Daniel’s Vision of The Four Beasts

American history shall march along that skyline,” announced Gutzon Borglum in 1924, gazing at the Black Hills of South Dakota. Fulfilling this dream, in 1927 Borglum began sculpting the images of George Washington, Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson, and Theodore Roosev … More

Dream

This chapter begins a series of dreams given to Daniel. These visions contain prophecies covering the period of the times of the Gentiles and the great tribulation. This first dream came to Daniel during “the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon (v. 1),” so actually it happened before the events of chapter 5 and 6. Daniel first saw the great sea (the Mediterranean Sea) churned by the action of four winds (v.2). Then four ferocious beasts came out of the sea (v. 3). These seem to represent the four empires that in succession rule the land bordering on the Mediterranean Sea. These would correspond to the four kingdoms of Babylon, Media-Persia, Greece, and Rome.

The first beast was like a lion, except that it also had eagle’s wings which symbolizes Babylon (v. 4). The second beast is like a bear which ravaged the lion and represents Mede-Persia, the empire that conquered Babylon (v. 5). The third beast was like a leopard which had four wings and four heads and this symbolizes the Grecian Empire lead by Alexander the Great (v. 6). The fourth beast that Daniel describes apparently was a mongrel composed of parts of a lion, bear and leopard and this beast had large iron teeth (v. 7). This beast points to both Rome and the end times. On its head were ten horns. Suddenly another “little horn” overcame three of the other horns. Finally Daniel saw the “little horn” come to his doom, and the beast itself (the Roman Empire) was destroyed (v. 8). The prophecy now shifts to the end times (v. 9). Daniel saw God judging millions of people as they stood before Him (v. 10). It is believed that the slaying of the beast represents the fall of Rome (vv. 11-12). This “One like the Son of Man” is the Messiah (vv. 13-14).

Application

In order to see great things happening in and though my life I need to dream big.

Daniel 7:1-14 (English Standard Version)

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel saw a dream and visions of his head as he lay in his bed. Then he wrote down the dream and told the sum of the matter. Daniel declared, "I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of heaven were stirring up the great sea. And four great beasts came up out of the sea, different from one another. The first was like a lion and had eagles' wings. Then as I looked its wings were plucked off, and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and the mind of a man was given to it. And behold, another beast, a second one, like a bear. It was raised up on one side. It had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth; and it was told, 'Arise, devour much flesh.' After this I looked, and behold, another, like a leopard, with four wings of a bird on its back. And the beast had four heads, and dominion was given to it. After this I saw in the night visions, and behold, a fourth beast, terrifying and dreadful and exceedingly strong. It had great iron teeth; it devoured and broke in pieces and stamped what was left with its feet. It was different from all the beasts that were before it, and it had ten horns. I considered the horns, and behold, there came up among them another horn, a little one, before which three of the first horns were plucked up by the roots. And behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great things. "As I looked, thrones were placed, and the Ancient of Days took his seat; his clothing was white as snow, and the hair of his head like pure wool; his throne was fiery flames; its wheels were burning fire. A stream of fire issued and came out from before him; a thousand thousands served him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him; the court sat in judgment, and the books were opened. "I looked then because of the sound of the great words that the horn was speaking. And as I looked, the beast was killed, and its body destroyed and given over to be burned with fire. As for the rest of the beasts, their dominion was taken away, but their lives were prolonged for a season and a time. "I saw in the night visions, and behold, with the clouds of heaven there came one like a son of man, and he came to the Ancient of Days and was presented before him. And 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 one that shall not be destroyed."

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