nebulous in the eyes of
historians. While there are a number of scenarios used to
explain these events, the one fact with which there seems to
be agreement, is that this split in Roman power occurred
during the reign of Constantine the Great, (306 - 337 A.D.).

In about the year 313 A.D., Constantine passed the 'Edict of
Milan' which made Christianity a 'religio licita', or legal
religion, of the Roman Empire. Some say that this act
resulted from a miraculous military victory he experienced a
year before on the banks of the Tiber River; while others
suggest he experienced a direct revelation from God. One
thing is for certain; by this time, despite years of
persecution, Christianity had taken a strong hold in Rome,
even amongst the nobility class. Approximately eleven years
later, Constantine vanquished his political rival Licinius.
It was at this time that he set up his new powerbase in the
ancient Greek city of Byzantium. Exactly when this occurred
is a source of debate. It is agreed that it was somewhere
between the years 324 - 330 A.D. With Constantine now
established in Byzantium, and the eastern half of the Roman
Empire under his control, the Byzantine Empire officially
began. Eventually the city of Byzantium acquired the name of
Constantinople. Today this ancient Byzantine capital bears
the name of Istanbul, Turkey. This division of the Roman
Empire was exactly as Nebuchadnezzar and the Prophet Daniel
had seen almost eight hundred years before in the vision of
the two legs of iron:

"His legs of iron, his feet part of iron and part of clay."
(Daniel 2:33)

One historic event which occurred at this time was the
Council of Nicaea of 325 A.D. It was at this meeting that a
formal doctrine was adopted by over three hundred bishops
from throughout the Roman Empire. Thus we see the birth of
'organized' Christianity, what would eventually become Roman
Catholicism, within the Holy Roman Empire. The supreme
Christian bishop received the honorific, and in those days,
powerful title of 'Pope' from the Greek word 'pappas'. While
all of these events were going on in the East, the western
half of the Roman Empire continued to be ruled from Rome.
However, as the Apostle Paul pointed out in his Epistle to
the Romans, Rome was full of pagan idol worship, hedonism
and general decadence, including widespread homosexuality
and lesbianism. Of course, up until the time that
Constantine legalized Christianity, we also know that Rome
was full of the blood, and the bodies, of the Christian
martyrs! It is also interesting to note that once
Constantine did 'Christianize' the empire, over the period
of the next several hundred years, the seat of Roman
authority eventually migrated from Constantinople in the
East, and returned to Rome in the West.

Historically speaking, what is most important to us in our
quest to try to identify the seventh head on the Endtime
Beast, is the fact that once the Byzantine Empire was
established, the nation of Palestine came under its
domination. However, Byzantine influence and control over
Israel was rather shortlived. If we accept the date of 324
A.D. as the founding year of the Byzantine Empire, and the
year in which Jerusalem came under its domination, then that
dominion only lasted for two hundred and ninety years. In
May of 614 A.D., Byzantine jurisdiction over Jerusalem was
abruptly broken by a powerful invasion led by Persian King
Chosroes II. Chosroes, or Khosro, was the grandson of Khosro
I who some claim was one of the greated kings Persia,
(Iran), has ever known after Cyrus the Great. His reign was
described as the 'Golden Rule' before the Islamic invasion.
As a result of Chosroes II's invasion of Jerusalem, all of
the churches and monasteries which had been built during the
past several hundred years were destroyed.

About fifteen years later, in 629 A.D., there was another
power shift when Chosroes II was assassinated by his son.
Thus, Jerusalem reverted back to Byzantine rule under
Emperor Heraclius, who had in fact helped Chosroes II to
regain his throne when one of his commanders rebelled
against him. However, the Byzantine victory was shortlived.
Within a few short years, a major event would occur in
Israel which would drastically change the lives of many for
over one thousand years to come. The catalyst for that event
occurred in the approximate year of 570 A.D. with the birth
of Muhammad, or Mohammed, the 'prophet' and founder of
Islam. By the time Muhhamad died in 632 A.D., a powerful
military and religious force had already begun to rip
through the world of the Middle East.

Jerusalem felt the brunt of that force in 638 A.D. After a
long period of siege, the Holy City was conquered by Muslim
Caliph Omar ibn Khattib, thus beginning the first four
hundred and seventy years of Muslim rule over Jerusalem. One
of Caliph Omar's first acts was to build the original
Al-Aqsa Mosque on the southern end of the Temple Mount. One
belief suggests that he chose this location so that when
worshippers faced Mecca, they would be turned away from the
'Foundation Stone' of the former Jewish Temple, thus showing
disrespect for Judaism. By the end of the 600's, Damascus,
Syria had become the powerbase for the Islamic Empire. The
leader at that time was the Omayad Caliph Abdel Malik.

When Abdel Malik's political rival, Ibn Zubayr, gained
control of Mecca and Medina in the Arabian Peninsula, Malik
decided to erect an alternate pilgrimage site closer to his
Syrian capital in Damascus. This resulted in the
construction of the Dome of the Rock over the 'Foundation
Stone' on the Temple Mount. It was after this construction
had been completed that the Muslim leader gave the Temple
Mount the new name of 'Haram Esh Sharif', which means 'The
Noble Sanctuary'. When El Walid succeeded his father as the
next caliph, he continued in his footsteps by replacing the
original wooden Al-Aqsa Mosque with a larger and more
glorious Mosque made out of stone during the years 705 - 715
A.D. To this day, the Dome of the Rock and Al-Aqsa Mosque
remain the most noticeable features on the skyline of East
Jerusalem.

In 750 A.D., three years after a major earthquake destroyed
Al-Aqsa Mosque, the Omayad Dynasty ended with the arrival of
the invading Abbasid armies. Besides repairing the damaged
Al-Aqsa Mosque, this new Islamic dynasty basically ignored
Jerusalem choosing rather to rule their empire from Baghdad.
For one hundred and seventeen years Jerusalem was ruled by
the Abbasid caliphs. It was during this time that Emperor
Charles I, also known as Charles the Great or Charlemagne,
took an interest in Jerusalem and undertook some building
projects. Despite his steps to renovate Jerusalem, the next
two hundred years found her again basically ignored by the
Muslim warlords who fought for control of Palestine on the
plains to the west of the ancient city. During this period,
Jerusalem was primarily controlled by various Egyptian
dynasties including the Tulnids and the Fatimids. Towards
the end of this period, the Fatimids were driven out of
Jerusalem by the Seljuk Turks.

During this time, Christianity continued to expand in
Europe. It was in the closing years of the eleventh century
that, led by the inspiration of Catholic Pope Urban II, the
'Christian' Crusaders made their move towards Jerusalem. One
year prior to their arrival at the Holy City, the Egyptian
Fatimids had been successful in driving out the Turcoman
rulers. Their taste of victory only lasted about a year, for
in 1099, the so-called 'Christian' Crusaders arrived. During
the bloody battle which ensued, thousands of Muslims and
Jews alike were massacred. Many of the Jews were corralled
into their own synagogue and burned alive. Those that did
survive the ordeal were sold into slavery. Some of the
Egyptian forces were permitted to escape to Ashkelon, but
most were butchered. Thus began one hundred and forty years
of the so-called 'Crusader Kingdom of Jerusalem'.

Because of the massacre committed by the Crusaders, the
population of Jerusalem was decimated. Following the
conquest, those Jews and Muslims which had survived, were
not even permitted to live within the city, being as the
Crusaders viewed them as being unclean. Thus, the majority
of Jerusalem's inhabitants were of European descent. In
order to attract more European settlers to Jerusalem,
several financial incentives were issued. Over time,
Jerusalem slowly began to be repopulated by a variety of
Christian ethnic groups from both eastern and western
Europe. During this time, French became the official
language of the 'Kingdom', and Jerusalem acquired its
various ethnic enclaves which exist to this day.

After 'Europeanizing' Jerusalem for almost a century and a
half, the Crusaders were finally ousted in 1244 by the
armies of the Muslim Ayyubids. Their rule was short-lived,
for in 1250, the Mamlukes came to power in Egypt. This
social class was an odd assortment of freed slaves comprised
of Turks, Armenians, Kurds, Tartars, plus a few West
Europeans as well. The majority of the Mamlukes embraced
Islam, and thus, Muslim control was re-instituted over
Jerusalem, and the Middle East in general, for almost two
hundred and seventy years, from about 1250 to 1517. Being as
Cairo was the seat of the Sultan, it was also the capital of
the empire.

During this time, as had happened under previous Islamic
dynasties, Jerusalem was basically ignored politically and
economically by her new rulers, and lost much of the
'grandeur' she had acquired during the Crusader occupation.
In fact, while she had been the capital of the 'Crusader
Kingdom Of Jerusalem', with the new power shift occurring,
she was relegated the humble position of being a minor
subdistrict of the region of Damascus which formed a part of
'Greater Syria'. To emphasize this point, consider that when
Sultan Baybars constructed a system of roads to connect
Cairo with Syria, even though this system extended as far
north as the Euphrates River, it completely by-passed
Jerusalem. Another interesting point is that during the
Marluke's occupation, there were no walls around Jerusalem,
being as they had been destroyed years before by El Malik El
Muathim Isa, the Ayyubid ruler of Damascus.

While Jerusalem did suffer political decline, it did
flourish as an Islamic religious center during the reign of
the Mamlukes. A collection of Muslim writings known as the
'Fadail El Quds', (Praises of Jerusalem), was used to
encourage influential Muslims to 're-Islamize' the city
following the occupation by the 'infidel' Christians.
Jerusalem was described as the 'first of two qiblas'. Qibla
is the direction of prayer in the Islamic religion. What
few people may realize is that in the early days of Islam,
Muslims faced Jerusalem and NOT Mecca during the hour of
prayer. This fact was used by Jerusalem's new rulers to
advertise the city's religious virtues as the 'third Haram',
or religious territory, after Mecca and Medina. The area of
the city which received the most attention was the Temple
Mount. During the thirteenth century, quite a bit of
renovation and new construcion was accomplished on and
around 'The Noble Sanctuary'. This included resurfacing the
domes of Al-Aqsa Mosque and the Dome of the Rock with gold.

By the beginning of the year 1517, Jerusalem again switched
hands. This came about as a result of the defeat of the
Marmluke army by the Ottoman Turks in Aleppo, an ancient
city in northern Syria between the Mediterranean coast and
the Euphrates River. Thus, beginning with Sultan Selim the
Grim, Jerusalem became a part of the Ottoman Turk Empire for
the next four hundred years. The Islamic Turks maintained
their capital in Istanbul, once known as Constantinople, the
capital of the former Byzantine Empire. Since then, the seat
of government has moved to Ankara. It was during the reign
of Suleiman the Magnificent, the son of Selim the Grim, that
the walls were finally rebuilt around Jerusalem, the current
tile surface was placed on the Dome of the Rock, and a
number of other major improvement projects were carried out.

While things started out fine under the new foreign master,
the situation in Palestine soon deteriorated due to a poor
management style by the local Turkish governors, greed,
extremely poor security throughout the land, and other
factors. Few foreign travellers visited Palestine due to the
threat of robbery, and city life declined to such a degree
that the population of Jerusalem was reduced to below ten
thousand souls. While the Jewish population had been slowly
growing since the departure of the Crusaders centuries
before, they were still small in number, and were very low
on the social scale. So deteriorated was the situation in
Palestine, that when Napoleon Bonaparte crossed the coastal
plain twice in the year 1799, he didn't even bother to visit
Jerusalem some forty miles away. Truly, this signified how
un important Jerusalem had become in the eyes of the world.

Three hundred and fifteen years after the Ottoman Turks had
gained control of Palestine, an event occurred which would
serve as a catalyst for bringing positive changes to the
Turkish administration of the Holy Land. In 1831, the nation
was conquered by an Egyptian army led by Mohammed Ali and
his son Ibrahim Pasha. This band of renegades cast off the
yoke of their former Turkish superiors and seized control of
Egypt, Palestine and most of Syria. During their nine-year
rule, they introduced some positive reforms which included
in part, giving Jews and other non-Muslims more rights,
strengthening the security of the land which encouraged more
foreign visitation, better organization of the regional
government, and more direct control from the central
government in Egypt.

Even though the Ottoman Turks returned to power in 1840, the
changes implemented by Mohammed Ali had a lasting effect,
and the Turks built upon the foundation established by the
Egyptians. Aside from continuing to improve living
conditions for the local populace, and strengthening their
direct control over Palestine, another very important thing
they did was to permit foreign countries to establish
consular offices in the Holy Land. These consulates were
granted what would today be called diplomatic immunity, and
at times, some of them exercised more political power than
the temporary visiting Turkish governor. Another major event
occurred in 1863 when Jerusalem became the second city to
acquire the status of municipality in the Ottoman Turk
Empire. The only other city with that status was Istanbul.
Thus, Jerusalem acquired a Muslim mayor, and a local council
which intervened for the interests of the local ethnic and
religious groups, primary of which were the Jews and the
Christians.

Thus we see that during the nineteenth century, the land of
Israel truly began to open up to the world, and became of
particular interest to Europe in a variety of ways,
including religiously, scientifically, intellectually, and
strategically. Because of this fact, many foreign-run
institutions were established such as hospitals, libraries,
hospices, churches and the like. While the entire Jewish
population of Jerusalem was only about five thousand people
in 1840, this began to change as more Jews began to arrive
from around Palestine, as well as from abroad. This resulted
in the establishment of five new neighborhoods outside of
the walls of Jerusalem. Some of these were financed by rich
Americans, while others were organized by families or
individuals living within the walled city of Jerusalem.

December 9, 1917 was the next major turning point in Israeli
history; for on that day, three years after World War I had
begun, British troops known as the Egyptian Expeditionary
Force, led by General Allenby, entered Jerusalem, thus
ending four hundred years of rule by the Islamic Ottoman
Turk Empire. The idea of liberating Jerusalem from the
Muslims was not something which had occurred overnight. For
some time the British had been discussing the idea of
establishing a Jewish state in Palestine. After holding
discussions in the British Cabinet, and consulting with
leaders of the Zionist Congress, the British government
finally made known its position through the following letter
written by Arthur James Lord Balfour addressed to Lord
Rothschild:

----- Begin Quote -----

Foreign Office
November 2nd, 1917

Dear Lord Rothschild,

I have much pleasure in conveying to you, on behalf of His
Majesty's Government, the following declaration of sympathy
with Jewish Zionist aspirations which has been submitted to,
and approved by, the Cabinet.

"His Majesty's Government view with favour the establishment
in Palestine of a national home for the Jewish people, and
will use their best endeavours to facilitate the achievement
of this object, it being clearly understood that nothing
shall be done which may prejudice the civil and religious
rights of existing non-Jewish communities in Palestine, or
the rights and political status enjoyed by Jews in any other
country."

I should be grateful if you would bring this declaration to
the knowledge of the Zionist Federation.

Yours sincerely, Arthur James Balfour

----- End Of Quote -----

Several weeks after the invasion, on December 28, 1917, Sir
Ronald Storrs was appointed military governor of Jerusalem.
At that time, the city faced serious food and water
shortages, insufficient medical and sanitary supplies, a
greatly reduced male population, and a transportation system
in great need of repair. What made matters even worse was
the fact that the Bolshevik Revolution had occurred only two
months before in Russia. Many Jews and Orthodox Christians
had depended upon various incomes from Czarist Russia. When
those funds stopping flowing into Israel, the rich areas of
Jerusalem suffered immediately. Some land was sold, while
other once-rich areas became slum neighborhoods. While the
next thirty years would bring great development to
Jerusalem, and to Palestine in general, it was also during
this period that a dark conflict would begin to rear its
ugly head; a conflict which has continued to this very day.
At the center of this human drama would be the beloved city
of Jerusalem; and the protagonists of this dark play would
be the Arabs and the Jews.

In July of 1922, the League of Nations entrusted Great
Britain with what became known as the 'Mandate For
Palestine' which established the guidelines for creating a
Jewish national homeland. Two months later, in September of
1922, the Council of the League of Nations and Great Britain
decided that the provisions for setting up the Jewish
national homeland would not apply to the area east of the
Jordan River, which constituted three fourths of the
territory included in the Mandate. Eventually, this area
would become known as the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. Under
the Mandate, the British authorities granted the Jewish and
Arab communities the right to handle their own internal
affairs. However, despite many improvements, the British
government did not fulfill all of its obligations under the
Mandate. This resulted in escalating conflicts between the
Arabs and the Jews. Between 1920 and 1939, there were four
periods of ethnic violence which resulted in many lives
being lost.

It was in 1937, at the recommendation of the Peel
Commission, that the British government first considered
dividing Palestine into two distinct nations. However,
strong objection from both parties resulted in that plan
being scrapped; at least for the time being. Seven years
later, on November 29, 1947, the United Nations General
Assembly adopted Resolution 181 which called for the
partition of Palestine into a Jewish state and an Arab
state. It was approved with thirty-three votes in favor,
thirteen votes against, ten abstentions and one member
absent. While the Jews living in Palestine accepted the
Resolution, it is interesting to note that eight of those
who voted against it are still anti-Israel today, although a
few have signed superficial peace accords with their Jewish
neighbor. Those opposed included Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Lebanon,
Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, and Yemen. With the passing of
Resolution 181, the British government announced that the
termination of its Mandate over Palestine would take effect
less than six months later on May 15, 1948.

These monumental announcements by the U.N. and the British
government served as the catalysts for two major events. The
first event took place within hours of these announcements
being made public. The second one would occur some six
months later. Aside from establishing the actual boundaries
of the separate Jewish and Arab states, Resolution 181 also
established the international status of the city of
Jerusalem:

----- Begin Quote -----

A. SPECIAL REGIME

The City of Jerusalem shall be established as a corpus
separatum under a special international regime and shall be
administered by the United Nations. The Trusteeship Council
shall be designated to discharge the responsibilities of the
Administering Authority on behalf of the United Nations.

----- End Of Quote -----

Within hours of this announcement being made, fullscale war
erupted between the Arabs and the Jews. This war has come to
be known as the 'War Of Independence, and lasted from
November of 1947 to July of 1949. It was fought along the
entire border of Israel; against Lebanon and Syria in the
north; against Iraq and Transjordan, (renamed Jordan during
the war), in the east; against Egypt and the Sudan in the
south; and also against Palestinians and volunteers from
Arab countries already inside the country. When peace
finally did arrive a year and a half later, Iraq was the
only nation which chose not to sign a peace treaty with
Israel. Aside from ousting all of her Arab enemies, Israel
also captured and held some five thousand square kilometers
of land over and above the areas she had been allocated by
the United Nations.

The second event which occurred as a result of these two
announcements by the U.N. and the British government, was
that only six months into the war, just hours before the
British Mandate was to expire, the Jewish People's Council
gathered at the Tel Aviv Museum and approved a proclamation
which became known as 'The Declaration Of The Establishment
Of The State Of Israel'. The United States of America
recognized the birth of the new nation of Israel that very
same day, and was followed three days later by the former
Union of Soviet Socialists Republic. This declaration was
published in the Official Gazette, No. 1 on May 14, 1948 and
says in part:

----- Begin Quote -----

"On the 29th November, 1947, the United Nations General
Assembly passed a resolution calling for the establishment
of a Jewish State in Eretz-Israel; the General Assembly
required the inhabitants of Eretz-Israel to take such steps
as were necessary on their part for the implementation of
that resolution. This recognition by the United Nations of
the right of the Jewish people to establish their State is
irrevocable."

"This right is the natural right of the Jewish people to be
masters of their own fate, like all other nations, in their
own sovereign State."

"ACCORDINGLY WE, MEMBERS OF THE PEOPLE'S COUNCIL,
REPRESENTATIVES OF THE JEWISH COMMUNITY OF ERETZ-ISRAEL AND
OF THE ZIONIST MOVEMENT, ARE HERE ASSEMBLED ON THE DAY OF
THE TERMINATION OF THE BRITISH MANDATE OVER ERETZ-ISRAEL
AND, BY VIRTUE OF OUR NATURAL AND HISTORIC RIGHT AND ON THE
STRENGTH OF THE RESOLUTION OF THE UNITED NATIONS GENERAL
ASSEMBLY, HEREBY DECLARE THE ESTABLISHMENT OF A JEWISH STATE
IN ERETZ-ISRAEL, TO BE KNOWN AS THE STATE OF ISRAEL."

----- End Of Quote -----

With this historic document, I have now covered just over
two thousand years of foreign domination in Palestine, from
the conquest by the Romans in 63 B.C., to the birth of
Israel as a world-recognized nation in 1948. It is
interesting to note that there is a prophecy in the book of
Isaiah which some have applied to this historic event. While
Christians may view it as referring to the birth of God's
spiritual nation with the birth of Jesus Christ, others
insist it is actually a prophecy regarding the birth of
Israel in one day as per the above document:

"Before she travailed, she brought forth; before her pain
came, she was delivered of a man child. Who hath heard such
a thing? who hath seen such things? Shall the earth be made
to bring forth in one day? or shall a nation be born at
once? for as soon as Zion travailed, she brought forth her
children." (Isaiah 66:7-8)

If there is one point I wish to emphasize here, it is that
in order to properly understand these ancient Endtime
prophecies, we must keep in mind that they were written from
the Jewish perspective. The Lord was showing the Prophets of
old what would befall the land of Israel in the Last Days.
In my view, if our interpretation does not maintain Israel
as the central focal point of the prophecy, then it may mean
that our understanding is not on the mark. In order to keep
things in proper focus, let's take another look at exactly
what the angel told John regarding the mysterious seventh
empire which was yet to come:

"And there are seven kings: five are fallen, and one is, and
the other is not yet come; and when he cometh, he must
continue a short space." (Revelation 17:10)

In the above verse, we are told that this seventh empire
will only continue for 'a short space'. The problem is,
exactly what is meant by 'a short space'? What God considers
'a short space', and what we humans consider 'a short space'
is probably very different. However, in my mind, it seems to
me that if the Lord is having John see these things and
write them down for the benefit of His Endtime children,
then He would want to convey them in terms which we could
easily understand. In other words, perhaps this time
reference to 'a short space' should be looked at in a
historical sense. Perhaps the Lord is saying that compared
to the length of time that each of the previous six empires
have existed, this seventh empire will be easily recognized
by the simple fact that it will exist for a shorter period
of time. At the same time, we don't want to be overly
legalistic in our approach either. The word 'continue' might
not necessarily be referring to the full length of time that
this seventh empire will exist, but only to the amount of
time that it will continue to have influence and control
over Israel.

With the above thoughts in mind, I am now going to present a
short table consolidating the information I have presented
thus far in this article. By doing so, I believe some things
will become very obvious. Please note that I am using the
modern name of Istanbul rather than Constantinople to
conserve shape in the following table. Please also note that
the dates and length of years are close approximations:
OCCUPIER:      APPROX. DATES:   CAPITAL:   RELIGION:    YEARS:
--------       -------------    -------    --------     -----
Romans         63 BC - 330 AD   Rome       Pagan           393
Byzantine        330 - 614      Istanbul   Christian       284
Persians         614 - 629      Tispoon    Zoroastrianism   15
Byzantine        629 - 638      Istanbul   Christian         9
Omayads          638 - 750      Damascus   Muslim          112
Abbasid          750 - 867      Baghdad    Muslim          117
Tulnids          867            Cairo      Muslim
Fatimids            till        Cairo      Muslim          232
Seljuk Turks           1098     Istanbul   Muslim
Fatimids        1098 - 1099     Cairo      Muslim            1
The Crusaders   1099 - 1244     Jerusalem  Christian       145
Ayyubids        1244 - 1250     Damascus   Muslim            6
Mamlukes        1250 - 1517     Cairo      Muslim          267
Ottoman Turks   1517 - 1831     Istanbul   Muslim          314
Egyptian Force  1831 - 1840     Cairo      Muslim            9
Ottoman Turks   1840 - 1917     Istanbul   Muslim           77
British         1917 - 1948     London     Christian        30
As can be seen, this table really helps to put things in
perspective in regards to who had control over Jerusalem. At
the same time, it presents us with some very interesting
questions regarding the identity of the seventh empire.
Before interpretting this data, there is another important
fact which I feel we need to consider, and that is this: In
the prophecies of Daniel, we are given a very clear un
interrupted view of the flow of history as it relates to
Israel. In other words, there is no major gap in the
historical timeline. Assyria followed Egypt, just as
Babylonia followed Assyria, Medo-Persia followed Babylonia,
Greece followed Medo-Persia, and Rome followed Greece. While
there are some short periods where control over Israel
passed back and forth between the waxing power and the
waning power, ultimately, the next empire in line came to
the fore.

One example of the above would be the various battles
between the Egyptians and the Assyrians. Ultimately, the
Egyptians lost their beachhead in Syria, and Israel came
under Assyrian domination. Later, when the Assyrians began
to weaken, Egypt again tried to grab Syria and lands beyond,
and she was again beaten down and utterly defeated by
Nebuchadnezzar. Another example might be the wars which
occurred after the demise of Alexander the Great. Israel did
not immediately come under Roman occupation once the Grecian
Empire was divided. As I pointed out in 'The Kings Of The
North And The South, Part One', for several hundred years
there were a series of wars between the leftovers of the
Grecian Empire, that is, between the Ptolemy's of Egypt, and
the Seleucid kings of Syria. Therefore, Israel kept being
passed back and forth between them, being loyal to one, and
then being loyal to the other. It was right towards the end
of that period that we have Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the
Maccabean revolt, etc. It was when the last Seleucid king
was defeated by the Roman General Pompey, that Israel
finally came under the mighty fist of Roman authority.

The main point I am trying to show from this is that if we
follow the Biblical prophetic pattern, then it does not seem
to me that a great deal of time should pass between the
passing of the sixth empire, Rome, and the arrival of the
seventh empire. To suggest that since the height of Roman
power, almost seventeen hundred years have passed, and the
seventh empire has not yet appeared, just seems totally
contradictory to the prophecies of Daniel. So the question
then arises, exactly how are we supposed to interpret the
above data? Naturally, I cannot provide a solid definitive
answer. The problem I see is that phrase 'a short space'.
How can we make it fit?

When I first began compiling this information, my initial
thought was that the Byzantine Empire might be the seventh
empire; however, I don't think it fits the picture. As can
be seen, the Byzantine Empire ruled over Jerusalem for two
hundred and eighty-four years, followed by a fifteen-year
period of control by the Persians, and then an additional
nine years by Constantinople, for a total of two hundred and
ninety-three years. If you choose to accept 324 A.D. as the
beginning date for the Byzantine Empire, instead of the year
330 A.D., then that gives us three hundred years minus one
for the total period of Byzantine rule over Jerusalem. That
is longer than the Medo-Persian rule, so I really don't
think that the term 'a short space' can be applied to it.
Being as Byzantium, or Constantinople, was the eastern leg
of the 'Christianized' Roman Empire, I feel it should be
treated as a continuation of the same. In other words, we
could say that Rome ruled from 63 B.C. until about 638 A.D.
for a total of some seven hundred years, except for the
fifteen-year control of Jerusalem by the Persians.

Could it be that this short span of Persian rule constitutes
the seventh empire? Possibly. Notice what happened next
after the Byzantine Empire lost control again after nine
years. From 638 to 1917, we have a total of one thousand two
hundred and seventy-nine years! Except for the one hundred
and forty-five years that the 'Christian' Crusaders
controlled Jerusalem, the rest of that time, one thousand
one hundred and thirty-four years, Jerusalem found herself
under Muslim rule! Initially, the powerbase for that control
alternated between the Islamic triangle of Damascus, Baghdad
and Cairo; however, once the Ottoman Turks came into power,
that was extended to include Istanbul. To help you to
visualize this more easily, here is how our new table might
look:
OCCUPIER:      APPROX. DATES:   CAPITAL:   RELIGION:    YEARS:
--------       -------------    -------    --------     -----
Romans         63 BC - 638 AD   Rome       Pagan          686
Byzantines                      Istanbul   Christian
Persians         614 - 629      Tispoon    Zoroastrianism  15
The Crusaders   1099 - 1244     Jerusalem  Christian      145
Muslims          638 - 1917     Damascus   Muslim        1134
                                Cairo
                                Baghdad
                                Istanbul
British         1917 - 1948     London     Christian       30
As can be seen, wedged in the middle of the long period of
Islamic rule, we have one hundred and forty-five years of
rule by the 'Christian' Crusaders. I pointed out earlier
that during this time, Jerusalem was actually declared the
capital of the 'Crusader Kingdom Of Jerusalem'. Could this
possibly constitute the seventh empire which would 'continue
a short space'? Again, all I can say is possibly. In like
manner, the thirty years of British intervention might also
be a third possibility for the seventh empire. One thing is
for certain, the British Commonwealth was indeed an empire
covering vast territories like the empires before it. The
fact that it did control Jerusalem for a short time does
make it a definite candidate.

As I have already pointed out, under U.N. Resolution 181 of
1947, Palestine, including Jerusalem, was divided between
Israel and Transjordan. This resulted in the 'War Of
Independence' and the problems which have plagued Israel
ever since. Thus, from that time until now, (January of
1998), we have an additional fifty years of Muslim rule over
part of Jerusalem. Although Israel regained the Sinai in the
Campaign of 1956, and East Jerusalem in the 1967 Six Day
War, the truth of the matter is, for all the talking that is
done, she still does not control the Temple Mount; and that
is the key issue in all of these Endtime prophecies.

Israel cannot rebuild the Temple of Solomon because the
Palestinian security forces known as the Wakf, or Waqf, have
control of the Temple Mount. While the Islamic Wakf was
traditionally selected by Jordan, in 1994 it was replaced by
one installed by PLO chief Yasser Arafat; and they are
extremely sensitive about allowing any Jewish religious
activities to occur within 'The Noble Sanctuary'. Thus, if
we add these extra fifty years to our tally, we have a total
of one thousand one hundred and eighty-four years of Islamic
control over all, or part of Jerusalem since the year 638.
Percentage-wise, Jerusalem has been under full, or partial
control by the Muslims, eighty-seven per cent of the time!
How could this long period not be included in the Bible
prophecies as one of these eight empires, or kings? It seems
to defy logic to me. Let me emphasize again that the
Biblical empires were consecutive. There was no large lapse
of time between them. If we are as close to The End as many
of us believe, then there must be evidence for either the
past or current existence of this mysterious seventh king.

One thing I am relatively certain of is this: if we compare
the length of time which previous empires endured, I don't
see how we can consider this period of Islamic rule to be
the 'short space' required for the seventh king, or head, to
exist. Thus, in my view, we have four possibilities for the
seventh king, or empire, which was to follow Rome. Based on
the actual historical record I have provided, they are the
following:

1. Byzantine Empire 293 years
2. Persians 15
3. Christian Crusaders 145
4. British 30

If one of the above powers is indeed the seventh head, this
definitely points to some interesting possibilities for the
last thousand years plus of Islamic rule over Jerusalem. I
will be presenting some interesting ideas regarding this in
parts three and six of this series. I trust that this
article has been informative, and a blessing to many. I'll
see you in part three!

⇒ Go To The Next Part . . .


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