Daniel 18: Daniel 7:1-28 (vs 1-14)

A study on the book of Daniel.

We will divide the study into two major parts:

Part I: A History of the Times…And the Setup for Coming Attractions:

Part II: Events Prophesied…Prophecies Fulfilled. 

… These two parts will be broken down and delved into in detail.

Daniel 7:1-28 

Note to the reader: As we prepare our hearts to hear the message of God in chapters seven through twelve, it’s important to remember that Daniel often spoke of visions and dreams that he encountered later in his life. Some he received prior to the events of chapters five and six; at least one was received later.

Daniel 7:1-14

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. 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. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 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.  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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 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. 12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time. 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. 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.

We are now going to move away from the historical material that we encountered in chapters one through six and plunge into the exciting depths of Daniel’s prophetic material, starting in chapter seven. Daniel’s end-time dream in this chapter consisted of symbols of real events to come-mysteries we are now able to unravel. In many ways, chapters two and seven of the Book of Daniel are similar in that they portray the most comprehensive pictures of history to its conclusion.

Chapter two depicted Nebuchadnezzar’s dream concerning the great statue with a head of gold down to its feet and toes of iron mixed with clay-a prediction of how the Babylonian empire would be destroyed by Medo-Persia, followed by the conquering superpowers of Greece and Rome. Chapter seven refers to these identical empires in the form of beasts, indicating that within the final revived Roman Empire there will be many problems during the course of its restoration. In fact, one major challenge after another can already be observed within the framework of the European Union presently taking shape.

To the extent we saw unity in chapter two, we see diversity in chapter seven. But regardless of the message, the single most exciting thing that you are now reading is the fulfillment of Daniel 12:4, which says,

But thou, O Daniel, shut up the words, and seal the book, even to the time of the end: many shall run to and fro, and knowledge shall be increased.

The Book of Daniel was designed to be a mysterious, closed, sealed book until the time of the end, but at the time of the end the Holy Spirit would enlighten people to expound this great portion of God’s Word. This is now our assignment, and you are privileged to have a ringside seat as we begin to unravel the mysteries so long alien to anyone’s understanding.

The Times of the Gentiles

The Jewish people controlled Jerusalem until 586 B.C. Then, according to Daniel 1:1, Nebuchadnezzar and his troops marched into the Holy City and took its inhabitants back as captives to Babylon. It is important to remember that this single historical event marked the beginning of what is known as “the times of the Gentiles.” An important caveat was spoken by Jesus in Luke 21:24 when He said,

And they shall fall by the edge of the sword, and shall be led away captive into all nations: and Jerusalem shall be trodden down of the Gentiles, until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled.

Jesus was saying that Jerusalem would remain under Gentile control until the time of the end. Isn’t it fascinating that from June 5 through June 10, 1967-as a result of the Six-Day War-the Jews took back Jerusalem and have been in control of the Holy City ever since? Even though we are still in the era called “the times of the Gentiles,” this remarkable historical reality reminds us how close we are to the time of the end. How can we say this with such certainty? In Zechariah 14:2-4 God states:

For I will gather all nations against Jerusalem to battle; and the city shall be taken, and the houses rifled, and the women ravished; and half of the city shall go forth into captivity, and the residue of the people shall not be cut off from the city. Then shall the LORD go forth, and fight against those nations, as when he fought in the day of battle. And his feet shall stand in that day upon the mount of Olives, which is before Jerusalem on the east, and the mount of Olives shall cleave in the midst thereof toward the east and toward the west, and there shall be a very great valley; and half of the mountain shall remove toward the north, and half of it toward the south.

This entire scenario began with Nebuchadnezzar in 586 B.C. and ends when Jesus Christ returns to take Jerusalem back from the Gentiles. We are extremely close to that time when such an event takes place. Here’s why. The Gentiles could not take Jerusalem from the Jews until the Jews controlled the city-which happened in 1967 after 2,553 years of Gentile dominion. According to Jesus, the generation who lives to see this event will be alive for the battle to recapture Jerusalem by the Gentiles plus observe Christ’s return.

The Four Beasts

Daniel dreams about four winds and four beasts-all which represent the same four powers we read about in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in chapter two: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome, along with the ten toes of iron mixed with clay-a description of the revived Roman Empire, a regrouping of nations I believe to be the European Union. The fourth beast has ten horns, similar to the ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar’s image: again, symbolic of the restored Roman Empire.

The four winds blowing upon the sea indicate trouble-and all these nations near the Sea of Galilee, the Dead Sea, and the Mediterranean have indeed experienced troublesome times throughout history. However, only when the European Union ultimately produces the Antichrist will the world truly know what real trouble is. It will be nothing like the nuisance these nations have been prior to this time in history. Isaiah 57:20 states,

But the wicked are like the troubled sea, when it cannot rest, whose waters cast up mire and dirt.

Now let’s look at the four beasts and indicate what each represents.

fourbeastsBeast number one: -a lion with the wings of eagles-is the same power that was described in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream as the “head of gold”-the Babylonian empire. The wings of the lion suggest that it is a swift beast, with the ability to conquer great nations with its mighty armies. But as its wings are “plucked,” the kingdom begins to deteriorate, even though there remains a hint of Nebuchadnezzar’s humanitarianism. Since verse 4 makes reference to this first beast “being given a man’s heart,” you’ll recall that this is the manner in which Nebuchadnezzar closed out his days after his conversion experience-compassionate, docile, and caring for his subjects.

Beast number two: -is a bear that raises itself up on one side, holding three ribs in its teeth-conceivably representing Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt-a hungry beast, and capable of gorging itself. Following the pattern of Nebuchadnezzar’s image, this second beast is a symbol of the Medes and the Persians, with Darius ruler of the Medes and Cyrus the Persians. Ultimately, however, the Persians demonstrated greater strength because of their massive armies, and, as a result, the bear “lifted itself up on one side,” indicating Persian political and military superiority, all borne out by historical fact.

Beast number three: -is Greece, a leopard with four wings and four heads. The wings picture the speed of Alexander the Great and his enormous armies, reckoned to be the swiftest in the known world. Alexander conquered one and one-half million square miles of the globe, stretching for more than eleven thousand miles from Greece in the west to India in the east, a man who, even after his many conquests, is said to have wept because he felt he had no more worlds to conquer.

Beast number four: -is Rome-a terrible beast with enormous power to maim, crush, and kill. So violent is this beast that no animal on earth can represent it. Its iron teeth are similar to the toes on the image composed of iron mixed with clay as observed in Daniel chapter two. Its ten horns are a graphic description of the final revived Roman Empire-fulfilled in 1981 when Greece became the tenth nation to join the European Union.

Some people ask me, How can these things be? How can you be so certain that your interpretation of Daniel’s dream is correct?

First of all, the nations are mentioned by name in Daniel 1:1, Daniel 8:20, Daniel 8:21, and Romans 1:7. These empires cover a period of 676 years. Adding scholarship to the truth of God’s Word, a prophet by the name of Esdras wrote in 90 A.D. * that there was little doubt that the fourth beast was Rome. Add to these the research insights of Drs. Gabelein, Scofield, Bultima, Ironside, Barnhouse, DeHaan and other evangelical scholars, and the evidence mounts that the only possible meaning of the symbolic fourth beast is Rome itself. Specifically, Dr. Harry Ironside, pastor of Moody Memorial Church, said there will arise a great confederacy of nations springing forth from an old Roman Empire that will become the devil’s last trump card.

A MESSAGE OF HOPE FROM DR. JACK VAN IMPE

* 1)Esdras {Greek: Ἔσδρας} is a Greco-Latin variation of the name of the scribe Ezra. It is found in the titles of several books associated with the scribe that are in or related to the Bible. see wiki

Related:

Daniel: Part 1: vol 18a Daniel 7 vs 1-14

Daniel: Part 1: vol 18b Daniel 7 vs 8,20 & 24

Daniel: Part 1: vol 18c Daniel 7 vs 15-27

Daniel: Part 1: vol 18d Daniel 7 vs 28

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References   [ + ]

1. Esdras {Greek: Ἔσδρας} is a Greco-Latin variation of the name of the scribe Ezra. It is found in the titles of several books associated with the scribe that are in or related to the Bible. see wiki

Missionarius Apostolicus

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