What will be the Image of the Beast? What does scripture tell us? In Daniel 3, Nebuchadnezzar built an image of gold. Is this a biblical picture of the coming image?
In Daniel Chapter 2, we find the story of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of a huge metal statue. We discussed that dream and what it means in numerous previous posts. God helped Daniel interpret the dream. He informed Nebuchadnezzar that Babylon was the head of gold of the statue and that other Kingdoms, inferior to Babylon, represented by other inferior metals, would assume pre-eminence after Babylon fell. Nebuchadnezzar obviously didn’t like what God revealed to him in his dream. He didn’t want Babylon’s kingdom to end, and he made his own statue in defiance of God’s revealed Word. Nebuchadnezzar’s statue was all gold (the metal representing Babylon) rather than multiple metals. He was in essence defiantly saying to God, you may have a statue of different metals and think other kingdoms will replace Babylon, but my statue is only gold—Babylon will last forever. In Dan. 3 we learn more about this statue constructed by Nebuchadnezzar:
Nebuchadnezzar the king made an image of gold, the height of which was sixty cubits and its width six cubits; he set it up on the plain of Dura in the province of Babylon. (Dan 3:1 NASB, emphasis mine)
This statue definitely is a foreshadow of the Abomination. First, it is an image of the Beast. We know that ancient Babylon was the first of four beasts that Daniel prophesied. In Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, gold was the color of the Babylonian portion of the statue which was associated with the first beast, so an image of gold was an image of the first beast. We know from Rev. 13:14 that the final Abomination will be an image of the fourth beast. From the description of the statue which Nebuchadnezzar built, we also see the numbers 60 and 6 in the above passage in association with his statue. The number of the final Beast Empire will be 600, 60, and 6 (the infamous “666”). God’s Word is telling us Nebuchadnezzar’s image is like the final one that is to come, but it is not evil to the same extreme as the final version, as the statue which Nebuchadnezzar built lacks the 600.
I found the dimensions of this statue unusual as well. Notice it is ten times higher (60 cubits) as it is wide (6 cubits). Traditional statues are more likely two or three times higher than they are wide. The dimension of ten times greater height made this statue very tall and thin; not a traditional statue at all. In fact, it has been shown that this “statue” was the same size ratio as the Washington Monument. It was either an obelisk, minaret, or tower, not the traditional pictures we see of it. We will return to this concept just a bit later.
In Dan. 3, there are several other allusions to the 70th Week as well as the 666 allusion. The herald of the king makes reference to “peoples, nations and languages”:
Then the herald loudly proclaimed: “To you the command is given, O peoples, nations and men of every language, . . . you are to fall down and worship the golden image that Nebuchadnezzar the king has set up.” (Dan. 3:4-5)
This is a reference to the multiple uses of “people, tribes, nations and languages” found in Revelation.
The reference to Nebuchadnezzar heating the furnace seven times hotter than usual is also a oblique reference to the 7th year of the 70th Week. Notice how the “remnant of the Hebrews” were kept safe from the fire. As you may know from the many articles on this website, the Day of the Lord will take place at the very beginning of the 7th year of the 70th Week. On that day (after the Great Tribulation), the Church will be raptured. On that exact same day, fiery judgment will fall from heaven in the form of the First Trumpet Judgment. The remnant of the Jews who are sealed in Rev. 7:1-8 will not be raptured at that time with the Church. They will endure the fiery judgment on earth but will be protected through it as this Old Testament picture shows!
It is also a picture of how Jesus will be with his Church during the 70th Week of Daniel. In the midst of the fire with Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego appears a Theophany (an Old Testament appearance of Jesus).
Look! I see four men loosed and walking about in the midst of the fire without harm, and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods!” (Dan. 3:25)
This reminds of how Jesus will walk in the midst of the Church that endures the Great Tribulation (in Rev. the Church is symbolized by the seven golden lamp-stands).
The Persecution Begins
After the image was set up, Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to bow to the image. In the Septuagint Old Testament, the Greek word for bow down is PROSKUNEO which is the identical Greek word translated in Revelation as “worship” in the following passage about the Abomination of Desolation:
And it was given to him to give breath to the image of the beast, so that the image of the beast would even speak and cause as many as do not worship (PROSKUNEO) the image of the beast to be killed. (Rev. 13:15 NASB, clarification and emphasis mine)
This Greek word PROSKUNEO literally means “to kiss the ground in reverence to something greater.” This is a perfect picture of how Muslims bow to Mecca to worship Allah (Satan). We also see in Dan. 3 that Nebuchadnezzar ordered a call to worship to be played by an orchestra of instruments. It was upon that signal that the bowing was to take place. This is also a perfect picture of the Muslim “call to prayer,” that plays from their minarets prior to each of these prayer sessions.
We can now see how the shape of Nebuchadnezzar’s golden statue mimics a Muslim minaret. This explains how an image set up in Jerusalem can be worshiped all over the world. Muslims are currently bowing in the direction (the Qibla) of the Kaaba that holds the Black Stone in Mecca. Muslims face the Kaaba during prayers, but claim they do not worship the Kaaba. Muslims claim they worship and bow to Allah. The Muslim minarets play the call to worship that guides the individual worshipers to bow towards the direction (Qibla) of the Kaaba in Mecca.
Is this a picture of what will occur during the Great Tribulation? Will minarets be set up world-wide and at the signal of the call to prayer, will all will be forced to bow in the Qibla of Jerusalem. Will Islamists “cause as many as do not worship (PROSKUNEO) the image of the beast to be killed. ”
The following YouTube video from the History Channel is absolutely awesome. I highly recommend you watch it:
We can learn a lot about the coming persecution from this video. First notice the Statue is probably only a 3:1 ration not the 10:1 ratio scripture calls for, but other than that it is pretty accurate. I was very impressed by the scene on the plain of Dura in which thousands bowed down; all but the three Hebrews. They stood and it was very obvious. When the minarets play during the Great Tribulation, there will be no where to hide. It will be very obvious who will not bow.
Second, notice they are the only ones not bowing. Many youth from the royal family of Israel were taken into the court of Nebuchadnezzar so there were likely many other Hebrews in that crowd. They bowed and committed apostasy.
Third, the Hebrews committed themselves to God in order to stand which reminds me of Ephesians:
Therefore, take up the full armor of God, so that you will be able to resist in the evil day, and having done everything, to stand firm. (Eph. 6:13)
Also notice how they prayed the Psalms throughout their ordeal? God’s Word is our strong “tower” not the minaret.
The scene only shows three men standing, but in the future there will be many who will want to resist, If you and I stand, others may gain the strength to stand with us. Encouraging the faith of others by standing up to persecution is what is meant by this verse from Jesus’s Letter to Sardis (the Church that endures the Great Tribulation):
Wake up, and strengthen the things that remain, which were about to die; for I have not found your deeds completed in the sight of My God. So remember what you have received and heard; and keep it, and repent. (Rev. 3:2-3)
Although those that endure the 70th Week will have gone through a lot by the time the Great Tribulation begins, Jesus tells us “your deeds are not completed,” there is one more act or courage to do: to stand. And in so doing, we will strengthen the things that were about to die (our own souls and that of other possibly weaker Christians who are about to give in). As we have mentioned many times on this website: Testimony of the saints is one of the main purposes of the Great Tribulation and why God permits it.
The Image of the Beast: The Black Stone
In my previous book, Are We Ready For Jesus?, I presented the case that it is likely that the Abomination itself will be the Muslim’s Kaaba’s Black Stone, possibly moved by the Antichrist to Jerusalem and set up on the Temple of God, and it will be the object of worldwide worship. An older and shortened version of that explanation can be found here at HANUKKAH AND THE ABOMINATION OF DESOLATION. You can order Are We Ready For Jesus AT THIS WEBSITE.