Read Daniel 7 -- 9
All the grandeur of Nebuchadnezzar's dream is later seen as selfish ambition and savage power by Daniel, who said: I saw in my vision by night, and behold, the four winds of the heaven (political and social forces) strove upon the great sea (Daniel 7:2). The four winds 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 by Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 2:31-45). Four great beasts (nations of the world) came up from the sea (in succession), different from one another (7:3).
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 up itself 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, representing the Grecian Empire. The four wings illustrate the speed with which Alexander the Great conquered the ancient world. The beast had also four heads (7:6), 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). This final beast was strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and broke in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it (7:7). This reveals ruthless expansion.The ten 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, 23). This is 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 chapter 17, which has ten horns (Revelation 17:12).
The horn symbolizes the power and authority of this satanically-inspired man, known as the Antichrist, who destroys everything that stands in his way with the most beastly and barbaric warfare 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) broke in pieces the giant image of Nebuchadnezzar, representing the ruling nations. We are assured of a day when the Lord Jesus shall . . . in flaming fire take vengence on them that know not God (I Thessalonians 1:7-9).
Christ Revealed: 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 (Matt. 24:30).
Word Studies: 7:28 cogitations means thoughts; 8:7 choler means furious anger; 8:24 destroy wonderfully means astonishing destruction; 9:7 confusion means shame; 9:25 wall means moat; 9:26 cut off means 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) · BPM Staff: Linda Kennon · Pray for Walk Thru The Bible and Bruce Wilkinson, President · Pray for the Bible Pathway International Radio broadcast in honor of Dr. John Hash and family · Country: Angola (11 million) in west-central Africa · Major languages: Portuguese and Bantu dialects · Christianity is gradually being driven underground by communism · 60% Roman Catholic; 20% Protestant; 5% belief in ancestor spirits, witches, and medicine men · Prayer Suggestion: Rejoice that the Lord protects you and provides your needs (Philippians 4:4).
Optional Reading: Revelation 22
Memory Verse for the Week: Daniel 6:25-26