The Rape of Europe is a video produced by David Hathaway, an evangelist who is the founder and president of Eurovision Mission to Europe. In 2006 he wrote a book entitled Babylon in Europe and the video is based on that book. In the video, Hathaway claims that the modern-day Europe is a continuation of the Roman Empire prophesied by Daniel. He also makes the claim that the EU is the prostitute of Revelation 17 that rides on the Beast of Islam.
The problem with the video is that when you start examining the statements that Hathaway makes, most of them turn out to be, at best, highly questionable.
The video starts by giving us a sweeping tour of world history, emphasising the great empires, and saying that now “we are seeing the absolute dominance of America in world politics and economy, but alongside it, arising a challenging force – that of the emerging European empire.”
This description is questionable. The big problem is that if one actually looks at the world, the EU is not challenging the US for dominance in world politics and economy. The EU’s share of global GDP is declining. The countries that made up the EU controlled about 30% of the world’s economy in 1980, whereas today it is about 16% and is expected to continue to fall. In other words, Hathaway’s great tour of world history sounds impressive, but when he gets into recent history, he ignores crucial facts which go against his narrative.
Having spoken about the fact that there were a succession of world empires, he then moves on to the Bible, and talks about how it also speaks of a succession of empires, and focuses on the account of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in the 2nd chapter of Daniel. Hathaway says that Daniel says that “there would be five succeeding empires.” The video shows a picture of the statue with the the Babylonian empire at the top, followed by the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek empire, the Roman Empire, and at the bottom the “Holy Roman Empire” and “Europe Today.” He says that the only one not fulfilled is the iron and clay in the fifth empire.
What the book of Daniel says is:
“This was the dream. Now we will tell the king its interpretation. “37 You, O king, the king of kings, to whom the God of heaven has given the kingdom, the power, and the might, and the glory, 38 and into whose hand he has given, wherever they dwell, the children of man, the beasts of the field, and the birds of the heavens, making you rule over them all—you are the head of gold. 39 Another kingdom inferior to you shall arise after you, and yet a third kingdom of bronze, which shall rule over all the earth. 40 And there shall be a fourth kingdom, strong as iron, because iron breaks to pieces and shatters all things. And like iron that crushes, it shall break and crush all these. 41 And as you saw the feet and toes, partly of potter’s clay and partly of iron, it shall be a divided kingdom, but some of the firmness of iron shall be in it, just as you saw iron mixed with the soft clay. 42 And as the toes of the feet were partly iron and partly clay, so the kingdom shall be partly strong and partly brittle. 43 As you saw the iron mixed with soft clay, so they will mix with one another in marriage, but they will not hold together, just as iron does not mix with clay. 44 And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever, 45 just as you saw that a stone was cut from a mountain by no human hand, and that it broke in pieces the iron, the bronze, the clay, the silver, and the gold. A great God has made known to the king what shall be after this. The dream is certain, and its interpretation sure.” “
What should we notice? First, there is nothing about empires – it speaks about kingdoms. It probably means empires, but we can’t be certain. Some scholars have thought that it means individual kings coming after Nebuchadnezzar. Secondly, it does not speak of five kingdoms / empires: it speaks of four. If you read verses 40 and 41, it seems pretty clear that the iron and clay feet are not a fifth empire, but part of the fourth.
As for which four kingdoms the parts of the statue stand for – the generally accepted view over the years is that they are, indeed, the Babylonian Empire, the Medo-Persian Empire, the Greek Empire, and the Roman Empire. This was the view of most of the early church fathers, and of the reformers, and of most Bible-believing scholars today. They would generally accept the view that when verse 44 says “And in the days of those kings the God of heaven will set up a kingdom that shall never be destroyed, nor shall the kingdom be left to another people. It shall break in pieces all these kingdoms and bring them to an end, and it shall stand forever,” – it is speaking about how in the days of the Roman Empire, Jesus came, bringing the kingdom of God, which is growing over the course of history as people are added it it through faith in Jesus, and which will eventually bring to an end the kingdoms of this world.
As well as the fact that the video speaks of a fifth empire, whereas Daniel speaks of four – there is another problem. Trying to fit the Holy Roman Empire or the EU into the pattern of the four empires does not really work. The four empires dominated the known world in their day, and each collapsed in battle at the hands of the empire that succeeded it. That was not the case for the Holy Roman Empire or the EU. Hathaway tries to argue that the Roman Empire was destroyed by Germanic tribes, and so the next empire is going to be German, but his argument is weak.
Symbols of the European Union
The video says that “actually, there are two main symbols used by the European Union both of which are found in the Bible.” It goes on to say that they are the Parliament Building in Strasbourg, and a statue in Brussels of a woman riding a bull.
When one looks at that statement, it breaks down completely. If you google “symbols of the European Union”, you come to a Wikipedia article of that name. The Wikipedia article begins: “The European Union (EU) uses a number of symbols, including the European Flag, Anthem of Europe, Motto of the European Union and Europe Day.” The video mentions none of these symbols, and the Wikipedia article mentions neither the Parliament building nor the statue of the woman riding a bull. To say that the Parliament building and the statue are “the two main symbols used by the European Union” is just not true.
The Tower of Babel
The video claims that the EU Parliament building represents the Tower of Babel, and spends a lot of time looking at this claim and what it means. The claim is based on the fact that the building, in some ways, looks very like a painting of the Tower of Babel by the 16th century Dutch artist Pieter Bruegel the elder. Wikipedia says “The story of the Tower of Babel . . . was interpreted as an example of pride punished, and that is no doubt what Bruegel intended his painting to illustrate.” There is nothing controversial about that.
The video, however, claims, that the Parliament Building was modelled on the painting. I have not been able to find any evidence for that. The video claims that a journalist confirmed that the members of the European Parliament understood that it represented Babel in the Bible, and that they intended to finish what Nimrod and the people of Babel had failed to do. No source is given.
It seems to me very unlikely that all these people would choose a symbol of pride being punished as their symbol. What sort of idiot would choose, as a symbol, a great project that ended in disaster? Politicians and bureaucrats may not be the brightest people in the world, but they do tend to know a little bit about public relations – and choosing something that was a total disaster as your symbol is not good PR.
It is worth noting that the video claims that Nimrod was the builder of Babel. The Bible doesn’t actually say that. In Genesis 10, it says
“Cush fathered Nimrod; he was the first on earth to be a mighty man. He was a mighty hunter before the LORD. Therefore it is said, “Like Nimrod a mighty hunter before the LORD.” The beginning of his kingdom was Babel, Erech, Accad, and Calneh, in the land of Shinar. From that land he went into Assyria and built Nineveh, Rehoboth-Ir, Calah, and Resen between Nineveh and Calah; that is the great city.”
And Nimrod is not even mentioned in the account of the building of Babel in Genesis 11. He is not described in the Bible as the builder of Babel.
The video also says “In Babylonian culture, the title Queen of Heaven was the title given to the earthly mother of Nimrod.” The Babylonian goddess who they called the Queen of Heaven was Inanna. There is nothing in Babylonian mythology that says she was the mother of the founder of Babylon – or of anyone called Nimrod. In other words, what the video says appears to be untrue.
The Europa Statue
It is not surprising that Europa is used as a symbol of Europe by the EU. After all, in Greek mythology, the continent Europe is named after her. (It was common in ancient Greek mythology and geography to identify lands or rivers with female figures.) The video goes out of its way to make the story of the myth of Europa sound as horrific as possible, and then proceeds to use the fact that in the myth, Europa was originally from Phoenicia (on the east coast of the Mediterranean ) to suggest that this has implications for the relationship between between Europe and the Middle East in our time. To draw such a conclusion from an ancient Greek myth has no rational basis, and leaves me wondering why Hathaway takes Greek myths so seriously.
The video then goes on to assert that the description in Revelation 17 of a woman and a beast is actually a description of Europa and the bull. What Revelation actually says is:
“Then one of the seven angels who had the seven bowls came and said to me, “Come, I will show you the judgement of the great prostitute who is seated on many waters, 2 with whom the kings of the earth have committed sexual immorality, and with the wine of whose sexual immorality the dwellers on earth have become drunk.” 3 And he carried me away in the Spirit into a wilderness, and I saw a woman sitting on a scarlet beast that was full of blasphemous names, and it had seven heads and ten horns. 4 The woman was arrayed in purple and scarlet, and adorned with gold and jewels and pearls, holding in her hand a golden cup full of abominations and the impurities of her sexual immorality. 5 And on her forehead was written a name of mystery: “Babylon the great, mother of prostitutes and of earth’s abominations.”
There is no reason to believe that John, the writer of Revelation, had in mind the myth of Europa. Nowhere does it say in Revelation that the woman is Europa, nowhere does it say that the beast is a bull, nowhere does it say that she is riding on it – she is described as seated on it. More to the point, Revelation tends to draw its imagery from the Old Testament. It does not use imagery from Greek myths.
I could go on, but the point is that when one fact-checks the video, it turns out that just about every claim that the video makes falls apart. One Christian writer, commenting on the video, remarked “nearly everything in the video is untrue—both historically and biblically. There are some facts in the presentation—it is nearly impossible to talk for over an hour without some facts slipping in . . . .“
My guess is that very few people who see the video – and it is up to almost 180,000 views on YouTube – ever bother attempting to check the facts in the video. And yet Christians, of all people, should know that they ought to do some fact-checking when a preacher says something radically new or different. In the book of Acts (17:11) we are told that when Paul and Silas preached in the synagogue in Berea, his hearers were more noble than those in Thessalonica, and “they received the word with all eagerness, examining the Scriptures daily to see if these things were so.”
I want to make a final comment about the video.
About 11 minutes in, Hathaway says “I want to try to show you in a very definite way, a very clear way, that we are actually living in the time when Bible prophecy is being fulfilled, literally today, in your lifetime.”
When Hathaway says that, it should ring alarm bells. Since the end of the New Testament, about 1900 years ago, people have often claimed that Bible prophecy is being fulfilled literally in their lifetimes, usually seeing this fulfilment in the political events of their own day.
For example, in 17th century England, during the political turmoil between King and Parliament that lasted from about 1639 to 1662, a group called the Fifth Monarchy Men claimed that the fifth monarchy spoken of in Daniel chapter 2, the kingdom of God, was about to happen. They saw great significance in the fact that the year 1666 was approaching. A lot of intelligent Christians believed it. Within a few years, it became clear that they were wrong, and today it is largely forgotten.
In the 18th Century, Jonathan Edwards, a great preacher with a brilliant mind, followed the battles between the Britain and France, trying to see how they fitted in with Biblical prophecy. Today, nobody believes that, and it is largely forgotten. These things often seem credible for several decades – sometimes for a few centuries – but in the end, they have always turned out to be wrong.
Before the 2016 referendum, I wrote about why I planned to vote for the UK to leave the EU. In my piece, I spoke about the Tower of Babel, and said that what the Bible had to say suggested to me that moves toward greater unity in Europe were not a good thing. In other words, in some ways, what I had to say might appear at first glance to be similar to what David Hathaway said.
“Would a united Europe be a good thing? I think that a lot of people are attracted to the idea of being part of a large union because it feels ‘safer’ – remaining outside feels risky. This way of thinking believes that big is good – or at least that it is good to be part of something big – that a united Europe would be secure and strong in the big wide world out there.
I have to confess that I am uneasy with that view. In my opinion, the worst possible political arrangement for the world is a world with one central government exercising political control of the entire planet. It simply concentrates far too much power in one place. As Lord Acton observed, all power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.
(It seems to me that the account of the life of King Uzziah in II Chronicles 26 is a good example of what Acton spoke about, for verse 16 says “But when [Uzziah] was strong, he grew proud, to his destruction. For he was unfaithful to the LORD his God and entered the temple of the LORD to burn incense on the altar of incense.“)
And it seems to me that the second worst option is a world divided into a small handful of powerful blocks. Again, far too much power would be concentrated in only a handful of places. What I would prefer to see is a large number of independent countries – the more the merrier. That would share power out, and provide diversity instead of uniformity.
And that is basically why I would like to see Britain leaving the EU.
This brings us back to the Biblical account of the Tower of Babel, And in particular to words of the builders of the tower: “Come, let us build ourselves a city and a tower with its top in the heavens, and let us make a name for ourselves, lest we be dispersed over the face of the whole earth. ” What is interesting is that the Biblical account describes an attempt by the people of the world to form a unity. It doesn’t describe it explicitly as a political unity, but that is what it was.
God clearly did not believe that this unity project was a good idea:
“The LORD said, “Behold, they are one people, and they have all one language, and this is only the beginning of what they will do. And nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them. Come, let us go down and there confuse their language, so that they may not understand one another’s speech.” So the LORD dispersed them from there over the face of all the earth, and they left off building the city.”
The words “nothing that they propose to do will now be impossible for them” suggest that God did not think this huge amount of power (basically, political power) concentrated in one place was a good thing. It suggests that being able to do more was not a good thing. And so he scattered them over the face of all the earth – in other words, into many smaller political units, so that they could not do so much.
And if God seems to be saying that having large amounts amounts of political power concentrated in one place is not good, and that it is better to split it between smaller political units, it seems to me that moving towards a unified Europe is probably not a good thing.”