Daniel Chapter 7
Daniel 7:1 “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.”
We see this is dated at the beginning of the reign of Belshazzar, but it is not the dream of Belshazzar. This is Daniel’s own dream and visions. This is written down of Daniel.
This first year represents a flashback (to 533 B.C.), 14 years before the feast (of 5:1-3).
(Chapters 7 and 8 occur after chapter 4, but before chapter 5). The dream of Daniel 7 moves far beyond Daniel’s day to the coming of Israel’s king to end all Gentile kingdoms and to establish His eternal kingdom.
Daniel 7:2 “Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.”
In this dream, or vision, of Daniel’s, he saw the wind coming from 4 directions at once. This would create a tornado, or something very similar to that.
Here the great sea is speaking nations and the people of the earth.
The number 4 is speaking of universal. This is has to do with the entire human race. This just means there was a great turmoil going on upon the earth.
Daniel 7:3 “And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.”
These 4 beasts are possibly, the kingdoms of the image (in chapter 2 of Daniel). Those were the kingdoms of Babylon, Medes-Persia, Greeks and Romans. Notice, these 4 beasts came up out of the people (sea). Each one of them was very different.
As four has to do with the universe, this is universal then. These beasts are nations, or kingdoms. My personal belief of this writer is that these are speaking of these same nations that were in the image, but at a much later time, perhaps nearer our own time.
Daniel 7:4 “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.”
This first beast like a lion with eagle wings is speaking of Babylon and its most famous king, Nebuchadnezzar. The eagle’s wings, many times, symbolize aggressiveness. (the swiftness of its victories). The Babylonians had been very fierce in their conquests.
They had settled down, and become a more civilized nation. This could be the meaning of the wings being plucked.
“Stand upon the feet as a man”: represents the humanitarian character of Nebuchadnezzar in his later years. They became more like a man, when their viciousness was gone.
Some of the kings even recognized God for His mighty feats. I would believe the heart of a man would mean that it was possible to reach it. Daniel’s own protection from the lions could have helped change their heart to the heart of a man.
I would tend to set these 4 beast’s operation at the end of the Gentile age. Babylon then is Iraq now, the same country.
Daniel 7:5 “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.”
In the image, this would be the Media Persian Empire with the greater side being Persia. Persia then is Iran now, is the very same place. The bear symbolizes Russia. The ribs are referring to vanquished nations.
We read in Ezekiel:
Ezekiel 38:5 “Persia, Ethiopia, and Libya with them; all of them with shield and helmet:”
We know that there is to be a great battle, when these 4 forces (Russia, Persia (Iran), Ethiopia, and Libya), shall come against Israel. There will be the destruction of much flesh. Could Iran, Ethiopia, and Libya be the three spoken of above?
Daniel 7:6 “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.”
The leopard depicts Greece. Though naturally a swift animal, this leopard had four wings in addition to its native agility. Most people believe this is Alexander the Great spoken of here. This speaks of the lighting speed with which Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.), conquered the ancient world. The number four represents the four generals who divided up Alexander’s kingdom after his death at the age of 33. They ruled Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt.
Daniel 7:7 “After 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 [were] before it; and it had ten horns.”
The fourth beast is not given a name and therefore must have had the character of an unknown hideous monster. It foreshadows the Roman Empire. The ten horns are 10 kings (verse 24), and the little horn (verse 8), is another king who will arise after the 10 and be coexistent with them. The 10 kingdoms represented by the 10 horns may be the nation that will grow out of the old Roman Empire, or they may be 10 future kings who will rule over some form of a revived Roman Empire.
The Roman Empire has been reconstructed in our day with the common market nations. I believe the ten horns could be the nations which make up the common market. The horn speaks of power. This is a powerful organization headquartered in Rome.
Daniel 7:8 “I 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.”
The membership in this common market is changing daily. This speaks of a spokesman, who speaks for the entire group. Eyes speak of wisdom. This wisdom is of a man. His mouth speaking great things indicate he is in control, and speaks for the whole group.
The identification of the 10 horns and little horn has generated much discussion. The little horn represents the Antichrist. The parallels between this fourth beast and the beast (in Revelation 13), are unavoidable. The description of the beast (i.e. the Antichrist), in that passage gives a fore view of the work of the Antichrist in the Tribulation period and states that he will emerge from the remnants or revival, of the Roman Empire.
This beast is human (“eyes like the eyes of man” and a “mouth uttering”), and is proud (read Revelation 13:5-6).
Daniel 7:9 “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.”
This is dating this vision. There is a time coming, when the thrones will be thrown down. Daniel’s vision flashes forward to the divine throne from which judgment will come on the fourth kingdom.
“Ancient of days” is speaking of Eternal God. The “white as snow” speaks of the righteousness of God and is a picture of His holiness. Our God is a consuming Fire.
This fire is speaking of the presence of God. We read of the wheel (in Ezekiel chapter 1). This wheel and the fire in it, both are the presence of God. This throne of fire is God’s throne.
Daniel 7:10 “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.”
The numbers multiplied out here are a million, or one hundred million. This could be the angels who minister unto God.
This, however, is speaking of a number so great it is impossible to count. God keeps a record in heaven and that is what is spoken of by the books were opened.
Daniel 7:11 “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.”
“The beast was slain” is a reference to the fourth beast (i.e. the Roman sphere), headed up by the “little horn” or Antichrist. He will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming.
The above is a companion Scripture to the following.
Revelation 19:20 “And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone.”
Daniel 7:12 “As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.”
These beasts were speaking of Babylon (Iraq), Persia (Iran), and Greece. They were no longer ruling powers as they had been represented in their place in the image. The kingdoms of this world have fallen. They were not totally destroyed, but lost all power.
These earlier beasts each successively lost its chief dominance when it was conquered in history. Yet each was amalgamated into the empire that gained ascendance, and survived in its descendants. As the Second Advent draws near, all 3 empires in their descendants will be a part of the Roman phase in its final form.
Survival will not be possible for the final and revived phase of the fourth empire after Christ’s second coming, for catastrophic devastation will utterly destroy it, and Christ’s kingdom will replace it.
Daniel 7:13 “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.”
This Son of man is the One we call Jesus “the Messiah”. This is the same that we read about as the Stone which destroyed the image. The “clouds of heaven” are seen again (in Revelation 1:7). Here He is distinct from the Ancient of Days, or Eternal One, the Father, who will coronate Him for the kingdom (2:44). The picture of old age is not that of being feeble, rather it highlights eternality and divine wisdom to judge.
Matthew 24:30 “And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.”
Daniel 7:14 “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.”
These distinctions are earthly and speak of the promise of an earthly kingdom, ruled by Christ that merges into the eternal kingdom.
Isaiah 9:7 “Of the increase of [his] government and peace [there shall be] no end, upon the throne of David, and upon his kingdom, to order it, and to establish it with judgment and with justice from henceforth even for ever. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this.”
Philippians 2:9-11 “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him, and given him a name which is above every name:” “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of [things] in heaven, and [things] in earth, and [things] under the earth;” “And [that] every tongue should confess that Jesus Christ [is] Lord, to the glory of God the Father.”
There is no question at all, that this is the One we call Jesus who will be King of kings and Lord of lords. He is Alpha and Omega, the Beginning and the End.
1 Timothy 1:17 “Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, [be] honor and glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
The commencement of Christ’s everlasting dominion will take place at His second coming.
Daniel 7:15 “I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me.”
We could surely understand this, because his vision had jumped over 2000 years. Visions and dreams are seldom dated. Possibly, Daniel was concerned that he might be losing touch with reality.
Coming judgment made him sad, because it meant that history all the way to its end would be a story of sin and judgment.
Daniel 7:16 “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.”
This is still part of the vision, or dream. One that stood by was an angel. Angels helped Daniel understand God’s revelation.
The interpretation was given to Daniel.
Daniel 7:17 “These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth.”
These empires depicted by the lion, bear, leopard, and bizarre animal are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The kings are the most notable leaders over these empires, such as Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus, Alexander the Great and finally the “little horn” (Antichrist).
Daniel 7:18 “But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”
The “Most High”: God is referred to in this book as above all gods, as He was for Melchizedek and Abraham as well as Naaman.
The “saints” are those who trusted God and possess the kingdom headed up by the Son of Man, the Messiah. All serve Him (in verses 14 and 27); verse 27 clarifying that the one served is actually God the most High. Just as the 4 Gentile empires have individuals as kings, so the final kingdom has Christ as King.
The following is a companion Scripture.
Revelation 2:26 “And he that overcometh, and keepeth my works unto the end, to him will I give power over the nations:”
It is the spoken and the written Word of God which overcomes the world. The saint’s weapon is the two-edged Sword.
Revelation 11:15 “And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become [the kingdoms] of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.”
You can see from the following Scripture, just how long we reign with Him.
Revelation 22:5 “And there shall be no night there; and they need no candle, neither light of the sun; for the Lord God giveth them light: and they shall reign for ever and ever.”
Daniel 7:19 “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;”
“Fourth beast … diverse”: This may refer to the Empire’s far greater diversity than previous empires, and its breath of conquest. It branches out into two great divisions (legs), then near the end into 10 horns (a confederacy of 10 nations), and even an 11th horn (Antichrist’s kingdom), lasting until Christ’s second coming.
“Iron” speaks of strength, and “brass” speaks of judgment. They had even judged the Son of God. The Romans were in power, when Jesus was crucified. They were strong in their rule of all the people.
Daniel 7:20 “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, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows.”
This one who had eyes (worldly wisdom), and a mouth that he spoke for all the horns, is speaking of the antichrist.
He is the other horn or the 11th horn (ruler and his realm), and is small and less powerful before its big rise. Early in the future tribulation period, it (he), grows to be “larger” or more powerful than any of the horns (rulers), in the group.
Daniel 7:21 “I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;”
The Antichrist will lead a great persecution of believers, especially in Israel.
Revelation 13:5 “And there was given unto him a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies; and power was given unto him to continue forty [and] two months.”
The saints are the believers in the Lord Jesus Christ. The antichrist will be in power for 3 and 1/2 years, and he is opposed to everything they do.
Revelation 13:7 “And it was given unto him to make war with the saints, and to overcome them: and power was given him over all kindreds, and tongues, and nations.”
Daniel 7:22 “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.”
“Ancient of days” refers to God the Eternal One, who confers the messianic kingdom on the Son to rule at His second coming and following. Judgment is against the Antichrist and Satan who empower him, plus the unsaved who are not allowed into the kingdom at its outset, but are destroyed and await the final, Great White Throne resurrection and judgment.
1 Corinthians 6:2-3 “Do ye not know that the saints shall judge the world? and if the world shall be judged by you, are ye unworthy to judge the smallest matters?” “Know ye not that we shall judge angels? how much more things that pertain to this life?”
Luke 17:21 “Neither shall they say, Lo here! or, lo there! for, behold, the kingdom of God is within you.”
Daniel 7:23 “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.”
Again, this is speaking of the Old Roman Empire, which has been revived. This power is really control and it will take over control of the entire world.
Daniel 7:24 “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.”
Daniel makes it plain that these ten kings will “arise” before the Antichrist makes his own rise to power. Three of them will not like his rapid ascent and will try to resist him, but they will quickly be defeated; Daniel says they will be “plucked out by the roots”, (Dan. 7:8), “fall”, and be “subdued” by the Antichrist.
I believe the ten horns are actually ten nations, which have made an alliance. They altogether make up the Roman Empire. The one is separate from the ten. The one is representing the antichrist that will rise to the zenith of world rule.
It is interesting to note at this time, that the antichrist system is made up of the antichrist, the false prophet, and the beast.
Daniel 7:25 “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.”
The antichrist has great power over all the peoples of the earth. The people of the earth will not recognize him as the antichrist, until he begins to blaspheme the Most High God. He will seem to have the answer for all the problems of life.
Notice, in this, the saints are under his jurisdiction for 3 and 1/2 years. That’s what the “time, times, and dividing or half a time means.
During the first part of his reign, the antichrist will pretend to be a great peacemaker. He will control the people through his power to purchase goods. It is interesting that a new international currency has now been made, and these common market nations will all use it. There will come a time when no currency will be necessary.
Revelation 13:16-17 “And he causeth all, both small and great, rich and poor, free and bond, to receive a mark in their right hand, or in their foreheads:” “And that no man might buy or sell, save he that had the mark, or the name of the beast, or the number of his name.”
Read our study on the 13th chapter of Revelation to get more insight into this. This changing of time shows he wants to be as God. There have been men throughout ages that have wanted to be as God. Julius Caesar would have been one, Hitler would have been another. This is not speaking of a type of antichrist, but the antichrist. He is a personification of Satan himself.
Daniel 7:26 “But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end.”
The judgment is taken away from him by our King Jesus, and by His saints. He has been judged, and found guilty. God will remove the Antichrist’s rule and destroy him and his empire in eternal, conscious hell.
Daniel 7:27 “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.”
“The kingdom”, “given to”, “the saints”: God’s kingdom in both earthly (Rev. 20:4), and heavenly phases (Rev. 21:27; 22:3-4 and 14).
Hebrews 12:28 “Wherefore we receiving a kingdom which cannot be moved, let us have grace, whereby we may serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear:”
Revelation 20:6 “Blessed and holy [is] he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”
Daniel 7:28 “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.”
The details of this vision, or dream, of Daniel’s would trouble anyone. He saw the rise and fall of the antichrist. Cogitations means thoughts. Deep thought does change our facial expression. He remembered it in his heart. More dreams and visions will make even these more understandable.
Daniel Chapter 7 Questions
1. When did Daniel have this dream, or vision?
2. What were these 4 winds like?
3. What does the number 4 mean?
4. What does this mean?
5. Who are these 4 beasts very similar to?
6. Where did they come from?
7. Who does the first beast symbolize?
8. What was the meaning of the wings being plucked?
9. What had helped change the hearts of the Babylonians?
10. Babylon and ________ is the same.
11. This second beast was like unto a ________.
12. Persia, and modern _______ is the same.
13. Who is the leopard representing?
14. Who do many scholars believe this is speaking of?
15. Who is the fourth beast speaking of?
16. Who are the ten horns?
17. Who is verse 8 speaking of?
18. Who is the “Ancient of days”?
19. What does “white as snow” tell us?
20. The wheel, and the fire in it, are both speaking of the presence of _______.
21. What is a companion Scripture of Daniel 7:11?
22. Who came in the clouds of heaven?
23. At the name of _________ every knee will bow.
24. Why was Daniel troubled?
25. Who did Daniel ask of the vision?
26. What two things overcome the world?
27. “Iron” speaks of ________.
28. “Brass” speaks of __________.
29. Who is the one who spoke, and had worldly wisdom?
30. How long did the antichrist rule over the saints?
31. Where is the kingdom of God?
32. Who are the ten horns?
33. Who will the antichrist speak against?
34. The antichrist is a personification of __________ himself.