Daniel’s Dream of Four Beasts
Chapter 7 and 8 happened during the reign of Belshazzar, which happened between chapter 4 and chapter 5 (v1). The great sea (v2) was referring to Mediterranean sea. To the ancient world, it represented the nations of the world.
This chapter prophesied six kingdoms in human history:
- Babylon – Lion with eagle wings (v4) – pure gold head (2:32)
- Mede-Persian – Bear with three ribs on mouth (v5) – silver arms – silver chest and arms (2:32)
- Greece – Leopard with four wings of bird (v6) – bronze belly and thighs (2:32)
- Rome – Terrifying, frightening best (v7) – iron legs (2:33)
- AntiChrist – ten horns and the other horns (v8, 20, 24)
- Christ – Ancient of Days (v21, 26-27)
In human eyes, the nations of the world are like Nebuchadnezzar’s great image. To God, the nations are only ferocious beats that attack and seek to devour one another.
v5: Three ribs on mouth could mean Persion’s conquered on Lydia, Egypt and Babylon.
v6: Four wings and four heads mean the divided Greece Kingdom after the death of Alexander the Great.
The Terrifying and Frightening Beast
The ten horns (v8, 24) are ten kingdoms that will exist in the last days.
The little horn represents the antichrist (v8, 24).
The antichrist will subdue three kingdoms (v8, 24) to become the ruler of the world.
“This horn had eyes like the eyes of a man and a mouth that spoke boastfully” (v8). Eyes mean he has remarkable knowledge and skill in planning his exploits. Mouth means he is skilled in speech to promote himself so that people follow him.
The antichrist will make covenant peace convenant with Israel for 7 years, but in the midst of that period will break the covenant and begin to persecute God’s people. (v25)
Christ the King
v9: Ancient of Days is referring to God.
v9-12 describes the heaven throne of God the father.
v13: “son of man” is referring to Christ.
v13-14 describes the millenium Kingdom of Christ (v27).