Daniel 7

Daniel 7

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Daniel’s Vision of the Four Beasts

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles’ wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, ‘Arise, devour much flesh.’ After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

“As I looked,

  thrones were placed,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat;
  his clothing was white as snow,
    and the hair of his head like pure wool;
  his throne was fiery flames;
    its wheels were burning fire.
  A stream of fire issued
    and came out from before him;
  a thousand thousands served him,
    and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him;
  the court sat in judgment,
    and the books were opened.

“I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.

The Son of Man Is Given Dominion

“I saw in the night visions,

  and behold, with the clouds of heaven
    there came one like a son of man,
  and he came to the Ancient of Days
    and was presented before him.
  And to him was given dominion
    and glory and a kingdom,
  that all peoples, nations, and languages
    should serve him;
  his dominion is an everlasting dominion,
    which shall not pass away,
  and his kingdom one
    that shall not be destroyed.

Daniel’s Vision Interpreted

“As for me, Daniel, my spirit within me was anxious, and the visions of my head alarmed me. I approached one of those who stood there and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of the things. ‘These four great beasts are four kings who shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, forever and ever.’

“Then I desired to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the rest, exceedingly terrifying, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze, and which devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet, and about the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn that came up and before which three of them fell, the horn that had eyes and a mouth that spoke great things, and that seemed greater than its companions. As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them, until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

“Thus he said: ‘As for the fourth beast,

  there shall be a fourth kingdom on earth,
    which shall be different from all the kingdoms,
  and it shall devour the whole earth,
    and trample it down, and break it to pieces.
  As for the ten horns,
  out of this kingdom ten kings shall arise,
    and another shall arise after them;
  he shall be different from the former ones,
    and shall put down three kings.
  He shall speak words against the Most High,
    and shall wear out the saints of the Most High,
    and shall think to change the times and the law;
  and they shall be given into his hand
    for a time, times, and half a time.
  But the court shall sit in judgment,
    and his dominion shall be taken away,
    to be consumed and destroyed to the end.
  And the kingdom and the dominion
    and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven
    shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High;
  his kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom,
    and all dominions shall serve and obey him.’

“Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly alarmed me, and my color changed, but I kept the matter in my heart.”

(ESV)


Daniel 7 Commentary

by Hank Workman

The first 6 chapters of Daniel were historical in nature and inspiring as Daniel was one man who stood firm in times of persecution. His unwavering faith is challenging on every level for us. The book of Daniel now turns with the last 6 chapters of dreams, visions, and revelations from God given to him of what is to come. These prophecies are still looked upon today with some having been fulfilled and others yet to be until the Son of Man appears.

In an attempt to be sound in what is written, much research will be given to each of these chapters. For centuries many have attempted to pinpoint exact meanings. The nature of these blogs will not attempt to do that. The hope through the inspiration of the Holy Spirit, is the chapter will be broken down on some level each day but He will give each of us something to cling to in the ever-changing world of which we live as possibly we are living in the fulfillment of these visions.

Daniel woke with a start. He’d been given a vision that upon waking immediately wrote it down. Deeply troubled in spirit, he wondered what this would or could mean and sought answers.

The wind began to churn the waters of the sea and from it walked 4 beasts. These were representations of nations and rulers who contended through wars to establish their kingdom upon the earth. Each was terrifying in its own right, the first being a lion with eagle wings until its wings were suddenly plucked bringing a full stop to the national leader. The second is a bear who came against the lion and became its master. Protruding from its mouth were 3 ribs, the remains of previous nations it had devoured.

The third beast was that of a leopard, active, crafty, and cruel it had four wings and four heads showing its dominion. The fourth beast was that of the most fierce and terrifying. He was indescribable. Unlike any of the others, it was mischievous and formidable. Iron teeth protruded from its mouth, with ten horns on its head. Its cruelty would mark its ways as it trampled upon nation after nation. An additional tiny horn appeared with eyes and a mouth boasting great things of which will make an appearance in future prophecies. This last horn, representing the Antichrist will wage war against the saints of God and prevail until the Ancient of Days steps in to bring judgment.

It is here the prophetic dream moves toward the end of all time. In a similar vision given to John in Revelation, the Ancient of Days, the Almighty God whom all things pass through his fair and just fingers is seen and brings judgment. The image of Him is absolutely breathtaking. Hair as white as snow, his throne ablaze with Holy Fire, a river flowing before him. Thousands upon thousands of people stood before Him as books were opened. The boastful beast was slain, its body destroyed and all other dominion was taken away.

The vision shifts one last time as the Son of Man, Jesus the Messiah of all, comes before the Father. To Him was given the final authority and dominion as His Kingdom is unending, his rule everlasting.

Times are tough. We all struggle. Our world is in chaos as seemingly never before. I sometimes wonder what life will be like in even five years with the ever-changing tide of our culture, of our own liberties squashed daily. It would be and is easy to become discouraged. But the hope for each of us is this fact. The Ancient of Days, God Almighty is on the throne. He is.

His Holy Flames surrounding, burning up the things against Him shows His absolute sovereignty. And Jesus, the Messiah who has taken every sin and crucified it on the cross brings a trust in hope that although everything comes against us, although persecution is sure to rise even more tangibly – God rules, His judgment fair; Jesus’ grace offered to all who will believe.

May our eyes and own vision be shifted not toward the matters of this world but toward the absolute truth that Jesus reigns, He rules, He wins. May the Almighty Father strengthen us for this day and through our future to stay faithful. Amen and amen!


Daniel 7 Commentary

by Brad Boyles

The prophetic part of Daniel starts here with Chapter 7. It is unlikely that we can know exactly what is being talked about here, or even the timing of these events. Scholars have differed over whether these prophecies describe immediate events or if they can be continually applied to many situations over a period of time. It is always important to extract the immediate contextual application but for this passage, it is somewhat difficult.

Chronologically, the vision of Chapter 7 takes place during the reign of King Belshazzar placing it in between chapters 4 and 5. If you remember, in Daniel 2 King Nebuchadnezzar had a dream that needed to be translated. There were four metals described in that dream which represented four world-dominating kingdoms. Daniel’s vision here in Chapter 7 contains four beasts. It’s quite possible that after King Neb’s dream, Daniel began to pray and wonder about how God would orchestrate such events and what they meant for the coming Messiah through the line of David. God gave Daniel a vision that lines up with King Neb’s original dream.

King Neb’s Dream ⇒ Head of Gold ⇒ Babylon
Daniel’s Vision ⇒ Lion ⇒ Babylon

King Neb’s Dream ⇒ Arms of Silver ⇒ Persia
Daniel’s Vision ⇒ Bear ⇒ Persia

King Neb’s Dream ⇒ Sides of Bronze ⇒ Greece
Daniel’s Vision ⇒ Leopard ⇒ Greece

King Neb’s Dream ⇒ Legs of Iron / Feet of Iron & Clay ⇒ Rome
Daniel’s Vision ⇒ Composite Beast ⇒ Rome

What does this mean for us today? Well, the four winds of Daniel’s vision have begun to blow. Consider the society that we live in today.

“And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.”

There is brainwashing taking place as there is a reversal of right and wrong. Humanism elevates people to the status of gods. In the same way that the ancient Greek theater corrupted the morals of those people, the media powerhouses bring us news and entertainment laced with an agenda. We are told to be independent and “follow our heart” instead of following God. Like the days of Judges, people do what seems right in their own eyes. In this way, truth is subjective because it only matters what you believe and not what God has clearly revealed. The horn speaks great things that will tickle the ears of humanity.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not trying to say this prophecy is being fulfilled today. I honestly do not know. I am only pointing out that we are definitely moving in that direction. The winds are blowing.

As I looked, this horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them,  22  until the Ancient of Days came, and judgment was given for the saints of the Most High, and the time came when the saints possessed the kingdom.

Daniel 7:21-22 ESV

He shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time.

Daniel 7:25 ESV

Daniel was disturbed by all this. This horn made war with the saints and prevailed over them. He wore out the saints of the Most High and changed the times and the law. The destruction is indescribable. However, the kingdom will be given to the saints by the authority of Jesus. The world, Satan, and his kingdom have a limited amount of time and a limited amount of power. Though they may win the battles, they have already lost the war. Jesus will hand the kingdom over to those who persevere and trust in His saving grace.

Jesus’ Kingdom cannot be taken by human force. The world powers believe this lie and will fail in the end. His Coming Kingdom is a gift to be received just like Salvation. True gifts, by nature, cannot be manipulated or coerced. They are received in due time and dependant upon the Giver. As the saints who received this Kingdom, we wait patiently on our Giver.

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