Daniel 7

In Daniel 7 we see a repeat of Daniel 2.  In Daniel 2 the future kingdoms, from Daniel’s perspective, were outlined.  The kingdoms were seen as glorious from man’s perspective, but dimishing in splendour in chapter 2.  In chapter 7, the kingdoms are seen from God’s perspective.  Unlike previously the kingdoms are represented as wild beasts and a lot of their human dignity is stripped away.  Once more, though, the emphasis is not on the details of the vision, but on the overarching perspective that God is on the throne and that ultimately God will destroy all the work that goes on against him.

I will break down the vision into sections and give historical accounts of what each section means.  However, at this point it is best to read the chapter and get an overview.

Chapter 7

 1In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.

 2 Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. 3Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.

 4“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.

 5“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’

 6“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

 7“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.

 8“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.

 9“As I looked,

   “thrones were set in place,
   and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
   the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
   and its wheels were all ablaze.
10 A river of fire was flowing,
   coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
   ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
   and the books were opened.

 11 “Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. 12(The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)

 13 “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man,[a] coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. 14He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.

The Interpretation of the Dream

 15 “I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. 16I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.

   “So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: 17 ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. 18But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’

 19 “Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. 20 I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. 21 As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, 22until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.

 23 “He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. 24 The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. 25 He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.[b]

 26 “‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. 27Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’

 28 “This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”

Questions

  1. Can you match the beasts with the parts of the statue in Daniel 2?
  2. What vignette draws attention because of its contrast?
  3. What is the emphasis of this prophecy?
  4. What global political changes have you observed in your lifetime?
  5. How will God preserve his people even when they are oppressed?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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11 Responses to Daniel 7

  1. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.Can you match the beasts with the parts of the statue in Daniel 2?
    The head of the statue – First beast (Lion)
    Its chest and arms of silver – Second beast (Bear)
    Its belly and thighs of bronze – Third beast (Leopard)
    Its legs of iron – Fourth beast (the one had ten horns.
    2.What vignette draws attention because of its contrast?
    The description of the fourth beast gives special attention.
    3.What is the emphasis of this prophecy?
    God’s kingdom which will never be destroyed.
    4.What global political changes have you observed in your lifetime?
    5.How will God preserve his people even when they are oppressed? God will preserve his people in the times of persecution by giving them promise, and the word of God.

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. gold head – the beast like a lion with the wings of an eagle
    silver chest and arms – the beast like a bear
    iron legs – the beast like a leopard with four wings
    iron and clay feet – a terrifying beast with iron teeth and ten horns.
    2. The fourth beast is not likened to any creature, but simply described as terrifying.
    3. The emphasis of this prophecy is that the earthly kingdoms will be destroyed, but God’s kingdom will never end.
    4. Economic crisis, wars, different governments changing
    5. God is the ultimate victor and so His people should know that He will take care of them. God will preserve His people by destroying the other kingdoms.

  3. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. gold head-lion, silver chest and arms-bear, iron legs-leopard, iron and clay feet-terrifying beast.
    2. the fourth beast was different from other beasts and it had ten horns.
    3. God’s kingdom is an everlasting kingdom. It will never be destroyed.
    5. He will be faithful and be with them in their suffering.

  4. captivating10 says:

    1. Can you match the beasts with the parts of the statue in Daniel 2?
    Lion — head
    Bear — chest
    Leopard — legs
    Beast with Horns — feet
    2. What vignette draws attention because of its contrast?
    The part about the large beast. It had 10 horns.
    3. What is the emphasis of this prophecy?
    That all of the Kingdoms will fall when Christ returns.
    4. What global political changes have you observed in your lifetime?
    Countries have come and gone, borders have shifted. the US has gone from the world leader to a country struggling to keep its own.
    5. How will God preserve his people even when they are oppressed?
    He will protect them when when they are oppressed by giving them hope of an eternal Kingdom that never will fail.

  5. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. Can you match the beasts with the parts of the statue in Daniel 2?
    Lion — head
    Bear — chest
    Leopard — legs
    Beast with Horns — feet
    2. What vignette draws attention because of its contrast?
    The part about the large beast. It had 10 horns.
    3. What is the emphasis of this prophecy?
    That all of the Kingdoms will fall when Christ returns.
    4. What global political changes have you observed in your lifetime?
    Countries have come and gone, borders have shifted. the US has gone from the world leader to a country struggling to keep its own.
    5. How will God preserve his people even when they are oppressed?
    He will protect them when when they are oppressed by giving them hope of an eternal Kingdom that never will fail.

  6. aaron wright says:

    1. The lion is the head. the leopard are the legs. the beast are the feet. the bear is the chest.
    2. 4th beast
    3. earthly kingdom will end, but not the eternal
    4. presidential changes; governor/senator changes

  7. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) The Lion represent the head, the bear is the chest, the Leopard is the the legs, and the beast is the feet.
    2) The fourth beast was more terrifying than all the others.
    3) The theme is that eventually all the kingdoms of the earth will be in submission to the Lord.
    4) I have witnessed America draw furthur and furthur from its roots as “one nation under God.”
    5) He promises us a perfect eternity with Christ, even though our lives on earth may not be that enjoyable.

  8. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. The first beast imagined was the lion, who represents the head, the second was the bear which represents the silver chest, then the third was the leopard, which represents the bronze waste, and the fourth was the terriying creature who represents the legs and feet.
    2. The fourth beast becuase he has the most distinct and terrifying characteristics.
    3. The fallen kingdoms and how thought they may be powerul in the world’s eyes they are beasts in the eyes of the Lord.
    4. I have observed the decline of America in strength and stature, as it is no longer the nation that seems to dominate the rest, but rather is humbled by the financial circumstances of other nations.
    5. Even when God’s people are oppressed God will provide for them peace and security in HIs love. His grace will be sufficient in bringing them to their true home someday with Him.

  9. Moon Jung Kim says:

    Can you match the beasts with the parts of the statue in Daniel 2? Gold- head-first beast-Babylon/ silver-chest-second beast- Medo-persia/ Bronze- belly-Thirst beast- Greece/ Iron and clay- feet-fourth beast-Rome
    What vignette draws attention because of its contrast? the fourth beast gets attention because of his destorying the other beasts
    What is the emphasis of this prophecy? earthly kingdom wll be destoryed but God’s kingdom will be eternal
    What global political changes have you observed in your lifetime? China is getting stronger in global economics
    How will God preserve his people even when they are oppressed? He will come to the earth again and save His people

  10. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The first beast represents the head. The second beast represents the chest. The third beast represents the legs. The fourth beast is the feet.

    2. The fourth beast because there is a very detailed description of it and sounds scary.

    3. The emphasis of this prophecy was that the earthly kingdom will not last forever.

    4. Some political changes that I have observed in my lifetime is that the US does not seem that great anymore. The US had a lot of power but we are slowly losing it.

    5. God will preserve his people even when they are oppressed when they die because they will have eternal life.

  11. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. Head of gold = lion with wings of an eagle
    Chest and arms of silver = bear
    Middle and thighs of bronze = leopard with wings of a bird
    Legs of iron = iron teeth with ten horns
    2. The fourth beast is different
    3. The emphasis of this prophecy is that bad things will come, but the people of God will be delivered.
    4. President changes, wars
    5. God will preserve his people even when they are oppressed by giving them a hope and a promise to live for, and by always preserving a remnant.

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