I approached one of those standing there and asked him the true meaning of all this. "So he told me and gave me the interpretation1 of these things:
'The four great beasts are four kingdoms that will rise from the earth.
But the saints2 of the Most High will receive the kingdom3 and will possess it forever--yes, for ever and ever.'419
"Then I wanted to know the true meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws--the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left.
I also wanted to know about the ten horns5 on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell--the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.621
As I watched, this horn was waging war against the saints and defeating them,722
until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.823
"He gave me this explanation: 'The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it.924
The ten horns10 are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings.
He will speak against the Most High11 and oppress his saints12 and try to change the set times13 and the laws. The saints will be handed over to him for a time, times and half a time.a1426
" 'But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed15 forever.
Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms16 under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints,17 the people of the Most High.18 His kingdom will be an everlasting19 kingdom, and all rulers will worship20 and obey him.'