Daniel 7

Daniel’s Vision of Future World Prophecy

In the interpretation of biblical prophecy this chapter occupies a unique place.

It provides the most comprehensive and detailed prophecy of future events to be found anywhere in the O.T.

Daniel traces the course of four great world empires, namely, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome.

The prophecy concludes in the climax of world history, the second coming of Jesus Christ, and the inauguration of the eternal kingdom of God.

This is represented as a fifth and final kingdom which is from heaven.

In all probability Daniel had this vision some 14 years before the fall of Babylon.

Much of what Daniel prophesied has been fulfilled in past history.

But much of it deals with the time of the end, the closing scenes of the times of the Gentiles.

1. He depicts the great struggle of the end times.

2. The appearance of the little horns.

3. The uprising of the Antichrist, the eleventh horn.

4. The great tribulation with its unparalleled persecutions.

5. The complete overthrow of the enemies of Israel.

6. The establishment of the kingdom of God on earth.

The chapter is really one vision but is divided into four. Their interpretation:

1. The night vision of these hearts, v. 1-6

2. The night vision of the fourth beast with the ten horns and the little horn, v. 7-8

3. The judgment vision, v. 9-12

4. The Son of Man and His Kingdom, v. 13-14.

Then follows the divine interpretation of these four visions.

Vision V.1-6 Part I

Daniel saw four great beasts coming up from the sea.

The sea in prophecy speaks of the unorganized masses of humanity.

Both Isaiah and John use this imagery.

1. The first beast to emerge was a lion with eagle’s wings.

As gold is the most precious metal, so the lion is the king among the beasts of the forest.

The head of gold in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream image and the first beast represented the Babylonian empire.

The resplendent image is what man saw.

God viewed these same empires and saw four various beasts.

In the beginning the Babylonian empire was a lion with eagle’s wings.

But they were plucked out; it lost its strength and eventually was overthrown by the Medes and Persians.

2. The second beast was like a bear

It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth.

This bear stands for the Medo-Persian Empire.

This empire is also seen as the chest and arms of silver.

One paw was lifted up higher than the other, because the Persian element was stronger than that of the Medes.

The three ribs represent three kingdoms that had been conquered.

3. The third beast was like a leopard.

Protruding from its back were the four wings of a fowl. This beast also had four heads.

This is a picture of the Grecian empire, corresponding to the belly and thighs of brass in the image of Neb.

The four wings denote the swiftness and stealth with which Alexander executed his campaigns. After his premature death, the empire was divided between his four generals … represented in the four heads.

In the vision God reveals to Daniel the moral character of each succeeding empire.

The lion devours … the bear crushes … the leopard springs upon its prey.

The fourth and last empire is so cruel and ruthless that no beast on earth is found to describe its trued character.

Vision V. 7-8 Part 2

In these verses we have the divine description of the iron empire, Rome.

There are some unique characteristics of this empire which are wroth noting.

See how aptly and accurately the Spirit of God describes this monstrosity.

It is dreadful … terrible … exceedingly strong … it has great iron teeth.

It devours … breaks in pieces … and stamps down.

It has ten horns … then in their midst arises a little horn, with eyes like a man, and a mouth speaking great things.

This is the kingdom which will be in power at the end of the age. When it has reached its zenith; the ten nations working closely together, the beast and the false prophet wielding immeasurable power … then the end will come.

V. 9-10 is a scene in heaven. Part 3

Daniel gives an unprecedented view of God … Ancient of days.

He is sitting on an awesome throne.

It is a burning flame … not “like” a burning flame. KJV

The wheels, what ever their meaning, are also burning.

In all this we see the glory of God.

The pureness and holiness of God’s judgment.

In this scene of blazing glory, innumerable saints and angels are pictured as ministering to God.

In God’s glorious presence the books are opened.

This is the final hour for the nations of the world.

The sequence of events will be as follows:

1. The Son of man will descend in glory, v. 13

2. The beast and the false prophet will be cast alive into the lake of fire, v. 11. The rebels will be dealt with, 1/3 slain.

3. The nations of the world will be judged, v. 10

4. The fifth world kingdom will be established, v. 14

The stone which totally destroyed the image of Nebuchadnezzar now becomes a mountain which fills the whole earth.