Daniel 7

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Well-Known Member
Jul 24, 2012
United States
Daniel is all about Israel and how they will be affected though the various regimes that will rule over them in one way or another. In Dan. 7 the opening image tells less of the story than the latter part of its introduction. But first let me say that we are dealing w/ three separate visions. Dan. 2 & 7 are separated by decades and there are two years between Dan. 7 & 8. Each one adds a little more detail to the previous one(s) so Dan. 8 doesn’t “explain” 7, is just adds a little more info. The key to realizing that Babylon is “not” in the list of Dan. 7 is found in vs. 17 - “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” By the time that Daniel was writing this, Babylon was already on the way out and Darius, a Meda-Persian king begins Dan. 6 & 9.

According to the commentaries, the description in Dan. 7:4 starts off with a generic power image that really doesn’t point to Babylon specifically but what seals the deal for them is the latter part, “…and it was lifted up from the earth, and made stand upon the feet as a man, and a man's heart was given to it.” They believe this is speaking of the time Nebuchadnezzar spent time as a beast and was eventually restored back to acting like a man. If you think about it though, while interesting, that event didn’t really affect Israel in any way.

I believe this to be Media-Persia and I think the “man’s heart” is speaking specifically about Cyrus. Someone important enough to be mentioned in prophecy 150 yrs. before he arrived on the scene. The change from lion to man in 7:4, imo, reflects the change from Media-Persia being a conquering army to a somewhat benevolent king. God made Cyrus to be more of a diplomat than a warrior and gave him a compassion for “Israel”. Consider Ezra 1:1 (NIV) - “In the first year of Cyrus king of Persia, in order to fulfill the word of the Lord spoken by Jeremiah, the Lord moved the heart of Cyrus king of Persia to make a proclamation throughout his realm and also to put it in writing:…In the list of supplies that Cyrus gave Israel, “silver” (Ezra 1:4) heads the list and it was literally tons of silver (maybe the reason why it was silver in the Dan. 2 image). In this manner, regarding Israel, he fits the latter part of the description of Dan. 7:4 a lot more than Nebbies time as a beast.

This leads to the second image of the bear being Greece. The “first” image of the ram in Dan. 8 are the kings of Media and Persia which echoes the “first” beast of Dan. 7. Why do I think this? Of the first three images in Dan. 7, the bear would be the largest one physically, even though it’s not the most fierce and Greece under Alexander became the largest dynasty the world had ever seen up to that point. Notice the latter part of the bear says it has three ribs in it’s mouth. Commentators seem to think that this is a sign of it’s goal to “devour much flesh”, but the ribs are in it’s mouth “before” it was told to “arise and devour much flesh”. I don’t know about yours but in my mind I picture a slab of meat similar to a rack of ribs and, imo, this connectivity is suggestive of a familial connection. There is a family of three, that under Greece resulted in as negative an impact on Israel as Cyrus’s impact was a positive one. These would be Seleucus II, Antiochus III and Antiochus IV Eppiphanes. The latter of course was the worst and gave us the “type” via the image of Zeus in the temple, of the Abomination of Desolation that we should look for in the future as depicted in Rev. 13:14-15. Greece also had a large impact on the culture of Israel, Hellenizing much of the nation.

To continue, in Dan. 7 the leopard w/ four heads is Rome. Why do I think this? Of the three animals, the leopard is the fastest in mid to long distances. The roads that Rome built enabled them to respond quickly to threats and/or uprisings. The four heads could represent the four directions or the four main parts consisting of the rise and fall of the Roman Empire: The Roman Republic (510 BC – 40 BC), Imperial Rome (20 AD - 360 AD), Eastern Roman Empire (405 AD – 1453 AD) and Western Roman Empire (405 AD – 480 AD). To me though, the key word is in the last sentence of the description in vs. 6, …”and “dominion” was given to it.” Whenever I hear the word “dominion” I automatically flash to the Roman Empire and the meaning of the word dominion in the Hebrew, H7985 is EMPIRE and that leaves the last part of Dan. 7, the fourth beast, to be equivalent to the ten toes of the statue, which will be the future a/c kingdom.

We know that the combination of the first three images are shown in Rev. 13:2 to be part of the beast from the seas’ confederacy. Not necessarily their home countries but in the areas where they all, separately, controlled during their reigns.