Home   Salvation   Revelation   Exegesis  Parables  Prophecy  Warnings+

Book of Daniel, Part Two

Lyn Mize

The Four Beasts Out of the Sea (Chap. 7) 

The seventh chapter of Daniel contains an exciting prophecy concerning the generation in which we live.  The prophecies in this chapter have been unfolding before our very eyes since the Balfour Declaration of 1917 and the date that Israel was established as a nation on May 14, 1948. The first three verses of the vision are as follows:

Dan 7:1-3 (KJV)  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. 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. 3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

The traditional interpretation of the four great beasts of Daniel 7 makes it parallel with the dream of Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 2, and the great image of gold, silver, brass and iron mixed with clay, which symbolize the empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. Theologians have written volumes on the four great beasts of chapter 7 in futile attempts to mold the four empires of Daniel 2 into the prophecies of chapter 7. It is important to recognize that Daniel 7 is not a prophecy of the four world empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. However, the prophecies of Daniel 7 do link up with the revival of the Roman empire in the form of the ten toes on the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in his dream.  The beast with ten horns in Daniel 7:7 represents the same as the ten toes on the image in Daniel 2, but the other beasts of Daniel 7 do not correspond to the Babylonian, Medo-Persian and Greek Empires. The chart at the end of this article may help some understand the relationship of the four beasts out of the sea with the four world empires of Nebuchadnezzar's dream.

The image of Daniel 2 represents 2600 years of Gentile domination while the 4 beasts of Daniel 7 represent the last hundred years of Gentile domination.  The book of Daniel follows the Semitic style of apocalyptic writing by first giving a prophetic overview of the entire period, and then focusing in on the details of the last hundred years.  The last hundred years lead up to the Antichrist and his empire, the Ten-Horned beast.

It is important to note that Daniel had this dream and these visions during the first year of Belshazzar.  Belshazzar was a later king of Babylon who ruled from 555 to 539 B.C., during Babylon's decline and fall.  Belshazzar was killed the night a hand appeared to him and his court and wrote a message on the wall.  Daniel later interpreted this message. This was the same night that the great city Babylon fell to the Persians led by Cyrus. Daniel was told by the angel interpreting his dream that the four great beasts would arise in the future (Daniel 7:17). This excludes Babylon as one of the beasts.

It is also significant that no one has been able to fully reconcile Daniel's dream in this chapter with the four world empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome. The only link is the Ten-Horned Beast, which equates with the ten toes of iron and clay on the great image Nebuchadnezzar saw. Therefore, it becomes necessary to look for another interpretation of the visions in order to ascertain the identities of the Lion, the Bear, and the Leopard.  It is commonly accepted that the Ten-Horned Beast is the revived Roman Empire in the form of the European Union. Common sense dictates that we should look for the powerful countries symbolized by these three beasts, since the vision itself prefigures actual historical events.  The Lion and the Bear are easily recognizable with only a limited knowledge of world politics.  The Leopard is not so easily recognized, but will be understood after it has been explained.

In Daniel's vision, these "four great beasts came up from the sea" at the time that "the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea."  Throughout Scripture, the sea represents the Gentile nations of the world, and the four winds striving upon the sea portray a tumultuous time among the nations. It is a time of war, commotion and upheaval among the Gentiles. This is a clear and concise description of the 20th century:  two world wars have occurred, innumerable conflicts between nations, ethnic cleansing, riots, famines, earthquakes, massive storms, floods and human misery and suffering.  The 20th century has been a time of tumult, strife and conflict among the nations, unparalleled in the history of mankind. In the book A History of the World in the Twentieth Century by J.A.S. Grenville, the author describes the twentieth century as "history's bloodiest century."

(Dan 7:1 KJV)  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. 

As stated above, it is important to note that Belshazzar was the last king of Babylon, and he was a co-regent with his father Nabonidus, as explained earlier in chapter 5. Babylon was at the end of being the empire of gold and was certainly not to rise in the future. This specifically excludes Babylon as being the lion beast, which was to rise in the future. Daniel wrote the dream in verses 1-14 and verses 15-28 provide the interpretation, which is the sum of the matters. 

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

In Daniel’s dream he saw the four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea. Literally, the great sea is the Mediterranean Sea, but this is to be understood figuratively, so the great sea would be the political powers of the world. The sea typifies the Gentile or heathen nations of the world and pertains to political systems, which are tempestuous and tumultuous in contrast to the land, which is settled and calm. The land or the earth symbolizes Israel and religious systems, which are more stable and settled. Religious systems change very slowly, whereas political systems change quickly. The four winds of heaven striving upon the great sea depicts a time of tumultuous upheaval in political affairs. The 20th century is most definitely the correct time period for the fulfillment of this prophecy, as described in the introduction to this chapter. 

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

Daniel states that four great beasts came up out of the Gentile nations during this tumultuous time in history, and these four great beasts were very different from each other. Please note that all four beasts arise in the order given, but all remain and co-exist with one another. The Ten-Horned Beast tramples down both the Leopard and the Bear, and this firmly establishes that the Leopard is NOT the Medo-Persian Empire and the Bear is NOT the Grecian Empire. The Ten-Horned Beast is the same empire as the Ten Toes on the Image of Nebuchadnezzar in Chapter 2 and this Empire has not yet arisen. The Medo-Persian Empire and the Grecian Empire ceased to exist more than 2000 years ago, so it is absurd to link these empires with the empires of Chapter 2.

The first beast to come up out of the sea is described as follows in the prophecy:

Dan 7:4 (KJV) 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.

Numerous sources will confirm that the Lion is an international symbol for Great Britain. It was in 1914 that the First World War began, and the United Kingdom and the British Empire played an important role. At the turn of the 20th century, Great Britain was the dominant power in the world.  The British navy had dazzled the world and ruled the waves for three centuries, and the British Commonwealth's domain was so vast that it was commonly stated that the sun never set on the British Empire. It was the British that defeated Napoleon at Waterloo, and Rommel at El Alamein. The Lion was a world power, but it had not yet become a beast.  A beast is a symbol for an enemy of Israel, God's chosen people.

Great Britain was blessed by God with great authority around the globe. God used Great Britain to assist the Jews in their return to the Holy Land, and in the establishment of the State of Israel. The League of Nations gave a mandate to the British to rule over Palestine. This was an opportunity for a tremendous blessing for Great Britain, but it was only realized in a very limited extent.

General Allenby's entrance into Jerusalem and the Balfour Declaration played a significant role in Israel's realization of statehood, but Great Britain gradually shifted its support away from the Jewish people. The period from 1917 to 1948 was a time of great conflict in the land of Palestine between the Jews and the Arabs. Satan and the rulers of darkness in the spiritual realm exerted much pressure and influence on Great Britain to alter its role in the restoration of the Jewish people.  Great Britain became antagonistic towards the Jews and did much to hinder the establishment of the state of Israel.  The Jewish people came close to total annihilation. Fortunately, God's prophetic Word prevailed, and God led a few Jewish men to meet in Tel Aviv on May 14, 1948. They established the new and independent state of Israel.  God has intervened on numerous occasions since that time in order to preserve the state of Israel.  The present-day existence of Israel can only be described as miraculous.  Israel has been, and continues to be, the prophetic fulfillment of the burning bush: always in the fire, but never consumed.

God's judgment has fallen on Great Britain since that fateful time when it turned against God's chosen people.  In Scripture, a beast symbolizes an enemy of God's people.  Thus, the lion as a beast represents Great Britain in its opposition to the Jews. The eagle's wings represent the widespread power of Great Britain over the earth, but its wings are plucked. The eagle’s wings also typify the daughter of Great Britain, which was the United States of America. Not only was the power of Great Britain decreased, but the USA was also plucked out of the control of Great Britain during the Revolutionary War when America won its independence from Great Britain. In the years since World War II, Great Britain's political, economic and military power has been greatly weakened, just as God stated in this prophecy about the Lion. The widespread power of Great Britain was plucked by God, no doubt because of its treatment of the Jews after World War II.

It is also significant that the Lion was lifted up from the earth, made to stand on two feet like a man and was given a man's heart.  It is not coincidence that Great Britain ceased its opposition to Israel after it became an independent state, and Great Britain has been favorable towards Israel right along with America since that time. Thus, Great Britain is currently no longer a beast, since it is no longer hostile towards Israel.  Unfortunately, this will very likely change in the near future when Great Britain becomes one of the horns on the Ten-Horned beast. The Ten-Horned beast will trample down the "residue" (i.e., the remainder, Vs. 7) of the four beasts. This remainder will consist of the Bear and the Leopard, since the Lion was changed into a man and ceased to be a beast. This brings us to the next beast that arises out of the sea, and that is the Bear.

Dan 7:5 (KJV) 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.

The bear of verse 5 is clearly the Great Russian Bear, symbolized frequently in political cartoons, newspapers and news magazines as a large bear. Scripture does not say that the Bear will conquer or destroy the Lion like the two world empires of Babylon and Medo-Persia. The Lion is still in existence, but it lacks power, authority and a malevolent attitude toward the Jews. The Bear is to follow a course similar to the Lion's in its position of great power and influence. Russia is also well known for its hatred of the Jewish people, and its opposition to Israel. The Russian stance against God's elect people, the Bible and even God Himself is common knowledge. God in His omniscience allowed Russia's rise from an obscure and sluggish giant to a position of military superiority in the world.

It was the Great Russian Bear that raised itself up on the north side of Israel for the purpose of devouring much flesh. Russia devoured much throughout the world, but there were three prominent Baltic countries that were swallowed up by the bear:  Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. These countries were conquered and annexed by the Russians in 1940 and these countries completely lost their national identity. Although they lost their identity as independent countries, they were not completely assimilated into the Bear because they maintained their ethnic and cultural heritage. These three ribs in the mouth of the bear were a constant source of problems for the Russian leaders, because of their resistance to assimilation by the communistic regime. The three ribs in the mouth of the bear that refused to be digested by the bear are clearly Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. These were the last three countries to be swallowed up by the bear, and all three were devoured by the bear in 1940.

In its opposition to Israel, Russia spent staggering amounts of money for the express purpose of destroying Israel. Russia not only provided weapons to the Arabs in their wars against Israel, but she also provided military leaders to counsel the Arabs in their struggle to destroy Israel. Russia and the Arab countries have failed to realize the futility of fighting against God's elect people.

History now records the breakup of the Great Russian Bear, along with the failure of its communistic government and its economy. It is very important to note that the bear has not been changed from a beast into a man. This is true because the Bear is yet to fulfill the prophecy of Ezekiel 38 and 39 where Russia will invade Israel. This prophecy will be fulfilled in the first half of the seven-year tribulation period. Russia will invade Israel, but it will be destroyed by God in the mountains of Israel. This will be a climactic event during the first half of the tribulation period.  Russia’s invasion of Israel will take place as the fulfillment of the Red Horseman of the Apocalypse. Consequently, it will not take place until after the fulfillment of the White Horseman riding out as the conqueror. This White Horseman is the Antichrist. It is ironic that God will use the Antichrist as the leader over the Ten-Horned Beast to trample down Great Russian Bear.

Prior to the invasion of Israel by Russia and its allies, the two other beasts will rise up out of the sea. The next to rise up is depicted "like a Leopard."

Dan 7:6 (KJV) 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 beast "like a leopard" is the most difficult one to identify of the four great beasts out of the sea. This beast has not yet risen, but the time is very close for this beast to make its appearance and exert its authority. Current events in the Middle East peace process interspersed with terrorist activities are setting the stage for the Leopard to rise up.

According to the American Heritage Dictionary, the word leopard is defined as follows:

leop·ard  n. 1.a. A large, ferocious cat (Panthera pardus) of Africa and southern Asia, having either tawny fur with dark rosettelike markings or black fur. b. Any of several felines, such as the cheetah or the snow leopard. c. The pelt or fur of this animal. 2. Heraldry. A lion in side view, having one forepaw raised and the head facing the observer. [Middle English, from Old French leupart, from Late Latin leopardus, from Greek leopardos : see LION + Greek pardos, pard; see PARD.]

Definition number 2 above is the key to the identification of the third beast in Daniel 7.  The sphinx matches this definition perfectly, and the sphinx is the international symbol for Egypt. Egypt's significant role in the prophetic events of the last days confirms that Egypt will be the beast "like a leopard."

The identification of the "four wings of a fowl" on the back of the leopard only requires a map of the Middle East. The four Arab countries of Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia appear as the wings of a bird, and they are attached to the back of Egypt at the Sinai Peninsula.

The four wings on the back of the leopard Egypt: Syria, Jordan, Iraq and Saudi Arabia

It should be clear that the third great beast out of the sea will be an Arab coalition of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia. The statement "the beast had also four heads" appears to mean that when the coalition forms one of these nations will have no leader. It is not yet known which nation will have no leader, but Basshar Assad of Damascus, Syria is a prime candidate as the missing leader, since Damascus will become a ruinous heap immediately before the leopard rises up. The total destruction of Damascus, Syria by a nuclear weapon would very likely cause Syria to be leaderless. Please read my exegesis of Isaiah 17 for an understanding of the destruction of Damascus in the following link: Burden of Damascus. Current events in Iraq could also leave that country leaderless, since the execution of Saddam Hussein and the occupation by American troops have left that country with only a tentative leader. The prophecy is yet to be fulfilled as to which of the five countries will be without a leader. Currently, it appears that Syria or Iraq will be the one without a leader, but this prophecy has not yet been fulfilled, so we must wait and see how it is fulfilled.

The last statement in the prophecy about the leopard with the four wings on its back states "and dominion was given to it."  This simply means that this beast will have dominion or power over the other nations of the world. The oil that these five countries possess has already given them power or dominion over the other nations in the world, including the United States of America. These five Arab countries have about 60% of the world's known oil reserves, and America, Europe and Japan are all dependent upon their oil. Saudi Arabia alone could destroy the economies of America, Europe and Japan by simply turning off its oil pumps.

Although the Arabs quarrel with each other, they unite when one of its members is attacked by an outsider. America and Israel are definitely outsiders, and all the Arab countries could unite against both America and Israel, if perceived as a threat to their sovereignty. Egypt and these other countries met recently for the express purpose of forming a coalition of nations similar to the European Union, so this is highly significant that the Leopard with Four Wings on its Back is very close to being formed.

After Damascus, Syria is destroyed and becomes a ruinous heap, these Arab nations will likely form a coalition to retaliate against America, Israel and other countries. This will very likely initiate the crisis that causes the fourth beast out of the sea to rise up and attack the Leopard.  Egypt will become a wasteland in accordance with Isaiah 19 and the coalition of Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia will be trampled down by the Ten-Horned Beast. Please read my exegesis of Isaiah 19 at the following link: Burden of Egypt.

Regardless of the details surrounding the rise to power of the beast "like a leopard," some major event in the very near future will cause Egypt, Syria, Iraq, Jordan and Saudi Arabia to form a confederation and utilize their oil resources to exert influence in world politics. This power or influence will result from the Arabs hatred of the Jews, and their desire to destroy Israel. The negative impact on the West will be critical, and this will cause the formation of the Ten-Horned beast with the Antichrist as its leader.

The fourth beast to rise up out of the sea will be the infamous Ten-Horned beast.  This beast is described in the following verse:

Dan 7:7 (KJV) 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.

The Ten-Horned beast has been thoroughly documented and explained in numerous books and commentaries. It is the consensus of many prophecy scholars that the European Union or some member states of the European Union will be the Ten-Horned beast described in both Daniel and Revelation. A few prophecy scholars believe that the Ten-Horned beast will be ten regions in the world, but this interpretation is unlikely. The word horn in Scripture is used to refer to a powerful nation, and the leader of that nation, and Scripture alternates between the two meanings. 

The Ten-Horned Beast will be extremely powerful and will actually be a form of the revived Roman Empire. It has been thought for centuries that the Roman Empire was dead, just as it is thought that Antichrist is dead, but the Roman Empire will be revived, just as the Antichrist will be revived. We will look at some more details in the exegesis of the rest of this chapter. The interpretation of Daniel’s dream is given in verses 14-28.

Dan 7:8 (KJV) 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.

Verse 7 above describes the power and authority of the Ten-Horned beast, but verse 8 describes how Antichrist will usurp the authority of three of the horns. It appears that the Ten-Horned Beast will initially have 13 horns or nations, but Antichrist as the resurrected leader of an eleventh horn will completely usurp the power and authority of three of these horns. Antichrist is the “little horn” who had his power broken when he received his mortal head wound and lost his leadership position over Babylon the Great. The powerful nation of Babylon the Great must also have its power broken, and this will likely be via an economic crash that will bring an end to the Republic and its constitutional form of government. The phrase "little horn" means a powerful nation that has been broken or shattered. Thus, “little horn” refers to both the leader and the nation. The literal meaning of “little horn” refers to a horn that has been broken or shattered. He is the one with "eyes like the eyes of man, and a mouth speaking great things." Thus, Antichrist is a leader who was once powerful, but his power has been broken or shattered. This prophecy has already been fulfilled with the mortal head wound of Antichrist. The whole world witnessed the “death” of Antichrist with a gruesome video convincing the whole world of his death and burial. As stated in Revelation 13, the whole world will be absolutely astonished when the little horn appears to have arisen from the grave, just like Jesus Christ arose from the grave. He will again take over the reins of government in Babylon the Great, but this time he will be the dictator over Babylon the Great, which also became a shattered or broken horn. The Republic of America with its democratic form of government will become a shattered or broken horn, just as Antichrist became a shattered or broken horn.

America will be the headquarters for the Antichrist when he figuratively arises from death, and his headquarters is that Great City Babylon, which "reigns over the kings of the earth." A brief summary follows to help tie it all together.

There have been seven Gentile empires exercising world-wide influence. These empires are Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and New Babylon (i.e., the USA).  Antichrist was leader over the seventh world empire for approximately 1000 days, but his reign was cut short by a mortal head wound that has the whole world convinced that he is dead.  When he comes "back from the dead," he will not be content to reign over just New Babylon.  He will unify New Babylon with the Ten-Horned Beast formed out of the European Union, and become ruler over the whole empire.  This will happen when Antichrist first arises, and reveals that his mortal head wound has been healed.  Great Britain, Russia, and Egypt will come under the authority of Antichrist after the Ten-Horned Beast tramples down both the Leopard and the Bear.  This is confirmed in the following Scripture that describes the Ten-Horned beast:

Rev 13:2 (KJV) And the beast which I saw was like unto a leopard, and his feet were as the feet of a bear, and his mouth as the mouth of a lion: and the dragon gave him his power, and his seat, and great authority. 

We will look at some more details of the second coming of Antichrist in our exegesis of chapter 11. Please read my exegesis of Revelation for more information and details about Antichrist as the once and future king of Babylon the Great. America is definitely the New Babylon (i.e., political). The links are as follows: The Antichrist and the False Prophet and The Fall of Religious and Political Babylon.


This has been an explanation of the prophetic fulfillment of the four great beasts out of the sea in Daniel 7.  These beasts out of the sea are not the same as the four world empires of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece and Rome described in the second chapter of Daniel.  Daniel 2 covers a period of 2600 years, but Daniel 7 covers the last hundred years of this age just prior to the millennial reign of Jesus Christ upon the earth.

The first two beasts of Daniel 7 have already come to power and waned, and the world is on the verge of seeing the third and fourth beasts arise in quick succession.  World events have already provided enough information for students of the Bible to see the coming fulfillment of the third and fourth beasts. 

(Dan 7:9 KJV)  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. 

Daniel continues with the summary of his dream, which describes the establishment of the Kingdom of Jesus Christ with supreme authority over the world and his judgment by fire on the world. All the kingdoms of the earth will become as naught when Jesus Christ returns to establish his kingdom upon the earth. This verse provides a brief description of Jesus Christ as the coming King over the earth. His garment will be white as snow, and garments typify the works of the individual wearing them. All of the works of Jesus Christ were pure and untainted by sin and corruption. The hair of his head is like pure wool, and wool symbolizes his divine authority to rule and reign. The divinely ordained prophets wore the woolen mantel to show their divine authority as spokesmen for God. The throne as the fiery flame and his wheels as burning fire depict his right to judge and purify everyone and everything that will come under his dominion as king over the earth. 

(Dan 7:10 KJV)  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.

The fiery stream is the gehenna fire of judgment that will go forth from his throne. The thousand thousands that ministered unto him are the angels that obey him as the rightful king over the earth. The ten thousand times ten thousand that stand before him are the complete Church in heaven around his throne standing before him to be judged for their works.  Details of this verse are provided in my exegesis of Revelation at the following link: Revelation of the Future--what will take place later.

(Dan 7:11 KJV)  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. 

Daniel continues the description of his dream and he concentrates on the voice of the Antichrist, which spoke powerful words. Daniel’s dream continued until the body of the beast was destroyed in the fire of Gehenna. Both the Antichrist and the False Prophet will  be cast into the destroying fire of Gehenna. It is noteworthy that both will receive their judgment at the end of the seven-year tribulation period, whereas the rest of unsaved mankind will receive their judgment at the Great White Throne Judgment. The verse is as follows: 

(Rev 19:20 KJV) And the beast was taken, and with him the false prophet that wrought miracles before him, with which he deceived them that had received the mark of the beast, and them that worshipped his image. These both were cast alive into a lake of fire burning with brimstone. 

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

Daniel was talking about the leader of the Ten-Horned Beast in the previous verse and he is talking about the leaders of the Leopard and the Bear in this verse, which states that their dominion was taken away, yet their bodies were not destroyed in the lake of fire until a particular occasion (i.e., season) after a set time (i.e., 1000 years). The particular occasion would be the Great White Throne Judgment, and the time period is 1000 years later. The Antichrist and the False Prophet are the only two people who will have their bodies destroyed in the Lake of Fire prior to the Great White Throne Judgment. Even though all of the unsaved dead will die prior to the millennial kingdom being established, all will receive resurrection bodies at the Great White Throne Judgment that will be destroyed in the Lake of Fire, which is Gehenna Fire. 

(Dan 7:13 KJV)  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. 

This verse is describing the third aspect of the Second Coming of Christ, which is the return of Jesus in power and glory. He is like the Son of Man, but He came unto the Ancient of Days, and drew near unto him. Jesus Christ appears in the presence of the Father to receive his kingdom. 

(Dan 7:14 KJV)  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. 

Jesus Christ receives dominion, glory and a kingdom where all people, nations and languages will serve him. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom that will not pass away, and this kingdom shall not be destroyed like all the other kingdoms of the earth. This is the last verse describing the dream of Daniel. The rest of the chapter provides the interpretation of the dream. 

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

Daniel was deeply grieved in his innermost being, and the visions he saw troubled him greatly. The things that Daniel saw made a deep impression upon his mind. It was not the mystery of the images, nor the uncertainty of the dream that troubled Daniel. It was the things themselves that passed in his vision that greatly troubled him. He saw momentous events and calamities for the people of God that they would have to endure before the establishment of the kingdom of God. It was these events that filled Daniel with anxiety and terror. These events and calamities are briefly outlined in the rest of the chapter. 

(Dan 7:16 KJV)  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. 

Daniel was greatly disturbed by the visions that he had, so he asked an angel that stood by him the true meaning of the visions. In verses 17-27 the angel provides the interpretation. The interpretation follows the Semitic style of apocalyptic writing by giving a brief overview in verses 17 and 18 and then providing details in the remaining verses. No further details are provided for the first three beasts other than what has already been given. The identification of these three beasts had to await the fulfillment of the prophecy before they could be identified, and we have now seen the details of the fulfillment of this prophecy. 

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

The angel states very succinctly that the four great beasts represent four kings which shall arise out of the earth. The use of the term “earth” is used because the “sea” was merely figurative of the Gentile nations. These kingdoms actually arise on the earth out of the Gentile nations. Please note the future tense “shall arise” as this establishes clearly that Babylon cannot be in view.  We also note that in the context these first three kingdoms arise shortly before the Ten-Horned beast arises, so they all arise over a relatively short span of time (i.e., approximately 100 years). The first beast, the lion, has actually been in existence and reached the height of its power in the last 300 years, but its power was removed in the last hundred years. We know that all four kingdoms arise up in order, but they all exist contemporaneously. The Ten-Horned Beast actually tramples down the Leopard and the Bear. 

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

The last part of the brief overview states simply that the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom and will possess it forever and ever. These saints are clearly overcomers in the Church, who qualify to reign and rule in the kingdom of heaven. These saints are not the nation of Israel, since the nation of Israel forfeited the kingdom of heaven by their disobedience when Jesus Christ came to earth the first time. These two verses complete the overview of the dream, but Daniel wants to know more specific information about the fourth beast, which differed so much from the first three beasts. These details provide more information about the Ten-Horned Beast and its leader, who is the Antichrist. 

(Dan 7:19 KJV)  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; 

The fourth beast was very different from the first three, and it was exceedingly dreadful. This means it was a terrible beast exciting extreme terror and fear in those saints who will be persecuted by this beast. The Third Reich under Adolph Hitler would be a prime example of the kind of terror and fear that will be incited under the reign of Antichrist. The teeth of iron confirm that this kingdom will be the revived Roman Empire that will wield almost insurmountable strength and power. The nails of brass signify the judgmental nature of this beast. Terrible judgments will be meted out on Christians and Jews alike. Christians will be greatly persecuted during the first half of the seven year tribulation period, but then Antichrist will turn his attention to the Jews in the last half of the tribulation period. The first half is called the hour of trial for Christians, and the last half is called the time of Jacob’s trouble. Millions of Christians and millions of Jews will receive a judgment of death simply because of their status as being the people of God. This is why Daniel was so disturbed by the dream. Please read my exegesis of Habakkuk at this link: Book of Habakkuk, since Habakkuk suffered the same anguish as Daniel at seeing the sufferings of God’s people, the Church and the nation of Israel. 

This fourth beast is the same beast described in Revelation chapters 17 and 18. Please read my exegesis of these two chapters at the following link: The Fall of Religious and Political Babylon.

The fourth beast is the final, resurrected form of the Roman Empire having seven heads and ten horns and controlled by a woman of harlotry. The harlot typifies both the political and ecclesiastical aspects of Babylon the Great, which was incorporated in the seven empires of Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, Rome and the United States of America (Mystery Babylon-political). In the above link chapter 17 describes the ecclesiastical aspect of Mystery Babylon, and chapter 18 describes the political aspect of Mystery Babylon. The final form of the revived Roman Empire is the Ten-Horned Beast, but it is controlled politically by the Antichrist and ecclesiastically by the False Prophet. The harlot symbolizes both the ecclesiastical and political forms of Mystery Babylon, which are the Vatican and the USA. The leader of the ecclesiastical form is the False Prophet and the leader of the political form is the Antichrist. Both of these beasts are described in my exegesis of Revelation chapter 13 at the following linkThe Antichrist and False Prophet.

It is completely relevant and much more than an interesting side note that the reappearance of both the Antichrist and the False Prophet is by way of apparent resurrections from the dead. Just as the Roman Empire was thought to be dead, both of its leaders—ecclesiastical and political—are thought to be dead. All three will appear to be resurrected from the dead. The above link describes this in more detail. 

(Dan 7:20 KJV)  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. 

Daniel specifically wants to know more about the ten horns in the head of the beast, and the eleventh horn, which arises among the other horns. There will actually be 13 horns initially but the Antichrist will arise among the 13 and pluck up three by the roots. This will leave ten horns with the Antichrist as the eleventh horn. Antichrist and his kingdom are called a little horn in verse 8 above. As explained above, a little horn is a horn that has been broken or shattered. Antichrist has already been broken with his mortal head wound, and his kingdom is yet to be broken when the Republic fails. 

NOTE: The little horn is also mentioned in Daniel 8:9, but this is in reference to Antiochus Epiphanes, who is a type of the Antichrist. 

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

As Daniel watches in his dream, the Antichrist makes war with the saints and prevails against them. This is the persecution of the main body of the Church, which is left behind in the Firstfruits Rapture of the Church. Please read the following links for a detailed explanation of the Firstfruits Rapture: The SeparationThe Coming Rapture, and The Olivet Discourse.

(Dan 7:22 KJV)  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 continues to watch the events taking place until he sees the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church take place. It is at this time that Jesus Christ takes over the reign and rule of the earth and his overcoming saints will participate in his kingdom. These are members of the Church who have been overcomers and qualify to reign and rule with Jesus Christ. These Christians will also be given the responsibility for judging the world (1 Cor 6:2). 

(Dan 7:23 KJV)  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. 

The angel responds to Daniel stating that the fourth beast will be the fourth kingdom upon the earth, and it shall be different from all the kingdoms before it. This kingdom will dominate the entire earth. This fourth beast is an ordinal number referring to the fourth kingdom of the four kingdoms in this dream. There were other kingdoms prior to these four kingdoms, but this dream specifically refers to the circumstances leading up to the kingdom of Antichrist. 

(Dan 7:24 KJV)  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. 

The angel now addresses Daniel’s pointed question about the ten horns on this fourth beast. He states that the ten horns represent ten kings that shall arise in the future. The angel also states that another horn shall arise after them, but he shall be very different from these earlier kings. He shall put down, abase or cast down three kings. The meaning is that this eleventh horn will overthrow or deprive three of these previous kings of their sovereignty. He himself will have established and possessed a kingdom of his own. We know from other Scriptures that this king is the Antichrist, and he will have returned from the dead to take over the kingdom of Babylon the Great, which is the United States of America. We have already established that this is not a literal resurrection, but a figurative resurrection. 

NOTE: It is not certain if there will be ten kings after the Antichrist has subdued three kings, or if there will only remain seven kings after the Antichrist has subdued three kings. Revelation 17 and 18 seem to point to ten kings remaining, since it is the Ten-Horned Beast that Antichrist controls. 

(Dan 7:25 KJV)  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. 

This king will speak against the most High, which means he will set God aside and regard and promote himself as God. He shall also “wear out the saints” of God. This means that he will afflict, harass and persecute the saints of God. These saints are the ones who will inherit the kingdom of God, so these are the Main Harvest Christians who are left upon the earth to be purified for 42 months. This is confirmed in Revelation 13:5 and in the last sentence of this verse as three and one-half years. The changing of times and laws belongs to the perfect power of God (Dan 2:21), who is the creator and ordainer of times (Gen 1:14). These times and laws are the foundations and main conditions of life and actions that emanate from God, and only God can change them. However, Antichrist will be given authority to act unchecked by God for a period of 42 months. All men upon earth will be affected by his actions, but Christians will be affected most during these 42 months, since he will specifically seek them out to kill and destroy. Please read my exegesis of Habakkuk at the following link for a closer look at this extreme persecution of main harvest Christians by Antichrist: Book of Habakkuk.

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

This verse is a little bit obscure as to its meaning, but the “judgment” refers to the judgments of God that will take place in the last half of the tribulation period. Antichrist will have authority during 42 months, but then God’s rain of judgments will come upon the earth and the kingdom of Antichrist. His dominion will be taken away and utterly consumed and destroyed. This time of judgment by God is called the Day of the Lord, and there are numerous Scriptures that describe it. The prepositional phrase “unto the end” refers to the end of the Day of the Lord at the end of the seven-year tribulation period.  Please read the following link for more details on the Day of the Lord: Day of the Lord.

(Dan 7:27 KJV)  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. 

This verse refers to the kingdom of heaven, which is the reign and rule of heaven over the earth. The area refers to the earth and the reign and rule comes from heaven. This reign and rule will be given to Christians who qualify to reign and rule with Jesus Christ in his kingdom. The reference to “all dominions” refers to the earthly aspect of the kingdom, and it addresses the reign and rule of the nation of Israel and all saved Gentiles outside of the Church Age who qualify to reign and rule in the earthly aspect of the kingdom. All dominions on the earth will serve and obey Jesus Christ. Please read the following link for more details on the three aspects of the kingdom of God: The Kingdom of God.

(Dan 7:28 KJV)  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.

This verse ends the dream and the explanation of Daniel’s dream and relates the effect of the dream and its explanation on Daniel. Daniel was greatly troubled in his thoughts to the point that his whole appearance and demeanor were changed, but he kept the dream and the explanation of the dream to himself, except that he recorded them in this passage of Scripture. This passage of Scripture can only be unveiled and understood in the last hundred years with the fulfillment of its prophecies. The vast majority of pastors, teachers and Bible scholars have still not understood the meaning of the Lion, the Bear and the Leopard in this important chapter of Daniel. 

The table on the following page provides a visual aid to help in understanding the relationship between the four kingdoms of chapter 2 and the four beasts of chapter 7. It is of utmost importance to understand that chapter 7 provides the details and circumstances leading up to the rise of the kingdom of Antichrist. We are in that time period right now, as both the Lion and the Bear have already arisen, and we are on the verge of the arising of the Leopard with Four Wings on its Back. Also, the rise of the European Union has set the stage for the arising of the Ten-Horned Beast. The power and authority of Antichrist has already been broken, and the power and authority of his kingdom is on the verge of being broken. We will be able to see and understand more of these details in our exegesis of chapters 9, 10 and 11. 

The Four Beasts of Daniel Chapter 7 As Related to the Four Empires of Daniel Chapter 2

The Four Empires of Daniel Chapter 2 (605BC-Present)

Babylon (Head of Gold)

Medo-Persian (Chest & Arms of Silver)

Greece (Stomach & Thighs of Bronze)

Rome (Legs of Iron)
The Four Beasts of Daniel Chapter 7 (1700AD-Present)
Rome (Believed to be dead)
Great Britain (Lion)
Rome (Believed to be dead) Russia (Bear)
Rome (Believed to be dead) Egypt (Leopard)
Rome Revived (Ten toes of Iron & Clay)
Rome Revived (The Ten-horned Beast)

The Ten Toes of Iron & Clay in Chapter 2 and The Ten-Horned Beast in Chapter 7 Are One and the Same. The Other Empires & Beasts Are Not the Same. Chapter 2 is an Overview of Gentile Dominion Covering 2600 Years. Chapter 7 Provides the Details Leading up to the Revived Roman Empire in the Form of the Ten-Horned Beast and Covers Approximately 300 Years. Daniel Follows the Semitic Style of Apocalyptic Writing, which is to First Provide an Overview, and then to go back and Provide Details. Chapter 2 Provides the Overview while Chapter 7 gives Details. Chapter 8 Provides the Details for Medo-Persia and Greece. 

Daniel’s Vision of the Ram & Goat (Chapter 8) 

Just as chapter 7 provided details leading up to the revived Roman Empire in the form of the Ten-Horned Beast (i.e., the ten toes of iron and clay), this chapter provides the details of the Medo-Persian and Grecian empires. The events of the New Testament take place during the Roman Empire. It is important to note that Babylon is not addressed in this vision, since the vision took place at the end of the Babylonian empire. The details of the Babylonian empire were addressed in chapters 2, 3, 4 and 5. Details about Daniel in the Medo-Persian Empire were given in chapter 6. Details about the breakup of the Grecian Empire into four segments under four of Alexander’s generals are given in chapters 10 and 11, and included in chapter 11 is the transition from the first coming of Christ to the Second Coming of Christ. Details of the last half of the seven-year tribulation period are given in chapter 12 starting with the Main Harvest Rapture of the Church in verses 1 and 2.

(Dan 8:1 KJV)  In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.  

Belshazzar was made co-regent of Babylon in 553 BC, so Daniel had this vision in about 551 BC. Belshazzar died the night that the Persians overthrew Babylon on October 12, 539 BC, so Daniel had this vision 12 years before the fall of Babylon. Daniel had this vision, which is the second vision that Daniel had while Belshazzar was king. The first vision was described in Chapter 7 and occurred in the first year of the reign of Belshazzar. 

(Dan 8:2 KJV)  And I saw in a vision; and it came to pass, when I saw, that I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam; and I saw in a vision, and I was by the river of Ulai. 

In this vision Daniel saw himself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam. Susa was an ancient city of the Elamite, Persian and Parthian empires of Iran. The modern Iranian town of Shush is located on the ancient site of Susa. Esther became queen in Susa and saved the Jews from genocide. It is significant that Susa was not taken by the Persians until 538 BC. Daniel also saw himself beside the Ulai Canal, which was most likely the eastern branch of the Eulaeus (Karkheh) River. In verse 16 Daniel speaks of being between the banks of the Ulai, so this points to the Eulaeus River, which divided about 20 miles north of Susa. The river is currently the location of the Karkheh dam and power plant in Iran. Ulai means “my leaders”. 

(Dan 8:3 KJV)  Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last. 

In vision Daniel looked up with his eyes and saw a ram with two horns, and the two horns were high, but one was higher than the other horn, but the higher horn came up last. We know from the facts already given that Daniel is seeing the rise of the Medo-Persian Empire with the higher horn representing Persia under Cyrus and the first horn representing the Median Empire, which came up first in 612 BC with the sack of Nineveh and lasted “until 549 BC when Cyrus the Great established the Achaemenid Empire by defeating his overlord and grandfather, Astyages, king of Media.” Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Median_Empire. This was the beginning of the Medo-Persian Empire under Cyrus the Great. Cyrus placed his 62 year old father-in-law as the king of Babylon with the name of Darius the Mede. The Achaemenid Empire, which is the Medo-Persian Empire lasted from 549 BC until 330 BC during the wars of Alexander the Great. 

(Dan 8:4 KJV)  I saw the ram pushing westward, and northward, and southward; so that no beasts might stand before him, neither was there any that could deliver out of his hand; but he did according to his will, and became great. 

Daniel saw the ram pushing westward, and northward and southward, so that no beasts could stop him. This is an accurate description of the conquests of the Medo-Persian Empire, as described in Wikipedia online encyclopedia:  The empire was forged by Cyrus the Great, and spanned three continents, including territories of Afghanistan and Pakistan, parts of Central Asia, Asia Minor, Thrace, much of the Black Sea coastal regions, Iraq, northern Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, Syria, and all significant population centers of ancient Egypt as far west as Libya.” Medo-Persia under Cyrus was clearly the unquestioned empire of the time for about 220 years, so this one verse spans a period of 220 years. 

It is significant that the Hebrew word for “ram” figuratively means a strong man, leader or chief. It is thought that the prophetic interpretation of the ram points to the Antichrist, who is also described very well in this verse. 

(Dan 8:5 KJV)  And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes. 

Next in Daniel’s vision a male goat came from the west over the surface of the earth without touching the ground, and this goat had a conspicuous horn between its eyes. It is clear from verse 21 that the goat represents the Macedonian Empire and the conspicuous horn is the first king, who is Alexander the Great. Alexander III of Macedon was the son of Phillip II of Macedon and Alexander created one of the largest empires in ancient history. He did come from the west from Macedonia and he came to the throne in 336 BC and died 13 years later at age 32. In his brief reign of 13 years, the impact of his conquests lasted for centuries in his spread of Greek culture into the east. Alexander the Great is one of the most known figures of antiquity, and he is remembered for his tactical ability, his conquests and his spread of Hellenism. 

After being crowned king, Alexander first secured the Balkan states and he then crossed the Hellespont into Asia to begin his conquests eastward toward Susa. He conquered the Persian forces in Asia Minor and proceeded into Syria, Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia and then the Persian capital of Susa. The rapidity of his conquests is described in this verse as if he did not even touch the ground. The “face of the whole earth” refers to Alexander’s incursion into all countries from Greece into Persia, and even into India. This verse is very brief but highly descriptive of Alexander’s conquests. 

(Dan 8:6 KJV)  And he came to the ram that had two horns, which I had seen standing before the river, and ran unto him in the fury of his power. 

Alexander conquered the Persians at the pass called the Persian Gates and he invaded the eastern capital Persepolis and conquered the Persian Empire in totality. The Persian Empire fell to Alexander in 330 BC. This victory over the Persian Empire is briefly but clearly described in the following verse. 

(Dan 8:7 KJV)  And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand. 

This verse clearly describes the fierce Battle of the Persian Gate. Alexander almost lost the battle, and he lost numerous troops against the Persians, but his anger, determination and brute force brought about his victory over the Persian army, opening the way for Alexander to proceed to the eastern capitals of Persepolis & Pasargadae in Persis. The battle was fierce and the Persians successfully withstood Alexander at this pass for 30 days. 

(Dan 8:8 KJV)  Therefore the he goat waxed very great: and when he was strong, the great horn was broken; and for it came up four notable ones toward the four winds of heaven.

Alexander was crowned king over the Persian Empire, so the Grecian Empire definitely “waxed very great” and was very strong at this point in time. At the height of his power Alexander the Great became gravely ill after drinking a large bowl of unmixed wine. His fever began after a night and a day of drinking with his friend Medius of Larissa. It was rumored that Alexander had been poisoned, but he got progressively worse for 13 days until he finally died. Poisons at that time would have not taken this long to act. His death has been ascribed to various ailments, including malaria, typhoid fever, pyrogenic spondylitus, meningitis, West Nile virus and acute pancreatitus. Clearly, Alexander’s health had declined after years of heavy drinking and major wounds suffered in battle. Alexander died in Babylon in the palace of Nebuchadnezzar II. Thus, the great horn was broken and the empire was up for grabs by the most powerful of his men. It is rumored that on his deathbed he was asked who would take over his kingdom, since he had no children at the time. Alexander’s supposed response was “To the strongest!” 

Note: Alexander did have a son, Alexander IV, who was born to Alexander’s wife Roxane after Alexander’s death, but he was never a serious contender for Alexander’s throne. He and his mother were murdered during the reign of the Diadochi.

The Diadochi were the rival successors of Alexander the Great, and the Wars of the Diadochi came after the death of Alexander. This also began the Hellenistic period of Greek history where the Greek philosophy and styles, language, culture and religion received widespread acceptance throughout the empire of Alexander the Great. Hellenism is the reason the New Testament was penned in koine Greek. Koine Greek was the common language of the people and was different from classical Greek. 

Upon the death of Alexander June 10, 323 BC there was an immediate dispute among his generals regarding Alexander’s successor. There was revolt in Greece 323 BC to 322 BC, and then four successive Wars of the Diodochi that lasted from 322 until 301 BC where numerous leaders fought for control of the Empire. These wars resulted in four primary leaders who stood out in fulfillment of verse 8 above. These generals are Ptolemy I Soter, Cassander, Lysimachus and Seleucus I Nicator with their respective divisions of the Greek Empire shown on the following map from Wikipedia:

The Diadochi kingdoms after the battle of Ipsus, circa 301 BC.

     Kingdom of Ptolemy I Soter      Kingdom of Cassander      Kingdom of Lysimachus      Kingdom of Seleucus I Nicator      Epirus Other      Carthage      Rome      Greek colonies 

(Dan 8:9 KJV)  And out of one of them came forth a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land.

From 175 BC to 164 BC the Seleucid Empire was ruled over by another king, Antiochus IV Epiphanes. He was the literal fulfillment of this verse. We will provide more details about Antiochus in our exegesis of chapter 11, but Antiochus was an important but evil ruler who expanded the Seleucid Empire toward Egypt, and he came close to taking over the Ptolemaic Empire. He controlled Israel (i.e., the pleasant land) and did horrible and despicable things to the Jews and the Jewish religion. Antiochus was a type or a picture of the coming Antichrist, who will also desecrate the temple in Jerusalem. Antiochus desecrated the Jewish temple by offering a sow on the altar and placing pagan idols in the temple.  This took away the daily evening and morning sacrifice. We will see in the following verses that the persecution of the Jews by Antiochus lasted for 2300 evenings and mornings, until the temple was cleansed and the sacrifice was restored by Judas Maccabeus. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia regarding him: “He led the Maccabean revolt against the Seleucid Empire (167 BC-160 BC) and is acclaimed as one of the greatest warriors in Jewish history alongside Joshua, Gideon and David.”

“The Jewish feast of Hanukkah ("Dedication") commemorates the restoration of Jewish worship at the temple in Jerusalem in 165 BC, after Judah Maccabee removed the pagan statuary.”

(Dan 8:10 KJV)  And it waxed great, even to the host of heaven; and it cast down some of the host and of the stars to the ground, and stamped upon them. 

Antiochus became an influential and powerful force against the Jews, who are referred to in this verse as the “host of heaven”. The word for host means that which goes forth from heaven and this is clearly a reference to the Jewish people who brought us both the Word of God and the Messiah. The Jews are God’s elect people for bringing salvation to the world. Antiochus was very powerful in his persecution of the Jews, and “to cast down some of the host” means that Antiochus overthrew and caused the violent deaths of numerous Jews. The casting down of the stars refers to the corruption of some of the Jewish priests and the overthrow and subjugation of the Jewish priests who were not corrupted. To stamp upon them means that he oppressed and abused the Jews in the extreme. The exploits and harsh treatment of the Jews by Antiochus were a forerunner of the horrible treatment they received under Hitler and the coming treatment of them by the Antichrist in the Time of Jacob’s trouble. Thus, this prophecy of the horrible treatment of the Jews was literally fulfilled by Antiochus, but it will have a prophetic fulfillment under Antichrist, and there have been figurative fulfillments under Hitler and other rulers who have persecuted the Jews in the extreme. 

(Dan 8:11 KJV)  Yea, he magnified himself even to the prince of the host, and by him the daily sacrifice was taken away, and the place of his sanctuary was cast down.

Antiochus even exalted himself to the point that he even came against the “prince of the host” which is a reference to the Messiah, who is the chief prince of Israel. Antiochus was even allowed to desecrate the temple (i.e., the sanctuary) and the evening and morning sacrifices ceased for a long period of time. The “place of his sanctuary” refers to the Most Holy Place in the temple, since this is the place where God dwelled upon earth. This desecration of the Most Holy Place immediately begs the question of why did God allow this. Clearly, this was a punishment on the Jews for their corruption by the Greek culture and traditions. We will see this in the details of this vision in the following verses. This self-exaltation by Antiochus will be repeated by Antichrist during his reign upon the earth. 

(Dan 8:12 KJV)  And an host was given him against the daily sacrifice by reason of transgression, and it cast down the truth to the ground; and it practiced, and prospered. 

The Jews (i.e., the host) were given over to the authority of Antiochus because of their transgression (i.e., rebellion) and he opposed the truth of God and he was successful in his purpose to desecrate the temple and humiliate the Jews. Please note that the Jews and the temple were given over to Antiochus because of the rebellion or unfaithfulness of the Jews. This will happen again to the Jews during the last half of the seven-year tribulation period. This will be discussed in more detail in chapters 10 and 11, which record the final vision of Daniel.

(Dan 8:13 KJV)  Then I heard one saint speaking, and another saint said unto that certain saint which spake, How long shall be the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, and the transgression of desolation, to give both the sanctuary and the host to be trodden under foot? 

Daniel hears The Holy One speaking, and he hears another holy one asks the particular Holy One a question about the length of time that the daily sacrifice, the desecration of the temple and the persecution of the Jews would last. Please note that this is talking about all three of these transgressions and not just the desecration of the temple. This is important as the desecration of the temple and the taking away of the daily sacrifice did not last a full 2300 days, but the total time for all three, including the persecution of the Jews, did last 2300 days. Antiochus ruled the Seleucid Empire from 175 BC until his death in 164 BC for a total of 11 years. We know that Judas Maccabeus led the rebellion of the Jews against Antiochus and the Syrians from 167 BC to 160 BC, and he cleansed the temple and restored the sacrifice on December 14, 164 BC. Thus, we can simple count back 2300 days to about August 170 BC to determine the time that Antiochus began his campaign of sacrilege against the Jewish people. It was in 170 BC that Antiochus had been compelled by the Romans to leave Egypt, and he marched against Jerusalem, massacred the inhabitants, and plundered the Temple. This was clearly the beginning of the 2300 days of severe persecution of the Jews and the resulting desecration of the temple and the taking away of the daily sacrifice. As stated already, this abomination of desolation will have a second fulfillment during the last half of the tribulation period when Antichrist enters the temple (i.e., the Great Synagogue) and claims to be God. This desecration of the temple and the severe persecution of the Jews will also last 2300 days. The details of this prophecy will not be known until it is fulfilled. 

(Dan 8:14 KJV)  And he said unto me, Unto two thousand and three hundred days; then shall the sanctuary be cleansed. 

The response from The Holy One to the other holy one is that the severe persecution of the Jews, the overthrow of the holy people and the desecration of the temple will occur for 2300 days before the temple is cleansed and sacrifice is restored. 

(Dan 8:15 KJV)  And it came to pass, when I, even I Daniel, had seen the vision, and sought for the meaning, then, behold, there stood before me as the appearance of a man. 

The vision of Daniel has ended in this verse, but Daniel seeks for the meaning of the vision. In Daniel seeking after the meaning, One appears before him as the appearance of a man. This One who appears to Daniel seems to be a Christophany, or a preincarnate appearance of the Christ. This is true because He is clearly higher in authority than the other holy one, which is the angel Gabriel. We know that Gabriel is an arcangel, and the only one in a higher position than an arcangel would be a member of the godhead. Thus, it is natural and reasonable to assume that this Person who appears as a man is Christ prior to his incarnation. 

(Dan 8:16 KJV)  And I heard a man's voice between the banks of Ulai, which called, and said, Gabriel, make this man to understand the vision. 

The man’s voice speaks to the other holy one, which is Gabriel, and commands him to make Daniel understand the vision. This statement begs the question “Who commands an arcangel to do anything,” and the only possible answer is a member of the godhead. 

(Dan 8:17 KJV)  So he came near where I stood: and when he came, I was afraid, and fell upon my face: but he said unto me, Understand, O son of man: for at the time of the end shall be the vision. 

The angel Gabriel approaches Daniel in response to the command to make Daniel understand the vision. Gabriel tells Daniel that the vision applies to the time of the end. The “end” in this verse has two references and both pertain to the reign of two evil leaders that will persecute the Jews and desecrate the temple until the time of the arrival of a deliverer. The reign of Antiochus ended with the revolt of Judas Maccabeus and the establishment of the Hasmonean Dynasty. The following is an excerpt from Wikipedia: “The Hasmonean dynasty was established under the leadership of Simon Maccabaeus, two decades after his brother Judah the Maccabee defeated the Seleucid army during the Maccabean Revolt in 165 BC. The Hasmonean Kingdom survived for 103 years before yielding to the Herodian Dynasty in 37 BC.” The reign of Antichrist will end with the coming of Jesus Christ and the establishment of his Millennial Kingdom. Judas Maccabeus was clearly a type or picture of the coming of Jesus Christ to end the persecution of the Jews and establish a kingdom.

(Dan 8:18 KJV)  Now as he was speaking with me, I was in a deep sleep on my face toward the ground: but he touched me, and set me upright. 

As Gabriel was speaking to Daniel, Daniel was in a deep sleep with his face toward the ground. Gabriel touched Daniel and set him upright, and began to explain the vision to him. 

(Dan 8:19 KJV)  And he said, Behold, I will make thee know what shall be in the last end of the indignation: for at the time appointed the end shall be. 

Gabriel tells Daniel that he will make Daniel understand what shall happen at the time that great indignation will occur for the Jewish people. Gabriel states that the end of the indignation will occur at its appointed time. This verse confirms that all and any persecutions of God’s elect people is by divine appointment and does not occur outside the will of God.  This is true for Israel, the Church and all Gentiles saved outside the Church Age. God is in control of all history and nothing happens outside of his divine plan. 

(Dan 8:20 KJV)  The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia. 

This verse confirms our explanation of the ram earlier, as it states explicitly that the ram represents the kings of Media and Persia. As stated above in the exegesis of verse 3, the king of Media was Astyages, and the king of Persian was Cyrus the Great. 

(Dan 8:21 KJV)  And the rough goat is the king of Grecia: and the great horn that is between his eyes is the first king. 

This verse confirms our explanation of the goat in verse 5 above as representing the Macedonian Empire and the great horn as representing the first king who was Alexander the Great. 

(Dan 8:22 KJV)  Now that being broken, whereas four stood up for it, four kingdoms shall stand up out of the nation, but not in his power. 

This verse confirms the death of Alexander at the height of his power and the rise to power of the Diadochi kingdoms under four of Alexander’s generals. This verse also confirms the lack of an heir of Alexander who would take over the kingdom at his death. 

(Dan 8:23 KJV)  And in the latter time of their kingdom, when the transgressors are come to the full, a king of fierce countenance, and understanding dark sentences, shall stand up. 

This verse confirms the rise of Antiochus IV Epiphanes as the ruler at the end of the reign of the Diadochi at the time that the transgressors of Israel have come to the end of their reign. Antiochus was actually the last ruler that transgressed or trespassed on the holy land before the rise of the Hasmonian Dynasty and the period of 103 years of Jewish sovereignty. The words for “fierce countenance” refer to the impudent and harsh presence of Antiochus in the holy land. Antiochus was characterized by his offensive boldness, his impertinence and his insolence toward the Jewish people. The phrase “understanding dark sentences” refers to his discernment of the true nature and purpose of the Jewish people as being the elect of God who are to carry out the purposes of God. Antiochus knew the significance and the importance of the Jewish people, and his rise to power was clearly not from his own power but the power of Satan. This is confirmed in the following two verses.

Note: This description of Antiochus is also an explicit description of the Antichrist, who will act in the same manner and under the same power as Antiochus. Theologians argue over whether this is a description of Antiochus or a description of Antichrist, but it is a description of both. Antiochus was the literal fulfillment of this verse, and Antichrist will be the prophetic fulfillment of this verse. 

(Dan 8:24 KJV)  And his power shall be mighty, but not by his own power: and he shall destroy wonderfully, and shall prosper, and practice, and shall destroy the mighty and the holy people.

As stated above, Antiochus was a mighty force against the Jewish people, but his power was from Satan and not from himself. The phrase “destroy wonderfully” means that his surpassing ability to destroy will be beyond his own power, and his success and his accomplishments in destroying numerous people, including the Jews, will actually be the power of Satan operating in him. Again, this is also a description of the Antichrist when he will turn on the Jews and persecute them during the time of Jacob’s trouble during the last half of the tribulation period.

(Dan 8:25 KJV)  And through his policy also he shall cause craft to prosper in his hand; and he shall magnify himself in his heart, and by peace shall destroy many: he shall also stand up against the Prince of princes; but he shall be broken without hand.

The word for “policy” refers to the cunning and craft of Antiochus, who prospered for a period of time in his deceit and treachery against the Jewish people. He was very proud and exalted himself in his own mind, and his methods of instilling Greek culture into the holy land corrupted many Jews and especially the Jewish priests. Many Jews became corrupt by the deceitful and pernicious practices of Antiochus. In the end Antiochus even stood up against the Prince of princes when he went into the Most Holy Place in the temple and profaned it. Antiochus came to his end without the intervention by man. He died suddenly by disease in 164 BC. In like manner, Antichrist is a proud man and will come to his end and be cast into the Lake of Fire without any intervention by man.

(Dan 8:26 KJV)  And the vision of the evening and the morning which was told is true: wherefore shut thou up the vision; for it shall be for many days.

The fulfillment of the vision of the 2300 evenings and mornings actually took place in approximately 165 BC, while Daniel received his vision in 550 BC, which is almost 400 years earlier. Daniel knew the vision foretold a terrible time for the Jews, but he did not understand the details of the vision. Daniel was told to keep the vision secret as it would be fulfilled a long time in the future. The literal aspect of this vision was literally fulfilled with the desecration of the temple by Antiochus, but the prophetic interpretation of this vision is to be fulfilled again when Antichrist desecrates the temple in the middle of the seven-year tribulation period. 

(Dan 8:27 KJV)  And I Daniel fainted, and was sick certain days; afterward I rose up, and did the king's business; and I was astonished at the vision, but none understood it. 

The vision was so traumatic that Daniel was literally sick for a period of days, but afterward, he rose up from his sick bed and resumed the king’s business. The vision astonished Daniel, but he did not understand the details of the vision. The purpose of prophecy is not so we can predict the future, but for the express purpose of confirming the truth of God’s Word and confirming that God is in control of history, including the kings and kingdoms that arise and fall at God’s will. Even though we cannot predict the fulfillment of the details of prophecy, we can certainly recognize the events when they are fulfilled. Even secular writers recognize the accuracy of Daniel’s prophecies after they are fulfilled, and they even attempt to place Daniel’s writings after the actual events take place rather than hundreds or even thousands of years prior to the events. 

The Vision of the Seventy Weeks (Chapter 9) 

The vision of the Seventy Weeks is a major vision of Daniel that provides a timeline for the first and second coming of Jesus Christ to planet earth. Many Bible scholars and students of Bible prophecy have tried to understand this vision for many years. Sir Isaac Newton seems to have best understood the prophecy of the seventy weeks, but only a few prophecy students of today have understood Newton’s explanation of the seventy weeks. Following Newton’s understanding of the meaning of the prophecy, we will attempt to explain the timeline when we get to those verses.

(Dan 9:1 KJV)  In the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus, of the seed of the Medes, which was made king over the realm of the Chaldeans;

The vision of Daniel took place in the first year of Darius the son of Ahasuerus. The more common name for Ahasuerus is Xerxes, and it is commonly thought that this Ahasuerus was Xerxes I. The Ahasuerus of the book of Esther is thought to have been Artaxerxes II. This Darius is Darius I or Darius the Great, who was the father-in-law of Cyrus the Great. He was made king over Babylon when Babylon was conquered by the Persians, but he died a year later at the age of 63. It was at this time that Cyrus became king over Babylon. Thus, Daniel had this vision within a year of the night he read the handwriting on the wall for Belshazzar. 

(Dan 9:2 KJV)  In the first year of his reign I Daniel understood by books the number of the years, whereof the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah the prophet, that he would accomplish seventy years in the desolations of Jerusalem. 

In the first year of the reign of Darius I, Daniel understood the books of Jeremiah about the seventy years of exile for the Jews and the seventy years of desolation for Jerusalem. Daniel knew the time of the desolation of Jerusalem was approaching its end, and this meant the time of the return of Jews to Israel was close.

(Dan 9:3 KJV)  And I set my face unto the Lord God, to seek by prayer and supplications, with fasting, and sackcloth, and ashes:

Understanding that the time was close for the end of the exile, Daniel set his face toward the Lord God and sought by prayer and supplications, with fasting, sackcloth and ashes to understand the time frame for the end of the exile.

(Dan 9:4 KJV)  And I prayed unto the LORD my God, and made my confession, and said, O Lord, the great and dreadful God, keeping the covenant and mercy to them that love him, and to them that keep his commandments;

Daniel prays to God and confesses his sin to the “dreadful God”. The word for dreadful means one who instills godly fear. Daniel continues in stating that God is the one who keeps the covenant, and he is also the One who shows mercy to them that love him and to them who keep his commandments. These criteria for receiving mercy from God are very important, but disdained by many in the Church. We are to fear God, love God and keep his commandments in order to receive mercy from Him.

(Dan 9:5 KJV)  We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, and have done wickedly, and have rebelled, even by departing from thy precepts and from thy judgments:

Daniel identifies with Israel in his confession of sin, as he states that “We have sinned, and have committed iniquity, done wickedly and rebelled against God by departing from his “precepts” and from the ordinances of God. The word for judgments should have been translated “ordinances” since it seems doubtful that they could have departed from God’s judgments. These are all sins that Israel committed and Daniel takes responsibility right along with the rest of the Israelites.

(Dan 9:6 KJV)  Neither have we hearkened unto thy servants the prophets, which spake in thy name to our kings, our princes, and our fathers, and to all the people of the land.

Daniel continues enunciating the errors of Israel in not listening to the prophets that God sent them. These prophets spoke in the power and authority of God to the kings, princes and to all the people. Instead of listening to the prophets, the Israelites killed the prophets

(Dan 9:7 KJV)  O Lord, righteousness belongeth unto thee, but unto us confusion of faces, as at this day; to the men of Judah, and to the inhabitants of Jerusalem, and unto all Israel, that are near, and that are far off, through all the countries whither thou hast driven them, because of their trespass that they have trespassed against thee.

Daniel states that righteousness belongs to God, but all of Israel, including the men of Judah, the people of Jerusalem and all in the northern kingdom of Israel are covered with shame. At this time the northern kingdom of Israel had been taken into captivity in Assyria, and the southern kingdom of Judah had been in captivity in Babylon. This was the first Diaspora for the Jews, both northern and southern kingdoms. There would be a partial return to Israel for a period of time, until another Diaspora would take place in 70AD under the Roman General Titus.

(Dan 9:8 KJV)  O Lord, to us belongeth confusion of face, to our kings, to our princes, and to our fathers, because we have sinned against thee.

Daniel repeats that shame was upon their faces, including the kings, the princes and the fathers because of their sins. The sin and rebellion of Israel against God is a primary theme of the Bible. It will continue until the Return of Jesus Christ in power and glory at the end of the seven-year tribulation period. It is at this point that Israel will receive their atonement, and the vision in this chapter provides a timeline for this atonement.

(Dan 9:9 KJV)  To the Lord our God belong mercies and forgivenesses, though we have rebelled against him;

Daniel states that God is merciful and forgiving, even though Israel has rebelled against him. God will be merciful and forgiving to Israel, but they must first be brought to repentance through much tribulation and hardship. God will be merciful to Israel when they have repented of their sins and turn to God for forgiveness.

(Dan 9:10 KJV)  Neither have we obeyed the voice of the LORD our God, to walk in his laws, which he set before us by his servants the prophets.

Daniel reiterates that Israel has not obeyed the voice of the Lord to walk in the laws, which was given to them through the prophets.

(Dan 9:11 KJV)  Yea, all Israel have transgressed thy law, even by departing, that they might not obey thy voice; therefore the curse is poured upon us, and the oath that is written in the law of Moses the servant of God, because we have sinned against him.

Daniel continues in stating that all Israel have transgressed the law of God, and departed from God and refused to obey his voice. Therefore, the curse of God is poured upon Israel and the promise (i.e., oath) that God made in the Law of Moses would be carried out, just as stated. The oath is given in Deuteronomy chapter 28, and the oath promises blessings to Israel if they will hearken unto the Lord and be obedient to his statutes. The blessings are detailed in Deut. 28:1-14. The curses are detailed in Deut. 28:15-68 if Israel does not hearken to the Lord and obey his statutes.

(Dan 9:12 KJV)  And he hath confirmed his words, which he spake against us, and against our judges that judged us, by bringing upon us a great evil: for under the whole heaven hath not been done as hath been done upon Jerusalem.

Daniel states that God has confirmed his words of warning that was detailed in Deut. 28. Just as stated in Deut. 28:15-68, God has brought great calamity upon the children of Israel, both the northern and southern kingdoms in the exile from their land. The calamity upon Israel has not been equaled in any other nation in the world.

(Dan 9:13 KJV)  As it is written in the law of Moses, all this evil is come upon us: yet made we not our prayer before the LORD our God, that we might turn from our iniquities, and understand thy truth.

As is written in Deut. 28, all the evil stated has come upon Israel in detail, and Israel as a nation has not confessed their sins before the Lord, nor have they sought repentance from their iniquities in order to understand the truth of God. Everything that has come upon Israel has been a result of their sins, and disobedience to God. A small segment of Israel did repent and return to the land of Israel, but the final dispersion of Israel occurred in 70AD and continued up until the 20th century, when Israel was reestablished as a nation and millions of Jews returned to Israel, but they returned in unbelief. The entire land inheritance of Israel will not be returned to them until they turn to God and to Jesus Christ. The holocaust brought Israel to their knees enough to return to the land and establish the State of Israel. The Jews will return to God the Father during the first half of the seven-year tribulation period, and they will finally come to Jesus at the end of the seven-year tribulation period when Jesus Christ returns in power and glory.

(Dan 9:14 KJV)  Therefore hath the LORD watched upon the evil, and brought it upon us: for the LORD our God is righteous in all his works which he doeth: for we obeyed not his voice.

The Lord did as He promised in bringing evil upon Israel for their disobedience. God is righteous and requires righteousness from his people. This righteousness is the practical righteousness that comes through the sanctification process of studying and abiding in God’s Word.

(Dan 9:15 KJV)  And now, O Lord our God, that hast brought thy people forth out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand, and hast gotten thee renown, as at this day; we have sinned, we have done wickedly.

Daniel refers back to the time that God brought Israel out of the land of Egypt with a mighty hand and made a name for himself that endures today. The knowledge of the Jews coming out of Egypt and passing through the Red Sea is common knowledge throughout the world. At the time this is written, Israel and Judah are again in captivity in Assyria and Babylon. God did it once, so He can certainly do it again.

(Dan 9:16 KJV)  O Lord, according to all thy righteousness, I beseech thee, let thine anger and thy fury be turned away from thy city Jerusalem, thy holy mountain: because for our sins, and for the iniquities of our fathers, Jerusalem and thy people are become a reproach to all that are about us.

Daniel beseeches the Lord to turn his fury away from the City of Jerusalem, the holy mountain, which would refer to the temple mount in Jerusalem where the first and second temple stood before being destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar and Titus. God allowed the destruction of both temples because of the iniquities of the Jewish fathers. As a result Jerusalem and the people of Israel have become a reproach to all the nations.

(Dan 9:17 KJV)  Now therefore, O our God, hear the prayer of thy servant, and his supplications, and cause thy face to shine upon thy sanctuary that is desolate, for the Lord's sake.

Daniel continues in his prayer to God to hear his pray and supplications and to change his attitude toward the sanctuary of Israel, which was currently desolate at the time this was written. Daniel asks the Lord to do this for the Lord’s sake.

(Dan 9:18 KJV)  O my God, incline thine ear, and hear; open thine eyes, and behold our desolations, and the city which is called by thy name: for we do not present our supplications before thee for our righteousnesses, but for thy great mercies.

Daniel asks God to listen to him and to open his eyes and look upon the desolations of Israel caused by the disobedience of Israel. Daniel asks God to do this not because of the righteous deeds of Israel, but because of God’s great mercies.

(Dan 9:19 KJV)  O Lord, hear; O Lord, forgive; O Lord, hearken and do; defer not, for thine own sake, O my God: for thy city and thy people are called by thy name.

Daniel pleads with the Lord to hear his prayer and forgive Israel, since the City of Jerusalem and the people of Israel are called by the power and authority of God and not by anything in their power that they are able to do.

(Dan 9:20 KJV)  And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the LORD my God for the holy mountain of my God;

It was during Daniel’s prayer that God sent the archangel Gabriel to Daniel to respond to his prayer and give a timeline for the atonement and restoration of Israel. Daniel states that he is praying for the holy mountain of God. Literally, the holy mountain of God is Mount Zion, which is the temple mount in Jerusalem, but figuratively it refers to the New Jerusalem, which will be the headquarters for the Kingdom of Heaven. The holy mountain of God is the center of the Kingdom of God. Daniel is using figurative language to emphasize his prayer for the kingdom of Israel. A mountain in Scripture refers to a kingdom, whether earthly or heavenly. We know that Israel as a nation lost its inheritance in the heavenly aspect of the kingdom, but Israel will receive its inheritance in the earthly aspect of the kingdom. Thus, it appears that Daniel is praying for Israel in regard to the heavenly aspect of the kingdom that Israel was to have inherited. Israel did not actually lose the inheritance in the heavenly aspect of the kingdom until 70 AD, when the kingdom was finally taken away from Israel, and the destruction of the temple took place and the Jews were dispersed throughout the world. Israel was actually on probation for the three years of Jesus’ ministry and the following 37 years leading up to 70 AD. The total time of testing for Israel was 40 years, which is the number of testing. It is highly significant that in the vision that follows, Gabriel never gives Daniel assurance in regard to the “holy mountain of my God”. Gabriel does give him other assurances about the end for Israel, which will be addressed in the following verses. The atonement of Israel and its restoration in the holy land of Israel is assured and will occur under the Abrahamic Covenant, which is unconditional. The heavenly aspect of the kingdom is conditional and requires the obedience of Israel. This is the message preached for 3 ½ years to Israel—Repent and be baptized for the kingdom of heaven is at hand. Since Israel as a nation failed to repent, the kingdom of heaven was taken away from Israel and given to the Church.

(Dan 9:21 KJV)  Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

While Daniel was still praying, the Archangel Gabriel appeared to Daniel and touched him at the time of the evening sacrifice. Gabriel was the one who appeared to Daniel in his previous vision in chapter 8 about the ram and the goat. Daniel emphasizes how swift Gabriel comes to him, since he appears before Daniel has finished his prayer. Travel in the spiritual realm is instantaneous, but Daniel refers to it as “being caused to fly swiftly”.

The word for “touched” means that Gabriel arrived or approached Daniel and he approached Daniel at the time of the evening sacrifice.

(Dan 9:22 KJV)  And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

Gabriel gives Daniel some information, which means that Gabriel showed himself as being discerning and attentive to the requests of Daniel. Gabriel also talked to Daniel and told him that he was going to give him comprehension and insight in the matter at hand. Gabriel was also going to give him knowledge and wisdom in regard to Daniel’s petitions to God.

(Dan 9:23 KJV)  At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to show thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

Gabriel tells Daniel that at the very beginning of his supplications, the commandment came down from God for Gabriel to go to Daniel and inform him of the plans of God for Israel. Gabriel also tells him that Daniel is greatly beloved by God. This is clear in the details of this vision, since Daniel prays to God and God sends an archangel to make Daniel understand the matter at hand and to understand the vision. The matter at hand is Israel’s atonement and restoration. The vision is Gabriel’s appearance to Daniel while Daniel was wide awake and conscious and telling Daniel the timeline for Israel’s restoration and atonement.

(Dan 9:24 KJV)  Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

Gabriel gives a time period of seventy weeks for the full working out of Israel’s deliverance. Without going into detail, these weeks refer to weeks of years and not to days. In addition, each week of years starts on the first year after a Sabbath year, so it is not just any seven year period. We will discuss the weeks in more detail in the following verses. The seventy weeks make up the time period that will pass before Israel will receive its atonement and restoration. Israel and Jerusalem are inextricably tied together for the atonement and restoration to take place. Thus, the seventy weeks must pass before the rebellion (i.e., transgression) of Israel ends. Also, the seventy weeks must pass before the sins of Israel come to an end, and atonement (i.e., reconciliation) for Israel takes place. This will be the time of the establishment of the millennial kingdom, when “everlasting righteousness” will be established. This will also be the time that Daniel’s vision about the seventy weeks will end and all prophecy will be fulfilled in regard to Israel. The prepositional phrase “to anoint the most Holy” has to refer to the holy city of Jerusalem, since it is referred to as the holy city at the beginning of this verse. Thus, the city of Jerusalem will be the eternal capital of Israel at the start of the millennial kingdom, and it will no longer be a divided city. 

The Seventy Weeks of Daniel

(Dan 9:24-27 KJV) Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy. {25} Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. {26} And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined. {27} And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

Daniel’s prophecy of the seventy weeks in Daniel 9:24-27 concerns three time periods dealing with the nation of Israel. Each of the first two time periods begins with a proclamation for Israel to return to and restore Jerusalem, and it ends with the coming of Messiah the Prince to the faithful ones looking for his coming. The first time Messiah the Prince came was to the shepherds abiding or working in the fields at night. They were wide-awake tending the flock of sheep. The second group was the wise men looking for the coming of Messiah the Prince. 

The first decree or proclamation that went out to return to and restore Jerusalem was in 444 B.C. and this decree was issued by the Persian king Artaxerxes, who gave the Jews permission on Nisan 1, 444 B.C. to rebuild Jerusalem. A week is a specific seven-year period ending with a Sabbath year. Since 444 B.C. was a Sabbath year that ended on Rosh Hashanah 444 B.C., the sixty-two weeks ended on Rosh Hashanah 10 B.C. The prophecy is clear that the coming of Messiah the Prince would be after the sixty-two weeks. Jesus Christ did come to earth in 4 B.C., according to Ussher’s Chronology. This was actually six years into the sixty-third week, but it was after the sixty-two weeks just as the prophecy states. Thus, the first period ended with the coming of Messiah the Prince after the sixty-two weeks, and Messiah was cut-off or killed, just as the prophecy states.

The second time period began with the Jerusalem Proclamation on January 23, 1950, but the start of the first of the seven weeks did not begin until Rosh Hashanah on the first of Tishri in the year 1956. 1956 would have been the last possible year that would begin a week.

Note:  Tishri is the first month of the Hebrew civil year and starts on Tishri 1. It is the seventh month of the Hebrew ecclesiastical year, which starts on Nisan 1. Tishri usually  occurs in September-October on the Gregorian calendar. Tishri 1 occurs at sundown on September 16, 2012. The Main Harvest Rapture of the Church will occur on Tishri 1 or Tishri 2 forty-two (42) months after the Firstfruits Rapture occurs. Thus, the day and hour of the Main Harvest rapture will still be unknown  after the Firstfruits Rapture. The 13 Hebrew months are: Nisan, Iyyar, Sivan, Tamuz, Av, Elul, Tishri, Cheshvan, Kislev, Tevet, Sh’vat, Adar I and Adar II. Adar II is the intercalary month and only occurs every few years. There will be an Adar II starting in about April 2013. This is how God will squeeze in 42 months between the Firstfruits Rapture and the Main Harvest Rapture. See the following link for more details: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tishri

If this is correct and our understanding of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks is correct, then the seven weeks began on Rosh Hashanah 1956 and ended on Rosh Hashanah 2005. This would mean the seven weeks began on the first of Tishri 1956 and ended on Rosh Hashanah 2005. In order for the prophecy to be accurately and completely fulfilled, Messiah the Prince must rapture the First fruits of the faithful and wise in the spring before the first of Tishri on Rosh Hashanah 2012. Just as Messiah the Prince came the first time after sixty-two weeks plus six years, it seems highly probably that He will manifest himself in the First fruits Rapture after the seven weeks plus six years. This would place the First fruits Rapture in the spring of 2012. It would also allow for Antichrist to appear in the spring and establish himself in power in order to “confirm the covenant with many” at the beginning of the last week on the first of Tishri on Rosh Hashanah 2012. The following chart depicts the three time periods in Daniel’s Seventy Weeks in accordance with the prophecy in Daniel 9:24-26:

Time Period in Weeks

Start of Period

Dates of Week(s)

Event After the Period

Sixty-two Weeks

Decree of Artaxerxes on Nisan 1, 443 B.C.

Tishri 1, 443 B.C. - Tishri 1, 9 B.C.
(Total of 434 Years)
Birth of Messiah the Prince in 4 B.C., which was 62 weeks & 6 years after the start of the 62 weeks on Tishri 1, 443 B.C.
Seven Weeks Jerusalem Proclamation January 23, 1950 Tishri 1, 1956-Tishri 1, 2005 Messiah the Prince Raptures the First Fruits before Tishri 1, 2012, which would be 7 weeks and six years after the start of the seven weeks on Tishri 1, 1956.
One Week Antichrist confirms the Covenant on or before Tishri 1, 2012 Tishri 1, 2012-Tishri 1, 2019
(Total of 7 years)
Reconciliation of Israel at the Second Advent of Christ, which would take place no later than Tishri 10th, 2019. The Feast of Atonement is Tishri the 10Th, and would be the Day of Israel’s Atonement.

It must be remembered that a week in Scripture is an exact seven-year period of time that begins at the New Year on Tishri the 1st and ends on the same date at the end of a Sabbath year. The last of the seven weeks ended with the Sabbath year on Rosh Hashanah 2005. Only sixty-two weeks elapsed after the Decree of Artaxerxes until the birth of Jesus Christ, and it seems certain that only seven weeks will elapse after the Jerusalem Proclamation until the First fruits Rapture of the Faithful & Wise. If our understanding is correct on this, then we have less than one year left before the First fruits Rapture takes place. We do not know the day and hour, but “that day” is not coming upon us unawares.

The first sixty-two weeks of Daniel ended when Messiah was born, and then Messiah was “cut off” or killed when He was crucified as atonement for our sins. The Church Age was implemented after the end of the sixty-two weeks and after the rejection of Jesus Christ as Israel’s king. The kingdom of heaven was taken away from Israel and given to the Church, but Israel was given a final 40 years to receive Jesus Christ as king. At the end of the 40 years the kingdom of heaven was finally taken away from Israel, and Israel was cut off from being a nation in 70 AD with the destruction of Jerusalem and the temple by the Roman General Titus. The Jews were scattered among the nations for two days (i.e., 2000 years), while God is taking out a people for his name, which is the Church (Acts 15:14). God began working with the Jews again in the Zionist movement before the turn of the 20th century. God’s purpose was to regather Israel and establish Israel as a nation. Even though Israel was established as a nation in 1948, the time clock of the seven weeks in Daniel’s seventy weeks did not start until the Jerusalem Proclamation on January 23rd 1950. We have already seen that the seven-week period extends from Rosh Hashanah 1956 until Rosh Hashanah 2005. The seven-week period has ended, so it is very close to the time that Messiah the Prince will remove the Faithful and Wise in the First fruits Rapture of the Church. This event should occur just before the end of the eighth week, to allow just enough time for Antichrist to make his appearance and initiate the last week in Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. Of course, this is contingent upon our correct understanding of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks. We have been striving to understand Daniel’s Seventy Weeks for 34 years, and we have been wrong before in our understanding. However, it must be remembered that the understanding of God’s prophetic Word is progressive in nature as we get closer to the time of the Return of Jesus Christ. We believe the time is very, very close and that our understanding of Daniel’s Seventy Weeks is correct.