Daniel so far interpreted others dreams, now dreams of his own.
This chapter is a dividing chapter for the book.
This chapter is a vision of world history. It ‘gives the most comprehensive & detailed prophecy of future events to be found in the OT’ (Walvoord). Daniel traces the course of 4 great world powers right up to the climax of world history in the 2nd coming of Jesus Christ.
This chapter takes place before ch. 5 because Babylon hasn’t fallen yet. (553bc)
Chapter 2 dealt with these 4 powers from man’s view, but here, we have God’s view.
The Antichrist revealed; the final Gentile ruler
The Five Kingdoms
The beasts of Dan. 7 represent the same kingdoms as the image of Dan. 2. In Dan. 7 we see the Gentile kingdoms as God sees them—vicious and wicked. History gives us the identity of these kingdoms.
- The lion represents Babylon of Daniel’s day (Jer. 50:17; Hab. 1:8). It began as a lion with wings, but the wings were
plucked. That is what happened to Babylon. It lost its power to move quickly and to overcome.
- The bear represents the Medo-Persian empire that conquered Babylon.
- One side of the bear is lifted up, because the Persian part of the kingdom was stronger than that of the Medes.
- The three ribs in his mouth are Susiana, Lydia, and Asia Minor, which it conquered.
- The leopard represents Greece.
- The leopard’s wings depict the speed with which Alexander conquered.
- The four heads represent the division of the Greek Empire following Alexander’s death into four parts, Syria,
Egypt, Macedonia, and Asia Minor, each ruled by one of Alexander’s generals.
- The terrible beast represents Rome.
- It was exceedingly strong and its rule extended farther than that of the three kingdoms that preceded it.
- The 10 horns symbolize the 10 kings of the last days in the revived Roman Empire who will be ruled over by the
Antichrist (Dan. 7:8, 23-25).
- The Son of Man for views the Messianic kingdom (Dan. 7:27).
- The Little Horn
The emphasis of the vision concerns the final kingdom and the powerful king who shall rule at the last (Dan. 7:15-25). The characteristics of this final Gentile ruler (The Antichrist) are given:
- He will arise out of and rule over the revived Roman Empire (Dan. 7:23-24).
- He will come to power through deception and violence (Dan. 7:8, 24; 11:21-23).
- He will speak great blasphemies against God (Dan. 7:8, 25).
- He will persecute the saints, i.e., the Jewish people and the Gentiles who will be converted through the ministry of
the Jews (Dan. 7:21, 25; Rev. 11:7; 13:7).
- He will be allowed to rule for a specific period (Dan. 7:25). Rev. 13:5 tells us this will be 42 months or the final 3.5
years of Daniel’s 70th Week (Dan. 9:27).
- He will be overthrown by the coming of the Son of God (Dan. 7:13-14, 21-22). Compare Rev. 19:11-21 and