Daniel Chapter 7

Daniel Chapter 7

 

7:1 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.

7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

7:4 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 stand upon the feet as a man, and a man’s heart was given to it.

7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and [it had] three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.

7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.

7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it [was] diverse from all the beasts that [were] before it; and it had ten horns.

7:8 I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn, before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things.

7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment [was] white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne [was like] the fiery flame, [and] his wheels [as] burning fire.

7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.

7:11 I beheld then because of the voice of the great words

 

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which the horn spake: I beheld [even] till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

7:13 I saw in the night visions, and, behold, [one] like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him.

7:14 And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, 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.

7:15 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of [my] body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

7:16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things.

7:17 These great beasts, which are four, [are] four kings, [which] shall arise out of the earth.

7:18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.

7:19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth [were of] iron, and his nails [of] brass; [which] devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet;

7:20 And of the ten horns that [were] in his head, and [of] the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even [of] that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look [was] more stout than his fellows.

7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;

7:22 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.

7:23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces.

7:24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom [are] ten kings [that]

 

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shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

7:25 And he shall speak [great] words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.

7:26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end.

7:27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom [is] an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him.

7:28 Hitherto [is] the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.

N ow we leave the stories that demonstrate that God keeps His promises with His believers and come to the overtly prophetic portions of the book that is filled with symbols. These symbols are explained by God in the Bible. The whole Bible is consistent and in harmony with itself. It is the word of God. The Bible is God’s word to each generation; however, its special focus is on and for the final generation that will reflect the character-image of Jesus fully and be the "Stone" cut out of the mountain without hands.

What Daniel saw was called both a dream and a vision (v. 1). The four winds strove upon the great sea. This tells us that there was strife and war among the nations (v. 2). These wars resulted in the four world empires previously seen by Nebuchadnezzar in his dream of the great image made of four metals. The summary is as follows. These four beasts are four kingdoms as specifically stated in verse 17. The lion with eagle’s wings that were plucked represents Babylon which ruled the world from about 604 to 538 BC. Medo-Persia was represented by the bear which was raised up on one side and ruled the world from 538 to 331 BC when it was defeated by the Greeks at the battle of Arbela. Greece was represented by the leopard with four wings of a fowl. Grecia ruled

 

46 ~ THE EVERLASTING GOSPEL IN DANIEL AND REVELATION

the world from 331 to 168 BC. The fourth beast, that pictured the Roman empire, is described as "dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth" (v. 7). Pagan Rome ruled the world from 168 BC to about 476 AD. Rome is especially of interest to God’s people because of its two phases, the second of which is gaining control of the world again. The two phases of Rome are "pagan" in the days of Jesus and "papal" in our day. Papal Rome is specifically pictured in its rise in verse 8 as the "little horn," before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up by the roots: and, behold, in this horn [were] eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things."5

Verse 9 brings us to the beginning of the investigative judgment that is still going on in heaven at this time. Verse 10 identifies it as the judgment with books open. Verse 13 brings Jesus to view coming to His Father, The Ancient of Days. Verse 14 tells us that the object and purpose of the judgment was to give Jesus dominion and glory and a kingdom that would never end or be destroyed. This kingdom-receiving process of the investigative judgment is still in progress today. The purpose of the everlasting gospel is to give the invitation to come and become a citizen of the kingdom of God. It is also to claim and to prepare "the saints of the most High [who] shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever." (v. 18)

The rest of chapter 7: verses 19–28 tells of Daniel’s concern for the saints of God against whom the fourth beast and the little horn makes war and prevails (v. 21) until the Father God stops this with the onset of the investigative judgment (v. 22). The details of the ten kings (or kingdoms) that result from the break-up of pagan Rome are pictured in verse 24. Here, the little horn is predicted to destroy 3 of these kings or kingdoms. History records that before papal Rome could be firmly established, it destroyed the last of the Ostrogoths, Vandals and Heruli—the three Arian kingdoms. By 538, the last of the Arian kingdoms was destroyed. This dates the beginning of papal Rome’s persecuting power. Verse 25 details a three and a half "times" (a "time" is recognized as a year in this context or 360 literal days of the religious year) or 1260

 

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literal years (using the day for a year principle: see Numbers 14:34 and Ezekiel 4:6) which history shows came to pass from 538 until 1798. This period of papal Rome’s world dominance is also known as the "Dark Ages" during which millions of true believers in God were martyred by her. Verse 26 echoes the recurring theme concerning the end of papal Rome and all who are used by the devil to destroy God’s people: "But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy [it] unto the end."

While history records the truth of this prophecy, there is more to come in the future. Revelation reveals that history repeats.6 Papal Rome is again rapidly growing into world dominance. The office of the inquisition has already been revived and renamed in the church of Rome. What happened in history during the Dark Ages in sanctions and persecution of dissenters to the church of Rome is about to be repeated! For the glory of God, and to hasten His coming, may we dedicate ourselves to believe the gospel and partake of the character of Jesus fully. May we be fully changed into His character-likeness, to His name’s honor and glory. What Jesus says and promises, He is able to perform! This is the everlasting gospel.