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PROPHECY

DANIEL'S VISION OF THE FOUR BEASTS

Daniel Chapter 7

This is another view of the same dream of Daniel 2 in lesson one, only looking at it from God’s viewpoint.

FIRST BEAST

"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." Daniel 7:4

The theory that Babylon is not symbolized by the lion because Daniel saw the 4 beasts rise out of the sea, showing they were all future kingdoms after his day, is not proved by the mere fact that Daniel saw them rise out of the sea. The image of Daniel Chapter 2 was also seen during the time after Babylon had already risen, yet Daniel said to Nebuchadnezzar, "Thou art this head of gold. And after thee shall arise another kingdom", etc. If Babylon could be symbolized by a head of gold after it had already risen, then the same kingdom could be symbolized by a lion after it had risen.

The king of Babylon is compared to a lion (Reference Isaiah 5:29; Jeremiah 4:7; 50:17, 44-46).

The eagle’s wings identify Babylon for the kingdom is compared to an eagle (Compare Jeremiah 48:40; Ezekiel 17; Habakkuk1:6-8).

The wings denote the swiftness of the conquests of Nebuchadnezzar. In just a few years he made a vast empire.

The wings being plucked and the lion standing upon its feet as a man with a man’s heart being given to it symbolize the conquests of Nebuchadnezzar coming to an abrupt end by his insanity and his becoming sane again as a man (See Daniel 4:33,36).

SECOND BEAST

"And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, 'Get up and eat your fill of flesh!' Daniel 7:5

This is a fitting symbol of Medo-Persia because of their cruelty, thirst after blood, their robberies, and love of spoil (See Isaiah 13:16-18; Jeremiah 51:48-56).

The largest species of bear are found in the mountains of Media.

The raising up itself on one side, symbolizes the strength of the Persians compared to the Medes. It is the same thought as the higher horn of the ram in Daniel 8:3.

Cyrus the Persian who was greater than Darius the Mede (Daniel 5:31) and who came up last (See 2 Chronicles 36:20-23; Ezra 1:1-8; 3:7; 4:5; Isaiah 44:28; 45:1).

This kingdom is mentioned in Daniel 5:24-31; 6:1-28; 7:5,17; 8:1-4,20; 10:1-20; 11:1,2; Isaiah 13:17-22; 21:2; 2 Kings 17:6; 18:11; Esther 1:1-9:3.

Three ribs in the mouth of it, symbolizes the conquest of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt by the Medes and Persians. The bear devoured much flesh (v. 5).

THIRD BEAST

"After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule." Daniel 7:6

A leopard is a fit symbol of the Grecian Empire founded by Alexander the Great. The leopard is known for its swiftness. This, together with the four wings of a fowl, symbolizes the swiftness of Alexander over Nebuchadnezzar's conquests. None of the conquests of other beasts equaled those of Alexander.

The four heads symbolize the four divisions of the Grecian Empire after the death of Alexander. Also the four horns of Daniel 8:8, 22,23 say the same thing.

    NOTE    -     heads always symbolize kingdoms (Daniel 7:6; 8:20-23; Revelation 17:9-11).

This kingdom is mentioned in Daniel 2:32,35,39,45; 7:6,17;8:5-25; 10:20; 11:3-45; Zechariah 8:13.

FOURTH BEAST

"After that, In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast- terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns." Daniel 7:7

The fourth beast is a symbol of the old Roman Empire, the 4th of 4 kingdoms in succession. It is mentioned by name only in the New Testament (See John 11:48; Acts 2:10; 16:21; etc.).

This is a nondescript beast for there is nothing on earth to compare it with. It is a dreadful, terrible, strong beast with great Iron Teeth symbolizing the same as the iron on the image of Daniel 2:40-43.

In fulfillment it devoured the other beasts and stamped upon them with its feet, meaning it conquered all the territories of the first beasts - Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece.

It was different from all beasts before it, not only in a republican form of government, but also in power, greatness, extent of dominion, and length of duration.

The TEN HORNS symbolize:

1. HISTORIST POSTITION     - The TEN KINGDOMS into which the Roman Empire was afterwards divided.

TEN SYRIAN KINGS
1. Seleucus Nicator
2. Antiochus Soter
3. Antiochus Theos
4. Antiochus Callinicus
5. Seleucus Ceraunus
6. Antiochus the Great
7. Seleucus, surnamed Philopater, brother of Antiochus Epiphanes
8. Laomedon of Mitylene, to whom Syria and Phoenicia had been intrusted
9. Antigone
10. His son Demetrius, who possessed those provinces, with the title of KINGS.

(Adam Clark)

FUTURIST POSITION    - The TEN KINGDOMS in the latter days, the last form of the old Roman Empire (See Daniel 7:7,8, 23-24; Revelation 13:1; 17:8-17).

NOTE THIS INTERESTING FACT:

"And I saw a beast coming out of the SEA. He had ten horns and seven heads, with ten crowns on his horns, and on each head a blasphemous name. The Beast I saw resembled a leopard, but had feet like those of a bear and a mouth like that of a lion." Revelation 13:1,2

Later on we will cover:

1. "A stone cut out of the mountain without hands."     Daniel 2:45
2. "The Ten Horns"    Daniel 7 and Revelation 13
3. "Another little Horn"    Daniel 7:8

A PANORAMATIC VIEW

EMPIRES DANIEL 2 DANIEL 7 DANIEL 8 REV. 13
Babylonian Head Lion 0 Lion
Medio-Persian Breast & Arms Bear Ram Bear
Greecian Belly & Thighs Leopard He-Goat Leopard
Roman Legs Non-Descriptive A little Horn False Lamb

ANOTHER LITTLE HORN - DANIEL 7:8

From among those ten kingdoms there will arise one individual who will have control over the whole dominion of the ten kings (Read Daniel 7:8, 24; Revelation 13:1-10; 17:13). In gaining his authority three of the ten kings are overthrown.

This final authority over the empire is wielded by one who is marked by blasphemy, hatred of God’s people, disregard for established law and order, who will continue for three and one-half years (Daniel 7:26).

This final form of world power will have world-wide influence (Daniel 7:23)

In Revelation 13:1-3 this passage continues the line of revelation concerning the final form of Gentile power. There are several observations to be made:

1. As has been revealed earlier, the final form of power is the successor to all preceding forms, for the beast that arises is a composite beast, partaking of the features of the leopard, the bear, and the lion (Revelation 13:2).

2. This form of world power is marked by ten horns (Revelation 13:1), which are explained in Revelation 17:12 as "kings" over which the Beast rules.

3. There is the restoration of a former method of government that ceased to exist in relation to the whole kingdom. John notes that this beast had seven heads (Rev. 13:1) and the present head had been wounded to death (Rev. 13:3) but the wound had been healed. These heads, according to Revelation 17:10, are kings or forms of government under which Rome existed. They are usually viewed as: kings, counsuls, dictators, decemvirs, military tribunes and emperors.

This would suggest that the thing that caused the world to wonder was the rise to power of an absolute monarch (emperor again the Beast) over the ten kingdom federation who wielded absolute power.

4. This whole development is attributed to satanic power (Rev. 13:4). As the Roman empire had been the agency through which Satan attacked Christ at His first advent, that empire in its final form will be the agency through which Satan works against the Messiah at His second advent.

In Revelation 17:8-14 is another important passage which deals with the final form of Gentile world power.

1. John seems to be giving the seat of authority in the end time (Rev. 17:9) since Rome is the "seven-hilled city."

2. The final form of Gentile power resides in an individual called an "eighth " king, who comes into authority over that kingdom ruled by the previous seven (Rev. 17:10-11).

Note the following:

The seven heads on the Beast represent seven successive forms of government from the rise of the fourth universal empire on through its history till its end.

Five have fallen." These are Kings, Consuls, Dictators, Decemvirs, and Military Tribunes."

"One is."    This is the sixth, or imperial form of government set up by Julius  Caesar, and under which John was banished to Patmos under Domitian. The previous forms of authority had ceased.

"The other has not yet come." Thus between the dissolution of the empire and its future diabolic reappearance, many centuries have elapsed....This is the seventh head. It is the rise of the fallen empire under new conditions as presented in Revelation 13:1.

"And the beast that was and is not, he also is an eighth, and is of the seven." This gigantic confederation of Rome is here regarded in its essential features as ever the same. He is an "eighth."

THE ANCIENT OF DAYS     DANIEL 7:9-14

Description:

1. Garment was white as snow.
2. Hair of his head like the pure wool.

Revelation 1:13-18

1. "like a son of man," dressed in a robe reaching down to his feet and with a golden sash around his chest.
2. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and his eyes were like blazing fire.
3. His feet were like bronze glowing in a furnace, and his voice was like the sound of rushing waters.
4. His face was liked the sun shining in all its brilliance.

QUESTION:    Who is this?

ANSWER: "I am the First and the Last, I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades." Revelation 1:17,18

            WE WILL GO INTO MORE DETAIL WITH "THE ANCIENT OF DAYS" LATER.

Now that we have everything figured out lets try a different approach to this passage.

IN THE FIRST YEAR OF BELSHAZZAR.

This was 429 B.C. Daniel being eighty-four years old. Three years before the events of ch. 6.

This vision (Ch. 7) is still in Chaldee (the Gentile language), because it is the continuatiion of 2:44, and shows what will take place in "the days of those kings" before the stone strikes the image. It brings us up to the end of Gentile dominion over Israel.. Chapter 8 is in Hebrew, because it specially concerns Israel.

It is the writing of "Daniel the prophet" (Matthew 24). This is directly stated by our Lord, Who, seven times in the Gospel of John, declared that what He spoke were not His own words, but the Father's (John 7:16; 8:28,40,47; 12:49; 14:10,24; 17:8. Compare Deut. 18:18 and Isa. 51:16).

The dream of Nebuchadnezzar (ch. 2) was interpreted to him by Daniel; while the dream (or vision) of Daniel was interpreted to him by the Angel. The former referred to the beginning and duration of Gentile dominion over Israel; the latter concerns the end of it.

The second (Ch. 8) was given two years later than the first (Compare 7:1 with 8:1), and is subsequent to the first, giving further details concerning "the latter time of their dominion" (i.e. that of the four beasts of the first vision in ch. 7). Further details are given in chs. 9,11,and 12.

The interpretation is given in vv. 17,18; and shows that these visions (chs. 7 and 8) are still future, and are not therefore to be confounded with the dream of ch. 2. The two which had already arisen cannot therefore be included; viz. Babylon and Medo-Persia, which almost (at this time) equaled Babylon in extent. The vision is not continuous history, but the prophecy of a crisis: and refers to the ten toes of the fifth power of Daniel 2. In this, and in each successive vision we are always directed to the end and consummation (Compare v. 26; 8:17-19; 9:26; 11:40; 12:4,9,13; Matt. 24:14,15).

The interpretation is given to us of these two separate visions need no further interpretation by us. The source of the dream is the source of the interpretation also. They are for us to understand and to believe.

7:4    The first, etc. Cannot be Babylon, for this had already arisen, and was within two years of its end. Daniel could not see that kingdom arise now, He had said, "Thou art this head of gold" (2:38); but Nebuchadnezzar himself had been dead twenty-three years, and these are :four kings which shall arise" (v. 17) Therefore Babylon is not included.

7:7    a fourth beast. Not Rome, for it has the "ten horns" when it is first seen. Moreover, these ten horns are not seen till the time of the end. This fourth beast therefore belongs to the time of the end. The beast of Revelation 13:1-10 combines in himself all these resemblances. Great iron teeth. Lit. two rows of teeth, great ones. The residue = the rest : i.e. the other three beasts which will be co-existent. They do not destroy or succeed one another, like the kingdoms in ch. 2; but are trampled on by the fourth beast. Before=in front of, as in vv. 10,13,20, and 6:10,11,12,13,18,22,26, Chaldee kedam, as in Ezra 4:18,23; 7:14,19; and frequently in Dan. chs. 2,3,4,5. This shows that the three will be co-existent, for this could not be spoken of those who had long passed away. Ten horns. These are the same as in Rev. 17:12, and represent the ten contemporaneous kings at the time of the end.

7:8    Little horn = a horn of small beginnings. This identifies this vision with those of chs. 8,9,11,12. The first of twelve titles given to the power commonly known as "the Antichrist": it is used again in 8:9 Compare 11:21-30. Note the other titles:

             OTHER TITLES OF ANTICHRIST

"the king of Babylon" (Isa. 14:4)
"the Assyrian" (Isa. 14:25)
"Lucifer, son of the morning" (Isa. 14:12)
"the Prince that shall come" (Dan. 9:26)
"the king of fierce countenance" (Dan. 8:23)
"the vile person" (Dan. 11:21)
"the willful king" (Dan. 11:36)
"the man of sin" (2 Thess. 2:3)
"the son of perdition" (2 Thess. 2:3)
"that wicked (or lawless one)" (2 Thess 2:8; Rev. 13:18)
"the beast with ten horns" (Rev. 13:1)

 
Forward to the Next Section:  Daniel's Vision of the Ram and He-Goat

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