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Daniel Chapter 7 Lesson

The King James Version (KJV) is mostly used in these lessons. Click here to access the KJV online.
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We have restored in the Scriptures quoted the Names of the Father and Son, as they were originally written by the inspired authors of the Bible.  Click here to download the Restored Names Version (RNV) of Scripture.  -WLC Team

(Dan 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.

The book of Daniel is divided into two parts, the narratives and the prophecies. The narratives are in chapters 1-6, and the prophecies are in chapters 7-12. The narratives are in chronological order, taking us from Daniel’s youth to his old age. The prophecies beginning in chapter seven start a new time-schedule, beginning in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign, that is, before the narrative of chapter five.

(Dan 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.

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

Scripture must be interpreted literally, except when the text warrants a symbolic interpretation. Verse 17 states this vision to be symbolic. The beast represent four kings, that is, the same four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s image in chapter 2.

(Dan 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.

Daniel is still living under the kingdom of Babylon, which was represented by the head of gold. It is clear that Babylon is the lion.

(Dan 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.

Daniel 2 does not identify the second kingdom, the one to follow Babylon, but chapter 6 does. The bear represents the kingdom of Medo-Persia, which followed Babylon. Just as the arms of the image in chapter 2, and the two horns of the ram in chapter 8, represent the two divisions of the kingdom, the Medes and the Persians, the bear raising itself on one side represents the two sides of the kingdom. The ribs and the eating of flesh graphically refers to the fate of the provinces of Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt before the onslaught of the Persians. Babylon fell to the Medes and Persians in 538 B.C. and the kingdom of Medo-Persia continued to the battle of Arbela in 331 B.C.

(Dan 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.

The rise of Alexander is represented by the leopard. It is identified with the rough goat or Grecia in Daniel 8:21. The swiftness of his conquest by the wings, and the four heads the division of Alexander’s Grecian kingdom into four parts under Alexander’s four generals Cassander, Ptolemy, Seleucus, and Lysimachus. The division of the kingdom was complete by 301 B.C.

(Dan 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.

The first kingdom is identified in Daniel 2 as Babylon. The second and third kingdoms are identified in Daniel 8 as Medo-Persia and Grecia. That is how we know what these first three beasts are. The fourth kingdom, however, is not identified by name in the text of the book of Daniel. We have to identify it by its time, place, and characteristics.

(Dan 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.

This kingdom arises after the depredations of the Grecian kingdom. It corresponds to the legs of iron in the image of Daniel 2. The next world empire to rule the city of Jerusalem was the Roman empire, which came to have influence in Palestine from the year 161 BC, after conquering Macedonia in the year 168.

(Dan 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.

The correspondence between this beast and the legs of iron in Daniel two is also reflected in the ten toes of the one and the ten horns of the other. But here we have the additional information that another horn comes up to replace three of the horns. It is remarkable that the Papacy, that is, Papal Rome, plucked up the three kingdoms of the Heruli, the Ostrogoths, and the Vandals, in order to take its place of power on earth. The Papacy ruled uninterrupted, despite some weak moments and a flight or two from Rome, until 1798, when General Berthier took the Pope prisoner and put an end to papal rule until papal political power was restored by the Lateran Accords in 1929.

(Dan 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.

(Dan 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.

Soon after the end of the long period of papal rule, the prophecies were fulfilled that referred to the beginning of the work of investigative judgment in the heavenly sanctuary. This work of judgment is graphically described in these verses.

(Dan 7:11) I beheld then because of the voice of the great words which the horn spake: I beheld even till the beast was slain, and his body destroyed, and given to the burning flame.

(Dan 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.

(Dan 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.

(Dan 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.

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

More details are given here concerning the beast and its destruction, and the time when the kingdom of Yahuwah will supplant all the kingdoms of men. But Daniel is still troubled. The following verses will show that he is troubled about the nature of the little horn and when these things will take place, and how long they will last.

(Dan 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.

(Dan 7:17) These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.

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

When Daniel asks for an interpretation of the beasts, he is given to understand that the four beasts are four kings or kingdoms corresponding to those of the image in Daniel 2. In the same way, the four empires will eventually fall before the kingdom of Yahuwah.

(Dan 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;

(Dan 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.

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

(Dan 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.

Daniel learns that the horn is a religious power, and in this way differs somewhat from the powers that preceded it. Furthermore, it is to be a persecuting power which will prevail against the saints for a time. However, after that a time will come with the judgment will be given to the saints and they will possess the kingdom. The time when the saints will judge the horn is described in Revelation 20, after they are taken up to Christ at his second appearing, and before the descent of the holy city described in Revelation 21, when wickedness will receive its eternal punishment.

(Dan 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.

(Dan 7:24) And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings.

(Dan 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.

Two additional pieces of information are given here beyond the opposition to Yahuwah and His saints. The horn will pretend to change times and laws, and it will prevail against the saints for a specific length of time: a time plus two times (the original word is a dual form, not a plural), and the dividing of time, that is, half a time. We say already in Daniel 5 that a time is a year. So the period of papal domination is predicted to be three and a half prophetic years, or 1260 prophetic days, that is, 1260 literal years. The date of the beginning of this period is established in Daniel 11.

The Papacy intended to change times and laws. It has removed the commandment against the worship of images from its catechisms, and divided the final commandment into two in order to preserve the number 10. So it has changed laws. It has replaced His calendar for finding His holy days, with her own calendar and her own holy days. Click here for more information on this point.

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

(Dan 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.

(Dan 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.

The judgment begins with the Investigative Judgment in heaven as described above, and continues for a thousand years after the coming of Christ. At the end of the thousand years, the wicked are destroyed and the saints receive the reward of eternal life.