Daniel 7

Daniel 7 provides us with more detailed characteristics of the kingdoms described in Daniel 2, but this time they are represented as beasts.

First beast: Lion with four wings

 “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 7:4

This represents Babylon (605/6 - 539 B.C.). A lion with eagle's wings appeared first. Like gold, it represented the kingdom of Babylon. The symbols for Babylon are all in the superlative: Gold is the finest of metals; the lion is king of the beasts; the eagle is master of the air. Ancient Babylon was a mighty empire. (History reveals to us that a winged lion was evidently the official symbol of the Babylonian kingdom) Compare Daniel 4: 33-34 to Daniel 7: 4. “... wings plucked, lifted up ..., made to stand like a man, and a man's heart given to it ...” This sounds a lot like the experience of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel chapter 4.

Second Beast: Bear, raised up on one side

“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 7:5.

This represents Medo-Persia (539 B.C.) under Cyrus the Great. In 539 B.C., Medo-Persia, prophetically represented here as a bear with three ribs in its mouth, supersedes Babylon.

The three ribs: The image of ribs crushed in its mouth points to the bear devouring other animals until they are consumed. These are the three great conquests that brought the Persians to power. Egypt, Lydia and Babylon formed an alliance but were defeated.

Babylon. 539 BC. Babylon is occupied. Nabonidus captured.
Lydia. 547 BC. Croesus of Lydia taken prisoner.
Egypt. 568 BC. Amasis II of Egypt suppressed. In 605 BC, Egypt was originally defeated in the battle of Carchemish.

Raised up on one side: At first the Medes and Persians ruled jointly, but later the Persians rose to be the greater power over Astyages of Medes. Daniel 8: 3, 20 repeats this picture as a ram, identified as Medo-Persia, with one horn higher than the other.

Third Beast (Leopard)

 “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.” Daniel 7:6

This represents Greece (331 - 168 B.C.) A leopard with four heads and four wings on its back represents the third of the world empires. The Grecians, under Alexander the Great, literally flew from conquest to conquest to dominate the world. The leopard is the fastest land animal, and birds are faster than any land animal, so we have two symbols here for speed. The speed in which Alexander the Great conquered was phenomenal, and was depicted in prophecy.

It is commonly believed that Alexander the Great died of consumption, caused by drunkenness, at age 33 on June 10, 323 BC. The kingdom passed to the Diodachi ("successors") and was eventually divided up among four generals, represented by the four heads of the leopard:

  1. Cassander (East). Macedonia, Thrace and Greece
  2. Lysimachus (North). Asia Minor
  3. Ptolemy (South). Egypt and Palestine
  4. Seleucius (West). Babylon, Persia and Syria

Fourth Beast (Indescribable Beast)

“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. 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.” Daniel 7:7-8

As seen before, the next kingdom that came in the scene after Greece was Rome. This dreadful beast represents correlates with the legs of iron in Daniel 2, it represents Rome. The 10 horns on this beast correlate with the 10 toes of the feet of the image in Daniel 2.

In Daniel 7:24, the Bible says: “The ten horns are ten kings that shall arise.” Note the break up of the Roman empire into exactly ten parts like the ten toes in Daniel Chapter 2. These divisions laid the foundation of the modern European nations.

“And as to the ten horns, out of this kingdom shall arise ten kings; and another shall arise after them; and he shall be diverse from the former, and he shall subdue three kings.” (Daniel 7: 24) The ten horns are equivalent to the ten toes of Daniel 2. However this little Horn is a new element. In verse 8, Daniel saw the next important development in Europe after the break up of the Roman Empire in 476 A.D. Another power arises which removes three of the original ten kings. Or rather, three were removed to allow it to rise up. Previously mentioned were the Barbaric tribes that took over Rome, they were the Ostrogoths, Visigoths, Franks, Vandals, Alemannians, Sueves, Anglo-Saxons, Heruls, Lombards, and Burgundians.

When the Romans abandoned their capital and moved it to Constantinople, the Barbaric tribes that threatened the region were conquered. The Heruli, Vandals and Ostrogoths were removed so that this power would rule in Rome. They were "plucked up by the roots" and they no longer exist. The power that then arose, the little horn, was the Papacy. Daniel 7:25 says, “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.”

The manner in which the papacy spoke great words against the most High , the persecution it inflicted upon the saints of the most High, and the manner in which it changed times and laws is all explained in ‘The Article’ on the following link: The New World Order: Forging the Image of the Beast

Also the period in which it was to rule is also predicted: a time and times and the dividing of a time. Time represents 1 years, times represents 2 years, and the dividing of a time represents half a year, all together gives us 3 and a half years. As is explained in the Article on the link, a day in Bible prophecy represents a literal year (Ezekiel 4:6, Numbers 14:34). Taking the Jewish calendar, which was the calendar applied in the Bible, 1 year is 360 days. Therefore, 3 years and a half add up to 1260 days which represent 1260 years. This period is the exact period that the Roman Catholic Church ruled as joint civil and religious authority. This is all fully explained in the Article in the above mentioned link.