Daniel 7 - The Four Beasts

Daniel 7 - The Four Beasts

Daniel 1-6: Court tales; written for both believers and unbelievers; truth
communicated with little to no offense

Daniel 7-12: Four visions (7, 8, 9, 10-12); written for the encouragement of
believers; reveals the reality of earthly kingdoms, the certainty of their fall,
and the everlasting kingdom of God for believers

Apocalypse – Gr. Apokalypsis
Revelation 1:1 The Revelation (apokalypsis) of Jesus Christ
Apokalypsis: unveiling; revelation
Symbolism is important – coded language
Themes include judgment and salvation, and the sovereignty and supremacy
of God for the good of his people.

The first beast: Almost certainly Babylon; Nebuchadnezzar compared to a
lion in Jeremiah (4:7: 50:17; the king, nation, or armies of Babylon compared
to an eagle in Jeremiah (4:13), Ezekiel (17:3), Habakkuk (1:8), and
Lamentations (4:19); Wings add speed to the ferocious lion; Wings torn off –
Nebuchadnezzar’s humiliation?

The second beast: Medo-Persian Empire; The bear raised up on one side
indicates Persia’s ascendancy over the Medes; Three ribs in its mouth could
indicate three major conquests of Lydia, Babylon, and Egypt – but we are not
sure; it is symbolic of limited conquest; Who commands the beast to arise
and devour much flesh? God! It prepares the world for the Messiah. Also, see
Revelation 6:7-8

The third beast: The Greek empire – Alexander the Great, who, in one
decade, conquered more territory than any previous empire in the Near East;
Four heads likely represents Alexander’s desire to conquer in all directions;
After his death, the empire was divided into four parts; First to be given
dominion – a subsequent ruler, Antiochus IV Epiphanes, will wickedly
persecute Jews; “These rulers are not God’s agents, but, rather, servants of
God to align the world for God to bring his kingdom of salvation and grace.”
Andrew Steinmann

The fourth beast: Different from all the rest – 10 horns signify great power;
Indiscriminately destructive (as Rome was); The little horn was arrogant –
this beast resembles the first beast of Revelation 13:1 – the Antichrist; The
only beast said to make war against God and his people (Daniel 7:25)
Israel’s Captivity
➢ 70 years, as prophesied by Jeremiah (25:8-14)
➢ Explanation given in 2 Chronicles 36:20-21 – the people had failed to
keep the Sabbath year, 70 times
➢ Requirement to keep the Sabbath year – Leviticus 25:1-7
➢ Failure to keep the Sabbath year was a failure to trust God with
finances, but God had promised to provide during the year of no
planting and reaping