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
After the awesome grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's dream of world governments is described (Daniel 2:19-45), the Lord reveals through Daniel another dream that exposes man's selfish ambition and use of cruel, savage power. All these governments controlled the world at different times. Daniel said: I saw in my vision . . . and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea
(7:2).The great sea
is fallen humanity with its fierce competition and godless instability. The four winds
illustrate the impact of selfish ambition and greed.
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 beast (Babylon) 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 (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 fourth beast . . . was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns (the ten nations of the revived 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 (ruthlessly conquered all that remained) with the feet of it (7:7).
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, followed by another little horn
(king) (7:8). This little horn
represents the Antichrist
who shall speak . . . against the Most High, and shall wear out
(oppress) the saints
(believers) (7:25). The Antichrist will be destroyed by the Stone
(2:35, 44-45), Christ, who shall come to be glorified in His saints
(Christians), and to be admired in all them that believe
(II Thessalonians 1:10).What a glorious time that will be!
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.
Pray for Government Officials: Sen. Charles Grassley (IA), Rep. Jim Maloney (CT), Rep. Robert Matsui (CA), Justice David Souter, and Rep. Gene Taylor (MS) · Country: Seychelles (79,000) a group of islands in the Indian Ocean between Madagascar and India · Major languages: English and French · Religious freedom · 89% Roman Catholic; 8% Protestant
Prayer Suggestion: Pray for unity of spirit with other believers (I Peter 3:8).
Optional Reading: Revelation 22
Memory Verse for the Week: Romans 13:1