(3) The fourth was the Roman Empire (Dan. ii. 40), which was the greatest of them all, and which
the Muslim version of history entirely omits: (4) The revived Persian Empire under the Sasanians
might be counted as the fifth, or as the third Empire, but could not be the fourth, and yet the
prophecy refers to what happened during the fourth Empire (Dan. ii. 40, 44; vii. 7, 19, 23).
That the Macedonian Empire was the third, and not the fourth, is clear from what is actually said
about it, for it overthrew the Persian Empire (Dan. viii. 5, 7, 21), and, after Alexander's death,
was divided into four (Dan. viii. 8, 22) and thus gradually faded into insignificance and was
swallowed up by the Roman Empire. It was in the time of the Roman Empire, when it ruled nearly the
whole civilized world, that Christ was born in part of that Empire. The kingdom which He set up was
"not of this world" (John xviii. 36; Luke i. 31-33; Dan. vii. 13, 14, 27) and did not
spread through the sword, like all earthly kingdoms. Christ called Himself the Son of Man, and thus
showed that He was the person mentioned in Dan. vii. 13. His is the kingdom which is described as
the stone that filled the whole earth (Dan. ii. 45). When He returns, to Him every knee shall bow
(Phil. ii. 9-11).
16. Habakkuk iii. 3. Muslims seem to fancy that "The Holy One from Mount Paran" was
Muhammad. But we find that the verse goes on to say "His glory covered the heavens, and the
earth was full of His praise", where the use of the singular pronoun clearly shows that the
"Holy One" is God, who is mentioned at the beginning of the verse. We have already seen
that Mt. Paran is in the Sinaitic Peninsula, and not anywhere near Mecca. Teman was a district and
town in Edom, the town of this name being not far from Sela (Petra), and only a few days' journey
south of Jericho. Mt. Paran and Teman were therefore close to one another, and both were hundreds of
miles north of Mecca and very much nearer Jerusalem.
The fact that Teman is spoken of as descended from Esau, father of the Edomites (Gen. xxxvi. 11,
19), confirms what we learn from historians, geographers, and the statements of the prophets (Jer.
xlix. 7, 20; Ezek. xxv. 13; Amos i. 11, 12: Obadiah, vers. 8, 9, 10) regarding the situation of the
town, which bore the same name. If after this Muslim theologians persist in stating that Teman is in
some way connected with Islam, we must ask them to notice how in Obadiah God threatens Teman with
utter destruction. But we Christians do not apply this prophecy to Islam, because we know that there
is no connexion whatever between Islam and Teman.
17. Haggai ii. 7. Here Muslims argue that "the Desire of all nations" means Muhammad,
because the Hebrew word meaning "desire"
حمداة) comes from the same root as
does the word "Muhammad". But it is admitted that, even in Arabic, not every word derived
from that root refers to Muhammad, still less does every such Hebrew word. This very word hemdah
is employed again in Dan. xi. 37, "the desire of women," and there probably denotes a
false god worshipped by the heathen. We cannot therefore logically found any argument upon the form
of the word. Nor can it be shown that the nations of the world "desired" Muhammad's
advent, for the Muhammadan conquest of many lands was hardly to be considered a desirable thing for
the conquered, though the Arabs desired to make such conquests. "The Desire of all
nations" denotes either (1) "the desirable things of all nations", referring to the
silver and gold mentioned in ver. 8; or (2) "the choice of all the Gentiles", that
is "the election of grace" (Rom. xi. 5) from among them, i.e. the Christian Church;
or (3) the Lord Jesus Christ Himself, who did come to His Temple, and in Jerusalem by His Atonement
gave peace (Hag. ii. 9; Mal. iii. 3; Matt. xii. 6, 41, 42; Luke xxiv. 36; John xiv. 27; xvi. 33; xx.
19, 21, 26) to His people.