God's Geography

Greece



Parthenon (Temple of Athena)
[Image courtesy CC-Art.com]


Greece is a place that was frequented by Paul the apostle. It was a land steeped in idolatry, and Paul makes reference to this while in their capital city, in Acts 17:

22 Then Paul stood in the midst of Mars' hill, and said, "Ye men of Athens, I perceive that in all things ye are too superstitious. 23 For as I passed by, and beheld your devotions, I found an altar with this inscription, TO THE UNKNOWN GOD. Whom therefore ye ignorantly worship, Him declare I unto you. 24 God That made the world and all things therein, seeing that He is Lord of heaven and earth, dwelleth not in temples made with hands; 25 Neither is worshipped with men's hands, as though He needed any thing, seeing He giveth to all life, and breath, and all things;


Map of southern Europe
[Map from the Perry Castenada Library,
Courtesy The General Libraries, The University of Texas at Austin]

Greece itself is mentioned in Acts 20:

1 And after the uproar was ceased, Paul called unto him the disciples, and embraced them, and departed for to go into Macedonia. 2 And when he had gone over those parts, and had given them much exhortation, he came into Greece, 3 And there abode three months. ...

Greece is such an important place in regards to the New Testament. Most obviously are Paul's letters to the Corinthians, Philippians, and Thessalonians, although the latter two were in what was Macedonia at the time. Greece was also known as Achaia (e.g. Acts 19:21), while the Greek word for Greece was Hellas. Let's zoom in and look at a satellite image of Greece:


Greece and Crete
[Image courtesy NASA's Earth Observatory]


The southern portion of Greece is called Peloponessos. It's connected to the mainland by a very narrow (6km) connecting piece of land. For the moment, let's detach this peninsula and ignore it. Actually the Corinth Canal cuts across it, so the peninsula could almost be called an island. Now, if we turn Greece 90 degrees to the right, we'll see that she looks like...



[Image from NASA's Earth Observatory]


... a boar!


Boar


I modified the image a little by removing parts of Peloponessos to make the boar (or wild pig) easier to see. The pig's eye is Lake Trichonis, its ear is the island of Lefkas, and its lower jaw is the island of Euboa, as if broken off its head. A swine is not so flattering, but don't think it represents Grecians. In general, I believe this pig represents those people who don't want to hear the pearls of God's Word, as Jesus tells us in Matthew 7:

6 Give not that which is holy unto the dogs, neither cast ye your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn again and rend you.

Think of all of these people as a unified, albeit dysfunctional, group, and their symbol is the swine. Here's another view:



[Image from Flash Earth]


Now, with the peninsula 'reattached' (at the city of Corinth), note how it becomes an extension of the boar's tusk. In other words, the boar's single 'horn' becomes a crown of four horns! Horns and crowns lead us directly to the beast of Revelation 13 with its multiple heads, horns, and crowns. I believe our Father is giving us yet another way to understand this beast; that is, Satan's global, governmental system. Something very close to one horn becoming four is written in the 8th chapter of the book of Daniel regarding the king or kingdom of Grecia, although it involves a goat instead of a pig:

5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

Just as the swine from Hellas has one on his snout.

6 And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 8 Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

So out of the one horn came four.

9 And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

Then out of the four horns came one.

10 And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 11 Yea, he magnified himself even to the Prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of His sanctuary was cast down. 12 And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. ...

This vision given to Daniel is explained by Gabriel.

19 And he said, "Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be.

Gabriel will now use events that were future to Daniel, but history to us, in order to tell us about the end times.

20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king.

Some people interpret this horn as representing Alexander the Great. Alexander's empire extended all the way to India.

22 Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power.

Alexander was not "broken" by a foreign power or horn, he died rather quickly of a fever at the age of 33 in the city of Babylon. I suspect it was our Father Who broke him without hands, just as He did Herod, for example (Acts 12:21-23). From him came these four horns. Some people believe these four were Alexander's generals. The most dominant kingdoms that sprang from them were the Seleucid and the Ptolemaic. Where the King James has "but not in his power", the Moffatt Translation has "but with less power"; not even their combined kingdoms were as powerful as Alexander's. However, previously these four were described as being "toward the four winds of heaven", indicating something broader of scope than just Greece (like the horns of Zechariah 1:18-21).

23 And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up.

This is the little horn. No doubt this is Satan himself when he comes claiming to be the messiah (2nd Thessalonians 2:4). Why the sudden switch between history and prophecy? I think it's our Father's way of telling us to learn from the past because the future will be very similar (1st Corinthians 10:11). Alexander's empire is a type of global kingdom, of which Satan's is chief. I believe his Greek kingdom is represented by one of the beast's seven heads; the others being Babylon, Medo-Persian, Roman, Mohammedan, Israeli, and finally Satan himself (Revelation 17:9-11). The most important part of each is that they occupied Palestine in succession.

24 And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people. 25 And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

This little horn will be broken just like Alexander's horn - not by human hands, but by our Father's hand. I would like to take advantage of the last clause because, not only does the Greek swine have 4 horns, but those horns also approximate the shape of a hand with a thumb and three fingers:



The base of the thumb corresponds with the top of the horn, at which we find the canal and the city of Corinth. Here Paul directed two epistles. We might say that the word of God broke this horn without hands (figuratively caused the peninsula to 'break off') as a way of showing us how He will deal in the future with the beast and its horns. No matter how bad the beast looks, our Father lets us know that His hand controls it (Jeremiah 25:9).

In closing I would like to point out the Hebrew word for Grecia, which is Yavan or Javan (Strong's Concordance #3120). A word that has the same root, and which is almost identical, is yaven (#3121). It is translated both 'mire' and 'miry'. I thought that was an interesting coincidence considering that pigs love to wallow in the mire, an activity that has spiritual implications as well, in 2nd Peter 2:

20 For if after they have escaped the pollutions of the world through the knowledge of the Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, they are again entangled therein, and overcome, the latter end is worse with them than the beginning. 21 For it had been better for them not to have known the way of righteousness, than, after they have known it, to turn from the holy commandment delivered unto them. 22 But it is happened unto them according to the true proverb, The dog is turned to his own vomit again; and the sow that was washed to her wallowing in the mire.


Part 2




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