Introduction to Chapter 7


Chapter 7 is a foundational chapter in understanding bible prophecy and God’s plan for the nations.  In this chapter, Daniel sees a vision, which maps out the course of nations, leading to thekingdom of God.

Chronologically this chapter takes place between chapters 4 and 5.  Chapter 5 is the final year of Belshazzar’s reign 539 B.C., and the transition between the Babylonian and Persian kingdoms.  Chapter seven, takes place in the first year of Belshazzar’s reign, 553 B.C. 

Daniel has a vision of four great beasts rising out the turbulent waters of the great sea.  Daniel however, focuses on the fourth beast and its meaning. Along with the four beasts Daniel, also sees events taking place in Heaven. He describes the “Ancient of Days”, and the “Son of man”, who will succeed the earthly kingdoms of the four beasts. 

Chapter 7 complements the pattern established in the second chapter.  In the second chapter, Nebuchadnezzar has a dream, of an immense image with a head of gold, arms and chest of silver, thighs of bronze, legs of iron and feet made from iron and clay.  In this dream, a stone from a mountain smashes the image at its iron and clay feet.  The stone becomes an enormous mountain encompassing the earth. The explanation given by Daniel is that each segment of the image represents a succeeding earthly kingdom, with the head of gold representing Nebuchadnezzar.  The stone represents the kingdom of God crushing the kingdoms of man and God’s kingdom established on the earth.  More light is shed on God’s program in chapter 7.

Here in seven, we see the division of kingdoms represented by 4 beasts; a lion, bear, leopard and a horrific beast with iron teeth and bronze claws.  The culmination of history ends when a son of man destroys this final kingdom pictured as the fourth beast.  This fourth beast corresponds with the Iron and clay feet “Kingdom"in Daniel chapter 2.


Daniel’s Vision


Daniel 7

1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream and visions of his head while on his bed. Then he wrote down the dream, telling the main facts.

2 Daniel spoke, saying, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the Great Sea.

3 "And four great beasts came up from the sea, each different from the other.


First year of Belshazzar:  The First year of Belshazzar’s reign is 553 B.C.  From the Nabonidus Chronicle we know in the third year, Nabonidus’ son Belshazzar began his first year of reign with his father and king, Nabonidus. The father established a new capital in Teima in northern Arabia, while the son ruled Babylon.

Dream and visions:  God reveals Himself in various ways in scripture to his prophets and people.   In the book of Daniel, God speaks in various ways to Daniel.  We see God speak to Daniel through the angel Gabriel in chapters 8 (8:16) and 9 (9:21).  A glorious angel appears to Daniel and communicates a message about the consummation of history in chapters 10 through 12.  God for example speaks to Moses, in form and similitude, while speaking to others in dream. (Numbers 12:8)

In this chapter, Daniel has a combination of dreams and visions, or possibly a vision in his dream. There is distinct difference between a dream and a vision in the bible.  A dream occurs in the process of sleep, while vision occurs when the subject is awake. 

Here Daniel seems to have had visions in his dreams, in this same dream he had visions indicating the angelic interpretation took place in the dream. (Daniel 7:13)

Telling the main facts:  After the dream, Daniel wrote down what took place.  Verses 2 through 27 record what happened in the dream, verse 1 and 28 record the events outside of the visions and dream.

Daniel Spoke:  Daniel is relaying the events to someone or some group we do not know whom.  Daniel could very well be speaking to Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego or the exiled Jewish community.

Four winds of heaven: The word for wind is the same word for spirit, here the Aramaic word xwrRuwachmeans wind.  The illustration of the “winds” is found in Daniel 8:8 and 11:4 and signifies the heavenly powers of God setting in motion the earthly realms. The number four signifies the four quarters of the earth.  This phrase could be understood as the forces of heaven.

Great Sea: Some view the Sea mentioned here as referring to the Mediterranean Sea or Ocean, the term “Great Sea” is applied to the Mediterranean in scripture. (See also Joshua 1:4, 9:1 and 15:2)


6 'As for the western border, you shall have the Great Sea for a border; this shall be your western border.

7 'And this shall be your northern border: From the Great Sea you shall mark out your border line to Mount Hor

Numbers 34:6-7   

The specific reference to the “Great Sea” references how these 4 kingdoms in particular affect the Jewish nation.  The Jewish nation is the center focus of prophesy, through them God is completing His plan for humanity.  In Daniel chapter 9, the angel Gabriel tells Daniel ‘Seventy Sevens” are determined on “Your people”, the Jews, and “Your holy city”, Jerusalem. 

The reference to these four beasts is their involvement with Jerusalem and the Jewish people.  This is an important point to remember when trying to understand Bible prophecy.  Many times groups will try to use a literal reference to Israel and symbolically apply it to themselves, forcing an interpretation. 

Cults such as the Jehovah Witnesses and Mormons take passages that clearly refer to Israel and apply it to their group. They therefore misinterpret the passage and miss the meaning.

Four great beasts:  In this vision, Daniel sees four beast emerge from the “Great Sea”.  We know the beasts represent four kingdoms because the chapter also interprets the meaning. (Daniel 7:23)

The Aramaic word for beast, awyx Cheyva' means beast or animal.

Each different:  In chapter 2, the segments of the Nebuchadnezzar’s image is divided by metal types, each metal type represents qualities of that kingdom. Here, characteristics of the these beasts described gives us insight into type of kingdoms these beasts represent.


The First Beast:  Babylon


4 "The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings. I watched till its wings were plucked off; and it was lifted up from the earth and made to stand on two feet like a man, and a man's heart was given to it.


Lion:  Most scholars agree, the Lion here represents the Babylonian kingdom.  The Lion was a common motif of royal power, Solomon for example had 12 lions on either side of the steps leading to his throne. (I Kings 10:20; 2 Chronicles 9;19).   The first kingdom of Chapter 2 was described as Babylon’s Nebuchadnezzar.

Eagle’s wings:  The Eagle is king of the sky and is the picture dominion.  This beast has characteristics of the lion and the eagle.  The eagle controlled the air, completely dominating its opponents.   Babylon’s control of the near east resulted from its defeating two mighty opponents allied together, Assyria and Egypt at the battle of Carchemish in 605 B.C.

 Man’s heart:  Adding credence that this beast is Babylon is the description of a man’s heart given to the animal.  In fact, Nebuchadnezzar is described as having hair like eagle’s feathers in Daniel 4:33.  Here the Lion has the heart of a man and stands on two feet. 

Nebuchadnezzar was humbled and submitted himself to the God of the Bible, describing his transformation in chapter 4, a letter he wrote to the world.


The Second Beast: Medo-Persia


5 "And suddenly another beast, a second, like a bear. It was raised up on one side, and had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. And they said thus to it: 'Arise, devour much flesh!'

Suddenly ..another…  The second animal pictures the Medo-Persian Empire headed by Cyrus the great.  The sudden transformation of kingdoms is pictured in Daniel chapter 5, as the Persian armies marched underneath the walls of Babylon.  The city fell with virtually no deaths, it was sudden.

Like a bear :  Persia after conquering Babylon extended the territory beyond that of Babylon. The armies of Cyrus were made of two main groups, Persian and Medes.  Today the Iranians are descended from the Persians and the Kurds are of Median descent. These two people unified to defeat Babylon in 539 B.C.

Raised up: The raising to the one side pictures the one sided strength of this kingdom.  Median power was subject to Persian rule.  The Median generals helped Cyrus overthrow his grandfather, Astyages in 549 B.C..  Cyrus also made the Median Capital Ecbatana (Modern Hamadan) his capital, he adopted the system of government set up by the Median kings and retained Medes in high office.  Darius, the head of the province of Babylon was a Mede, but he was under the authority of Cyrus the Persian.

Three ribs: Most view these ribs as the conquests of Egypt, Lydia and Babylon by the Medo-Persian Empire.

Devour much flesh:  The territory of Medo-Persia was greater then that of Babylon.


The Third Beast: Greece


6 "After this I looked, and there was another, like a leopard, which had on its back four wings of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and dominion was given to it.


Leopard: If any kingdom is like a Leopard, it would be Greece.  Alexander the Great succeeded his father, Phillip of Macedon, at his death in 323 B.C.  Alexander was 23 years old when he became King of Greece.  Alexander set out to destroy Greece’s old enemy, Persia.  With lightening speed the armies of Greece quickly defeated Persia, first at the battle of Issus in 333 B.C. against Darius III.  Alexander then defeated the Phoenicians at Tyre in 332 B.C., Palestine/Judea surrendered and he conquered Egypt in 331 B.C. In the ancient city of Nineveh he again met Darius III and defeated him again.  Alexander then continued east all the way to the borders of India where his men refused to go any further, they then began the march back.

In the city of Babylon, where Alexander was proclaimed a god, he planned to establish his capital. In 323 B.C., Alexander the Great died at the age of 33.  He had stretched the Greek Empire from Macedonia to India defeating the most powerful armies of the world in 10 years.

After his death, his kingdom was divided between his four generals.   Lysimachus controlled Thrace and Bithynia; Cassander held Macedonia and Greece; Selecus took Syria, Babylonia and territories as far east as India; and Ptolemy controlled Egypt, Palestine and Arabia Petera,  Over the coming years the descendents of Ptolemy and Selucus would battle for control of Judea/Palestine. These two Greek kingdoms would be known as the Seleucids and the Ptolemies.

Greek power in Israel ended with the Maccabean revolt in 163 B.C. against Seleucid rule, what followed was a 100-year Jewish kingdom. In 63 B.C., the Jewish Kingdom sought for and received Roman intervention.

Four wings:  Babylon was described with two wings, here the leopard has four wings.  Wings in the scripture denote power and protection.

"The Lord repay your work, and a full reward be given you by the Lord God of Israel, under whose wings you have come for refuge."

Ruth 2:12

.  This beast has four wings, two more then the first beast.  Alexander was able to accomplish in 10 years time what took other kingdoms generations.

Four heads:  The four generals who took over the parts of Alexander’s kingdom at his death continued the Greek culture.  This  is why the New Testament is written in Greek, the result of the Greek influence left by Alexander the Great and his succeeding commanders.

Dominion was given:  God is the source of these nations’ power and territory.  Territory or dominion was by God, not taken by men.


The Fourth Beast: Rome


7 "After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, exceedingly strong. It had huge iron teeth; it was devouring, breaking in pieces, and trampling the residue with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns.

8 "I was considering the horns, and there was another horn, a little one, coming up among them, before whom three of the first horns were plucked out by the roots. And there, in this horn, were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking pompous words.


Fourth beast:  Following the third beast, Daniel sees a fourth beast emerge from the Great Sea, the Mediterranean.  This fourth Beast is Rome, which literally emerged from the Great Sea.   Following the seesaw battle for Judea/Palestine by the successors of Alexander the Great, the Seleucids under Antiochus Epiphanies in 163 B.C. decided to turn Judea into a Greek border state after he was humiliated by Roman power in Egypt.  Antiochus attempts to destroy the Jewish religion as recorded in the book of I Maccabees.


10 And there came out of them a wicked root Antiochus surnamed Epiphanes, son of Antiochus the king, who had been an hostage at Rome, and he reigned in the hundred and thirty and seventh year of the kingdom of the Greeks.

54 Now the fifteenth day of the month Casleu, in the hundred forty and fifth year, they set up the abomination of desolation upon the altar, and builded idol altars throughout the cities of Juda on every side; 55 And burnt incense at the doors of their houses, and in the streets. 56 And when they had rent in pieces the books of the law which they found, they burnt them with fire. 57 And whosoever was found with any the book of the testament, or if any committed to the law, the king’s commandment was, that they should put him to death.58 Thus did they by their authority unto the Israelites every month, to as many as were found in the cities.59 Now the five and twentieth day of the month they did sacrifice upon the idol altar, which was upon the altar of God. 60 At which time according to the commandment they put to death certain women, that had caused their children to be circumcised. 61 And they hanged the infants about their necks, and rifled their houses, and slew them that had circumcised them.

I Maccabees 1:10,54-61


The acts by Antiochus led to a revolt by a group of pious Jews who would become known as the Maccabeans.  There kingdom would begin with the defeat of the Greeks and the restoration of the Temple.  This is where the story of Chanukah originates,.  This kingdom would end when two brothers, descendents of the priestly family ask Rome to help settle the dispute on who should succeed the Jewish throne.

Rome was founded in 753 B.C. by Romulus, who became its first king. Rome grew as it defeated its neighboring cities.  Roman power conquered Sicily and the rest of the Italian peninsula.  Rome then attacked Carthage, in North Africa in what became known as the Punic wars. Following the defeat of Carthage, Rome consolidated its power in the Mediterranean or Great Sea under the leadership of Roman general Pompey.  This growing Roman power led to the request of assistance by the  Maccabean Jewish nation, on which brother had the right to succession. Rome decision was not welcomed by all the Jews, they rejected Roman demands, leading to their defeat.

In 63 B.C. the Roman general Pompey conquered the city of Jerusalem, killing 12,000 Jewish holdouts on the Temple Mount. He then installed a Roman puppet government, thus ending the independent Jewish Maccabean nation. In 70 A.D., the Roman armies would destroy the city of Jerusalem, the Temple and over one million Jews would die at the hands of Rome. The Jewish people would be scattered throughout the world.

Roman rule over Jerusalem would continue until the Muslim defeat of the Byzantines, the Roman successors in 634 A.D.

Dreadful: Daniel identifies this beast as dreadful.  In contrast to the other three beasts, the Jews were affected most by Rome.  Within 107 years, after Rome came to the assistance of Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the Temple and the Jewish people would be nearly destroyed. Not until 1948 A.D. would a Jewish nation come back into existence. 

Iron teeth: Iron is also used to describe the fourth kingdom in chapter 2.  The legs were made of Iron and the feet of Iron and clay.  The huge iron teeth made this beast different from the other beasts.  The beast had a particular cruelness, trampling all its victims, crushing and devouring them.

Ten horns: The beast has ten horns.  Horns in Daniel and throughout scripture represent kings and kingdoms. The horn is the defensive and offensive part of a beast.  Here, Daniel interprets itself, the horns represent 10 kings, and 10 kingdoms, a kingdom is associated with a king (Verse 24).

Another horn: Daniel is describing a strange event in his vision.  He pays particular attention to an event taking place on this beast regarding the order of horn.  Among the 10 horns, he sees a little horn with eyes, and a boastful mouth come up.  In the process of this little horn being revealed, 3 of the 10 horns are uprooted and removed.

The description and characteristics of this horn picture a ruler who will come out this beast.  We see the judgment of this particular horn in verse 11.


The Vision of the Ancient of Days


9 "I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire;

10 A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.

Thrones put in place:  Daniel is a spectator in his own dream.  The scene changes, Daniel now sees events taking place in heaven, a heavenly court. Here, the Ancient of Days, God, is pictured sitting on his throne. 

Ancient of Days:  This term is only used here in the Bible, three times in this chapter in verses 9, 13, and 22.  Clearly, from the context Daniel is describing a vision of God. God pictured in human like form sits on a fiery throne.

His hair and garments are white, like wool and snow.  White represents purity, and fire represents judgment.  His title implies eternal existence. God is the judge sitting on his throne.  A river of fire flowed from the throne, in this same scene we see ministers, individuals who serve before the throne, described as a “thousand thousands” or millions. This is another way of saying an innumerable host. 

The Ancient of Days corresponds to God the Father. We see a similar scene in the book of Revelation chapters 4 and 5.  John is caught up into heaven and like Daniel witnesses events taking place at the throne of God.  John sees a distinction between the Father and Son.  The lamb takes the scroll from Him seated on the throne and the lamb receives the glory, power and honor.

RE 4:2  Immediately I was in the Spirit; and behold, a throne set in heaven, and One sat on the throne.

RE 4:3  And He who sat there was like a jasper and a sardius stone in appearance; and there was a rainbow around the throne, in appearance like an emerald.

Revelation 4:2,3

Then He came and took the scroll out of the right hand of Him who sat on the throne.

Then I looked, and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands,

Revelation 5:7,11

The opening of the books is a picture of God’s heavenly court.  Justice is about to take place.  The citizens of heaven are about to witness the “Ancient of Days” pronounce judgment.  Daniel is watching two scenes, one on earth and one in heaven.

 On earth, he sees a beast dreadful and terrible, with 7 remaining horns from the original 10, and a new little horn with eyes and a pompous mouth. Daniel also sees the beast having iron teeth destroying its victims, crushing them under foot.

In Heaven, he watches God’s courtroom, about to judge the events taking place on earth, in particular this beast and its “Little horn”.  Man’s attempt to assert his authority always comes in to conflict with God authority

19 The Lord has established His throne in heaven, And His kingdom rules over all.

Psalm 103:19

2 The kings of the earth set themselves, And the rulers take counsel together, Against the Lord and against His Anointed, saying,

3 "Let us break Their bonds in pieces And cast away Their cords from us."

4 He who sits in the heavens shall laugh; The Lord shall hold them in derision.

Psalm 2:2-4

.  This will culminate in the end with the judgment on this final nation, pictured in Daniel 2 as the “feet and toes” (10 toes), partly of potters clay and partly of iron” (Daniel 2:42). Here, we see a beast with 10 horns and Iron teeth.


The Destruction of the Beast



11 "I watched then because of the sound of the pompous words which the horn was speaking; I watched till the beast was slain, and its body destroyed and given to the burning flame.

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

I watched: Daniel view shifts back to earth from Heaven.

Pompous words: This little horn is characterized by his great words.  Daniel is amazed at what he is saying, almost as if stunned by his words. In Revelation we see a similar scene, where John like Daniel focuses on a particular head of the beast.

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

Revelation 13:5-6

Beast slain:  Daniel witnesses the destruction of this terrible beast, in the fiery flame.  This is a summary statement of the final out come of this beast and horn. God is victorious and this beast is judged in the fiery flame.  Revelation has parallel with greater detail.

 19:19  And I saw the beast, the kings of the earth, and their armies, gathered together to make war against Him who sat on the horse and against His army.

 19:20  Then the beast was captured, and with him the false prophet who worked signs in his presence, by which he deceived those who received the mark of the beast and those who worshiped his image. These two were cast alive into the lake of fire burning with brimstone.

Revelation 19:19-20

The Fifth Kingdom: The Son of Man


13 "I was watching in the night visions, And behold, One like the Son of Man, Coming with the clouds of heaven! He came to the Ancient of Days, And they brought Him near before Him.

14 Then to Him was given dominion and glory and a kingdom, That all peoples, nations, and languages should serve Him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion, Which shall not pass away, And His kingdom the one Which shall not be destroyed.

I was watching: Daniel’s view now shift back to the scene taking placing in Heaven. 

Like the Son of man:  Daniel sees a person, of human descent, a “Son of man”, approaching the throne of the Ancient of Days. The term Son of man means exactly that, a descendent of humanity.  This term is by God, to when he addresses Ezekiel. 

And he said unto me, Son of man, stand upon thy feet, and I will speak unto thee.

Ezekiel 2;1

Jesus used the term “Son of man” more then any other term to describe himself. 

Now while they were staying in Galilee, Jesus said to them, "The Son of Man is about to be betrayed into the hands of men,

Matthew 17:22



"When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the holy angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.

32 "All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, as a shepherd divides his sheep from the goats.

Matthew 25;31-32

Clouds of heaven:  The son of man coming in the clouds is a picture of the Messiah, who would come with the clouds of heaven.  The Messiah coming with the clouds is also recognized in Judaism

And now let us speak in praise of King Messiah who will come in the future with the clouds of heaven and two Seraphim (fiery angels) to his right and to his left, as it is written, Behold, with the clouds of heaven came one like unto a son of man (Dan. 7:13)[1]  Pirqe Mashiah, BhM 3:70

When Jesus was taken up into Heaven in the clouds, the angels said to those watching.

9 Now when He had spoken these things, while they watched, He was taken up, and a cloud received Him out of their sight.

10 And while they looked steadfastly toward heaven as He went up, behold, two men stood by them in white apparel,

11 who also said, "Men of Galilee, why do you stand gazing up into heaven? This same Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will so come in like manner as you saw Him go into heaven."

Acts 1:9-11

Jesus was taken up in the clouds and will return in the clouds of Heaven to judge the earth as the “Son of Man”

"Then the sign of the Son of Man will appear in heaven, and then all the tribes of the earth will mourn, and they will see the Son of Man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Matthew 24:30

Ancient of Days:  Daniel sees the “Son of Man”, a descendent of humanity, approach the throne of God.  Daniel is revealing the dual nature of Messiah. The Messiah would be fully God and fully man, a descendent of man.  His first coming, the Messiah would be born into the world and die, (Isaiah 9:6, Isaiah 53:5,8).  This is how he came to be a “Son of man”, he needed to be born of a women. 

He comes with the clouds, because he is fully God, but first had to be born into humanity.  At his second coming He will come to judge the earth, and kingdoms of the earth.

Dominion, and glory ...kingdom:  The kingdom of the Son of man will be an everlasting Kingdom which will conclude the kingdoms of man.  The son of man, the Messiah, will rule over the kingdom of men.


9 "Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your King is coming to you; He is just and having salvation, Lowly and riding on a donkey, A colt, the foal of a donkey.

10 I will cut off the chariot from Ephraim And the horse from Jerusalem; The battle bow shall be cut off. He shall speak peace to the nations; His dominion shall be 'from sea to sea, And from the River to the ends of the earth.'

Zechariah 9:9-10


6 For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.

7 Of the increase of His government and peace There will be no end, Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom, To order it and establish it with judgment and justice From that time forward,even forever. The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.

Isaiah 9:6-7

All people: The whole earth will be brought under the power and authority of the Messiah, the Son of man and his saints who will rule with him.  This follows the judgment of the Beast and the horn.



Interpretation of the Four Beasts


15 "I, Daniel, was grieved in my spirit within my body, and the visions of my head troubled me.

16 "I came near to one of those who stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me and made known to me the interpretation of these things:

17 'Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth.

18 'But the saints of the Most High shall receive the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.'


I Daniel:  Daniel did not understand the meaning of what he was seeing.  The scenes were very troubling to him. 

I came near:  Daniel either in his dream or after his dream saw an angel, and approached the angel to understand just what all this means.  The angel explains what the dreams and visions meant. 

Much of the book of Daniel interprets the book of Daniel.  We don’t need to speculate about its meaning. The angel explained to Daniel what the different elements in his dream meant, the beasts and the horns.

Those great beasts:  The angel explains to Daniel, the four beasts; lion, bear, leopard and the terrible beast are four kings from the earth.  With each king comes a kingdom, the kingdoms of these kings will arise out of the earth and be connected to Israel.

While, there were literally thousands of kingdoms on the earth during the period of time from Babylon in 605 B.C. to the end of time, the relationship with Israel is what is being viewed.

God operates through his covenants. He established a covenant with Abraham and his descendents to accomplish his plan on the earth.  Babylon, Persia, Greece and Rome were the great powers in control over the people of Israel.

The Saints:  The Aramaic word for saint, is XyddqQaddiyshwhich means holy or separate. 


Daniel Requests meaning of the fourth Beast


19 "Then I wished to know the truth about the fourth beast, which was different from all the others, exceedingly dreadful, with its teeth of iron and its nails of bronze, which devoured, broke in pieces, and trampled the residue with its feet;

20 "and the ten horns that were on its head, and the other horn which came up, before which three fell, namely, that horn which had eyes and a mouth which spoke pompous words, whose appearance was greater than his fellows.

21 "I was watching; and the same horn was making war against the saints, and prevailing against them,

22 "until the Ancient of Days came, and a judgment was made in favor of the saints of the Most High, and the time came for the saints to possess the kingdom.

The truth: Daniel now wanted to focus on the meaning of the fourth beast.  This beast was different from all the previous ones.  His kingdom will also be different, he will set out to persecute God’s people, unlike any kingdom before. 

We see a confrontation between the kingdom of men and the kingdom of God.  The persecution of the saints will result in the judgment against the persecutor, the beast and the little horn.


The meaning of the fourth Beast


23 "Thus he said: 'The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces.

24 The ten horns are ten kings Who shall arise from this kingdom. And another shall rise after them; He shall be different from the first ones, And shall subdue three kings.

25 He shall speak pompous words against the Most High, Shall persecute the saints of the Most High, And shall intend to change times and law. Then the saints shall be given into his hand For a time and times and half a time.

Fourth kingdom on earth:  This will be the final kingdom of earthly power, which will set itself against the God of heaven.  Out of this kingdom will arise a final king, the little horn, who will set himself of against God and the people of God, the saints.   This in summary is what book of Revelation is about from chapters 6 to 19.  This is the final conflict between the kingdoms of men and god. 

Another shall rise:  This “Little horn” is known as the Antichrist, or the false messiah in Judaism.  He will deceive the whole world and persecute the people of God.  God will allow this persecution to continue for a period.  Revelation sheds more light on this individual and his program in the end.

5 And he was given a mouth speaking great things and blasphemies, and he was given authority to continue for forty-two months.

6 Then he opened his mouth in blasphemy against God, to blaspheme His name, His tabernacle, and those who dwell in heaven.

7 It was granted to him to make war with the saints and to overcome them. And authority was given him over every tribe, tongue, and nation.

8 All who dwell on the earth will worship him, whose names have not been written in the Book of Life of the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world.

Revelation 13:5-8


Time and times and half a time:  This period is 3.5 years.  The word time is understood as year, this same word is used in Daniel 4:16,13, 25 !dd[`iddan, and means year. “Time” is one year,

“Times” is two years and “half of time” is half of year= 3.5 years.  This period is also repeated in Daniel 9;27 with the final 7 year period being cut in ½ into two 3.5 year periods.  In Revelation 12:12, the 1260 day are equal to 3.5 years. Revelation also refers to 42 months and 3 ½ years in Revelation 11;2, 13:5

Daniel also refers to 1290 days and 1335 days in chapter 12, all these reference correlate with an event known as the Abomination of desolation, the final desecration of a future Jewish Temple.



Destruction of the Fourth Empire


26 'But the court shall be seated, And they shall take away his dominion, To consume and destroy it forever.

27 Then the kingdom and dominion, And the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven, Shall be given to the people, the saints of the Most High. His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, And all dominions shall serve and obey Him.'

28 "This is the end of the account. As for me, Daniel, my thoughts greatly troubled me, and my countenance changed; but I kept the matter in my heart."

Given to the people, the saints:   when Christ returns, he will set up his kingdom will be established over humanity. His saints will rule over his kingdom in their resurrected bodies.

12 "Blessed is he who waits, and comes to the one thousand three hundred and thirty-five days.

13 "But you, go your way till the end; for you shall rest, and will arise to your inheritance at the end of the days."

Daniel 12:12-13



27 Then Peter answered and said to Him, "See, we have left all and followed You. Therefore what shall we have?"

28 So Jesus said to them, "Assuredly I say to you, that in the regeneration, when the Son of Man sits on the throne of His glory, you who have followed Me will also sit on twelve thrones, judging the twelve tribes of Israel.

29 "And everyone who has left houses or brothers or sisters or father or mother or wife or children or lands, for My name's sake, shall receive a hundredfold, and inherit eternal life.

30 "But many who are first will be last, and the last first.

Matthew 19:27-30


13 "Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour in which the Son of Man is coming.

14 "For the kingdom of heaven is like a man traveling to a far country, who called his own servants and delivered his goods to them.

15 "And to one he gave five talents, to another two, and to another one, to each according to his own ability; and immediately he went on a journey.

16 "Then he who had received the five talents went and traded with them, and made another five talents.

17 "And likewise he who had received two gained two more also.

18 "But he who had received one went and dug in the ground, and hid his lord's money.

19 "After a long time the lord of those servants came and settled accounts with them.

20 "So he who had received five talents came and brought five other talents, saying, 'Lord, you delivered to me five talents; look, I have gained five more talents besides them.'

21 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you were faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

22 "He also who had received two talents came and said, 'Lord, you delivered to me two talents; look, I have gained two more talents besides them.'

23 "His lord said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful servant; you have been faithful over a few things, I will make you ruler over many things. Enter into the joy of your lord.'

24 "Then he who had received the one talent came and said, 'Lord, I knew you to be a hard man, reaping where you have not sown, and gathering where you have not scattered seed.

25 'And I was afraid, and went and hid your talent in the ground. Look, there you have what is yours.'

26 "But his lord answered and said to him, 'You wicked and lazy servant, you knew that I reap where I have not sown, and gather where I have not scattered seed.

27 'So you ought to have deposited my money with the bankers, and at my coming I would have received back my own with interest.

28 'Therefore take the talent from him, and give it to him who has ten talents.

29 'For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

30 'And cast the unprofitable servant into the outer darkness. There will be weeping and gnashing of teeth.'

Matthew 25:13-30




[1] The Messiah Text, Raphael Patai, Wayne State University Press,  1979, Pg.83