Daniel 7

Vision of the Four Beasts

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel saw a 1dream and visions in his mind as he lay on his bed; then he 2wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it.
2 Daniel said *, "I was 3looking in my vision by night, and behold, the 4four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea.
3 "And four great 5beasts were coming up from the sea, different from one another.
4 "The first was 6like a lion and had the wings of an eagle. I kept looking until * its wings were plucked, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man; a human mind also was given to it.
5 "And behold, another beast, a second one, resembling a bear. And it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and thus they said to it, 'Arise, devour much meat!'
6 "After this I kept looking, and behold, another one, 7like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird; the beast also had 8four heads, and dominion was given to it.
7 "After this I kept looking in the night visions, and behold, a 9fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong; and it had large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had 10ten horns.
8 "While I was contemplating the horns, behold, 11another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were pulled out by the roots before * it; and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man and 12a mouth uttering great boasts.

The Ancient of Days Reigns

9 "I kept looking Until * 13thrones were set up, And the Ancient of Days took His seat; His 14vesture was like white snow And the 15hair of His head like pure wool. His 16throne was ablaze with flames, Its 17wheels were a burning fire.
10 "A river of 18fire was flowing And coming out from before Him; 19Thousands upon thousands were attending Him, And myriads upon myriads were standing before Him; The 20court sat, And 21the books were opened.
11 "Then I kept looking because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn was speaking; I kept looking until * the beast was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the 22burning fire.
12 "As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time.

The Son of Man Presented

13 "I kept looking in the night visions, And behold, with the clouds of heaven One like a 23Son of Man was coming, And He came up to the Ancient of Days And was presented before Him.
14 "And to Him was given 24dominion, Glory and 25a kingdom, 26That all the peoples, nations and men of every language Might serve Him. 27His dominion is an everlasting dominion Which will not pass away; 28And His kingdom is one Which will not be destroyed.

The Vision Interpreted

15 "As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me, and the 29visions in my mind kept 30alarming me.
16 "I approached one of those who were 31standing by and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he 32told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:
17 'These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth.
18 'But the 33saints of the Highest One will 34receive the kingdom and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come.'
19 "Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the 35fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its claws of bronze, and which devoured, crushed and trampled down the remainder with its feet,
20 and the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head and the other horn which came up, and before * which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great boasts and which was larger in appearance than its associates.
21 "I kept looking, and that horn was 36waging war with the saints and overpowering them
22 until * the Ancient of Days came and 37judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom.
23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it.
24 'As for the 38ten horns, out of this kingdom ten kings will arise; and another will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones and will subdue three kings.
25 'He will 39speak out against the 40Most High and 41wear down the saints of the Highest One, and he will intend to make 42alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a 43time, times, and half a time.
26 'But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be 44taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever.
27 'Then the 45sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One; His kingdom will be an 46everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will 47serve and obey Him.'
28 "At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were 48greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but I 49kept the matter to myself."

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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.

Cross References 49

  • 1. Job 33:14-16; Daniel 1:17; Daniel 2:1, 26-28; Daniel 4:5-9; Joel 2:28
  • 2. Jeremiah 36:4, 32
  • 3. Daniel 7:7, 13
  • 4. Revelation 7:1
  • 5. Daniel 7:17; Revelation 13:1; Revelation 17:8
  • 6. Jeremiah 4:7
  • 7. Revelation 13:2
  • 8. Daniel 8:22
  • 9. Dan 7:19, 20, 23
  • 10. Revelation 12:3; Revelation 13:1
  • 11. Daniel 8:9
  • 12. Revelation 13:5, 6
  • 13. Revelation 20:4
  • 14. Mark 9:3
  • 15. Revelation 1:14
  • 16. Ezekiel 1:13, 26
  • 17. Ezekiel 10:2, 6
  • 18. Psalms 18:8; Psalms 50:3; Psalms 97:3; Isaiah 30:27, 33
  • 19. Deuteronomy 33:2; 1 Kings 22:19; Revelation 5:11
  • 20. Psalms 96:11-13; Daniel 7:22, 26
  • 21. Daniel 12:1; Revelation 20:11-15
  • 22. Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10
  • 23. Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64; Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62; Luke 21:27; Revelation 1:7, 13; Revelation 14:14
  • 24. Daniel 7:27; John 3:35; 1 Corinthians 15:27; Ephesians 1:20-22; Philippians 2:9-11; Revelation 1:6; Revelation 11:15
  • 25. Daniel 2:37
  • 26. Psalms 72:11; Psalms 102:22
  • 27. Micah 4:7; Luke 1:33
  • 28. Hebrews 12:28
  • 29. Daniel 7:1
  • 30. Daniel 4:19; Daniel 7:28
  • 31. Zechariah 1:9, 19; Revelation 5:5; Revelation 7:13, 14
  • 32. Daniel 8:16, 17; Daniel 9:22
  • 33. Dan 7:22, 25, 27
  • 34. Psalms 149:5-9; Isaiah 60:12-14; Daniel 7:14; Revelation 2:26, 27; Revelation 20:4; Revelation 22:5
  • 35. Daniel 7:7, 8
  • 36. Revelation 11:7; Revelation 13:7
  • 37. Daniel 7:10; 1 Corinthians 6:2, 3
  • 38. Daniel 7:7; Revelation 17:12
  • 39. Daniel 11:36; Revelation 13:6
  • 40. Daniel 3:26; Daniel 4:2, 17, 34
  • 41. Revelation 13:7; Revelation 18:24
  • 42. Daniel 2:21
  • 43. Daniel 12:7; Revelation 12:14
  • 44. Revelation 17:14; Revelation 19:2
  • 45. Isaiah 54:3; Dan 7:14, 18, 22; Revelation 20:4
  • 46. Psalms 145:13; Isaiah 9:7; Daniel 2:44; Daniel 4:34; Daniel 7:14; Luke 1:33; Revelation 11:15; Revelation 22:5
  • 47. Psalms 2:6-12; Psalms 22:27; Psalms 72:11; Psalms 86:9; Isaiah 60:12; Revelation 11:1
  • 48. Daniel 4:19
  • 49. Luke 2:19, 51

Footnotes 37

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