Daniel 1

Daniel 7

Daniel's Vision of the Four Beasts

1In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters. 2Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. 3And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

 

 4The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it. 

 

5And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh. 

 

6After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it. 

 

7After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that werebefore it; and it had ten horns. 8I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel's Vision of the Ancient of Days

9I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.

10A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

11I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame. 12As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13I saw in the night visions, and, behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

14And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.

Daniel's Visions Interpreted

15I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

19Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 

 

21I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.

23Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 

 

24And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

 

26But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

28Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart

The Beasts of Daniel 7

Examining the four beasts

As we continue through Daniel there are a few things to keep in mind.

1. The beasts of Daniel 7 expounds on the kingdoms represented in Nebuchadnezzar's dream.

2. The kingdoms shown in prophecy can morph or be split into multiple kingdoms making their final appearance hardly recognizable from their first appearance. The best way I can explain this is by thinking of how the United States has changed. The residents of the original 13 colonies would not recognize what is now considered the United States. Despite how the United States' boundaries have changed, it is still the United States. Likewise the kingdoms represented in Daniel will change.

3. Even though I will do my best to explain Daniel 7 through 12, study the scriptures yourself and ask God for understanding.

Daniel's 40 year wait for further understanding

Daniel was given some insight of the various kingdoms that would rule based on Nebuchadnezzar's dream. Daniel 2 tells us this was in the Second year of the reign of Nebuchadnezzar. Nebuchadnezzar reigned for 41 years until his death, which is when his son Belshazzar began ruling. Daniel then had a dream that included 4 beasts during the first year of Belshazzar's reign. That means Daniel had to wait approximately 40 years before God revealed further revelation about these kingdoms to Daniel.

Image's Kingdoms

Gold = Babylon

Silver = Persia

Brass = Greece

Iron = Rome

The Lion (Head of Gold)

4The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.

The first beast we read about was a lion and it corresponds to the head of gold which we know is Babylon. That lion that flew around devouring was humbled by having it's wings plucked, its lion's heart replaced by a mans heart, and made to stand upright like a man. Belshazzar erred by thinking too highly of himself and just like the men mentioned in Psalms 82 , even though Belshazzar was a god, he would die like a man.

The Bear (Body and arms of Silver)

5And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

We know from Daniel 5:28, and the 'writing on the wall's' interpretation that Belshazzar's kingdom would be divided between the Persians and the Medes. Babylon was divided just as god had said between the Persians and the Medes.

So we know the bear then represents the Persians and the Medes. The bear raised it self up on one side showing the kingdoms of Media and Persia would not be equal, but one would be higher than the other. The Persians became mightier in power and therefore represent the side of the bear that was lifted up.

Since the bear corresponds to the body and arms of silver in Nebuchadnezzar's image, then we know the silver portion of Nebuchadnezzar's image represents the nations of Media and Persia (or Persia since it became mightier).

The bear had 3 ribs in it's mouth representing the 3 kings it would conquer, the Sardes, Babylonians, and Egyptians.

The beast was told to arise and devour much flesh, or in other words become rich from the kingdoms they would conquer.

Summary

The third beast relates to Daniel 8, so we will wait and talk about the third and fourth beasts next week.

But in the meantime we can see, God is in full control. He revealed to Daniel things that would come to pass, but he did not reveal all things to Daniel at once. Daniel set his heart on understanding God's prophecy. If we want to imitate Daniel then we too should set our heart on understanding God's prophecy but also, like Daniel, be willing to wait nd show patience until God reveals to us the truth.