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Bible Commentaries

Bell's Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 7

Verses 1-28

  1. Intro: Daniel’s 1st Visions

    1. Ever lay tile? Paint a picture, or some project where you get too close & forget the big picture, because you’ve been only focusing on a small part of it. This morning we get to back up & remind ourselves of the big picture.
      1. What is the Big Picture? Mankind started well, then went bad fast. The promise of a deliverer was 1st given in the seed of a women. The hope was passed on to Abraham, then to Isaac, then to Jacob who passed it on to his sons. Then it was beautifully illustrated in Exodus. It was longed for by the Judges, amplified in the Kings, & predicted by the Prophets. Finally it was fulfilled in the Gospels. But not until the Rev does it come to its fullest climax. Christ rides out of heaven to destroy Sin & Satan, & to restore creation to its original glory for our good, & His good pleasure forever. (Chuck Swindoll; “God’s Masterwork”, Revelation Overview; pg.123)
    2. Daniel so far interpreted others dreams, now we have some dreams of his own.
      1. This chapter is a dividing chapter for the book.
    3. This chapter is a Vision of world History.
      1. “This ch. gives the most comprehensive & detailed prophecy of future events to be found in the OT.” Walvoord
      2. Daniel traces the course of 4 great world powers right up to the climax of world history...the 2nd coming of J.C.
    4. This chapter takes place before ch.5 because Babylon hasn’t fallen yet. (553bc)
      1. The visions in ch.’s 7-12 were given at various times in Daniel’s career.
      2. They are grouped together after the historical section...because of their similarity in content.
    5. Chapter 2 dealt with these 4 powers from man’s view (precious metals). Here, we have God’s view (ferocious beats).
    6. Why does God use Symbols? Symbols don’t weakened w/time. Symbols not only convey information, but also impart values & raise emotions.
      1. They help the writer, emphasize a point; move one to action; help the memory; are effective in illustrating; & are useful in making the unfamiliar, familiar.
  2. THE VISION OF THE 4 BEASTS (1-8)
    1. (1-3) Intro
      1. Great Sea = Mediterranean Sea. (all 4 powers boarder this)
      2. A restless sea in the bible = a picture of Gentile Powers.
        1. Rev.17:15 Then he said to me, The waters which you saw, where the harlot sits, are peoples, multitudes, nations, and tongues. Also Is.17:12
    2. Daniel sees 4 Beasts, each represent a kingdom (see vs. 17,23)
    3. (4) The Winged Lion
      1. Babylon Empire (Gold)
      2. The winged lion was a favorite image in Babylon (check any museum that has a Babylonian display).
      3. Oh how this mighty kingdom was soaring, until Neb was humbled to almost an animal state, this lion was made to stand on two feet like a man.
    4. (5) The Bear w/Ribs
      1. Medo-persian Empire (Silver)
      2. The Medo-Persians are like the Bear.
        1. The Bear is not known for his swiftness or skill, but for its brute force. www
      3. 3 ribs - The 3 empires already defeated...Egypt, Babylon, Libya.
        1. Flinstone’s Cartoon closing credits was not a menu on the car but ribs.
      4. Bear raised on one side – indicates ½ the empire (Persians) was stronger & more honorable than the other ½ (Medes).
    5. (6) The Winged 4-headed Leopard
      1. Greek Empire (Bronze)
      2. Alexander swiftly conquered the world thus the swift cat, the leopard.
      3. 4-heads – When Alexander the Great died, how many generals did the vast kingdom get divided into? 4, thus the 4 heads.
    6. (7,8) The Terrible Beast
      1. ​​​​​​​Roman Empire (Iron)
      2. 10 horns(like 10 toes) powers that be in the future the revived Roman Empire
      3. There is also a little horn that pops up, which defeats 3 of the kingdoms. He will become the world Ruler, he is Anti-Christ.
      4. This is his 1st appearance in scripture [a Gentile coming from Roman empire]
        1. He will speak great things pompous words (8,20).
        2. He will persecute the saints (believing Jews & Gentiles during the trib) for 3 ½ years (vs.25 – a time, times, & a ½ time…3 ½ years).
    7. He will bring 3 of the 10 nations under his authority in his initial rise to power.
    8. Read Rev.13:1,2 – Note similarities.
      1. Note: the very same beasts are used…but reversed order (Daniel was looking ahead; John was looking back)
      2. In Red Square/Moscow, sits a beautiful Cathedral called St. Basils. The story goes that Ivan the IV (aka the terrible) [mid1500’s] had an architect Postnik Yakovlev the most beautiful Cathedral in the world. When he was done building it Ivan asked the architect if he could build one more better? He thought about it & said yes I think I could. [legend says, Ivan had his eyes put out, so he’d never be able to]
        1. Ivan wanted this Cathedral to be the worlds Final & Greatest Masterpiece.
        2. Chapter 13 is Satan’s Final & Greatest Masterpiece...The man of sin, The vile person, the son of perdition, the Beast, Antichrist, His Super Leader.
        3. He would be the Tyrant of Tyrants. Dictator of all Dictators. He would be Alex the great, Nero, Genghis Khan, Ivan the Terrible, Lenin, Mussolini, Ceausescu, Hitler, Saddam Hussein & Donald Trump’s hairdo…all in one.
      3. Jesus said, I have come in My Father's name, and you do not receive Me; if another comes in his own name, him you will receive. Jn. 5:43
        1. If ever there was a man in which we could say, You’re of your father the devil it’s this man. You’ll be able to see his family likeness.
          1. He is Satan’s imitation of Incarnation. Anti-Christ could say, “If you have seen me you’ve seen my father.”
          2. God describes him here: not as a man (made in the image of God); but as a wild animal, under the control of Satan.
          3. The world will worship him as a god, Heaven sees him as a beast.
        2. He will be appealing not repulsive.
          1. Anti-Christ doesn’t mean opposite of Christ, but instead of Christ.
          2. He will be a substitute for Christ. He will talk of justice, love, peace, and prosperity. He will be brilliant & eloquent, he will appear as an angel of light. He will be the best tool Satan can muster of one like Christ. He will be like an angel of light.
  3. THE VISION OF THE ANCIENT OF DAYS (9-14)
    1. ​​​​​​​(9,10) What aspects of God’s nature does vs. 9,10 suggest?
      1. Ancient of days = is the Eternal God. White garment = Purity/Righteousness.
      2. White(pure wool) hair – wisdom. Fiery flame & fire & fiery stream = Judgement.
      3. He is worshipped – Sovereignty. He sits as Judge.
    2. The title Ancient of Days has been used as a source of inspiration in art and music, denoting the Creator's aspects of eternity combined with perfection. William Blake’s watercolor & relief etching entitled The Ancient of Days is one such example.
      1. ​​​​​​​Prov.8:27kjv When he prepared the heavens, I was there: When he set a compass(drew a circle) upon the face of the depth.
      2. Detail of entrance to 30 Rockefeller Plaza NY, showing vs from Is. 33:6 wisdom and knowledge shall be the stability of thy times.
    3. Besides when nations are in turmoil, What about when our lives are in turmoil, how can this vision of God give us hope?
      1. Say a bad crime was committed and for many many years there were suspects but no one ever arrested for that crime. It's a small town and there was just one judge in that town. By the time they got a suspect, that they really believed committed the crime, and it's a terrible crime, by this time the judge that was seated during the time of the crime, during the passion of the events, that saw the suffering of the family, but now, they have a new judge. Would he have the same passion, & understand the sufferings of the family, no!
        1. The Ancient of Days is sitting on the throne during the course of every criminal act, who will also be the judge that’s sitting on the judges bench when it comes to trial, when it comes time to prosecute.
        2. The same judge, The ancient of days, from day one, to today, until the very end of days. What do we do when criminals get away with it? Still no suspect. What do we do in a world where innocent get punished & guilty go free...you have to know in your heart...the Ancient of Days knows.
      2. Think about when a parent says to a child, & that child knows that a parent is on to them (they didn't know the parent had that much sense) and the parents says, "I was not born yesterday."
        1. ​​​​​​​The Ancient of Days says, I was not born at all. I wasn't born. I wasn't asleep. I saw it. I will right all wrongs. That's why he's called the Ancient of Days. He’s the same yesterday today and forever.
    4. (11,12) The 3 previous kingdoms (Babylon, Med/Pers, Greece) will be swallowed up (12) & included in this last empire.
      1. The Anti-Christ himself will finally be judged & slain.
    5. (13-14) The Son of man (Jesus)
      1. Ps.2:7-9 The king proclaims the Lord’s decree: The Lord said to me, You are my son. Today I have become your Father. Only ask, and I will give you the nations as your inheritance, the whole earth as your possession. You will break them with an iron rod and smash them like clay pots.
  4. THE VISION INTERPRETED (15-28)
    1. ​​​​​​​(15) Grieved like Neb was w/his dream.
    2. (16) One of those who stood by - A heavenly creature.
    3. (17) the 4 beasts = 4 kings.
    4. (18) The 5th Kingdom’s length? = 1000 years + [it’s thy kingdom come]
      1. Diff interpretations for this Kingdom Reign (millennium). Do I believe it is a literal kingdom? YES! All the others have been literal.
    5. (19-22) The revived Roman Empire during the Tribulation period.
      1. (21) During the Trib the Anti-Christ will be able to prevail against the Trib saints
      2. To whom was God’s promise when He said…the gates of Hades shall not prevail against it. To His church...not to the trib saints.
      3. (22) This came to an end, at the end of the 7 yr Tribulation, at the 2nd coming of Christ.
    6. (23-28) Recap
      1. (24) The 10 will be a confederation of some sort.
    7. How does this passage affect your attitude toward the future? If 3 kingdoms have come just as prophesied, can we be pretty sure the 4th will follow suit? If God was in sovereign control over the 1st 3, what are the odds He will be during the 4th? If God can map out the future, can you trust Him to handle the present?
    8. Sometimes we get too close to a large picture & only see apart of it…back up & remember the big picture.
Copyright Statement
These files are the property of Brian Bell.
Text Courtesy of Calvary Chapel of Murrieta. Used by Permission.
Bibliographical Information
Bell, Brian. "Commentary on Daniel 7". "Bell's Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cbb/daniel-7.html. 2017.