Daniel 7

1 In the first year of Baltasar, king of the Chaldeans Daniel had a dream, and visions of his head upon his bed: and he wrote his dream.
2 I Daniel beheld, and, lo, the four winds of heaven blew violently upon the great sea.
3 And there came up four great beasts out of the sea, differing from one another.
4 The first as a lioness, and her wings as an eagle's; I beheld until her wings were plucked, ands she was lifted off from the earth, and she stood on human feet, and a man's heart was given to her.
5 And, behold, a second beast like a bear, and it supported itself on one side, and there were three ribs in its mouth, between its teeth: and thus they said to it, Arise, devour much flesh.
6 After this one I looked, and behold another wild beast as a leopard, and it had four wings of a bird upon it: and the wild beast had four heads, and power was given to it.
7 After this one I looked, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and exceedingly strong, and its teeth were of iron; devouring and crushing to atoms, and it trampled the remainder with its feet: and it was altogether different from the beasts that were before it; and it ten hours.
8 I noticed his horns, and behold, another little horn came up in the midst of them, and before it three of the former horns were rooted out: and, behold, eyes as the eyes of a man in this horn, and a mouth speaking great things.
9 I beheld until the thrones were set, and the Ancient of days sat; and his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head, as pure wool: his throne was a flame of fire, his wheels burning fire.
10 A stream of fire rushed forth before him: thousand thousands ministered to him, and ten thousands of myriads, attended upon him: the judgment sat, and the books were opened.
11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which that horn spoke, until the wild beast was slain and destroyed, and his body given to be burnt with fire.
12 And the dominion of the rest of the wild beasts was taken away; but a prolonging of life was given them for certain times.
13 I beheld in the night vision, and, lo, coming with the clouds of heaven as the Son of man, and he came on to the Ancient of days, and was brought near to him.
14 And to him was given the dominion, and the honour, and the kingdom; and all nations, tribes, and languages, shall serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom shall not be destroyed.
15 me Daniel, my spirit in my body trembled, and the visions of my head troubled me.
16 And I drew near to one of them that stood by, and I sought to learn of him the truth of all these things: and he told me the truth, and made known to me the interpretation of the things.
17 These four beasts are four kingdoms shall rise up on the earth:
18 which shall be taken away; and the saints of the Most High shall take the kingdom, and possess it for ever and ever.
19 Then I enquired carefully concerning the fourth beast; for it differed from every beast, exceeding dreadful: its teeth were of iron, and its claws of brass, devouring, and utterly breaking to pieces, and it trampled the remainder with its feet:
20 and concerning it ten horns that were in its head, and the other that came up, and rooted up of the former, which had eyes, and a mouth speaking great things, and his look was bolder than the rest.
21 I beheld, and that horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
22 until the Ancient of days came, and he gave judgment to the saints of the Most High; and the time came on, and the saints possessed the kingdom.
23 And he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom on the earth, which shall excel all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and trample and destroy it.
24 And his ten horns are ten kings shall arise: and after them shall arise another, who shall exceed all the former ones in wickedness and he shall subdue three kings.
25 And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High, and shall think to change times and law: and shall be given into his hand for a time and times and half a time.
26 And the judgment has sat, and they shall remove dominion to abolish it, and to destroy it utterly.
27 And the kingdom and the power and the greatness of the kings that are under the whole heaven were given to the saints of the Most High; and his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all powers shall serve and obey him.
28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance was changed: but I kept the matter in my heart.

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Daniel 7 Commentary

Chapter 7

Daniel's vision of the four beasts. (1-8) and of Christ's kingdom. (9-14) The interpretation. (15-28)

Verses 1-8 This vision contains the same prophetic representations with Nebuchadnezzar's dream. The great sea agitated by the winds, represented the earth and the dwellers on it troubled by ambitious princes and conquerors. The four beasts signified the same four empires, as the four parts of Nebuchadnezzar's image. Mighty conquerors are but instruments of God's vengeance on a guilty world. The savage beast represents the hateful features of their characters. But the dominion given to each has a limit; their wrath shall be made to praise the Lord, and the remainder of it he will restrain.

Verses 9-14 These verses are for the comfort and support of the people of God, in reference to the persecutions that would come upon them. Many New Testament predictions of the judgment to come, have plain allusion to this vision; especially ( revelation 20:11 revelation 20:12 ) . The Messiah is here called the Son of man; he was made in the likeness of sinful flesh, and was found in fashion as a man, but he is the Son of God. The great event foretold in this passage, is Christ's glorious coming, to destroy every antichristian power, and to render his own kingdom universal upon earth. But ere the solemn time arrives, for manifesting the glory of God to all worlds in his dealings with his creatures, we may expect that the doom of each of us will be determined at the hour of our death; and before the end shall come, the Father will openly give to his incarnate Son, our Mediator and Judge, the inheritance of the nations as his willing subjects.

Verses 15-28 It is desirable to obtain the right and full sense of what we see and hear from God; and those that would know, must ask by faithful and fervent prayer. The angel told Daniel plainly. He especially desired to know respecting the little horn, which made war with the saints, and prevailed against them. Here is foretold the rage of papal Rome against true Christians. St. John, in his visions and prophecies, which point in the first place at Rome, has plain reference to these visions. Daniel had a joyful prospect of the prevalence of God's kingdom among men. This refers to the second coming of our blessed Lord, when the saints shall triumph in the complete fall of Satan's kingdom. The saints of the Most High shall possess the kingdom for ever. Far be it from us to infer from hence, that dominion is founded on grace. It promises that the gospel kingdom shall be set up; a kingdom of light, holiness, and love; a kingdom of grace, the privileges and comforts of which shall be the earnest and first-fruits of the kingdom of glory. But the full accomplishment will be in the everlasting happiness of the saints, the kingdom that cannot be moved. The gathering together the whole family of God will be a blessedness of Christ's coming.

Chapter Summary

INTRODUCTION TO DANIEL 7

This chapter contains Daniel's vision of the four beasts, The time, place, manner, writing, and declaration of the vision, Da 7:1, the rise of the beasts, and the description of them, Da 7:2-8, the judgment of God upon them, especially the last, and the delivery of universal monarchy to his Son, Da 7:9-14, the interpretation of the vision at the request of Daniel, being greatly affected with it, Da 7:15-18, a particular inquiry of his about the fourth beast, concerning which a full account is given, Da 7:19-27, all which caused in him many thoughts of heart, and reflections of mind, Da 7:28.

Daniel 7 Commentaries