I’m going to take the next few days to shed a little light on the last half of Daniel, by request. If anyone who reads these blogs would ever have any other passages in the Bible you’d like help with I would love to help in any way that I can so don’t hesitate to ask. We want this area of our website to be of help.
Daniel is a great book and I love the mixture of the historical and the prophetic. As you come to chapter seven, having just left the awesome story of Daniel’s great faith on display with the lion’s den, the focus shifts to mainly the future. Daniel records the first of four visions he has. This section reminds me of recording a game to watch where you already know the outcome. You see your team losing at times throughout the contest but you’re good to go because you know your time will win in the end. That’s one thing very heartening about Bible prophecy when you live in the real world and see the junk that transpires here !
Daniel gives us precise timing in vs.1 which we can figure to be 553 B.C. He would’ve been in his late 60’s (as opposed to 84 in chapter 6 – so the chapters arent entirely in chronological order). What does he see? Four winds and four beasts (vss.2-3). What are they? Four winds are also seen in Rev.7:1 & Jer.49:36 and depict heavenly forces at work. The beasts are distinct and successive. Their rising from the seas is symbolic in the Bible of nations, so they are: Babylon (vs4), Medo-Persia (5), Greece (6) & Rome (7-12).
Let me give a little support to these by saying that winged lions were at the gates of the palace in Babylon. http://www.crystalinks.com/wingedlions.html Jeremiah, Ezekiel & Habakkuk all also used animals to describe King Nebuchadnezzar (king of Babylon). The raised up side of the “bear” (5) refers to Persia with the ribs symbolizing the devouring of it’s prey as seen with Lydia (546 B.C.), Babylon (539) & Egypt (525).
Greece, under Alexander the Great, was known for great swiftness in it’s military campaigns so the use of a leopard is appropriate ! (vs6) – those four heads are four generals who divided the Greek empire after Alexander’s death at the “ripe age” of 33. And finally Rome in vss.7-12 has no specific animal described known to us as the others, just this rather unique and dreadful beast with a “metal grill” ! Ironically (pun intended) iron is used of Rome in 2:40. It has ten horns but another “little horn” (so an 11th) comes up from them (vs8) who would be the Anti-Christ ! Note his arrogance at the end of vs.8. A great reminder for us that arrogance in us is a sign we need to draw closer to Christ !
As we come to verse 9 the Ancient of Days is God the Father (compare verse 13 here where Daniel describes a majestic heavenly courtroom scene where the Son comes before His Father to receive the right to rule a kingdom after and greater than those just described ! This one we believers will reign with Him as the Millenium begins !
But Daniel is a bit perplexed (15) desiring to know the meaning of this vision so he asks an angel near him to enlighten him. This is the insight he gets in vss.17-18. Hallelujah we’ll reign in the end ! Daniel presses for more info in the rest of the chapter which in turn gives us great data about the end times and great encouragement too ! So no matter how bad things are for you now or later there is coming a time when it’ll all be done and righteousness and blessing will endure !!
Last, in a nutshell here’s what the angel divulges to Daniel in vss.23-28: 23- that fourth kingdom will indeed be powerfu and Rome certainly has made it’s mark on our world in many ways. 24- ten kings will rise from the 4th kingdom but the 11th is the Anti-Christ ! 25- the Anti-Christ will persecute believers for 3 1/2 years 26- God will intervene and judge the Anti-Christ 27- the Saints 1, Anti-Christ 0 – Game over !!
As Daniel contemplates all this for the first time, its a lot to absorb (28), can you relate? You’re in good company – suffice it to say though that if you’re truly born again, things will turn out just fine despite all the little details of “the game” so hang in there God’s got it all “recorded”, WE WIN !!!