Daniel 7:5

Medo-Persia

After a brief look at the web researching Medo-Persia it seems that biblical scholars use Medo-Persia as a term and others use Achaemenid as a term referrring to the same empire.  Cyrus gets a lot of love as the uniter of the Medes and Persians, however the empire is still a ‘beast’ in the eyes of God emerging from the seas of chaos.  The Metropolitan Museum of Art has this to say about the Achaemenid Persian Empire:

The Achaemenid Persian empire was the largest that the ancient world had seen, extending from Anatolia and Egypt across western Asia to northern India and Central Asia. Its formation began in 550 B.C., when King Astyages of Media, who dominated much of Iran and eastern Anatolia (Turkey), was defeated by his southern neighbor Cyrus II (“the Great”), king of Persia (r. 559–530 B.C.). This upset the balance of power in the Near East. The Lydians of western Anatolia under King Croesus took advantage of the fall of Media to push east and clashed with Persian forces. The Lydian army withdrew for the winter but the Persians advanced to the Lydian capital at Sardis, which fell after a two-week siege. The Lydians had been allied with the Babylonians and Egyptians and Cyrus now had to confront these major powers. The Babylonian empire controlled Mesopotamia and the eastern Mediterranean. In 539 B.C., Persian forces defeated the Babylonian army at the site of Opis, east of the Tigris. Cyrus entered Babylon and presented himself as a traditional Mesopotamian monarch, restoring temples and releasing political prisoners. The one western power that remained unconquered in Cyrus’ lightning campaigns was Egypt. It was left to his son Cambyses to rout the Egyptian forces in the eastern Nile Delta in 525 B.C. After a ten-day siege, Egypt’s ancient capital Memphis fell to the Persians.

The three ribs in the teeth of the beast are thought to be the conquests of the Persians.  Specifically the conquests are Lydia, Mesopotamia and Egypt.  Heavenly powers direct the Persian Empire and show it favour.  We forget how God directs even the most glorious achievements.

Daniel 7:5

 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!’

Questions

  1. What does this beast look like?
  2. How would you describe an empire that is described like this?
  3. Who is telling the empire to eat its fill of flesh?
  4. Which empires have represented themselves as bears?
  5. How might a person become aware of spiritual forces directing empires if they have not read the Bible?
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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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9 Responses to Daniel 7:5

  1. Sokloon Dy says:

    1. This beast looked like a bear.
    2. large and strong and powerful.
    3. I am not sure…maybe the angels?
    4. Medo-Persian

  2. Moon Jung Kim says:

    What does this beast look like? like a bear
    How would you describe an empire that is described like this? like a powerful conqueror of the world. It might threaten other nations with its power
    Who is telling the empire to eat its fill of flesh? hm.. God?
    Which empires have represented themselves as bears? Medo- Persian
    How might a person become aware of spiritual forces directing empires if they have not read the Bible? I am not sure.. but… I guess they could know spiritual forces directing empires when they try to rule the nation according to their will but it’s not going well, and sometimes unexpected things are happened.

  3. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. The beast looks like a bear
    2. I would describe it as an empire that creates fear and seems powerful.
    3. possibly God.
    4. I think there are empires that have done this, but they are not as blatant as the empires like the first beast.
    5. I think it might be harder to tell, but I think everyone has a sense of the spiritual because we are spiritual beings. They can probably tell by the fruit that the empire produces. The things of God will produce good fruit, but the things of Satan do not produce good fruit.

  4. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) It looked like a bear.
    2) I would describe it as a ravaging, bloodthirsty empire.
    3) I don’t know, maybe God.
    4) The Medo-Persian empire represented itself as a bear.
    5) through historical records of people in the past.

  5. Grace Yoo says:

    1. The second beast looks like a bear with three ribs in its mouth as teeth.

    2. An empire that was described like this would be a very violent and scary empire.

    3. God could be the one telling the empire to eat its fill of flesh.

    4. I am not sure which empires have represented themselves as bears.

    5. A person can be aware of spiritual forces just by having certain events/things happen to them.

  6. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. What does this beast look like?
    It is like a bear with 3 ribs in its mouth.
    2. How would you describe an empire that is described like this?
    FEROCIOUS!
    3. Who is telling the empire to eat its fill of flesh?
    Not sure — probably God.
    4. Which empires have represented themselves as bears?
    I don’t know…..
    5. How might a person become aware of spiritual forces directing empires if they have not read the Bible?
    well, many past empires have attributes success to “the gods”. People are aware of spiritual things,. even if they haven’t read the Bible.

  7. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. A bear.
    2. It has one large side and three smaller sides sticking out.
    5. They could see that an empire is doing one thing and not another, and conquering one land but not another.

  8. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.What does this beast look like?
    A Bear
    2.How would you describe an empire that is described like this?
    A powerful empire
    3.Who is telling the empire to eat its fill of flesh?
    It is not mentioned in the passage, but it could be God.
    4.Which empires have represented themselves as bears?
    Persian
    5.How might a person become aware of spiritual forces directing empires if they have not read the Bible?
    They might be aware of it unconsciously even though they haven’t read the Bible, because humans are spiritual beings.

  9. aaron wright says:

    1. looks like a bear
    2. strong and powerful
    5. by observing supernatural events that happen that could only have happened in a spiritual realm

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