After that, I looked, and there before me was another
beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had
four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads,
and it was given authority to rule.
The third beast is Greece. Alexander the Great
conquered the world, with a speed and swiftness
characteristic of a leopard. Such speed and swiftness had
been unprecedented in warfare. The imagery of the speed
and swiftness of a leopard is enhanced by the four wings
of a bird. However, the four wings of a bird on the
leopardís back are inferior to the wings of an eagle on
Alexanderís conquest was twice as swift as
Nebuchadnezzarís. In ten years, Alexander conquered the
world; his military was the opposite of the lumbering and
devouring army of Medo-Persia.
Leopards, known for agility as well as speed, depict
that which is terrifying (Jeremiah 5:6; Hosea 13:7;
Habakkuk 1:8). Out of sheer terror, many cities like
Jerusalem surrendered to Alexander the Great without a
fight (Antiquities of the Jews, 11:8.6), Tyre being a
notable exception (Ezekiel 26).
At the age of thirty-three, Alexander died in Babylon
on June 13, 323 B.C. Following his death, Alexanderís four
generals divided the empire into four parts, as symbolized
by the leopardís four heads (cf. Daniel 7:20-23; Revelation
17:9-11). Lysimachus ruled Thrace and Bithynia; Cassander
ruled Macedonia and Greece; Seleucus ruled Syria,
Babylonia and eastward to India; and Ptolemy, ruled Egypt,
Palestine and Arabia Petraea.