|Daniel Chapter 7|
by Charles Dailey
(Black underlined words match words in the Bible text.)
|Now the book changes from one category of literature to another; from mainly history to mainly prophecy. This prophecy elaborates on the metallic man revealed in chapter two. The empires were the Babylonian, Persian, Greek and Roman.||1) In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream and told the sum of the matters.||– Belshazzar lasted at least two more years. 8:1.
- Unlike most of Scripture, this was pure revelation.
|2) Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of heaven brake forth upon the great sea.||– VISION #1.
- The winds of heaven were under God's control. - The sea is humanity - mankind. Vs. 17.
|3) And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.||– The beasts were four kings . Vs.17.
- The diversity compares to the separate metals in the image in chapter two. The beasts were not alike. Their main characteristics as animals were enhanced (like adding wings) to portray added truths to the viewer.
|4) The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made to stand upon two feet as a man; and a man's heart was given to it.||– They were successive images - the first was like a . .
- LION - Babylonian. Jeremiah said that Neb was like a lion, king of beasts, in 50:17. The wings on the lion denote swiftness in Ezekiel 17:3, 12. He developed a man's heart after seven years of punishment. 4:1.
|5) And, behold, another beast, a second, like to a bear; and it was raised up on one side, and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.||– BEAR. "The bear is an apt symbol of the Medo-Persian kingdom. Strength and ferocity figure in almost every Biblical use of the bear. The ponderous bulk fits the massive Persian armies. Xerxes is said to have moved two and one-half million men to attack Greece."
(from The Wycliffe Bible Commentary, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1962 by Moody Press)
- This was one hungry bear and he was told to eat more.
|6) After this I beheld, and, lo, another, like a leopard, which had upon its back four wings of a bird; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.||– While Daniel watched, another change took place.
- LEOPARD - Greek. Where a lion is generally peaceful, a leopard will attack for the sake of attacking.
- Following the early death of young Alexander the Great, his empire was divided. Lysimachus in Asia Minor and Thrace, Seleucius Nicator in Syria and Mesopotamia, Cassander in Greece and Ptolemy Soter in Egypt, Arabia and Palestine.
|7) After this I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, a fourth beast, terrible and powerful, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth; it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.||– VISION #2.
– TERRIBLE BEAST - Roman Empire. There was no animal like it in the wild. - It must have been more ferocious than any or even all of the previous three animals combined.
- The iron teeth are consistent with the iron in the lower part of the metallic man in 2:40.
- Normally, Bible writers used the horn to label the power of an animal. Here there were 10 horns, perhaps indicating a large number rather than specific, nameable powers. Leupold suggests that the whole idea between the ten with the three that are rooted up, and one which supplants the three, is comparative. If one replaces three, it becomes quite a bit larger than any one of the others, yet the little one does not grow as strong as the whole empire - the ten. Prophetic numbers might not be literal.
|8) I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things.||– There were human eyes in this little horn, and a big mouth speaking arrogantly.||
Black and white drawing from Daniel by Paul Butler, Published by College Press. Color added by Amy Kubow.
|9) I beheld till thrones were placed, and one that was ancient of days did sit: his raiment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames, and the wheels thereof burning fire.||– Now it's later in the same dream.
- This must be a heavenly throne room scene. Nothing else could qualify.
- The Eternal One is well aware of all the deeds and acts of men and kingdoms and is, therefore, well able to pronounce judgment in all justice. He is clothed in holiness and purity, symbolized by his white garments, and His nature is wisdom symbolized by His white hair. - Paul Butler
|10) A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousands of thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.||– Those who ministered are undoubtedly angels.
- Judgment was based on written law, not personal feelings. Even God does not judge men that way.
|11) I beheld at that time because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake; I beheld even till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed, and it was given to be burned with fire.||– The little horn continued speaking great things. Vs. 8.
- (Daniel) looked on until he saw a solemn judgment passed on this fourth beast particularly, as if God had come forth in his majesty and glory to pronounce that judgment, and to bring the power and arrogance of the beast to an end. (from Barnes' Notes, Electronic Database. Copyright (c) 1997 by Biblesoft)
|12) And as for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and a time.||– The Message translates: "The other animals lived on for a limited time, but they didn't really do anything, had no power to rule."||13) I saw in the night-visions, and, behold, there came with the clouds of heaven one like unto a son of man, and he came even to the ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.||– VISION #3
- The four animals had arisen from the earth. Vss. 3,17. This son of man comes with the clouds of heaven, pointing to a different place of origin.
- Jesus called himself the son of man frequently and applied this very verse to himself before the high priest. Matthew 26:63-64. The high priest called it blasphemy - claiming to be deity.
|14) And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations, and languages should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.||– The son of man received power to rule (Mat. 28:18), glory (John 13:31-31) and a permanent, endless kingdom (Luke 1:32-33).||15) As for me, Daniel, my spirit was grieved in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.||– Looking back from our time, the animal visions fit the rise of kingdoms. Looking forward from Daniel's time, the images were painful and scary.
- Notice that Daniel was aware that his spirit and his body were not identical. Jehovah Witness teachings combine them.
|16) I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth concerning all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.||17) These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, that shall arise out of the earth.||– The beasts represent four kings and these kings represent four kingdoms, seen later in verse 24.||18) But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.||– There is a kingdom that the saints possess. It is that eternal kingdom ruled by the son of man. Vs. 14.||19) Then I desired to know the truth concerning the fourth beast, which was diverse from all of them, exceeding terrible, whose teeth were of iron, and its nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with its feet;||– Daniel was especially inquiring about the fourth beast.
- Brass nails is information not given before.
|20) and concerning the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three fell, even that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake great things, whose look was more stout than its fellows.||– Daniel's inquiry centered on the ten horns and the other horn that had eyes and a big mouth.
- This horn achieved more power than the others.
|21) I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;||– This militant horn made war with the saints and was winning until God intervened.
||22) until the ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the Most High, and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom.||– The ancient of days came in the judgment revealed in verse nine.
- Possessed the kingdom seems equivalent to inheriting the kingdom in other passages.
|23) Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be a fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all the kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.||– The fourth beast is the Roman Empire. The vision of the metallic man in chapter two points to the same conclusion.
- It covered a wider area than the previous empires. It can be viewed in segments as indicated by the ten horns.
|24) And as for the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall ten kings arise: and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall put down three kings.||– After the ten kings will be the diverse one that puts down three of the ten.||25) And he shall speak words against the Most High, and shall wear out the saints of the Most High; and he shall think to change the times and the law; and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and half a time.||– Big Mouth is more than political, he speaks against God and wears out the saints.
- Big Mouth will change the calender and laws.
- He is left unhampered for a span of time. If a time is one year of 360 days, then three and one-half years is 1260 days. A day may indicate a year. See Ezekiel 4:3-6 and Numbers 14:34
|26) But the judgment shall be set, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end.||– Judgment here is more than an event, it is an ongoing process||27) And the kingdom and the dominion, and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most High: his kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.||– The kingdom of Big Mouth declines and is eventually destroyed while the kingdom ruled by God expands and is permanent.||28) Here is the end of the matter. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts much troubled me, and my countenance was changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.||– The Message says: "I, Daniel, was in shock. I was like a man who had seen a ghost. But I kept it all to myself."
- This ends the Aramaic portion of Daniel.
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