Daniel 7

1 In the first year of Belshatzar melech Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head upon his bed; then he wrote down the dream, and the sum of the matters he related.
2 Daniel answered and said, I saw in my vision that came by night, and, hinei, the arbah ruchot (four winds) of Shomayim burst forth upon the yam hagadol (great sea).
3 And four chayyot hagedolot (great beasts) came up from the yam, different one from another.
4 Harishonah (the first) was like an arye (lion), and had eagle’s wings. I was beholding until its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from ha’aretz, and was made to stand upon two feet like a man, and a man’s lev was given to it [see Daniel 4:34 (4:31)].
5 And hinei another beast, a second, like a bear, and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth; and it was said thus unto it, Arise, devour much basar (flesh).
6 After this I beheld, and hinei another, like a leopard, which had upon its sides four wings of a bird; the beast had also arba’ah rashim (four heads) and dominion was given to it.
7 After this I saw in the night visions, and hinei a fourth Chayyah (Beast), dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it was devouring and crushing, and trampling the residue with its feet; and it was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had eser karnayim (ten horns).
8 I was contemplating the karnayim (horns), and, hinei, there came up among them another keren (horn), a little one, before whom there were three of the first karnayim plucked up by the roots; and, hinei, in this keren were eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.
9 I was beholding until kisot (thrones) were placed, and the Atik Yomin (Ancient of Days, i.e., Hashem) did sit, whose raiment was like white snow, and the hair of His rosh like pure wool; His kes (throne) was like the fiery flames, and its wheels like burning eish.
10 A river of eish was flowing and came forth from before Him; thousand thousands ministered unto Him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him; the court sat, and the sfarim (books) were opened.
11 I was beholding from (the time of) the voice of the arrogant words which the keren [Anti-Moshiach] spoke, I was beholding even till the Chayyah (Beast) was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning eish.
12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, yet their lives were prolonged for a time and a season.
13 I was beholding in visions of the night, and, hinei, one like a Bar Enosh (Ben Adam, i.e., Moshiach) came with the clouds of Shomayim, and came to the Atik Yomin (Ancient of Days, i.e., Hashem), and before Him He was brought.
14 And there was given Him (Moshiach) dominion, and honor, and sovereignty, that all people, Goyim, tongues, should pey-lammed-chet (see Dan 3:12, serve, reverence as deity Him (Moshiach). His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and His (Messianic) Kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.
15 As for me, Daniel, my ruach was anxious in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head were troubling me.
16 I drew near to one of the attendants to ask him the certainty concerning all this; and he said to me that he would make me to have da’as of the pesher (interpretation) of the things.
17 These chayyot hagedolot (great beasts), which are arbah (four), are four melachim, which shall arise out of ha’aretz.
18 But the kadoshim Elyon (holy ones of the Most High) shall receive the Kingdom, and shall possess the Kingdom forever, even forever and ever.
19 Then I desired to make sure concerning the fourth Chayyah (Beast), which was different from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and its claws brass; it was devouring, crushing, and stamped the residue with its feet;
20 And concerning the eser karnayim (ten horns) that were in its head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell, even of that horn (Anti-Moshiach) that had eyes, and a mouth that spoke arrogant things, which seemed greater than the others.
21 I was beholding, and the same keren (horn, Anti-Moshiach) made war against the kadoshim, and prevailed against them;
22 Until the Atik Yomin (Ancient of Days, Hashem) came, and judgment was given for the kadoshim Elyon; and the time came that the kadoshim possessed the Kingdom.
23 This is what he said: The fourth Chayyah (Beast) shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be different from all kingdoms, and shall devour kol ha’aretz, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.
24 And the eser karnayim (ten horns) out of this kingdom are asarah melachim (ten kings) that shall arise, and another shall arise after them; and he shall be different from the first, and he shall subdue three melachim.
25 And he (Anti-Moshiach) shall speak great words against Elyon, and shall wear out the kadoshim Elyon, and think to change set times and law, and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.
26 But judgment was given, and there was taken away its [Anti-Moshiach’s] power to destroy and to annihilate unto the end.
27 And the dominion and sovereignty, and greatness of the kingdom under kol HaShomayim, shall be given to the people of the kadoshim Elyon, whose kingdom is a malchut olam (an everlasting kingdom), and all dominions shall serve and obey them.
28 Unto this point is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and the color of my countenance changed upon me, but I kept the matter in my lev. [T.N. Chanukah remembers the restored and re-dedicated worship in Jerusalem 164 B.C.E. after the Anti-Moshiachlike activities of Antiochus Epiphanes predicted in chp 8 below.]

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


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

The Orthodox Jewish Bible fourth edition, OJB. Copyright 2002,2003,2008,2010, 2011 by Artists for Israel International. All rights reserved.