Daniel 7

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Belshazzar was the king of Babylon whose reign ended with the capturing of Babylon by the Persians around 540 years before Christ. This is the same king who saw the writing on the wall just before Babylon’s fall.

He too had a dream interpreted by God through Daniel and written in scripture for God’s glory. This amazing chapter covers ancient history for us and yet our near future also!

Daniel 7
1-3: In 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. Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

[Babylon]

4: The 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. [I believe that Nebuchadnezzar believed in God because of Daniel and that’s why he was turned from a beast into a man with a man’s heart. More on this here]

[Persia]
5: And 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.

[Greece]

6: After 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.

[Rome/Revived Roman Empire]

7,8: After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron [Daniel 2:40-45] 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 were before it; and it had ten horns. [Revelation 13:1-10] I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, [The beast or antichrist] 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.

[Christ’s Kingdom at Christ’s Return in Glory - Armageddon]

9,10: I 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. A 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.

11,12: I 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. [Revelation 19:20] As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

13,14: I 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. And 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.

15,16: I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. I 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.

[Interpretation]

17: These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

[Western European Union: Treaty of Brussels March 17, 1948]
18-20: Then 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; And 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, [Revelation 13:5] whose look was more stout than his fellows. [This is the antichrist at his revealing, the abomination of desolation]

[The 2nd Half of the 70th Week of Daniel]

21,22: I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; Until 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.

23-28: Thus 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. And 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. And 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. [3½ years or 42 months Revelation 13:5 or 1260 days] But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. And 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. Hitherto 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.


Four beasts from the sea representing four kings in history

  • Lion with eagles wings that were plucked (Babylon)
  • Bear that devours much flesh (Persia)
  • Leopard with four wings and four heads and given dominion (Greece)
  • Fourth Beast with iron teeth and 10 horns (Rome/Western European Union [WEU]?)
    • 3 horns plucked by the roots
    • Little horn comes up amongst the 10
      • 3 Plucked Horns perspective from Jerry: The AC will make war on the saints in the middle (3 ½ years) [of the 70th week] using 7 of the 10 kings (10 kings less the 3 he subdues) and God will give him power to overcome them for 42 months. Currently, the WEU (Western European Union) 10 permanent/only-voting members have a 6 month rotating presidency. So, take the 10 kings less 3 = 7 x 6 months each = 42 months! Surely the WEU is the 10 horns/kings brought down to 7 who give their 6 month rotating presidency to the AC to rule for 42 months.
    • Little horn has eyes like a man and a mouth speaking great things

Is Daniel 7:4 Referring to Ancient Babylon?

Daniel 7:4
The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.

I am also intrigued by the story written by Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4.

Daniel 4:30-37
The king spake, and said, Is not this great Babylon, that I have built for the house of the kingdom by the might of my power, and for the honour of my majesty? While the word was in the king’s mouth, there fell a voice from heaven, saying, O king Nebuchadnezzar, to thee it is spoken; The kingdom is departed from thee. And they shall drive thee from men, and thy dwelling shall be with the beasts of the field: they shall make thee to eat grass as oxen, and seven times shall pass over thee, until thou know that the most High ruleth in the kingdom of men, and giveth it to whomsoever he will. The same hour was the thing fulfilled upon Nebuchadnezzar: and he was driven from men, and did eat grass as oxen, and his body was wet with the dew of heaven, till his hairs were grown like eagles’ feathers, and his nails like birds’ claws. And at the end of the days I Nebuchadnezzar lifted up mine eyes unto heaven, and mine understanding returned unto me, and I blessed the most High, and I praised and honoured him that liveth for ever, whose dominion is an everlasting dominion, and his kingdom is from generation to generation: And all the inhabitants of the earth are reputed as nothing: and he doeth according to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What doest thou? At the same time my reason returned unto me; and for the glory of my kingdom, mine honour and brightness returned unto me; and my counsellors and my lords sought unto me; and I was established in my kingdom, and excellent majesty was added unto me. Now I Nebuchadnezzar praise and extol and honour the King of heaven, all whose works are truth, and his ways judgment: and those that walk in pride he is able to abase.

Nebuchadnezzar’s pride is brought low when he is made to be like the beasts of the field for seven years. After that time, he is again given his human faculties and resumes reigning Babylon.

There is the aspect of timing since this vision in Daniel 7 is after Nebuchadnezzar’s reign is over.

Daniel 7:17
These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise H6966 out of the earth.

Shall Rise (H6966)
qûm (koom)
(Chaldee); corresponding to H6965: - appoint, establish, make, raise up self, (a-) rise (up), (make to) stand, set (up).

(H6965)
qûm (koom)
A primitive root; to rise (in various applications, literally, figuratively, intensively and causatively): - abide, accomplish, X be clearer, confirm, continue, decree, X be dim, endure, X enemy, enjoin, get up, make good, help, hold, (help to) lift up (again), make, X but newly, ordain, perform, pitch, raise (up), rear (up), remain, (a-) rise (up) (again, against), rouse up, set (up), (e-) stablish, (make to) stand (up), stir up, strengthen, succeed, (as-, make) sure (-ly), (be) up (-hold, -rising).

Does this necessarily mean they were all future kingdoms? Or could it be that even though Daniel received this vision past Nebuchadnezzar’s reign, the prophecy is given regardless of time? He would certainly understand and recognize Daniel 7:4 as having happened before, giving him some grounding in the present for what was to come in the future. The idea of appointing is related to these four kings.

It seems to me that the story of Nebuchadnezzar being made low as a beast after his god-complex in order to be made a humble man giving glory to God seems to fit the idea used in other Biblical illustrations of those making their nests in the heights of the eagles, the proud, being brought low. This seems to be exactly what Daniel 7:4 is talking about.

Jeremiah 49:16
Thy terribleness hath deceived thee, and the pride of thine heart, O thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, that holdest the height of the hill: though thou shouldest make thy nest as high as the eagle, I will bring thee down from thence, saith the LORD.

From Winged Lions: The Gate of Xerxes at Perespolis shows that the Winged Lion was placed at the corner of one entrance. When you stood in front of the gate you saw a lion with four legs and when you were inside the gate you saw a lion with four legs.

 

The Winged Lion of Babylon
Human-headed winged lion (lamassu), 883­859 B.C.;
Neo-Assyrian period, reign of Ashurnasirpal II
Excavated at Nimrud (ancient Kalhu), northern Mesopotamia
Alabaster (gypsum); H. 10 ft. 3½ in. (313.7 cm)
Gift of John D. Rockefeller Jr., 1932 (32.143.2)

Daniel 7:4
The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it.


Other views:

Herb L. Peters:

...What I quoted above from my overview is basically the dispensational view of Bible prophecy. So, there are many areas where I agree with Dispensationalism. But, as I said before, there are some areas where I disagree. What first caught my attention was apparently finding a different order of events in Daniel from that which strict Dispensationalism taught. In chapter seven of the book of Daniel we read about the prophet Daniel seeing the four beasts rising from the sea. The forth beast was different from the other beasts and it trampled down and devoured the first three. It also had 10-horns -- identifying it as the same beast that John saw rising from the sea in Revelation 13. Daniel sees a little horn appear among the 10 horns and uprooting three. And, Daniel sees this little horn possessing a mouth and boasting great things (Daniel 7:7-8).

So far nothing appears out of order from strict Dispensationalism. However, what comes next is. In the next verse we find the same throne room scene that we find in Revelation 4. And, in the following verses (Daniel 7:9-11), we see some of the same things happen that occur in Revelation 4 through Revelation 19. For me, the implications were obvious. Although the dispensational view teaches that Revelation chapter four marks the beginning of Israel’s final seven-year period, the book of Daniel appears to teach that Revelation chapter four marks the beginning of the Great Tribulation, which is only a 3 ½ year period. You see, Daniel places the throne room scene of Revelation chapter four happening after the Antichrist is boasting great things. And, from other related passages, we know that this boasting occurs in the middle of the seven-year period -- when the Antichrist goes into the Temple and declares himself to be God.

At first I pretty much kept my new thinking to myself. Then, I ran across something that gave the idea further support. I read a piece by an expert on the original languages who pointed out that John in Revelation was making direct word connections back to the book of Daniel. As an example, he said that the book that was sealed in Daniel 12 should be understood as the scroll with seven seals in Revelation 5.

If that’s truly the case, once again it suggests that the events unleashed by the breaking of the seven seals on the scroll could happen over a 3½ year period, not seven. That’s because, in Daniel 12 where the book is sealed, an angel asks how long until the end of these wonders. The reply is, time, times and a half time (3½ years), until the power of the holy people is shattered.

I began finding other Scripture that supported the 3½-year idea. For example, we read that the Antichrist and his 10 kings will be given authority to wage their war against the saints for 3½ years. And, when the first seal on the scroll is broken, we read that the rider on a white horse is given a crown and then he goes fourth to conquer. Once again, the passage may suggest the beginning of the foretold 3½ year period, not seven. You see, when the rider is given his crown, he may be receiving his authority to act -- or make war -- for forty-two months (3½ years). And, in Revelation 13, when the 10-horned beast rises from the sea, it has 10 crowns -- meaning the 10 kings now have their authority to act for 3½ years too.

I now have more reasons why I believe the events that begin in Revelation 4 may occur over a 3½ year period. For example, with my new way of thinking, I can even see the Scripture that I quoted at the beginning suggesting a 3½ year period for the scroll now too. Let’s look at it again.

Daniel 9:27 (NASB)
And he will make a firm covenant with the many for one week, but in the middle of the week he will put a stop to sacrifice and grain offering; and on the wing of abominations will come one who makes desolate, even until a complete destruction, one that is decreed, is poured out on the one who makes desolate.

Notice the part I highlighted. In ancient times, a scroll in the hand of someone sitting on a throne represented a king issuing a decree. So, even here, in the passage that’s referred to by Jesus in Matthew 24:15, we can find it being suggested that the seven-sealed scroll in Revelation isn’t opened, and it’s judgments poured out, until after the Antichrist has been revealed in the Temple in the middle of the seven-year period.

As I said before, what I have presented above is not intended to be an academic argument. It’s only my attempt, in simple fashion, to explain the how and why of what I have come to believe.

1whowaits:

It is interesting to consider what Daniel saw in chapter 7. Daniel was lying on his bed and he had a vision at night and the 4 ‘winds of heaven’ were churning up the ‘great sea’. In the Babylonian culture the ‘great sea’ was not just a body of water but it also described the night sky, the ‘sea’ of the stars and constellations.

And the Babylonian Zodiac did have a constellation pictured as a lion with eagles wings. It also had a leopard, and as the Bear has been in the constellations from the ancients (noted in Job), they likely had the Bear constellation also.

And there is a constellation that is different from the others, it is the largest of all and is known as the Hydra. Today the Hydra is pictured as a multi-headed serpent, but in the Babylonian zodiac it appears to be a conglomeration of beasts, a dragon body with fore legs and an unusual head, it is not recognizable as any particular animal, but is the largest.

The same beasts are associated with the ‘beast out of the sea’ in Revelation 13, the multi-headed beast (hydra) that resembles a leopard, has the feet of a bear and the mouth of a lion. This also appears to be a reference to the beasts of the night sky, the constellations.

We have always assumed that the beast that comes out of the sea comes out of the gentile nations or the water, but the ‘sea’ may be a reference to the stars. This could be consistent with Satan’s being cast down to earth, when he gives his power to the AC at the midpoint of the 70th week, which would appear to be an arrival from the stars. As the AC receives his power from Satan, as the world follows the beast and worships the dragon, as it is likely that Satan posses the AC, the AC could be seen as coming from the stars if he is embodied by Satan, the one who falls from the sky.

These beasts are all associated with the throne room scene which appears to parallel that in Revelation 4. The first 3 beasts are still in existence when the AC comes to his end, which occurs at Armageddon, suggesting that the first 3 beasts are still in existence at Jesus’ return. As the 4th beast is clearly the kingdom of the AC, which is a future kingdom, it is highly likely that the first 3 beasts of Daniel 7 are modern kingdoms that exist now.

Christian Media Network

Beginning with Babylon [Daniel 2 vision), all four kingdoms dominated the people of Israel. The fourth kingdom (the legs of iron), the Roman empire, presided over the destruction of Israel in 70 AD. The fourth kingdom also provided the countdown to the first coming of Jesus Christ, the Son of God.

Conversely, the four beast kingdoms function in reverse as they provide the historic countdown to the resurrection of the state of Israel; and once again these empires also serve as a sequential countdown to the second coming of Christ. Because the fourth kingdom is the empire that catapults The Antichrist to power, our identification requires a global perspective. Every verse in the Bible implies he is a global figure. Speaking of his confederate The False Prophet, the text does say “...he causes ALL to receive a mark....” 11.

The word all would appear to imply far more than Europeans. Indeed a quick bit of research in practically any Encyclopedia will find the European Community listed under regional organizations. Yet, to this day, the vast majority of prophecy teachers confidently and categorically state that the European Community is the final empire that will host The Antichrist.

There is only one global political entity of a lasting consequence in the world today. It was founded between 1945 and 1948. It has claimed absolute authority in establishing jurisdiction over the historic land called Palestine. Its power and political reach is now reaching overwhelming proportions as its members include virtually every government on the face of the Earth.

The United Nations IS the prophesied one world government so frequently mentioned in the Bible. The recognition of the intermediate American hegemony that is presently being manifested only serves as a ‘red herring’ in understanding how these kingdoms fit into the scriptural account. In many respects, America and the United Nations are alter egos of each other. The US created the UN as a vehicle to draw in the rest of the world’s nations to the construct the American government intended to engineer.

At the very same time the UN was formed (1947), the United States implemented the National Security Act which formed the National Security State the US has become. By slowly ceding power to it’s own creation, the US is transitioning its power base into world government and the UN is the heir apparent. There are some very important details to this process that are found in our study on The Beast with Seven Heads — however, those are beyond the scope of the present exposition. For the present, suffice it to say that the United Nations is the designated entity for world government and significant elements of the US and the UN may be seen in the description of the fourth Beast of Daniel Seven.

NCBreeze:

This is an alternative view of Daniel 7 (it says the same 4 kingdoms of Daniel 2 will be reconstituted in the latter days, having direct conflicts with Israel).. e.g. Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), Greece and Rome. (However, I don’t see any signs that Greece will arise again, in the latter days.. ??) This analysis justifies it by the fact that Daniel 8 defines the third kingdom as Greece. I confess, I’m stumped at this point. What do you make of Greece, in this analytical point of view? How could it possibly be reconstituted as a world power?
Kingdom Baptist - It appears there is no great agreement on the 3rd kingdom. Some say it is Germany, others say France, and Beirnes says it is an “Arab Federation.” This is precisely one thing that is wrong with this whole methodology. Once we have left the Bible’s own interpretation of these kingdoms, “anything goes!” Sir Robert Anderson was perhaps one of the first to suggest that the kingdoms of Daniel 7 were not identical with those of r. It is clear that he erred because he did not see that these same four kingdoms would be revived in the latter days. I believe G.H. Pember (“The Great Prophecies of the Centuries Concerning Israel and the Gentiles”) and William Kelly are both much more sound on Daniel 7 (at least in regard to the identity of the 4 kingdoms). Kelly writes: “Accordingly the Spirit again goes over the ground of the four great Gentile empires, as well as the fifth empire, the kingdom of heaven, to be introduced by our Lord Jesus. But all is presented, though, of course, with perfect consistency, from a different point of view. It is not now a great image, beginning with that which was gorgeous...Here we have ravening wild beasts. The very same powers are meant [as in Daniel 2], but it is another aspect of them....it is now God’s view of these same powers, and their relation to His people.” (“Notes on Daniel,” 1902)