Read Daniel 7 -- 9
In Today's Reading:
Daniel's vision of the beasts; vision of the ram and goat; Daniel's prayer for his people; vision of 70 weeks
All the grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's dream is later seen by Daniel as man's selfish ambition and use of savage power. Daniel said: I saw in my vision . . . and, behold, the four winds of heaven (political and social forces) strove upon the great sea (Daniel 7:2). The four winds represented forces of selfish ambition and greed which blew in defiance of God and His elect. The great sea is fallen humanity with its fierce competition and godless instability.
Four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse (different) one from another (7:3). The beasts correspond to the kingdoms of Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The first (Babylon) beast was like a lion, and had eagle's wings (7:4). As the head of the great image of Nebuchadnezzar's dream was gold, so the lion represented the king among animals. And behold another beast, a second (Medo-Persia), like to a bear (7:5), represented the empire which would later conquer Babylon.
The third beast, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl, represented the Grecian Empire. The four wings illustrate the speed with which Alexander the Great conquered the ancient world. The beast had also four heads (representing the four officers of Alexander who divided his empire after his death) (7:6).
The fourth beast was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns (the ten nations of the reviled Roman Empire). This final beast was dreadful and terrible (terrifying), and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue (remainder) with the feet of it (7:7). This reveals ruthless expansion.
The ten horns (7:24) correspond to the ten toes on the feet of Nebuchadnezzar's great image and represent a confederation of ten future world rulers. Daniel stated: I considered the horns (kings of nations), and, behold, there came up among them another little horn (king) . . . and, behold, in this horn were eyes like the eyes of a man, and a mouth speaking great (domineering) things (7:8). This little horn represents the Antichrist who shall speak great words against the Most High, and shall wear out (oppress) the saints (holy ones, believers) of the Most High (7:25).
The Antichrist will destroy everything that stands in his way in order to achieve his goal of world domination (I John 2:18-22; 4:3; II John 7). However, in the midst of extreme persecution, the Stone (Jesus Christ) will break in pieces the giant image in fulfillment of Daniel's vision. We look forward to the day foretold by the Apostle Paul, when Jesus shall come to be glorified in His saints (Christians), and to be admired in all them that believe (II Thessalonians 1:10).
As the Son of Man (Daniel 7:13-14). The truth of 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; 9:26 cut off = killed, put to death.
BP Staff: Benjamin Wallace · Pray for Audrey Ward and the Bible Pathway Radio Broadcasts on WCVJ-FM, Jefferson OH · Government Officials: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Rep. Jim Maloney (CT), Rep. Robert Matsui (CA), Justice David Souter, and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) · Country: Somalia (7 million) on the Horn of Africa · Major languages: Somali and Arabic · Islam is officially favored and all other religions are opposed · 99.8% Muslim; .1% Christian · Prayer Suggestion: Ask the Lord to work in your life in whatever way pleases Him (Hebrews 13:21).
Optional Reading: Revelation 22
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 10:10