Dan 7.1-28 tells us about the vision Daniel had about four beasts and their rise and destruction. It also contains Daniel’s interpretation of the vision, with details on the fourth beast that troubled Daniel so much. Having finished the historical portion of the book, it now proceeds to the prophetic part and what will happen in the latter days.
v 1…In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon (seventeen years before his death) Daniel saw a dream and visions in his mind on his bed (when he was in a deep sleep) then he wrote the dream down and related the following summary of it (the same kingdoms in Chapter 2, and they are seen as hungry beasts).
v 2…And Daniel said (exclaimed, telling the major parts of the vision), “I was looking in my vision by night (“night” is alluding to our spiritual darkness when God and his plans can be seen or revealed to us), and behold (take note and see), the four winds of heaven (spiritual forces behind the four beasts/kingdoms) were stirring up (agitating) the great sea (turbulent unconverted humanity-Isa 57.20; Rev 17.15).
v 3…And four great beasts (the four kingdoms of Nebuchadnezzar’s dream-Dan 2.38-40) were coming up from the sea (humanity), different from one another (each had its own characteristics of oppression, each one dealt with the Temple in some way).
v 4…And the first was like a lion (Babylonian strength and power-Deut 28.49; Jer 4.6-7) and had the wings of an eagle (the king of birds, arrogant). I kept looking and its wings were plucked (the downfall of Babylon, it could no longer fly) and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man (not like an eagle, it could not overtake and destroy nations), and a human heart was given to it (weak, fearful and timid-Dan 5.6).
v 5…And behold (take note and see), another beast, a second one, resembling a bear (Medo-Persia-not as strong as the lion, but as cruel and hungry). And it was raised up on one side (Medo-Persia eventually became just Persia under Cyrus), and three ribs were in its mouth between its teeth (part of the prey it had captured and overcome and this could symbolize three battles they had won over Babylon, or the three areas of the world it conquered in the west, north and south-Dan 8.4. Or it could refer to Babylon, Lydia and Egypt who were oppressed by the Medo-Persian empire); and thus they (God’s will through the angels who stirred up the spirit of the Medo-Persian empire) said to it, ‘Arise, devour much meat (the bear is not as vicious as the lion and had to be commanded to devour flesh because the Medo-Persians were not as cruel as the Assyrians and Babylonians).”
v 6…After this I kept looking, and behold (take note and see), another one, like a leopard (Greece), which had on its back four wings (Greece and Alexander used speed in conquering nations in all four directions) of a bird; the beast also had four heads (Alexander died young, and his empire was divided between his four generals. Ptolemy took Egypt, Seleucus took Asia Minor, Antigonus took Asia and Cassander took Macedonia), and dominion was given to it (over the known world, a very large dominion).
v 7…After this I kept looking in the night visions (of that same night), and behold (take note and see), a fourth beast, dreadful and terrifying and extremely strong (the old Roman Empire); and it had large iron teeth (different generals and emperors). It devoured and crushed and trampled down the remainder (other kingdoms) with its feet (the nations not absorbed into the empire were exploited for slaves and service to the empire. A simple definition of a slave is a “tool with a mouth”); and it was different from all the beasts that were before it (it was not given a name in this vision); and it had ten horns (or kings/powers eventually, the same as the ten toes in Nebuchadnezzar’s image).
v 8…While I was contemplating (considering) the horns, behold, another horn (power), a little one (the False Messiah; Leviathan-Rev12.3, 13.1; Isa 27.1; Psa 74.13-14), came up among them and three of the first horns (powers/kingdoms) were plucked out (pulled) by the roots (fell to or were subdued to make room for the eleventh horn-Rev 17.11; Mic 5.5; Zech 11.4-17) before it (the little horn); and behold, this horn possessed eyes like the eyes of a man (had an understanding and an insight to take control, but not divine understanding or insight), and a mouth uttering great boasts (of blasphemy).
According to the Jewish Encyclopedia, Dan 7.9-14 is a Yom Ha Din Rosh Ha Shannah passage. This will happen on Tishri 1, year 6001 from creation.
v 9…I kept looking (observing) until thrones were set up, and the Ancient of Days (Yehovah) took his seat (for judgment-a Yom Ha Din or Day of Judgment); his vesture (garment) like white snow (pure and righteous in his judgment), and the hair of his head like pure wool (wise in judgment). His throne ablaze with flames (a consuming fire, severe), its wheels (galgalim) a burning fire (this is a Maaseh Merkavah vision like in Ezek 1 and Rev 4-5, meaning the “work of the chariot/throne”).
v 10…A river of fire (Torah judgment-Deut 33.1-3, Psa 97.3; Isa 29.6, 30.2) was flowing and coming out from before him (various judgments which could not be stopped); thousands upon thousands were attending him (waiting for commands, ready to execute them) and myriads (ten thousand) upon myriads were standing before him (parallelism); the court (of judgment) sat (the judge is ready and on the bench), and the books were opened (the Book of Life-Exo 32.32; Rev 3.5, 13.8, 17.8, 20.12-15; Dan 12.6; and the Book of Remembrance-Mal 3.16; Lev 23.24. These books are used for evidence, etc).
v 11…Then I kept looking (observing) because of the sound of the boastful words which the horn (False Messiah) was speaking; and I kept looking until the beast (Revived Rome) was slain, and its body was destroyed and given to the burning fire (of judgement).
v 12…As for the rest of the beasts (Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece), their dominion was taken away (absorbed into Rome), but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time (they continued to exist but they had no power; we still see elements of these kingdoms today in law, architecture, the arts, especially Greece).
Dan 7.13-14 is a look into the coronation of Messiah Yeshua on Rosh Ha Shannah, year 6001 from creation (Rev 4-5) and he is given an everlasting kingdom. The Natzal (rapture) happens on this day and the believers are taken to heaven to be there at his coronation.
v 13…I kept looking in the night visions (that same night), and behold (take note and see), with the clouds of heaven (believers who are in heaven-Matt 24.29-30; Heb 12.1; Isa 60.8; Rev 1.7-8; Zech 14.5 Jude 14 for example), one like the son of man (Bar Enosh in Aramaic, meaning “kinsman, weak, frail mortal”-this is a term for the Messiah and referred to by Yeshua in Matt 16.13, 24.30) was coming, and he came up to the Ancient of Days (Yehovah on the throne) and was presented before him (in heaven-Rev 4-5).
v 14…And to him (Messiah Yeshua) was given a dominion, glory and a kingdom (Rev 11.15-more expansive than before), that all the peoples, nations and languages (tongues) should serve him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion which will not pass away (be conquered); and his kingdom is one which will not be destroyed (these verses clearly show that the “son of man” is separate from the Ancient of Days, and has an eternal kingdom, which alludes to the deity of the Messiah).
v 15…As for me, Daniel, my spirit was distressed within me (literally “short of breath”); and the visions in my mind (heart, soul, spirit) kept alarming me (a parallelism-he didn’t understand what the visions meant).
v 16…I approached one of those who were standing by (one of the angels in the service of Yehovah) and began asking him the exact meaning of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things (the visons).
v 17…’These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings (or kingdoms-v 23) who will rise from the earth (worldly support).
v 18…But the saints (tzadikim, holy ones by faith) of the Most High will receive the kingdom (the Messianic Kingdom) and possess the kingdom forever, for all ages to come (after the four kingdoms are destroyed).’
v 19…Then I desired to know the exact meaning of the fourth kingdom (what kingdom is meant by it and why it was so terrible) which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and claws of bronze (this description is added from v 7), and which devoured, crushed, and trampled down the remainder with its feet.
v 20…And the meaning of the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, and before which three of them fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth uttering great (boasts), which was larger in appearance than its associates (inspired more terror).
v 21…I kept looking, and that horn was waging war with the saints (Rev 12.17-False Messiah makes war on the Torah observant believers in Yeshua during the birth-pains) and overpowering them (Rev 13.7-8-a temporary defeat)
v 22…until the Ancient of Days (Yehovah) and judgment (this is a Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur at the end of the seven-year birth-pains-Matt 24.29-31. Yeshua returns on a Yom Kippur and the righteous will enter the kingdom, and the unrighteous will be killed and sent to the Tophet and Sheol to await the Great White Throne judgment-Matt 25.31-46) was passed in favor of the saints (tzadikim/believers) of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the kingdom (entered the Messianic Kingdom on earth).
v 23…Thus he said (the angel that stood by Daniel): ‘The fourth beast will be a fourth kingdom (Rome) on the earth, which will be different from all the other kingdoms, and it will devour the whole earth and tread it down and crush it (Rome conquered many territories with their abundant armaments, cruelty and tyrannical rule).
v 24…As for the ten horns, out of this kingdom (Rome) ten kings will arise (after it falls, eventually ten smaller states will carry on in the spirit of Rome, corresponding to the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image); and another (the False Messiah, making eleven) will arise after them, and he will be different from the previous ones (the False Messiah will not just be a secular power, but have ecclesiastical power also) and will subdue three kings (now making eight-Mic 5.5; Zech 11.8; Rev 17.10-11).
v 25…And he will speak pompous words against the Most High and wear down (exhaust) the saints (those left behind in the natzal, or rapture, will try to survive through the birth-pains. Those who come to the faith and follow the Torah will be persecuted during the birth-pains-Rev 12.17) of the Highest One (Yehovah), and he will intend to make alterations (changes) in times (“zimnim” meaning the “moedim” or the appointed times of the Torah. The False Messiah may try to hide the true dates for the biblical festivals and their fulfillments by changing the calendar, etc) and in law (“v’dat” meaning the Torah-all of this has already been done by Replacement Theology in Christianity; and the False Prophet and this apostate system will be behind the False Messiah-for more information on this see out teaching called “Supersessionism-Replacement Theology” on this website) and they (the times/seasons and law) will be given into his hand for a time (one biblical year), times (two biblical years), and a half a time (six months, altogether meaning 1260 days or 42 months, the last three and a half years of the birth-pains).
v 26…But the judgment (the court in Dan 7.10) and they (Yehovah in three persons) shall take away his kingdom to consume, and destroy it unto the end (on Yom Ha Din Yom Kippur at the end of the birth-pains-Matt 24.29-31.
v 27…The the sovereignty, the dominion, and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints (tzadikim/believers) of the Highest One (Yehovah); his kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey him-Mic 4.6-8; Luke 1.33).
v 28…At this point the revelation ended. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts were greatly alarming me and my face grew pale, but kept the matter to myself (in his memory, and he did not discuss it with anyone at this point).”