The Four Beasts out of the Sea
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 : Greek le½n, lion; 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: The 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: The 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: Revelation Chapter 13 and Revelation Chapter 17 and 18.
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. The clause "I beheld till the thrones were cast down" means that Daniel observed in his vision until the thrones were set in place, and Jesus Christ (i.e., Ancient of days) sat upon his throne. The word "thrones" is plural because there are also 24 thrones described in Revelation, which represent the thrones that qualifying Church members will also sit upon. The bride of Christ will share his throne. 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 Chapter 7.
(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: Revelation Chapter 17 and 18.
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 link: Revelation Chapter 13.
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 Separation, The 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: The 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: The 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 on Daniel of the dream and its explanation. 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 this important chapter of Daniel.
The following table 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 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.