“Then the third of these strange beasts appeared, and it looked like a leopard. It had four bird’s wings on its back, and it had four heads. Great authority was given to this beast.” Daniel 7:6
The third beast was like a leopard. This was the Grecian monarchy, founded by Alexander the Great, active, crafty, and cruel, like a leopard. He had four wings of a fowl; the lion seems to have had but two wings; but the leopard had four, for though Nebuchadnezzar made great dispatch in his conquests Alexander made much greater. In six years’ time he gained the whole empire of Persia, a great part of Asia, made himself master of Syria, Egypt, India, and other nations. This beast had four heads; upon Alexander’s death his conquests were divided among his four chief captains; Seleucus Nicanor had Asia the Great; Perdiccas, and after him Antigonus, had Asia the Less; Cassander had Macedonia; and Ptolemeus had Egypt. Dominion was given to this beast; it was given of God, from whom alone promotion comes.
While Daniel’s prophecies concerning Nebuchadnezzar and the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians were fulfilled in part in Daniel’s lifetime, in his prediction of the empire of Greece he accurately foreshadowed an empire which did not come into existence until two hundred years later. It would have been impossible for Daniel by any natural insight to have anticipated that a small and insignificant Greek state, namely, Macedonia, should reach such great power and prestige and have such a rapid rise as that of Alexander’s kingdom.
This beast was given authority to rule. We need to realize that no matter how brilliant we may appear, it is ultimately God who rules. Alexander could conquer everything but himself. He died at the age of thirty-two, a drunkard and a victim of his own lust. Alexander had help from a fallen angel. He felt that he was a god and this was the reason for his greatness. We see in Revelation that Alexander was helped by a fallen angel. “This beast looked like a leopard, but it had the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion! And the dragon gave the beast his own power and throne and great authority.” (Revelation 13:2 Alexander believed his final victory over King Darius III was his destiny. By the time of his death in 323 BCE, he was convinced that he was not the son of King Philip II but, instead, was the son of the omnipotent Greek god Zeus.)