The Latter Major Prophets – Daniel 7-8

In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a dream, and visions passed through his mind as he was lying in bed. He wrote down the substance of his dream.
Daniel said: “In my vision at night I looked, and there before me were the four winds of heaven churning up the great sea. Four great beasts, each different from the others, came up out of the sea.
“The first was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a human being, and the mind of a human was given to it.
“And there before me was a second beast, which looked like a bear. It was raised up on one of its sides, and it had three ribs in its mouth between its teeth. It was told, ‘Get up and eat your fill of flesh!’
“After that, I looked, and there before me was another beast, one that looked like a leopard. And on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. This beast had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.
“After that, in my vision at night I looked, and there before me was a fourth beast—terrifying and frightening and very powerful. It had large iron teeth; it crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
“While I was thinking about the horns, there before me was another horn, a little one, which came up among them; and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like the eyes of a human being and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
“As I looked,
“thrones were set in place,
    and the Ancient of Days took his seat.
His clothing was as white as snow;
    the hair of his head was white like wool.
His throne was flaming with fire,
    and its wheels were all ablaze.
A river of fire was flowing,
    coming out from before him.
Thousands upon thousands attended him;
    ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him.
The court was seated,
    and the books were opened.
“Then I continued to watch because of the boastful words the horn was speaking. I kept looking until the beast was slain and its body destroyed and thrown into the blazing fire. (The other beasts had been stripped of their authority, but were allowed to live for a period of time.)
“In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of man, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was led into his presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; all nations and peoples of every language worshiped him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is one that will never be destroyed.
“I, Daniel, was troubled in spirit, and the visions that passed through my mind disturbed me. I approached one of those standing there and asked him the meaning of all this.
“So he told me and gave me the interpretation of these things: ‘The four great beasts are four kings that will rise from the earth. But the holy people of the Most High will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever.’
“Then I wanted to know the meaning of the fourth beast, which was different from all the others and most terrifying, with its iron teeth and bronze claws—the beast that crushed and devoured its victims and trampled underfoot whatever was left. I also wanted to know about the ten horns on its head and about the other horn that came up, before which three of them fell—the horn that looked more imposing than the others and that had eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully. As I watched, this horn was waging war against the holy people and defeating them, until the Ancient of Days came and pronounced judgment in favor of the holy people of the Most High, and the time came when they possessed the kingdom.
“He gave me this explanation: ‘The fourth beast is a fourth kingdom that will appear on earth. It will be different from all the other kingdoms and will devour the whole earth, trampling it down and crushing it. The ten horns are ten kings who will come from this kingdom. After them another king will arise, different from the earlier ones; he will subdue three kings. He will speak against the Most High and oppress his holy people and try to change the set times and the laws. The holy people will be delivered into his hands for a time, times and half a time.
“‘But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of all the kingdoms under heaven will be handed over to the holy people of the Most High. His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him.’
“This is the end of the matter. I, Daniel, was deeply troubled by my thoughts, and my face turned pale, but I kept the matter to myself.”

  • Daniel 7:1-28

In the third year of King Belshazzar’s reign, I, Daniel, had a vision, after the one that had already appeared to me. In my vision I saw myself in the citadel of Susa in the province of Elam; in the vision I was beside the Ulai Canal. I looked up, and there before me was a ram with two horns, standing beside the canal, and the horns were long. One of the horns was longer than the other but grew up later. I watched the ram as it charged toward the west and the north and the south. No animal could stand against it, and none could rescue from its power. It did as it pleased and became great.
As I was thinking about this, suddenly a goat with a prominent horn between its eyes came from the west, crossing the whole earth without touching the ground. It came toward the two-horned ram I had seen standing beside the canal and charged at it in great rage. I saw it attack the ram furiously, striking the ram and shattering its two horns. The ram was powerless to stand against it; the goat knocked it to the ground and trampled on it, and none could rescue the ram from its power. The goat became very great, but at the height of its power the large horn was broken off, and in its place four prominent horns grew up toward the four winds of heaven.
Out of one of them came another horn, which started small but grew in power to the south and to the east and toward the Beautiful Land. It grew until it reached the host of the heavens, and it threw some of the starry host down to the earth and trampled on them. It set itself up to be as great as the commander of the army of the Lord; it took away the daily sacrifice from the Lord, and his sanctuary was thrown down. Because of rebellion, the Lord’s people and the daily sacrifice were given over to it. It prospered in everything it did, and truth was thrown to the ground.
Then I heard a holy one speaking, and another holy one said to him, “How long will it take for the vision to be fulfilled—the vision concerning the daily sacrifice, the rebellion that causes desolation, the surrender of the sanctuary and the trampling underfoot of the Lord’s people?”
He said to me, “It will take 2,300 evenings and mornings; then the sanctuary will be reconsecrated.”
While I, Daniel, was watching the vision and trying to understand it, there before me stood one who looked like a man. And I heard a man’s voice from the Ulai calling, “Gabriel, tell this man the meaning of the vision.”
As he came near the place where I was standing, I was terrified and fell prostrate. “Son of man,” he said to me, “understand that the vision concerns the time of the end.”
While he was speaking to me, I was in a deep sleep, with my face to the ground. Then he touched me and raised me to my feet.
He said: “I am going to tell you what will happen later in the time of wrath, because the vision concerns the appointed time of the end. The two-horned ram that you saw represents the kings of Media and Persia. The shaggy goat is the king of Greece, and the large horn between its eyes is the first king. The four horns that replaced the one that was broken off represent four kingdoms that will emerge from his nation but will not have the same power.
“In the latter part of their reign, when rebels have become completely wicked, a fierce-looking king, a master of intrigue, will arise. He will become very strong, but not by his own power. He will cause astounding devastation and will succeed in whatever he does. He will destroy those who are mighty, the holy people. He will cause deceit to prosper, and he will consider himself superior. When they feel secure, he will destroy many and take his stand against the Prince of princes. Yet he will be destroyed, but not by human power.
“The vision of the evenings and mornings that has been given you is true, but seal up the vision, for it concerns the distant future.”
I, Daniel, was worn out. I lay exhausted for several days. Then I got up and went about the king’s business. I was appalled by the vision; it was beyond understanding.

  • Daniel 8:1-27

Noted Biblical Scholars, Teachers, and Preachers Comments

Daniel 7:1 ‘first year’: “This represented a flashback to 553 B.C., fourteen years before the feast of 5:1-3. Chapters 7 and 8 occur after chapter 4, but before chapter 5. The dream of Daniel 7 moves far beyond Daniel’s day to the coming of Israel’s king to end all Gentile kingdoms and to establish His eternal kingdom (7:13, 14, 27; cf. 2:35, 45).”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Daniel 7:1-8 ‘The Four Beasts’: “Beginning with chapter 7 and continuing through the end of the book, Daniel records visions that he received in the latter years of his life. In the first six chapters he spoke in the third person, but from here onward he will relate his visions in the first person. As in chapter 2, the vision in chapter 7 deals with God’s program for the nations and the fulfillment of His promise to Israel of restoration and of a kingdom. For this reason the chapter focuses primarily on the period of the seventieth Week, or the Tribulation period, because that is when the divine programs for the nations and Israel intersect, with the former coming to an end as the latter is restored to a new beginning. Chapter 7 covers ground already considered in chapter 2 but adds that the Son of Man is the One who will receive the kingdom and gives more details about the little horn, a symbol of the Antichrist. Both chapters 2 and 7 employ the same revelatory pattern in their imagery—in chapter 2 the imagery was of four metals, and in chapter 7 it is of four beasts.
“This dream-vision was received by Daniel about 553 B.C., in the first year of Belshazzar’s co-regency with his father Nabonidus, who was 60 when he ascended the throne. This occurred I4 years before the fall of Babylon and in the fifty—second year of Daniel’s exile, when he was about 68 years old.
“The expression ‘the four winds of heaven’ (Daniel 7:2) generally denotes God’s sovereign power to perform His purpose (cf. Jeremiah 49:36; Ezekiel 37:9; Zechariah 2:6). However as the Aramaic term may mean either ‘winds’ or ‘spirits,’ it may refer to the angelic forces that carry out the divine purpose among the nations (Daniel 10:13,20-21; cf. Zechariah 6:1-5; Matthew 24:31; Revelation 7:1). The four winds were ‘stirring up the great sea’ (Daniel 7:2). The sea is often a symbol of the Gentile nations (cf. Isaiah 8:6-8; 17:12-13; Jeremiah 6:23; 46:7-8; 47:2; Matthew 13:47,49; Revelation 13:1;17:1,15). It represented the nations in their vastness (numbers), darkness (ignorance of God), and uncontrollable nature, which also describes the fallen state of humankind (Isaiah 57:20; cf. Romans 3:10-18; Ephesians 2:2-3). This is an apt description of the chaotic conditions of the Tribulation period, also called by Daniel ’a time of distress’ (12:1).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 7:4-7 ‘the four beasts’: “The lion with the wings of an eagle resembles the cherub, protecting the kingship of God above the ark. As it consolidated power, Babylon came to believe that it was destined for eternity. But Babylon’s power, too, is human. Its power is forcibly removed: ‘its wings were torn off and it was lifted from the ground so that it stood on two feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given to it’ (v. 4). Though it appeared to be the kingdom of the gods, Babylon was as frail as any other human kingdom.
“The bear with three ribs in its mouth represents the coalition of Media-Persia, by whose power kingdoms were crushed. The three ribs between its teeth and its readiness to eat its fill of flesh may symbolize the Persian conquest of Lydia (546 B.C.), Babylon (539 B.C.), and Egypt (525 B.C.).
“The third animal, like a leopard with four wings, represents the power of Macedonia under Alexander the Great (336-323 B.C.). The four heads typify either the four kingdoms which arose from Alexander’s Macedonian kingdom (Macedonia, Thrace, Egypt, and Syria) or the extent of his rule (the proverbial four corners of the world).
“The fourth and most terrifying is the beast which oppresses kingdoms. It has ten horns, from which comes another horn uprooting three of the original horns. This horn looks like a human face and is full of pride. After the fall of Rome kingdoms continued to rise and fall. These kingdoms are symbolized by the ten horns. Ten is a symbol of completion and need not be limited to a future kingdom consisting of ‘ten’ nations, which some call a revival of the Roman Empire. This kingdom is to be more powerful, extensive, despotic, and awe-inspiring than the previous kingdoms.”

  • Walter A. Elwell, editor, Baker Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 7:13-14 ‘The Son of Man’: “Just as Ezekiel saw a vision of the One seated on the throne ‘with the appearance of a man’ (Ezekiel 1:26), so Daniel saw in his vision of the heavenly tribunal One like a ‘Son of Man’ (Daniel 7:13). This Son of Man is distinct from the Ancient of Days and submissive to Him, yet He is given everlasting dominion over all the nations and is worshipped by them (verse 14). He came on the clouds of heaven and is eternal. Despite these unique characteristics, higher critical scholars have understood this enigmatic figure either as the angel Michael (12:1), or (the majority view) as a corporate identity as the saints (verses 18,21-22,25) or the ‘people of the saints’ (verse 27) that is, the Jewish people. By contrast, Jewish apocalyptic writers clearly understood the Son of Man as an individual having divine status. Parallels to Daniel 7:13-14 appear in the Similitudes of Enoch (1 Enoch 37-71) and Fourth Ezra (4 Ezra 13).
“Given this usage and interpretation by the Jewish intertestamental authors, we should not be surprised that this text is the main Old Testament reference for Jesus’ use of the term ‘Son of Man’ (Mark 8:31; John 1:51), or that He and the New Testament writers understood this figure as a heavenly or divine Messiah (Matthew 16:27; Revelation 1:7,13; 14:14). …
“It is evident from this text that the kingdom bestowed by the Ancient of Days upon the Son of Man will conquer and replace the previous kingdoms on earth (Daniel 7:14), and therefore it will not come until the end time (cf. Psalm 2:6-9; Luke 19:11-27). This conquest will happen at the second advent, when Christ smites the nations in ‘the fierce wrath of God, the Almighty’ (Revelation 19:15) and ‘the kingdom of the world has become the kingdom of our God [‘Ancient of Days’] and of His Christ [‘Son of Man’]’ (Revelation 11:15).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 7:18 ‘The Millennial Kingdom’: “The amillennial and postmillennial interpretation of Daniel 7:18 see ‘the saints of the Highest One’ as Christians and ‘the kingdom’ as the spiritual kingdom. However, it is difficult to see how the saints are to ‘receive’ and ‘possess’ the kingdom if they are in fact the kingdom. Rather, in harmony with Old Testament texts that promised Israel an eternal inheritance in the land (Genesis 15:18-21; Exodus 32:13; Deuteronomy 1:8; Psalm 37:29; Jeremiah 7:7; 25:5; Zechariah 8:12) and Jesus’ own statement concerning inheritance and rule to the Jewish nation (Matthew 5:5; cf. Psalm 37:9,11,22,29) and to His disciples (Matthew 19:27-28), it is preferable to see this kingdom as the messianic (millennial) kingdom. Daniel’s exilic audience would understand ‘the saints’ to refer to the believing remnant of national Israel. Likewise, in the New Testament, after the resurrection of Christ, the apostles continued to understand that the kingdom would be restored to national Israel (Acts 1:6; 3:19-21). However, since the fulfillment of this prophecy will occur under the New Covenant in the millennial era, ‘the saints’ must include 1) the Old Testament saints (Daniel 12:2), 2) the martyred Tribulation saints (Revelation 20:4), and 3) the Tribulation saints who survive the Tribulation (Matthew 25:32-34).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 7:19-28 ‘The Fourth Kingdom’: “Having received the assurance that the people of Israel will ultimately know victory in the future, Daniel now desires to know the dreadful details concerning the fourth beast (Daniel 7:19) and especially the ten horns and the arrogant little horn (verse 20). Of special concern to Daniel is the conquering character of the little horn that supersedes three of the original horns and wages war against the saints and overpowers them (verse 21) until the Ancient of Days intercedes on behalf of the saints (verse 22). The explanation given by the interpreter clearly concerns an earthly kingdom that will gain dominion over the whole earth (verse 23). Likewise, the final stage of this earthly kingdom will be comprised of ten kings and kingdoms, three of which will be subdued by a different king (verse 24) who, for three-and-a-half years, will blaspheme God, persecute the saints, and ‘make alterations in times and in law’ (verse 25).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 7:22 ‘The Ancient of Days’: “This refers to God, the Eternal One, who confers the messianic kingdom on the Son to rule at His Second Coming and following (7:13, 14). Judgment is against the Antichrist, Satan who empowers him (Rev. 13:4; 20:1-3), and the unsaved who are not allowed into the kingdom at its outset, but are destroyed and await the final, Great White Throne resurrection and judgment (Rev. 20:11-15). saints to possess the kingdom. Believers enter the kingdom in its earthly, millennial phase (Rev. 20:1-4) following Christ’s Second Coming (Matt. 25:34), having life that continues forever into the eternal state (Rev. 21, 22), even after the thousand years.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Daniel 7 ‘Summary’: “The future-focused section of Daniel begins in chapter 7 with a vision of four beasts. These four beasts cover the same period of time as the four divisions of the image that Nebuchadnezzar saw in chapter 2. That image had a head of gold, symbolizing the Babylonian kingdom; shoulders of silver, for the Medo-Persia kingdom; a trunk of bronze, symbolizing the Grecian empire; two legs of iron, representing the two divisions of the Roman empire; and terminating at last in a broken kingdom, characterized by feet of mingled iron and clay. This great prophetic passage outlines history from Daniel’s day to a future that is still beyond our own day, to the very end of time and the return of Jesus Christ.
“As the prophet watches Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, he sees a stone—a stone that has been cut without the aid of human hand—strike the image on its feet and utterly demolish it. The fragments blow away on the wind like chaff, but the stone grows to become a great mountain that fills the entire earth (Dan. 2:34-35). This indicates that when the last kingdom is shattered by a divine agency (not of human hands), it will usher in the worldwide kingdom of God and the reign of Jesus Christ.
“In chapter 7, then, the four beasts represent the same kingdoms—but from God’s point of view. They are not mighty powers in God’s sight. They are merely beasts growling and quarreling with each other. Daniel sees these nations struggling against each other, and their struggle culminates in the powerful reign of a single individual over the entire Western world.”

  • Ray C. Stedman, Adventuring through the Bible

Daniel 7 ‘reflection’: “Likewise, for God to come too quickly to the defense, before the saint has gone through the fire, will harm the saint.
“We are faced here with Bible truth and not with the fiction of men.
“A modern book of fiction would have had Daniel well protected. As he was about to be placed in the lions‘ den, a voice out of the sky would have spoken and every lion would have dropped dead.
“But what actually happened’?
“God allowed Daniel’s enemies to put him in the den of lions and he slept there with the lions until morning because God’s ‘due time’ for Daniel was in the morning, not the night before!
“I would also like to see how the modern fiction writers would handle the story of the three Hebrew children in the fiery furnace. They could make a whole book out of that!
“They would be forced to some climactic human trick to put out that fire just before the three young men were to be tossed into the furnace—but that would be putting out the fire too soon!
“For God to have His own way and to be glorified in due time, those saints had to go into the fire and stay there throughout the night—due time was in the morning.”

  • A. W. Tozer, I Call It Heresy

Daniel 8-12 ‘The prophetic program for Israel during the times of the Gentiles’: “In the remainder of Daniel’s prophecy (chapters 8—12), the message shifts from an announcement to the nations to a concern for the future of the Jewish people. This shift back to a Jewish audience is indicated once again by a change in language, from the use of the more universal Aramaic to Hebrew, the language exclusive to Israel. Perhaps as Daniel pondered the successive dominations of world empires, he began to wonder what would happen to his people after the fall of Babylon and until the times of the Gentiles were completed. Daniel 8, then, concentrates on the second world empire—Medo-Persia—depicted as a ram (verses 3-4,20), and the third world empire—Greece—depicted as a goat (verses 5-7,21). The chapter also mentions the persecution of the Jewish people by the ‘small horn’ (Antiochus IV Epiphanes) in verses 23-25, which serves as a type of the final persecution by the ‘little horn’ (the Antichrist).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 8:1-27 ‘The Ram, Goat, and Small Horn’: “Daniel received the vision of the ram, goat, and small horn in 551 B.C., the third year of Belshazzar’s reign (Daniel 8:1). At this time this unworthy king ruled alone (his father Nabonidus had gone to Arabia), and the Neo-Babylonian empire was being threatened by the rising power of the Persian leader Cyrus. In the following year Cyrus would conquer the Median Empire, thereby setting the stage for the soon invasion of Babylon (539 B.C.) by the newly combined kingdom of Medo-Persia. The vision was geographically based in the city of Susa (verse 2), located about 350 miles east of Babylon. Susa was in the province of Elam, the birthplace of the Medo-Persian empire and one of the main capitals during the Persian period. Esther and Nehemiah were among the residents of Susa (Nehemiah 1:1; Esther 1:2). Prophetically, Elam is one of the key sites from which a remnant of the Jewish people will be regathered at the time of the second advent (Isaiah 11:11) and one that will have its fortunes restored in the millennial kingdom (Jeremiah 49: 39).”

  • Tim LaHaye and Ed Hindson, Exploring Bible Prophecy

Daniel 8:2-9 ‘Shushan’: “Called Susa by the Greeks, this was a chief city of the Medo-Persian Empire, about 250 miles east of Babylon. Since Daniel saw himself in a vision, he may not have been bodily in that place (cf. Ezekiel’s vision of being at the Jerusalem temple, though bodily still with the elders in Babylon; Ezek. 8-11).
“This imagery unfolded historically. The ram pictures the Medo-Persian Empire, as a whole, its two horns standing for the two groups (the Medes and the Persians) that merged into one. The history of this empire is briefly noted in verse 4, where it is seen conquering from the east to the west, south and north, under Cyrus, as predicted also by Isaiah 150 years earlier (ls. 45:1-7). The higher horn, which appeared last, represents Persia. The goat (v. 5) represents Greece and its great horn Alexander, who with his army of 35,000 moved at such speed that he is pictured as not even touching the ground. The broken horn is Alexander in his death; the four horns are generals who became kings over four sectors of the Grecian empire after Alexander (cf. 7:6). The small horn is Antiochus Epiphanes, who rose from the third empire to rule the Syrian division in 175—164 B.C. and is the same king dominant in 11:21-35. Cf 7:8, 24-26 where a similar ‘little horn’ clearly represents the final Antichrist. The reason both are described as ‘little horns’ is because one prefigures the other.”

  • John MacArthur, John MacArthur Commentary (quoted Scripture without bold/italics)

Daniel 8:19 ‘desire to know the future’: “Human nature anxiously desires to know something of the future. If we were told tonight that we could lift the veil of our own history and foresee the course of our own lives during the next few years, I am afraid few of us could miss such an opportunity. This anxiety to know the future has caused men and women to be the easy dupes of designing impostors in all ages—from the ignorance of the unlettered Egyptian up to the cleverness of modern professors. Everywhere that kind of spirit leads people to amuse themselves with light literature, it also leads them to read the Bible with a view to foretell the future—and would lead them to resort to any kind of invention by which they might hope to have a glimpse of the unfolded scroll. Be persuaded, however, that with the exception of some grand feature, some magnificent outline God has revealed, the future is absolutely shut from human eyes. And as to the details that concern your life or mine, it is utterly impossible that we should ever become acquainted with them; we will know them soon enough by ‘ the gradual development of experience, but it is idle and mischievous to attempt to know them till they transpire.
“Nothing will happen to us that God has not foreseen; no unexpected event will destroy his plans; no emergency will transpire for which he has not provided; no peril will occur against which he has not guarded; no remarkable need will take him by surprise, he sees the end from the beginning and the things that are not as though they were. To God’s eye there is no past and no future; he stands eternal now; he stand in a position from which he can look down on the whole and see the past, the present, and the future at a single glance. All of the future is foreseen by him and fixed by him.”

  • Charles H. Spurgeon, from sermon notes

Daniel 8:27 ‘feeling worn out’: “Daniel is so exhausted from this vision that he is sick for several days. He has to excuse himself from doing the king’s business. He does not understand it, but preserves these words for later generations.”

  • Walter A. Elwell, editor, Baker Commentary on the Bible

Daniel 8 ‘Summary’: “In chapter 8 we see the movement of Western history. The ram and the he-goat come together in battle—-a picture, as we are later told in chapter 11, of Alexander the Great’s conquest and the rise of the Seleucids’ kingdom in Syria, in opposition to the Ptolemies in Egypt. These two families occupied the center of history for centuries after the time of Daniel—a mighty struggle between Syria and Egypt, with little Israel caught in the middle. The battle rages back and forth, and today Israel continues to be the most fought-over piece of real estate in the world. More battles have occurred in the land of Israel than in any other spot on the face of the earth, and the last great battle—the battle of Armageddon—will be fought in this region.”

  • Ray C. Stedman, Adventuring through the Bible

Daniel 8 ‘reflection’: “There comes a time when the true believer must take his stand on the oath and covenant of God and refuse to be shaken. He must lift high his happy affirmation, not in arrogance, but in faith and in deep humility. Perhaps his declaration of independence will go something like this:
‘I am not yet perfect, but l thank God and my Lord Jesus Christ that l am done with the past and l do now trust in my Savior for full deliverance from all sins. l cannot pray like Daniel, but l shall never cease to praise God that He inclines His ear to me. l am not as wise as Solomon. but l glory in this, that ‘I know whom l have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day’ (2 Timothy 1:12). l have not the gifts of Moses or Isaiah or John, but I’ll be everlastingly grateful that l have been given the moral perception to understand and appreciate such men as these. l am not what l want to be, but thanks be to God that l do want to be better than l am; and l am sure that ‘he which hath begun a good work in [me] will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ’ (Philippians 1:6).
“Here I stand. l can do nothing else, so help me God.”

  • A. W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul

My Thoughts

These visions, like Nebuchadnezzar’s dream in Daniel 2, have many similarities.  The present kingdom, Babylon, will be destroyed by the two-horn goat or the bear, the Mede-Persians.  Yet, the leopard or the shaggy goat that never seems to touch the ground is Greece under the rule of Alexander the Great.  When Alexander the Great died, his kingdom was divided into four parts, and these prophecies state that four-part division.

Yet, what is the fourth beast, kingdom, etc.?  As Rev. LaHaye states, it is the Antichrist.  The ruler of the entire earth.  There will be ten rulers in this kingdom and the kingdom will encompass the entire earth.  Our present secretary-general of the United Nations is the ninth.  Could we be nearing the end times?  Or will the next secretary-general of the UN unify the earth under a one world government and become the first of the ten rulers?  Or will Russia or China assert themselves and start another global war?

As these visions and dreams troubled Daniel, they should trouble us as well, unless we have the assurance that Jesus Christ is our Lord and Savior.

Some Serendipitous Reflections

“1. How do you react to these ‘wild, scary and beastly’ forces within our world? Within your life? What reason does Daniel give you to trust God has the whole world in his hand?
“2. Pretend you’re playing the ‘Pictionary’ game: Take a minute to draw the scene in verses 13-14. What does this emphasize to you about Jesus Christ? Why is it significant to you that he like this?
“1.What will kingdom possession by the saints mean, now and in the future, for the arrogant? The meek? For you?
“2. Daniel shows us that God doesn’t always side with the strong or victorious (athletes, candidates, or military) but with the defeated, oppressed and exiled. How might this relate to you regarding the less acceptable parts of yourself that seem weak, oppressed by fear or taken captive by unwelcome thoughts?
‘1. When have you been dismayed over: (a) Something God revealed to you? (b) Some triumph of evil or good?
“2. The study of Daniel’s prophecies often produces more heat than light. How do you relate to other Christians who favor an interpretation that differs from yours?
“3. How might one reach for the stars, desecrate the temple, or trample truth underfoot, as in verses 10-12: (a) Disregard biblical truth? (b) Deny Jesus is God? (c) ‘Play God’? (d) Other:_____? How long can your society get away with that?
“4. Where have you seen God active in ‘ram-butting,’ violent world affairs?
“5. What across-the-board standards might God use to judge nations today: Religious freedom? Human rights? Economic justice?”

  • Lyman Coleman, et al, The NIV Serendipity Bible for Study Groups

There are two sets of questions for Daniel 7 and one set for Daniel 8.

If you like these Thursday morning Bible studies, but you think you missed a few, you can use this LINK. I have set up a page off the home page for links to these Thursday morning posts. I will continue to modify the page as I add more.

Soli Deo Gloria.  Only to God be the Glory.

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