Read Daniel 7 -- 9
In Today's Reading:
Daniel's vision of the four beasts and of Christ's kingdom; vision of the ram, goat, and little horn; Daniel's prayer for his people; vision of 70 weeks (of years).
Verses for Today:
I (Daniel) saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven (political and social forces) strove upon the great sea. And four great beasts (nations of the world) came up from the sea (in succession), diverse from one another (7:2-3).
All the grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of a giant image is later seen by Daniel as selfish ambition and savage power. In a vision, he beheld four winds (Daniel 7:2) that represented forces of wickedness which blew in defiance of God and His elect (Ephesians 6:12; Revelation 7). The great sea is humanity with its fierce competition and illustrates godless instability. There were four beasts, just as there were four parts of the great image dreamed of by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:31-45).
The four savage beasts correspond to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The first beast was like a lion, and had eagle's wings (7:4). As the head of the great image was gold, a precious metal, so the lion represented the king among animals. Behold another beast, a second, like . . . a bear, and it raised [itself up] on one side (7:5), representing the Medo-Persian Empire which conquered Babylon.
The third beast was like a leopard, which had [four wings of a fowl on its back] (7:6). It represented the Grecian Empire. The four wings illustrate the speed with which Alexander the Great conquered the ancient world. The beast [also had] four heads, representing the division of Alexander's kingdom among his four generals after his death.
The fourth beast was different from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns (ten kings) (7:7). This final beast was exceedingly strong; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and [broke] in pieces, and stamped the residue with [its] feet. This reveals ruthless expansion.Theten horns (7:24) correspond to the ten toes of Nebuchadnezzar's great image, which represent a confederation of ten world rulers (compare Revelation 13:1-5; 17:12).
This beast, representing the Roman Empire, developed a little horn that destroyed three of the other horns. Daniel stated: I considered the horns, and, behold, there came up among them another little horn . . . in this horn were eyes like the eyes of (a) man, and a mouth speaking great things. . . . and (it) shall devour the whole earth (Daniel 7:8). This represents the Antichrist who shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out (persecute) the saints of the Most High (7:25) in an attempt to create a godless world. The beast of Daniel corresponds to the beast in Revelation, which has ten horns (Revelation 17:12).
Throughout the Bible, the horn symbolizes power and authority. Here it is of this satanically-inspired man, known as the Antichrist. In order to achieve his goal of world domination he destroys everything that stands in his way with the most beastly and barbaric warfare (1 John 2:18-22; 4:3; 2 John 7). However, in the midst of extreme persecution, the Stone (Jesus Christ) broke in pieces Nebuchadnezzar's giant image, representing the ruling nations; it also foreshadowed Christ's destruction of the Antichrist and his forces (Revelation 19:20; 20:10). We are assured of a day when the Lord Jesus shall . . . In flaming fire taking vengeance on them that know not God (2 Thessalonians 1:7-9).
As the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14). This vision was confirmed by our Lord as He spoke of His promised return. They shall see the Son of Man coming in the clouds of Heaven with power and great glory (Matthew 24:30).
7:28 cogitations = thoughts; 8:7 choler = furious anger; 8:24 destroy wonderfully = astonishing destruction; 9:7 confusion = shame; 9:25 wall = moat; 9:26 cut off = put to death.
Government Officials: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Rep. Jim Maloney (CT), Rep. Robert Matsui (CA), Justice David Souter, and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) · Pray for your pastor · Country: Tunisia (10 million) in North Africa · Major languages: Arabic and French · Islamic state no open ministry for Christ is permitted; strict surveillance of all Christian activities · 99+% Muslim; .3% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Pray without ceasing (2 Timothy 1:3).
Optional Reading: Revelation 22
Memory Verse for the Week: 2 Corinthians 5:10-11