The first beast, the lion with the eagle’s wings, is a truly amazing description since the eagle is also the national symbol of the United States. I believe all the animals that describe the four beasts are the national symbols for those countries. If one had to guess what nation the second beast resembled, the bear with the three ribs in its mouth, I have no doubt that since the bear is the national symbol of Russia that very few people would not make this comparison. Let’s look again at Daniel’s description of the second beast (Daniel 8:5): “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth.
And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!'” If you recall I also proposed that the second beast is the second nation mentioned in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The second nation was the kingdom of silver that was described as the arms and chest of the statue. If we add all these prophetic imagery together we will end up with the following description of the second beast. Since the second beast is a kingdom of silver I believe the second beast is a strong economic power, not as strong as the United States (the first beast, the kingdom of gold) but still an economic power.
The two arms of the statue that represents the second beast indicate that it is a divided kingdom; the kingdom is made of two strong factions which are vying for control. The description of the bear raised up on one side indicates that one of factions is very much stronger than the other but the other faction, although weaker, still retains some amount of control over the kingdom. I believe the three ribs in the bear’s mouth represent three different countries that have been invaded by Russia and their economic resources have been consumed by Russia so that their nations have been devastated. Even so, these “ribs” seem to have enough political power such that the ribs are able to command the bear to go invade and devastate other countries.
Ezekiel‘s Vision of Gog
“And the word of the LORD came unto me, saying,
Son of man, set thy face against Gog, the land of Magog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal, and prophesy against him, And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and put hooks into thy jaws, and I will bring thee forth, and all thine army, horses and horsemen, all of them clothed with all sorts of armour, even a great company with bucklers and shields, all of them handling swords: Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:”
While I am not the first, I believe that this passage describes the invasion of Israel in the end times by a nation called Gog and Gog represents the modern day nation of Russia. Many scholars believe that Meschech and Tubal are ancient names for the modern day cities of Moscow and Tobolsk, Russia. I believe the three ribs that tell the Russian bear to eat more meat are the nations of Iran (Persian), Ethiopia and Libya as described in these verses.
“Therefore, thou son of man, prophesy against Gog, and say, Thus saith the Lord GOD; Behold, I am against thee, O Gog, the chief prince of Meshech and Tubal: And I will turn thee back, and leave but the sixth part of thee, and will cause thee to come up from the north parts, and will bring thee upon the mountains of Israel: And I will smite thy bow out of thy left hand, and will cause thine arrows to fall out of thy right hand.
Thou shalt fall upon the mountains of Israel, thou, and all thy bands, and the people that is with thee: I will give thee unto the ravenous birds of every sort, and to the beasts of the field to be devoured. Thou shalt fall upon the open field: for I have spoken it, saith the Lord GOD. And I will send a fire on Magog, and among them that dwell carelessly in the isles: and they shall know that I am the LORD. So will I make my holy name known in the midst of my people Israel; and I will not let them pollute my holy name any more: and the heathen shall know that I am the LORD, the Holy One in Israel.” (Ezekiel 39:1-7)
This passage describes how God will protect Israel and how devastating the destruction that Russia will encounter will be. Russia’s weapons will be knocked out of her hands and only 1/6 of Russia’s forces will survive this encounter. The “isles” in this passage indicate that Europe is involved in this campaign and God will also punish them for this offensive.
“Behold, it is come, and it is done, saith the Lord GOD; this is the day whereof I have spoken. And they that dwell in the cities of Israel shall go forth, and shall set on fire and burn the weapons, both the shields and the bucklers, the bows and the arrows, and the handstaves, and the spears, and they shall burn them with fire seven years: So that they shall take no wood out of the field, neither cut down any out of the forests; for they shall burn the weapons with fire: and they shall spoil those that spoiled them, and rob those that robbed them, saith the Lord GOD. And it shall come to pass in that day, that I will give unto Gog a place there of graves in Israel, the valley of the passengers on the east of the sea: and it shall stop the noses of the passengers: and there shall they bury Gog and all his multitude: and they shall call it The valley of Hamon-gog. And seven months shall the house of Israel be burying of them, that they may cleanse the land. Yea, all the people of the land shall bury them; and it shall be to them a renown the day that I shall be glorified, saith the Lord GOD.
And they shall sever out men of continual employment, passing through the land to bury with the passengers those that remain upon the face of the earth, to cleanse it: after the end of seven months shall they search. And the passengers that pass through the land, when any seeth a man’s bone, then shall he set up a sign by it, till the buriers have buried it in the valley of Hamon-gog. And also the name of the city shall be Hamonah. Thus shall they cleanse the land. And, thou son of man, thus saith the Lord GOD; Speak unto every feathered fowl, and to every beast of the field, Assemble yourselves, and come; gather yourselves on every side to my sacrifice that I do sacrifice for you, even a great sacrifice upon the mountains of Israel, that ye may eat flesh, and drink blood. Ye shall eat the flesh of the mighty, and drink the blood of the princes of the earth, of rams, of lambs, and of goats, of bullocks, all of them fatlings of Bashan. And ye shall eat fat till ye be full, and drink blood till ye be drunken, of my sacrifice which I have sacrificed for you. Thus ye shall be filled at my table with horses and chariots, with mighty men, and with all men of war, saith the Lord GOD. And I will set my glory among the heathen, and all the heathen shall see my judgment that I have executed, and my hand that I have laid upon them. So the house of Israel shall know that I am the LORD their God from that day and forward.” (Ezekiel 39:8-22)
It is interesting to note that Israel will burn Russia’s weapons for seven years and uses them as an energy supply; I believe this seven year period is the tribulation period. I believe this because the destruction of Russia, as Ezekiel writes about this further on in this chapter, marks the time when all the Jews return to Israel. The destruction of these armies will be an incredible event since it will take Israel 7 months to bury all the bodies.
“And the heathen shall know that the house of Israel went into captivity for their iniquity: because they trespassed against me, therefore hid I my face from them, and gave them into the hand of their enemies: so fell they all by the sword. According to their uncleanness and according to their transgressions have I done unto them, and hid my face from them. Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD; Now will I bring again the captivity of Jacob, and have mercy upon the whole house of Israel, and will be jealous for my holy name; After that they have borne their shame, and all their trespasses whereby they have trespassed against me, when they dwelt safely in their land, and none made them afraid. When I have brought them again from the people, and gathered them out of their enemies’ lands, and am sanctified in them in the sight of many nations; Then shall they know that I am the LORD their God, which cause them to be led into captivity among the heathen: but I have gathered them unto their own land, and have left none of them any more there. Neither will I hide my face any more from them: for I have poured out my spirit upon the house of Israel, saith the Lord GOD.” (Ezekiel 39:23-29)
As I mentioned above in this passage it is obvious that the destruction of the Russian bear in Israel marks the time when Israel’s people that are spread throughout the world will finally return to Israel.