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Bible Commentaries

Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures
Daniel 7

 

 

Verses 1-13

Glorification: The Coming of Christ (Daniel's Private Visions) - There are two main divisions to the book of Daniel. Daniel 1-6 is primarily narrative material and emphasizes Daniel's ministry to the kings of Babylon and Media. In these passages he interprets two dreams and the writing on the wall for two kings. This division as well contains three stories of the captivity and persecution of Daniel and his three friends. However, the visions recorded in Daniel 7-12were not for the kings. Rather, they are a collection of private visions of apocalyptic in nature that Daniel received from the Lord regarding the Time of the Gentiles and the Last Days. They were not delivered to the kings under whom he served, but were initially private in nature. Their emphasis is not on the nation of Israel; but rather, upon the fulfillment of the Times of the Gentiles. The fact that the first section was written in Aramaic and the second section in Hebrew suggests that there were initially two different intended recipients. The Babylonian Jews would have found comfort in both divisions as they saw the sovereign power of God at work in their midst and as they understood by prophecy that God had not forsaken the nation of Israel. Note that this second section has been arranged in chronological order independently of the first section's chronological arrangement.

Daniel 7-12is a collection of private visions given to Daniel concerning the future glorification of Jesus Christ and His children and the Great White Throne Judgment of the nations. The redemptive role of Jesus Christ is clearly predicted as the Son of Man comes upon the clouds and approaches the Ancient of Days ( Daniel 7:13) and He establishes the everlasting Kingdom of Heaven ( Daniel 7:14).


Verses 1-14

Daniel's Vision - Daniel 7:1-14 gives a description of Daniel's night vision, while the interpretation is given to him in Daniel 7:15-28.

Daniel 7:1 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.

Daniel 7:1Comments - Historical Background- Nebuchadnezzar, the grandfather of Belshazzar and father of Nabonidus, ruled the Babylonian Empire from 604-561 B.C. Gleason Archer dates the first year of Belshazzar's reign in 556-555 B.C. as coregent with his father Nabonidus, 99] while John Goldingay gives a date of 550 B.C. 100] Belshazzar will be the last ruler of the Babylonian Empire, with the city of Babylon falling to the Medes and Persians later under the leadership of Darius the Mede and Cyrus the Persian in 539 B.C.

99] Gleason L. Archer, Jeremiah , Daniel , The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 7, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House), 1976-1992, in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Daniel 7:1.

100] John E. Goldingay, Daniel , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), comments on Daniel 9:24.

Comments - When the Lord gives me a message through a divine dream, its details remain vivid when I wake up. I have learned to write down the dream and meditate upon it.

Daniel 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.

Daniel 7:3Comments- The sea represents the nations of the earth ( Revelation 17:15).

Revelation 17:15, "And he saith unto me, The waters which thou sawest, where the whore sitteth, are peoples, and multitudes, and nations, and tongues."

Daniel 7:4 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 Prayer of Manasseh , and a man"s heart was given to it.

Daniel 7:4 — "The first was like a lion" - Comments- Jeremiah made a reference to the king of Babylon both as a lion ( Jeremiah 4:7; Jeremiah 50:44) and as an eagle within the same passage ( Jeremiah 49:19-22); thus a lion-eagle parallel is described by Jeremiah as Babylon.

Jeremiah 4:7, "The lion is come up from his thicket, and the destroyer of the Gentiles is on his way; he is gone forth from his place to make thy land desolate; and thy cities shall be laid waste, without an inhabitant."

Jeremiah 49:19, "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan against the habitation of the strong: but I will suddenly make him run away from her: and who is a chosen Prayer of Manasseh , that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?"

Jeremiah 49:22, "Behold, he shall come up and fly as the eagle, and spread his wings over Bozrah: and at that day shall the heart of the mighty men of Edom be as the heart of a woman in her pangs."

Jeremiah 50:44, "Behold, he shall come up like a lion from the swelling of Jordan unto the habitation of the strong: but I will make them suddenly run away from her: and who is a chosen Prayer of Manasseh , that I may appoint over her? for who is like me? and who will appoint me the time? and who is that shepherd that will stand before me?"

"and had eagle"s wings" - Comments - Ezekiel compares Babylon to an eagle ( Ezekiel 17:3; Ezekiel 17:11-12).

Ezekiel 17:3, "And say, Thus saith the Lord GOD A great eagle with great wings, longwinged, full of feathers, which had divers colours, came unto Lebanon, and took the highest branch of the cedar:"

Ezekiel 17:11-12, "Moreover the word of the LORD came unto me, saying, Say now to the rebellious house, Know ye not what these things mean? tell them, Behold, the king of Babylon is come to Jerusalem, and hath taken the king thereof, and the princes thereof, and led them with him to Babylon;"

"I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a Prayer of Manasseh , and a man"s heart was given to it" - Comments - It is possible that a reference is made here to the humbling of King Nebuchadnezzar and the restoration of his mind and his kingdom as recorded in Daniel 4:1-37. In his humbling, the Scripture says his heart was changed from a man's to a beast. Thus, a man's heart was restored unto the king, as described in the phrase "and a man"s heart was given to it."

Daniel 4:16, "Let his heart be changed from man"s, and let a beast"s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him."

Daniel 7:4Comments -The Lion- The traditional view is to interpret the lion in Daniel 7:4 as a symbol of Babylonian Empire since the 4-kingdom motif is borrowed from chapter 2. In fact, the description of this creature most closely parallels King Nebuchadnezzar in Daniel 4:1-37. 101]

101] John E. Goldingay, Daniel , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 148.

However, some modern scholars suggest that these four beasts of Daniel's vision represent modern nations that will play a vital role in world events leading up the Christ's Second Coming. For example, the official animal symbol of Great Britain is the lion. It is not uncommon to see this nation referred to as a lion in the secular media. However, in this vision this lion has eagle's wings. The eagle may serve as the symbol of the United States of America. Thus, many scholars believe that these wings represent the fact that the USA emerged out of the nation of Great Britain. The plucking of these wings represents the breaking away of the USA from its mother country. The fact that this beast stood upon its feet as a man and was given a man's heart suggests that this nation was characterized as a country that defended human rights. Great Britain and the USA have the reputation of helping poor and oppressed nations. Note how the book of Daniel uses the language of the heart of a man in Daniel 4:16.

Daniel 4:16, "Let his heart be changed from man"s, and let a beast"s heart be given unto him; and let seven times pass over him."

Daniel 7:5 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.

Daniel 7:5Comments- The Bear- The most popular view by scholars is to interpret the bear as a symbol of the Greek empire. For example, Archer says the bear represented the Medo-Persian federation and that the three ribs correspond to the three major conquests of this empire: (1) Lydia, captured around 740 B.C.; (2) Babylon, captured in 539 B.C.; (3) Egypt, annexed by Cambyses around 525 B.C. 102]

102] Gleason L. Archer, Jeremiah , Daniel , The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 7, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House), 1976-1992, in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Daniel 7:5.

As less popular view is to interpret these four beasts to represent four nations that arise during the Great Tribulation period immediately preceding the Second Coming. For example, some scholars see the bear as a symbol of the nation of Russia. The modern, secular media has often represented Russia with the bear. Irvin Baxter, Jr. suggests that the vision of the bear raising itself up on one side symbolizes the fact that Russia has raised itself against those nations beside its borders. He goes on to say that the three ribs in the bear's mouth could represent three of these nations, Manchuria, Mongolia and Sinkiang, which Russia took from China by means of nineteenth century treaties and have been a contention between these two nations since. The command to arise and devour much flesh is perhaps seen in Russia's efforts to spread communism across the world, but especially in the end-time prophecies of Gog and Magog who wage wars against Israel. 103]

103] Irvin Baxter, Jeremiah , A Message for the President, (Richmond, Indiana: Endtime, Inc, 1986), chapter 3.

Daniel 7:6 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.

Daniel 7:6Comments- The Leopard - The most popular view by scholars is to interpret the leopard as a symbol of the Greek empire. For example, Archer says the leopard represents the Greek empire with its rapid growth under Alexander the Great (334-330 B.C.). The four heads represent the division of his domains into four subdivisions after his death: the Seleucid, the Ptolemaic, the Thrace-Asia Minor domain of Lysimachus, and the Macedonian-Greco merger maintained by Antipater and his son Cassander. 104]

104] Gleason L. Archer, Jeremiah , Daniel , The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 7, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House), 1976-1992, in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Daniel 7:6.

As less popular view is to interpret these four beasts to represent four nations that arise during the Great Tribulation period immediately preceding the Second Coming. For example, Irvin Baxter, Jr. suggests that the leopard symbolizes the nation of Germany. The four wings represent the swiftness by which it has carried out its modern wars, known during the World Wars as "Blitzkrieg." The four heads represent the number of times in history in which this nation will rise and fall. In recent history, Germany has been on the side of the aggressor during three major wars: the Franco-German War of 1870, during World War 1and World War 2. These three periods in its history are known as Germany's First, Second and Third Reich, the third being Hitler's regime. Germany has since rebuilt after each of these wars and has again become a dominating power in Europe. It has become Europe's strongest economy. This modern Germany has been referred to as the Fourth Reich. Baxter suggests that this Fourth Reich will reach its full power in association with the European Common Market. He also quotes from the February 20, 1975 edition of The German Tribune, which discusses one of Germany's new and formidable military tanks called "Leopard Tanks." This tank has become the number one tank being used in the NATO forces. 105]

105] Irvin Baxter, Jeremiah , A Message for the President, (Richmond, Indiana: Endtime, Inc, 1986), chapter 3.

Daniel 7:7 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.

Daniel 7:8 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 Prayer of Manasseh , and a mouth speaking great things.

Daniel 7:7-8Comments- The Beast- The fourth beast introduced in Daniel 7:7-8 is popularly compared to the beast described in Revelation 13-20. Both beasts are described in prophetic, apocalyptic-style literature ( Daniel , Revelation). Both of these creatures arise out of the sea ( Daniel 7:2-3, Revelation 13:1). Both have ten horns ( Daniel 7:7, Revelation 13:1), which represent ten kings ( Daniel 7:24, Revelation 17:12-13). Both speak with great pomp and blasphemies against God ( Daniel 7:8; Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:5-6). Both make war with the saints of God ( Daniel 7:25, Revelation 13:7). Both are defeated by God and thrown into flames ( Daniel 7:11, Revelation 17:14; Revelation 20:10), and the kingdoms given to the Son of Man or the Lamb ( Daniel 7:13-14, Revelation 14:1). The emphasis made concerning both of these beasts is their terrible ferocity and ten horns, which represent ten kings. The fact that these ten horns were on one beast symbolizes the union of these ten kings and their nations. Because of these many similarities and the context in which they are introduced in biblical prophecy, both beasts are most commonly interpreted by scholars to represent the Roman Empire.

The beast of Daniel 7 is generally associated with the image seen in Nebuchadnezzar's dream in chapter 2. For example, Archer says that this beast represents the Roman Empire with its widespread power that ruled with an iron fist. He notes that the ten horns correspond to the ten toes on Nebuchadnezzar"s image in chapter 2. These ten horns represent the rise of the Roman Empire in the last days from which the Antichrist will arise, who is represented by the little horn that arises and uproots three of the ten horns. 106] The little horn that arises and plucks up three horns may refer to the Antichrist, the dictator that will speak with great power and blasphemy during the Great Tribulation.

106] Gleason L. Archer, Jeremiah , Daniel , The Expositor's Bible Commentary, vol 7, eds. Frank E. Gaebelien, J. D. Douglas, Dick Polcyn (Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan Pub. House), 1976-1992, in Zondervan Reference Software, v 28 [CD-ROM] (Grand Rapids, MI: The Zondervan Corp, 1989-2001), notes on Daniel 7:8.

Figurative Meaning of the Number "Ten" in Scripture- The Hebrew phrase "ten times" ( פְּעָמִ֔ים עֶ֣שֶׂר) is used several times in the Old Testament, being made up of two words, "ten" ( עֶשֶׂר) (H 6235), and "times" ( פַּעַם) (H 6471). Although the literal translation Isaiah , "ten times," John Gill understands the phrase "ten times" in Numbers 14:22 as an idiom to mean a rounded number, which is equivalent to "time after time," thus "numerous times." He says that although the Jews counted ten literal occasions when Israel tempted the Lord during the wilderness journeys, Aben Ezra gives this phrase a figurative meaning of "many times." 107] T. E. Espin adds to the figurative meaning of Numbers 14:22 by saying that Israel had tempted the Lord to its fullness, so that the Lord would now pass judgment upon them, even denying them access into the Promised Land, which is clearly stated in the next verse. 108]

107] John Gill lists ten literal occasions, "twice at the sea, Exodus 14:11; twice concerning water, Exodus 15:23; twice about manna, Exodus 16:2; twice about quails, Exodus 16:12; once by the calf, Exodus 32:1; and once in the wilderness of Paran, Numbers 14:1, which last and tenth was the present temptation." John Gill, Numbers , in John Gill's Expositor, in e-Sword, v 777 [CD-ROM] (Franklin, Tennessee: e-Sword, 2000-2005), comments on Numbers 14:22.

108] E. T. Espin and J. F. Thrupp, Numbers , in The Holy Bible According to the Authorized Version (A.D 1611), with an Explanation and Critical Commentary and a Revision of the Translation, by Bishops and Clergy of the Anglican Church, vol 1, part 1, ed. F. C. Cook (London: John Murray, 1871), 702.

We can see the same phrase "ten times" used as an idiom in several passages in the Scriptures:

Genesis 31:7, "And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me."

Numbers 14:22, "Because all those men which have seen my glory, and my miracles, which I did in Egypt and in the wilderness, and have tempted me now these ten times, and have not hearkened to my voice;"

Nehemiah 4:12, "And it came to pass, that when the Jews which dwelt by them came, they said unto us ten times, From all places whence ye shall return unto us they will be upon you."

The NAB translates this phrase in Genesis 31:7 as "time after time."

NAB, "yet your father cheated me and changed my wages time after time. God, however, did not let him do me any harm."

The number ten represents a counting system that is based on ten units. Thus, the number ten can be interpreted literally to represent the numerical system, or it can be given a figurative meaning to reflect the concept of multiple occurrences.

Illustration- Jesus told Peter that we are to forgive seventy seven times ( Matthew 18:22). In this passage, Jesus did not literally mean that we were to forgive only seventy seven times, but that we were to forgive as often as was necessary to forgive, which is many times.

Matthew 18:22, "Jesus saith unto him, I say not unto thee, Until seven times: but, Until seventy times seven."

Thus, the ten horns representing ten kings probably carry the figurative meaning of many kings.

Daniel 7:9 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 7:9 — "I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit" - Word Study on "cast down" - Gesenius and the TWOT say the Hebrew word ( רְמָה) (H 7412) literally means, "to cast, to throw." Goldingay translates it as "set in place." 109]

109] John E. Goldingay, Daniel , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 142.

For this reason, most modern English versions translate this phrase to mean that thrones were set in place for judgment.

ASV reads, "I beheld till thrones were placed."

Rotherham, "I continued looking, until that, thrones, were placed."

RSV, "As I looked, thrones were placed."

In contrast, this phrase can be understood as the overthrow of those rulers opposed to God.

YLT, "I was seeing till that thrones have been thrown down."

However, the context of this passage of Scripture best supports the idea that these thrones represent the judgment being given to the saints of God ( Daniel 7:22).

Daniel 7:22, "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."

Comments - We find a similar description of the thrones being set up at the Great White Throne Judgment in Revelation 20:4, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

"whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool" - Comments - We see a similar description of the Lord Jesus Christ in Revelation 1:14 His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;

Revelation 1:14, "His head and his hairs were white like wool, as white as snow; and his eyes were as a flame of fire;"

"his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire" - Comments - The flame of fire and the wheels are described in Ezekiel's vision of the four living creatures as they came forth from the throne of God ( Ezekiel 1:4-28). The wheel represents eternity, an aspect of this dream reflect in the name "Ancient of Days."

Ezekiel 1:4, "And I looked, and, behold, a whirlwind came out of the north, a great cloud, and a fire infolding itself, and a brightness was about it, and out of the midst thereof as the colour of amber, out of the midst of the fire."

Ezekiel 1:15, "Now as I beheld the living creatures, behold one wheel upon the earth by the living creatures, with his four faces."

Daniel 7:10 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.

Daniel 7:9-10 — "A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him" - Comments - John the apostle describes the innumerable multitudes around the throne of God in Revelation 5:11, "And I beheld, and I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the beasts and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands;"

One million angels ministered at God's throne, while ten million stood before Him in worship. No human throne is able to compare to God's majesty and glory.

"the judgment was set, and the books were opened" - Comments- The Great White Throne Judgment- The judgment of the Ancient of Days referred to in Daniel 7:9-10 is most likely the Great White Throne Judgment in which God will open the books and judge the nations ( Revelation 20:11-15).

Revelation 20:11-15, "And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works. And the sea gave up the dead which were in it; and death and hell delivered up the dead which were in them: and they were judged every man according to their works. And death and hell were cast into the lake of fire. This is the second death. And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire."

Daniel 7:11 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 7:11Comments- The judgment of the beast in Daniel 7:11 most likely refers to the time at the end of the Great Tribulation in which Jesus Christ will appear in the sky and destroy the beast and its armies surrounding Jerusalem and cast him into the lake of fire ( Revelation 19:20).

Revelation 19:20, "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."

Daniel 7:12 As concerning the rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away: yet their lives were prolonged for a season and time.

Daniel 7:12Comments- Apparently, the other three beasts, the lion, the bear and the leopard, will be nations that are allowed to continue their identity and existence after Jesus comes and sets up His throne upon earth. However, all dominion will be given unto the Lord of Lord and King of Kings and He will rule and reign with a rod of iron from the holy city Jerusalem. Thus, these other nations will have their dominion taken away from them during the Millennial Reign of Christ. This verse seems to give us a description of how the world will be governed during the Millennial Reign. Nations will be permitted to exist as long as they submitted to the rule of Jesus Christ from Jerusalem.

Daniel 7:13 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.

Daniel 7:13Comments - Daniel stood before God's throne in his full human weakness. He understood human depravity and God's unspeakable majesty. For someone like the son of man coming in clouds of glory and standing before God's throne must have puzzled Daniel , because such a man would have been perfect and righteous before God. Daniel must have pondered on who this man would be in biblical prophecy.

Daniel 7:13 portrays the Messiah riding on a cloud. The eschatological passages of the New Testament tell us that Jesus Christ will come to earth a second time riding upon a cloud ( Matthew 24:30; Matthew 26:64, Mark 13:26; Mark 14:62, 1 Thessalonians 4:17, Revelation 1:7). This cloud of heaven may be likened to a royal chariot, horse or palanquin upon which ancient kings often rode. These royal vehicles were often preceded by forerunners, men who ran before the king to announce his coming. We see such a scene when Elijah ran before Ahab's chariot ( 1 Kings 18:46). The Song of Solomon 3:6-11 describes a wedding processional with the bride in a royal palanquin perfumed with spices ( Daniel 3:6; Daniel 3:9-10), accompanied by sixty valiant men armed with swords ( Daniel 3:7-8) approaching Jerusalem.

Daniel 7:13, "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."

Matthew 24:30, "And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory."

Matthew 26:64, "Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."

Mark 13:26, "And then shall they see the Son of man coming in the clouds with great power and glory."

Mark 14:62, "And Jesus said, I am: and ye shall see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven."

1 Thessalonians 4:17, "Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord."

Revelation 1:7, "Behold, he cometh with clouds; and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: and all kindreds of the earth shall wail because of him. Even Song of Solomon , Amen."

1 Kings 18:46, "And the hand of the LORD was on Elijah; and he girded up his loins, and ran before Ahab to the entrance of Jezreel."

Daniel 7:14 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.

Daniel 7:13-14Comments - Jesus Given Dominion Over All- Daniel 7:14 seems to describe the time of the Millennial Reign of Christ when God the Father will hand all dominion and power over to His Son Jesus Christ who will reign for ever and ever.


Verses 1-28

The Vision of the Four Beasts (556-555 B.C.) - During the days of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream in which he saw four beasts rising out of the sea. In many passages in the Scriptures the sea represents mankind. We are told in Daniel 7:17 that the four beasts represent four kings that shall arise out of the earth, or out of the sea of people. We are told in Daniel 7:23 that the fourth beast represents the fourth kingdom. Thus, we can conclude that these beasts represent four kings and their kingdoms that are to arise out of the nations on the earth. Most commentators equate these four beasts to the same four kingdoms that Daniel interpreted in the king's dream of Daniel 2, since both visions refer to four kings that are to be overthrown by a greater and heavenly kingdom. They compare the ten horns on the fourth beast to the ten toes on the image of the man in Daniel 2. Since the image of the man in Daniel 2reveals the predestined plan of redemption for the Times of the Gentiles, its image is intended to give us an overall chronological time-line that can be followed throughout the book of Daniel , since this was the desire of the king as he fell asleep that night. Thus, it is reasonable to suggest that the images of the four beasts described in chapter 7 reveal the characteristics of these four kingdoms mentioned in Daniel 2. Another way to compare these parallel prophecies is to say that Daniel 2gives us a vision of the nations from man's perspective, while Daniel 7 gives the vision from a divine perspective.

Outline - Here is a proposed outline:

1. Daniel's Vision — Daniel 7:1-14

2. The Interpretation of Daniel's Vision — Daniel 7:15-28

Modern Interpretation of Contemporary Nations- However, some modern scholars place these four beasts within the end times of the Great Tribulation period. They say that these beasts represent modern nations that are all in existence during the last days who are to play a leading role up to the coming of the Lord. Some of these scholars equate the lion to Great Britain and the USA, the bear to Russia, the leopard to Germany and terrible beast to Europe and the beast described in the book of Revelation. They suggest that these are the nations and powers that will play key roles leading up and during the time of the Tribulation Period upon the earth.

Comparison with the Book of Revelation - If we go to the book of Revelation we can easily make some comparisons to the four beasts described in Daniel 7. In Revelation 13:1-10 John describes a beast that will rise from the sea during the Great Tribulation. The sea is often used to symbolize the nations of the earth. If we compare this one beast to the four beasts described in Daniel's vision of the last days ( Daniel 7:1-28), we find a number of similarities. Daniel sees a lion, a bear, and a leopard. John the apostle sees a single beast comprising all three of these animals. This beast has almost all of the characteristics of the beasts in Daniel's vision. John's beast has seven heads. The total number of heads described in Daniel is seven; the lion had one head, the bear had one head, the leopard had four heads, and the terrible beast had one head, for a total of seven heads. Irvin Baxter, Jr. says that John's vision of one beast, which comprises the characteristics of three of the beasts in Daniel , suggests that these three nations will form some kind of alliance with the dragon during the Tribulation Period. It is descriptive of a "one-world" power under the influence of the beast and of the dragon that is described in the book of Revelation. 97]

97] Irvin Baxter, Jeremiah , A Message for the President, (Richmond, Indiana: Endtime, Inc, 1986), chapter 3.

The Use of Symbolism in Ancient Royal Images- The symbolic images of the beasts described in Daniel 7:1-28 were not foreign to the ancient world. These ancient kings wore crowns with horns, carried scepters carved as animals, and had their images engraved in stone with symbolic wings and various other symbolic objects. For example, T. G. Pinches describes an ancient bas-relief of King Cyrus the Great, saying:

"The stone shows Cyrus standing, looking to the right, draped in a fringed garment resembling those worn by the ancient Babylonians, reaching to the feet. His hair is combed back in the Persian style, and upon his head is an elaborate Egyptian crown, two horns extending to front and back, with a uraeus serpent rising from each end, and between the serpents three vase-like objects, with discs at their bases and summits, and serrated leaves between. There is no doubt that this crown is symbolical of his dominion over Egypt, the three vase-like objects being modifications of the triple helmet-crown of the Egyptian deities. The king is represented as four-winged in the Assyro-Babylonian style, probably as a claim to divinity in their hierarchy as well as to dominion in the lands of Merodach and Assur. In his right hand, which is raised to the level of his shoulder, he holds a kind of scepter seemingly terminating in a bird"s head--in all probability also a symbol of Babylonian dominion, though the emblem of the Babylonian cities of the South was most commonly a bird with wings displayed." 98]

98] T. G. Pinches, "Cyrus," in International Standard Bible Encyclopedia, ed. James Orr (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Co, c 1915, 1939), in The Sword Project, v 1511 [CD-ROM] (Temple, AZ: CrossWire Bible Society, 1990-2008).


Verses 15-28

The Interpretation of Daniel's Vision - In Daniel 7:15-28 Daniel is given the interpretation of his vision, which parallels many aspects of the book of Revelation. This interpretation can as well be applied to the fulfillment of Psalm 2in which God crushes the rebellion of the nations and sets His Son upon the throne. 110]

110] John E. Goldingay, Daniel , in Word Biblical Commentary: 58 Volumes on CD- Romans , vol 30, eds. Bruce M. Metzger, David A. Hubbard and Glenn W. Barker (Dallas: Word Inc, 2002), in Libronix Digital Library System, v 21c [CD-ROM] (Bellingham, WA: Libronix Corp, 2000-2004), 149.

Daniel 7:22 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 7:22 — "Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High" - Comments- Some translations read, "and judgment was given in behalf of the saints…" Thus, some scholars suggest that this phrase is a reference to Christ's first coming when He was offered in judgment on Calvary in behalf of mankind.

NIV, "until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the saints of the Most High"

Daniel 7:22Comments- Daniel 7:22 refers to the time of Jesus' Second Coming when He shall judge those who have persecuted the Church and the saints shall enter in the Millennial Reign with Him and shall rule and reign with Christ forever.

We find a similar description of the thrones being set up at the Great White Throne Judgment and judgment given to the saints in Revelation 20:4, "And I saw thrones, and they sat upon them, and judgment was given unto them: and I saw the souls of them that were beheaded for the witness of Jesus, and for the word of God, and which had not worshipped the beast, neither his image, neither had received his mark upon their foreheads, or in their hands; and they lived and reigned with Christ a thousand years."

Daniel 7:25 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.

Daniel 7:25 — "and think to change times and laws" - Comments - The times refers to seasons of God's plan of redemption for mankind. During the last two thousand years, the world has been on a Roman calendar. The antichrist, also called the son of perdition, will attempt to change the times on this calendar that the world now follows. The Tribulation Period will culminate with the world being ushered into the thousand-year Millennial Reign of Christ on Earth and the times and laws will be changed. At that time God Himself will take the world into a new era and change the times and laws; for only God can do what the antichrist will attempt to do ( Daniel 2:21). The antichrist will attempt to do the same because he senses the change in seasons on the earth.

Daniel 2:21, "And he changeth the times and the seasons: he removeth kings, and setteth up kings: he giveth wisdom unto the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding:"

Daniel 7:28 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.

Daniel 7:28Comments- Daniel 1-6 emphasizes Daniel's ministry to the kings of Babylon and Media. But the visions recorded in Daniel 7-12were not for the kings. Rather, they are a collection of private visions that Daniel received from the Lord regarding the Time of the Gentiles and the Last Days. Thus, he writes in Daniel 7:28 that he kept this vision in his heart.

 


Copyright Statement
These files are copyrighted by the author, Gary Everett. Used by Permission.
No distribution beyond personal use without permission.

Bibliography Information
Everett, Gary H. "Commentary on Daniel 7:4". Gary H. Everett's Study Notes on the Holy Scriptures. https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/ghe/daniel-7.html. 2013.

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