The end time prophecies of Daniel and Revelation, as well as the Olivet prophecy, have a striking feature – they all contain a gap in time. On the surface they seem to jump from the time of the Romans to the End Times. Others have also made this observation –
Taken from – “The Time of the End”, Harry Whittaker Chapter 12
Traditionally the four beasts of Daniel 7 have been expounded with reference to the four “world empires” of Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome. This is, of course, perfectly correct. And yet, at the same time, it can be — and has been — misleading. The tendency has been to put emphasis on them as world powers, whereas they were hardly that. They did not even dominate the known civilization of their time. Babylon never expanded as far as Lydia and Greece; it gained only a temporary foothold in Egypt, which was as much the centre of civilization as Babylon itself was. Persia failed to conquer Greece and never touched other centres of Mediterranean culture. Alexander’s empire only lasted as long as Alexander. And even though the might of Rome went as far as the north of Scotland, in the east it stopped at the Euphrates, and only for short periods was it effective so far.
But in a Biblical sense these four great powers were all-important, for all of them in turn controlled the fortunes of God’s Land and People. It is from this point of view, and from this view only, that Rome “devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it.” Normally this was not the character of Roman conquest. The legions did not conquer in order to destroy but in order to civilize. Wherever Rome went, law and order followed —the pax Romana. In this respect the Land of Israel was an outstanding exception. The Jews did not want any Roman peace. So at last, against all normal Roman policy, that troublesome country was “broken in pieces, and stamped with the feet of it.”…
In this view of chapter 7 — and of the prophecy as a whole — there becomes evident the reason for the long gap which exists in all of Daniel’s prophecies These revelations take no account of the long period during which Israel have been scattered from their land. They all resume in the Last Days when Israel are back in the land preparatory to the setting up of Messiah’s kingdom.
I would go further than Harry Whittaker and say that the prophecies take no account of the time Israel are in their land under self-rule – specifically the period between the Greeks and Romans which most pictures of Nebuchadnezzar’s image simply ignore. Israel did not go from being ruled by the Greeks to the Romans – They self-ruled for 77 years. This is a significant time – longer than the influence of Babylon (4 years ruling Israel remnants then 66 years over both Israel and Judah). Thus we can ‘count the number of the Beast’ and see that Israel, in their land, under foreign rule, existed for 666 years before being scattered – See 666 – Counting the Number of the Beast
When we come to Revelation we are given more detail of Israel coming back to the land. The 7th head of the Beast is the force that drives Israel back to the land and morphs into the 8th head.
See the Chart below to note the ‘Gap of the Image’ which is connected to the witness of Israel – their ‘time of trouble such as never before ‘ of Daniel 12:1 relates to their escalating tribulations under Roman oppression and ending in the days of Hitler – the ‘toe & crowned horn kingdoms’ and return of Jesus. The context of the ultimate time of trouble is not for all nations but for Israel.
Click on chart below until right size for viewing