After this I beheld, and, lo another, like a leopard
Another beast, another monarchy, a third monarchy succeeding the Persian monarchy, and which rose up on the ruins of that; Darius king of the Persians being beaten by Alexander king of Macedon, who was the instrument of setting up the Grecian monarchy here intended; compared to a leopard, a smaller creature than a lion; signifying that this monarchy arose from a small beginning; and a crafty one, Alexander having many wise counsellors of his father's about him, though he himself was rash and hasty; and a spotted one, denoting the various virtues and vices of Alexander, and his inconstancy in them; sometimes exercising the one, and sometimes the other; or rather the different nations, and the manners of them, he conquered, of which this empire consisted; not to say anything of the cruelty and swiftness of this creature, which are both to be observed in this conqueror: which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl;
denoting the swiftness of Alexander in his conquests; who in a few years made himself master of the whole world, at least as he thought, whose empire was greater than that of Nebuchadnezzar and the Chaldeans, to whom only two wings of an eagle are given, ( Daniel 7:4 ) . Says Jerom,
``nothing was more swift than the conquest of Alexander, from Illyricum and the Adriatic sea, unto the Indian ocean, and the river Ganges; he rather ran through the world by victories than by battles, and in six years subdued part of Europe, all Asia even unto India,''to which may be added all Egypt, Syria, and Palestine. Arimazes being master of a rock in Sogdiana, which was thought inaccessible and impregnable, Alexander sent a messenger to him to demand the delivery of it to him; but, among other things he proudly said, he asked the messenger, with a sneer, if Alexander could fly; which, when the messenger reported, nettled him much, that he should be insulted because he had not wings; and vowed that the next night he would make him believe that the Macedonians did fly; and accordingly they found ways and means to get to the top of it, which, when the governor saw, he declared that Alexander's soldiers had wings F6: the beast also had four heads;
which signify the four kingdoms into which the Grecian empire was divided after Alexander's death, under four of his generals, who were heads or governors of them: Macedonia under Antipater, or, as others, Cassander; Egypt under Ptolemy; Syria under Seleucus; and Asia under Antigonus, or, as others, Lysimachus: and dominion was given to it;
the dominion of the whole world, or, however, a very large dominion; and this was given of God, and according to his will, and the ordering of his providence; for to nothing else can it be ascribed, that with thirty thousand men Alexander should beat an army of six hundred thousand; and with such a handful of men subdue so many kingdoms and nations, and that in the space of a few years.
F6 Curt. Hist. l. 7. c. 11.