Road To Armageddon – 7.2 – Daniel 7 – Daniel’s Vision And Interpretation Of The Four Beasts

Daniel’s Vision Of Four Beasts

Road To Armageddon – 7.2 – Daniel 7 – Daniel’s Vision And Interpretation Of The Four Beasts

Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream of Daniel 2 (Road To Armageddon 7.1) and Daniel’s Vision of Daniel 7 discuss the same four world empires.

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A Glimpse Of Armageddon – The Sixth Bowl Judgment – Will you be there – if so, in which capacity? This is an honest question, which demands a serious response.

Revelation 16:12 New King James Version (NKJV)

Sixth Bowl: Euphrates Dried Up

Revelation 16:13-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

13 And I saw three unclean spirits like frogs coming out of the mouth of the dragon, out of the mouth of the beast, and out of the mouth of the false prophet. 14 For they are spirits of demons, performing signs, which go out to the kings of the earth and of the whole world, to gather them to the battle of that great day of God Almighty.

Study note. MacArthur Study Bible note.

16:13 three unclean spirits. A common NT designation for demons (cf. Matt. 12:43; Mark 1:23; Luke 8:29). These are especially vile, powerful, and deceitful (v. 14). like frogs. This figure further emphasizes their vileness. Frogs were unclean animals according to OT dietary laws (Lev. 11:10, 11, 41). Persian mythology viewed them as plague-inducing creatures. The demons are thus described as slimy, cold-blooded, loathsome beings. the dragon…the beast…the false prophet.The “unholy trinity,” composed of Satan (the dragon; see note on 12:3), the Antichrist (the beast; see note on 11:7), and Antichrist’s associate (the false prophet; see note on 13:11), spew out this plague.

16:14 signs. These are supernatural wonders (cf. 13:12–15) designed to deceive (cf. 19:20; 1 Kin. 22:20–23; Mark 13:22) the kings into invading Palestine. Their impact will be so great that the unclean spirits are able to induce the kings to make the journey to Palestine in spite of their sores, the intense heat, drought, and darkness. kings of the earth. No longer just the eastern confederacy, but now all the world begins to gather in Palestine for the final, climactic battle (Ps. 2:2, 3; Joel 3:2–4; Zech. 14:1–3). the battle of that great day of God Almighty.The Battle of Armageddon (v. 16). It is the great war with God and Christ (see notes on 2 Thess. 1:7–10; cf. Joel 2:11; 3:2, 4). The war will end when Christ arrives (19:17–20).

Daniel 7:1-14 New King James Version (NKJV)

Vision of the Four Beasts

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.
2 Daniel spoke, saying, “I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle’s wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.
5 “And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: ‘Arise, devour much flesh!’
6 “After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.
7 “After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. 8 I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.
Vision of the Ancient of Days
9 “I watched till thrones were put in place,
And the Ancient of Days was seated;
His garment was white as snow,
And the hair of His head was like pure wool.
His throne was a fiery flame,
Its wheels a burning fire;
10 A fiery stream issued
And came forth from before Him.
A thousand thousands ministered to Him;
Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him.
The court was seated,
And the books were opened.
11 “I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame. 12 As for the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.
13 “I was watching in the night visions,
And behold, One like the Son of Man,
Coming with the clouds of heaven!
He came to the Ancient of Days,
And they brought Him near before Him.
14 Then 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 the one
Which shall not be destroyed.

Study note. MacArthur Study Bible note.

7:1 first year. This represented a flashback to 553 B.C., 14 years before the feast of 5:1–3. Chapters 7, 8 occur after chap. 4, but before chap. 5. The dream of Dan. 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 (7:13, 14, 27; cf. 2:35, 45).

7:2 Great Sea. This superlative refers to the Mediterranean, much greater in size than other bodies of water in that area of the world. Here this “sea” is used to represent nations and peoples (cf. Dan. 7:3, 17; Rev. 13:1).

7:3 four…beasts. These beasts represent the same empires as the individual parts of the image in chap. 2. Christ the King, the Son of Man from heaven (vv. 13, 14), corresponds to the Stone in 2:35, 45.

7:4 lion…wings. The vicious, powerful, swift king of beasts represents Babylon. Winged lions guarded the gates of the royal palaces of Babylon. Daniel’s contemporaries, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and Habakkuk, used animals to describe Nebuchadnezzar.

7:5 a bear. This is Medo-Persia, with the greater “side” being Persia and “ribs” referring to vanquished nations.

7:6 a leopard. This represents Greece with its fleetness in conquest under Alexander the Great (born in 356 B.C.). He ruled from Europe to Africa to India. The “four heads” represent the 4 generals who divided the kingdom after Alexander’s death at age 33 (323 B.C.). They ruled Macedonia, Asia Minor, Syria, and Egypt (cf. 8:8).

7:7 fourth beast. No such animal exists; rather this is a unique beast pointing to the Roman Empire, already represented by iron in 2:40, devastating in conquest. Roman dominion fell apart in A.D. 476, yet it lived on in a divided status (Europe), but will be revived and return to great unified strength near Christ’s second coming. Then it will be comprised of the 10 parts under kings (vv. 7, 24), as well as an 11th king, the Antichrist (vv. 8, 24; 2 Thess. 2:3–10; Rev. 13:1–10).

7:8 another horn. This describes the rise of Antichrist (cf. v. 20). This beast is human (“eyes like a man” and a “mouth speaking”) and is proud (cf. Rev. 13:5, 6).

7:9, 10 I watched. Daniel’s vision flashes forward to the divine throne from which judgment will come on the fourth kingdom (cf. Rev. 20:11–15).

7:11, 12 the beast was slain. Reference is to the fourth beast (i.e., the Roman sphere), headed up by the “little horn” or Antichrist (vv. 7, 24). He will be destroyed at Christ’s second coming (cf. Rev. 19:20; 20:10); cf. the smashing by the Stone, Dan. 2:35, 45.

7:12 rest of the beasts. These are the 3 earlier beasts (empires of chaps. 2, 7). Each successively lost its chief dominance when it was conquered in history. Yet each was amalgamated into the empire that gained ascendancy, 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 (Rev. 13:2). Survival will not be possible for the final and revived phase of the fourth empire after Christ’s second coming, for catastrophic devastation (cf. 2:35) will utterly destroy it, and Christ’s kingdom will replace it.

7:13, 14 Son of Man. The Messiah (cf. 9:26), Christ is meant; He often designated Himself by this phrase (Matt. 16:26; 19:28; 26:64). “The clouds of heaven” are seen again in Rev. 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 (cf. 7:9, 10).

7:13, 14 Son of Man. The Messiah (cf. 9:26), Christ is meant; He often designated Himself by this phrase (Matt. 16:26; 19:28; 26:64). “The clouds of heaven” are seen again in Rev. 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 (cf. 7:9, 10).

Daniel 7:15-28 New King James Version (NKJV)

Daniel’s Visions Interpreted

15 “I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.16 I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.’
19 “Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet; 20 and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.
21 “I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them, 22 until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.
23 “Thus he said:
‘The fourth beast shall be
A fourth kingdom on earth,
Which shall be different from all other kingdoms,
And shall devour the whole earth,
Trample it and break it in pieces.
24 The ten horns are ten kings
Who shall arise from this kingdom.
And another shall rise after them;
He shall be different from the first ones,
And shall subdue three kings.
25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High,
Shall persecute the saints of the Most High,
And shall intend to change times and law.
Then the saints shall be given into his hand
For a time and times and half a time.
26 ‘But the court shall be seated,
And they shall take away his dominion,
To consume and destroy it forever.
27 Then the kingdom and dominion,
And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven,
Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High.
His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom,
And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.’
28 “This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart.”

Study note. MacArthur Study Bible note.

7:17 beasts…four. These empires depicted by the lion, bear, leopard, and bizarre animal (vv. 3–7) are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The “kings” are the most notable leaders over these empires, such as Nebuchadnezzar (2:37, 38), Cyrus, Alexander the Great, and finally the “little horn” (Antichrist)

7:18, 22, 27 saints. These who trusted God possess the kingdom headed up by the Son of Man, the Messiah, of vv. 13, 14. All serve Him in vv. 14 and 27, the latter verse clarifying that the one served is actually God the Most High. Just as the 4 Gentile empires have individuals as kings (cf. 2:38; 7:8; 8:8), so the final kingdom has Christ as King.

7:20 the other horn. The 11th horn (ruler and his realm) is small and less powerful before its big rise (v. 8). Early in the future tribulation period, it (he) grows to be “larger” or more powerful than any of the horns (rulers) in the group.

7:22 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 (7:13, 14). Judgment is against the Antichrist, Satan who empowers him (Rev. 13:4; 20:1–3), and 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 (Rev. 20:11–15). saints to possess the kingdom. Believers enter the kingdom in its earthly, millennial phase (Rev. 20:1–4) following Christ’s second coming (Matt. 25:34), having eternal life that continues into the eternal state (Rev. 21, 22) after the thousand years.

7:25 time and times and half a time. This obviously refers to the 3½ years which are the last half of the 7 year period of Antichrist’s power (cf. 9:27), continuing on to Christ’s second coming as the Judgment Stone (2:35, 45) and glorious Son of Man (7:13, 14). Cf. Rev. 11:2, 3; 12:14; 13:5 for reference to this same period.

7:26 the court. God will have His court session to judge sinners and sin (vv. 9, 10). He will remove the Antichrist’s rule, and destroy him and his empire in eternal, conscious hell (Rev. 19:20; 20:10).

Notes from Scofield Study Bible:

Summary Of The World Empires

First world empire: Babylon (7:4; 2:37-38)
Second world empire: Medo-Persia (7:5; 2:39; 8:20)
Third world empire: Greece (7:6; 2:39; 8:21-22; 10:20; 11:2-4)
Fourth world empire: Rome (7:7,23-24; 2:40-43; 9:26)
Rome:final form of fourth world empire; the ten horns and the little horn (7:8; 24-27). Note on vs 14:
1. Verses 13-14 are identical with Rev 5:1-7, and precede the fulfillment of Daniel 2:34-35.
2. Vs 13-14 and Rev 5:1-7 describe the establishment of the Son of Man and Son of David with the Kingdom authority, while Dan 2:34-35 describes the crushing blow (see Armageddon, Rev 16:13-16; 19:17, note), which destroys Gentile world power, thus clearing the way for the actual setting up of the Kingdom of Heaven. Verses 34-35 and Rev 19:19-21 describe the same event.

Ancient of Days (7:9). Here, and in vs 13-14, “Ancient Of Days” refers to God The Father, and has equal application to Christ, e.g. vs 22; Revelation 1:8, 13-18. Compare Psalm 45:6, 93:2; Micah 5:2; Habakkuk 1:12

Scene in heaven before the coming of the Son of man (7:13-15; Rev 5:1-14).

Saints of the Most High (7:18)

Satan’s blasphemous leader (7:23-28).

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