-Chapter seven begins the more prophetic part of the book as the text goes back in time from the previous chapter to relate a dream that Daniel was given during the first year of the reign of Belshazzar, king of Babylon and son of Nebuchadnezzar. Daniel received the vision on his bed, then he wrote it down and related the summary of it as a foretelling of what was to come. He received the interpretation to some degree, but the thoughts of his mind as God was downloading alarmed him greatly in caused him distress (Daniel 7:15, 28). His vision began with the four winds of heaven stirring up the great sea (Mediterranean Sea). Four beasts were coming up from the sea, all different from one another. The first was Babylon. It was like a lion and had the wings of an eagle (see http://amazingdiscoveries.org/S-deception_end-time_Antichrist_lion_wings ). Daniel kept looking until its wings were plucked, and it stood on two feet like a man with a human mind. Another beast appeared resembling a bear. This represented the Medio-Persian Empire that ravaged the lion in history. The three ribs in its mouth between its teeth were the three major enemies they defeated in their conquest. As Daniel kept looking, another beast jumped onto the scene like a leopard having four wings of a bird and four heads with dominion given to it. This was fulfilled without a doubt in the Greek Empire with the swift conquering of the known world under Alexander the Great who died young leaving the kingdom divided in four parts. The forth beast was the scariest, dreadful and terrifying, as Daniel described his vision. This was the Roman Empire, which was extremely strong in its ruthless rule over all opponents. The mystery then presented in the prophecy involves the ten horns, supposedly representing future kings, or rulers, associated in some way with this beast of an empire. While Daniel himself was contemplating the horns, another little horn began to arise among them and it pulled out from the root three of the first horns. This “little horn” has been commonly associated with the Anti-Christ possessing eyes like the eyes of man (sinful) and a mouth uttering great boasts (prideful, Daniel 7:1-8).
-As Daniel kept looking on in his vision, thrones were set up and the Ancient of Days (God) took His seat. He is described as having a vesture (covering garment) like white snow and the hair He had was like pure wool. His throne was ablaze with flames with wheels as a burning fire. In fact, a river of fire was flowing and coming out before Him. This represents His judgment facets typically in Scripture (Genesis 19:24, Deuteronomy 32:22, 1 Kings 18:24, 38-39, Isaiah 66:16, Jeremiah 34:2, Zephaniah 1:18, Malachi 3:2, Matthew 3:11-12; 13:40-42, Revelation 20:12-15, and many more). Thousands upon thousands were attending to Him and myriads upon myriads were standing before Him as the books were opened. The “little horn,” still blaspheming with arrogant and boastful words, was then slain with body destroyed and given to the burning fire. The rest of the beasts had their dominion taken away, but an extension of life was granted to them for an appointed period of time (Daniel 7:9-12).
-Then, the Majestic Son of Man, the Messiah, was coming with the clouds of heaven and presented to the Ancient of Days (the Father). “To Him was given dominion, glory and a Kingdom that all the peoples, nations, and men of every language might serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away; and His Kingdom is one, which will not be destroyed (Daniel 7:13-14).”
-Daniel approached one of those who were standing by (an angel) and inquired what all this meant. The angelic being stated, “These great beasts, which are four in number, are four kings who will arise from the earth. But the saints of the Highest One will receive the Kingdom and possess the Kingdom forever, for all ages to come (Daniel 7:16-18).” Daniel did further investigation into the forth beast because of its diversity and exceeding power along with the ten horns and especially the “little horn” because it boasted against the Holy One becoming larger than his associates. As Daniel kept looking, “that horn was waging war with the saints and overpowering them until the Ancient of Days came and judgment was passed in favor of the saints of the Highest One, and the time arrived when the saints took possession of the Kingdom (Daniel 7:20-22).” The angel further noted the devouring and treading down qualities on this forth worldly empire that wear down the saints. This “little horn,” or Anti-Christ as we know him later, “will intend to make alterations in times and in law; and they will be given into his hand for a time, times, and half a time (Daniel 7:23-25).” This is no doubt the second half of the tribulation discussed in other parts of prophetic Scripture known as the Great Tribulation, which lasts 3 ½ years (Daniel 12:7, Matthew 24:14-22, Revelation 12:14). “But the court will sit for judgment, and his dominion will be taken away, annihilated and destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, the dominion and the greatness of all the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be given to the people of the saints of the Highest One: His Kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all the dominions will serve and obey Him (Daniel 7:26-27).”
-*Application* After all is said and done in this drama on earth, the saints of Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior, will reign supreme with Him in complete obedience and worship. What a day it will be when our journey is complete and we can rest in euphoric victory. While we, like Daniel, can get perplexed, alarmed, and worn down at the current world situation, we can always be confident in the fact that our God is sovereign and the ultimate conqueror! And His Kingdom is everlasting!
Verses to Memorize: Daniel 7:17-18