Significance of the Word "Diverse" in Daniel 7:23
Question: Daniel 7:23 says, "The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and tread it down, and break it in pieces." What is the significance of the word "diverse" in this passage?
Answer: The word "diverse" is a key word in this passage. In fact, it is used a total of five times in Daniel 7 (vss. 3, 7, 19, 23-24). Few commentators have observed the significance of this word in chapter 7, especially as it relates to this fourth kingdom, which is a European kingdom, or the Revived Roman Empire.
Verse 7 states that this fourth kingdom will be "diverse" from the previous three kingdoms. Moreover, verse 23 states that this fourth kingdom will be "diverse" from "all kingdoms," not just from the first three kingdoms. This is significant. Daniel is telling us that one of the things that marks this fourth kingdom off is that it is "diverse" from all of the other historical kingdoms of the world.
What does the word "diverse" mean? The word simply means "different," or "unique." This fourth kingdom is different from all other kingdoms. It is unique. Based on Daniel’s use of the word "diverse" we are being told that this fourth kingdom is unique, but the question is, "Unique in what way?"
From Daniel 7:23 it appears that it is different in the sense that it "shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down and break it in pieces."
Question: Does this somehow describe the present-day European Union?
Answer: I believe it does. Robert Congdon, who is a prophetic writer, has written extensively on this topic. He says that the EU is an example of a supra-national government. There is a vast difference between a supra-national government and a federation.
A federation consists of a group of sovereign states which maintain their sovereignty in coming together, while at the same time supporting the goals and aims of the federation. In a federation, power is equally shared for the good of the whole.
However, in a supra-national arrangement the governing authority overrides the authority of the individual states. Consequently, these individual states lose their identity and their sovereignty. In a supra-national arrangement, power flows only one way and inevitably increases the power of the governing authority over the individual states. In other words, the individual states are absorbed by the governing authority, and become subservient to the governing authority.
This is exactly what we have in the EU. Ultimate control of the EU over many formerly sovereign states is in the hands of a few unelected officials. Truly, the European Union is "diverse" from all other kingdoms in the history of planet earth.