10 And [kai] there are [eisi] seven [hepta] kings: [basileus] five [pente] are fallen, [pipto] and [kai] one [heis] is, [esti] and the other [allos] is [erchomai] not yet [oupo] come; [erchomai] and [kai] when [hotan] he cometh, [erchomai] he [autos] must [dei] continue [meno] a short
space. [oligos] KJV-Interlinear
10 and they
are seven kings; five have fallen, one is, the other has not yet come; and when
he comes, he must remain a little while. NASB
Throughout human history there have been many empires, from India to China to the Incas, however although no single empire ever ruled the entire world, there are only seven which will qualify as descendants of Babylon or influents of the Babylonian religious philosophies of pantheism or idolatrous polytheism, and also had contact with and opposition to, Israel and its history.
Dating from the time of Abraham in approximately 2000 B.C., these empires were:
Egypt Empire dating between 3000 B.C - 31 B.C. when the last Pharaoh died, but diminishing in power and influence around 1500 B.C.
Assyrian Empire dating between 2000 B.C. - 627 B.C.
Babylonian Empire dating between 626 B.C. - 539 B.C.
Persian Empire dating between 550 B.C. - 330 B.C.
Greek Empire dating between 336 B.C. - 146 B.C.
Roman Republic dating between 500 B.C - 26 B.C., then followed by the Roman Empire dating between 26 B.C. - 450 A.D., then followed by the split into the Eastern and Western empires, the Western Empire from where we receive the bulk of our western civilization influence, dating from the 400's A.D. through the Dark Ages, through the Middle Ages and into even our modern era.
And then there will be one last empire which is still future, in which the anti-christ will actually succeed in attaining total rule over the entire world. Typically this has been called the revived Roman Empire in theological circles, only because of our current history and influence in western civilization studies.
Even though there have been many influential nations and lesser empires, none have perpetuated the religious thought nor the expansion or control over so many nations and peoples and land masses as have these six former empires.
Even in our current dispensation of the Church Age dating from about 30 A.D. up until our current time, the Roman Empire continued with some semblance of stability serving to the spread the gospel, but it too eventually splintered and shattered into many different nations until the world map eventually came to the pattern of nations that we now have.
The history of the Mongols, the Khans, the Vikings, even the British Empire and many more nations, have served as a source or pattern of influence in history, but none came under the same model as did these six empires.
Of these empires, as of Johns time of writing, the first five had disappeared from history, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Persia, and Greece. And then one was still in place, Rome. And then one, and the last empire mentioned, was still to come, which is the empire of our context, that of the anti-christ who will come into power in the Tribulation.
Of the seven kings, or governments of these seven empires, there will be one additional ruler, an eighth king, which we will get to in our study of the next verse.
But all of these empires have one single and common thread connecting them, and that is, that they are of the same influence as described by the harlot of Babylon, namely the evil religious policies of Satan.
These empires came into being by Gods permission (nothing happens without Gods permission - see the study of Job), but at Satan's direction. These empires are not the products of some human evolution in philosophy or social interactions of humanity, or out of some development of human attributes whether economic or geographical, or technological or whatever classification you can invent.
History is nothing more than Satan's attempt to define the nations and attain his plan of defeating God, versus Gods plan in making good triumphant over evil. Everything in history is nothing more than the mere movement of pawns, and you and I and all of humanity are the pawns.
The big difference is that Satan will sacrifice everyone for his own selfish interest, and God made a sacrifice of Himself for our better interest.
So, now this chapter begins to tie itself together, as well as history. And even though our contemporary news media publishes the many attempts of world leaders in their efforts to build or define a new world order, or a new society, or to put together some new social order or whatever you might want to call it, none of these pans will succeed.
And they will all fail because they have one common flaw, God is excluded, therefore truth is excluded, and therefore Gods plan is ignored. And the warning from God that humanity is headed down a dead end toward extinction is also ignored, but humanity and human viewpoint continue right along on their failed course, ever rejecting more and more the truths and the reasons for these truths, that we are currently studying.
And why will human history fail, because people, as stated in the last verse, reject within their minds, the necessary details of history which would give them wisdom.
And finally, when that last king arrives he 'must' remain for a little while.
The word for must, means just that. History has to run its course to the ultimate conclusion of human rejection of Christ to the point that all who will believe, will do so and all who will reject will retain their rejection all the way up until the end.
God will not lose even one single believer to history. So history will continue and the world will be squeezed, until the very last person who will believe, does.
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