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Daniel 7:3-4 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another. 4 The first was like a lion, and had eagle's wings: I beheld till the wings thereof were plucked, 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.
Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.
Many have attempted to line this first beast as pertaining to the Babylonian Kingdom. That appears to be highly unlikely because of Daniel 7:17 – “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.” The person that Daniel is speaking to is King Belshazzar. Chronologically speaking, Daniel chapters seven and eight occur before chapter six. King Belshazzar is the last king reigning in Babylon before being overthrown by the Medes and Persians. The beasts of chapter seven that shall arise must point to other kingdoms that occur after Babylon is fallen. I believe that this lion represents two different kingdoms. One spiritually before the first coming of Jesus Christ and a literal kingdom before the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The four kingdoms can be spiritualized to be the kingdoms before the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and literal kingdoms before the second advent. Daniel chapter seven deals with kingdoms leading up to the Antichrist, his defeat, the White Throne Judgment and the saints reigning with Jesus Christ in eternity.
The kingdom that the lion with eagle’s wings spiritualizes would be the Medes and the Persians. This kingdom lines up with the chest and arms of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The winged lion creature can be found in Babylon and Persia as well. Archaeologists have found numerous carvings and sculptures of winged lion creatures that were throughout the Medes and Persian empire around 600 to 300 B.C. The Medes and Persians are the first empire after the Babylonian Empire and therefore the lion with eagle’s wings must pertain to the Medes and Persian Empire prior to the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
The literal kingdom that the lion with eagle’s wings represents is the British Empire. It should be remembered that it was King Cyrus of Persia that gave the decree for the Jewish people to return to Jerusalem and restore their homeland. What we need is a country that does the same thing prior to the second coming. In 1917 a declaration was given by Arthur James Belfour of England. It was given with the consent of the British Crown. In the declaration the Jews were promised a national homeland in Palestine. This promise became known as the Belfour declaration. England is the country that controlled the Palestinian region during World War I through 1948 when Israel budded into a nation once again. Both England and Persia were in control of Jerusalem when the decree to restore the Jews to Jerusalem and set up a Jewish state was given. Both England and Persia have lions on their crests and both England and Persia set things in motion for the return of the Jews to their homeland. So England must represent the winged lion prior to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ.
Daniel 7:5 And behold another beast, a second, like to a bear, and it raised up itself on one side, and it had three ribs in the mouth of it between the teeth of it: and they said thus unto it, Arise, devour much flesh.
Many have attempted to line this second beast in Daniel 7 as pertaining to the Medo-Persian empire that overthrew Babylon. I have already shown the Medo-Persian empire to be the Lion and therefore is not represented by the Bear with three ribs. The bear, like the lion, represents two different kingdoms.
The kingdom that the bear spiritualizes would be the kingdom under Alexander the Great. This kingdom lines up with the belly and thighs of the image in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. The grizzly bear is one of the most ferocious of bears. He has no fear of man and will attack whenever he feels like it. He is able to kill by his weight alone. Alexander the Great was victorious over King Darius III at the battle of Gaugamela on the Persian plains. King Darius III was prepared for this battle after being defeated in a previous conquest at Issus two years earlier. He chose the location of the flat plains so his chariots would give him the advantage over the Alexandrian army. The Persians also vastly outnumbered the Greeks. However at the end of the battle it was Alexander who was victorious with King Darius III again fleeing for his life. The bear even though outnumbered in the wilderness is able to overcome its prey by its power and strength. This was the case at Gaugamela. While we know the bear is Alexander the Great, we do not know who the ribs are. It is matter of historical fact that after the death of Alexander the Great, his kingdom was broken up into territories ruled by the generals of Alexander’s armies. They all claimed to be successors in their territories. The main three areas that were split up encompassed the areas of Egypt in Africa, The Middle East all the way to India, and the European branch of Macedonia and Thrace. So the ribs could very well represent the rulers of these three regions. The devour much flesh would be the wars and conflicts between them.
The literal kingdom that the bear represents is Russia. While the Belfour declaration was happening in England, Russia was going through a revolution that would break it up into four socialist republics. The Bolshevik revolution in 1917 overthrew the Tsarist system of government in Russia. In 1922 there were four separate socialist republics. The first being Russia itself. The second being the Transcaucasian Socialist Federated Soviet Republic. The third being the Bylorussian and the fourth being the Ukranian Soviet Socialist Republic. The three ribs would be the three republics that formed with Russia to bring about the USSR. The treaty forming the USSR was confirmed on December 30, 1922 by the first congress of Soviets of the USSR. Once the ribs formed the USSR, they told Russia to devour much flesh. After the formation of the USSR many Jews, and Greek Orthodox Christians were killed to bring down free religion and gain total dominance over the people.
Daniel 7:6 After this I beheld, and lo another, like a leopard, which had upon the back of it four wings of a fowl; the beast had also four heads; and dominion was given to it.
This leopard is a special character. It has four wings of a fowl, it also has four heads. Scholars have attributed this beast to Alexander the Great and mention the four generals who took over after his death. The next Empire on the scene is Rome making the Leopard with four heads and four wings a spiritualized representation of Rome.
Rome was in power at the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. It was in power after the death, burial and resurrection of the Lord Jesus Christ. Rome has many attributes to it. Rome was ruled by Caesar who was the head of the Senate. So the dominate political force of Rome was the senate itself. One became a senator of Rome by being elected or appointed to one of four offices. These offices consisted of the quaestorship, the praetorship, the consulship and the censorship. So one was not voted to the senate. He became part of the senate by becoming part of one of the four offices. These four offices could represent the four heads of Rome. The four wings could represent the influence that Rome had throughout Europe, Asia Minor, Africa, and The British Isles. Simply put Rome influenced areas to the North, South, East, and West. The leopard would represent the mixture of the peoples of Africa, the Middle East, and Europe, coming together to form a vast empire.
The literal kingdom that the leopard represents is the United States of America. Rome had an eagle as its symbol. The United States has the Eagle as its official symbol. The USA also is controlled by the executive branch, the legislative branch, the judicial branch, and now a fourth branch the news media. In fact the news media sometimes has more control on steering the course of this country then the political branches themselves. The USA has four wings. It’s influence is world wide. The USA is said to be the leading country over world politics. The USA has four military branches that carries its influence militarily throughout the world. They are the Navy, the Marines, the Air Force, and the Army. The leopard represents an integrated beast. The USA is not representative of just one race but is said to be the melting pot of the world. It allows people from all races to have an equal part in citizenship and government.
In review, the three first beasts of Daniel seven mainly point to three kingdoms prior to the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. That being England, followed by Russia in the form of the USSR, followed by the dominance of the United States of America. These three kingdoms are followed by a fourth beast or kingdom soon to arise bringing in the Antichrist.
Daniel 7:7 After this I saw in the night visions, and behold a fourth beast, dreadful and terrible, and strong exceedingly; and it had great iron teeth: it devoured and brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with the feet of it: and it was diverse from all the beasts that were before it; and it had ten horns.
This fourth beast has ten horns. It lines up with the toes of Nebuchadnezzar’s image. A little horn appears, and three previous horns are plucked up. This little horn that comes up will be the Antichrist. This little horn has eyes like the eyes of man and has a mouth speaking great things. His kingdom will be diverse from the other kingdoms. He will rule with ten kings. Things are unfolding today that show the arrival of the Antichrist is near. The Antichrist will desecrate the temple in the middle of the tribulation and go after the Jews the last three and one half years of the tribulation.
In summarizing, the first three beasts of Daniel are dealing mainly with the end times leading up to the Antichrist , the fourth beast, and the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. All attempts to make them the literal kingdoms before the first coming of Jesus Christ will not do. For these are kingdoms that shall arise and that means Babylon can not be the first kingdom. Daniel chapter seven deals with the kingdoms that shall arise and the progression from England to Russia to the United States to the kingdom of the Antichrist is a natural progression. One of the greatest types of the Antichrist is Antiochus Epiphanes. He was King of Syria in the years 175 to 164 B.C. He led a campaign into Egypt where he turned back out of Egypt by agreement to prevent a war with the Romans. On his exodus from Egypt in 167 B.C. he set his sights on Jerusalem. Historians mention that he suppressed Judaism and actually erected a pagan altar to his god on the altar of burnt offering at the Jewish Temple. According to tradition he also offered a pig for a sacrifice. This definitely would be a type of the abomination of desolation that will occur in the tribulation. Antiochus Epiphanes did not control the whole world, nor did he rule with ten kings. The Antichrist to come will rule the whole world via ten kings, and he will also make a pack with the religions of the world in forming the final Mystery Babylon the Great of Revelation seventeen.
Daniel 7:21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them;
Daniel 7:23-25 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time.
Daniel 7:9 I beheld till the thrones were cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit, whose garment was white as snow, and the hair of his head like the pure wool: his throne was like the fiery flame, and his wheels as burning fire.
Daniel now sees a throne and one sitting on the throne. We know from Revelation chapter 20 that this is the Lord Jesus Christ. What he sees is the White Throne Judgment.
Daniel 7:10 A fiery stream issued and came forth from before him: thousand thousands ministered unto him, and ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him: the judgment was set, and the books were opened.
Revelation 20:11-12 And I saw a great white throne, and him that sat on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away; and there was found no place for them. 12 And I saw the dead, small and great, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened, which is the book of life: and the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
Daniel 7:15-28 I Daniel was grieved in my spirit in the midst of my body, and the visions of my head troubled me. 16 I came near unto one of them that stood by, and asked him the truth of all this. So he told me, and made me know the interpretation of the things. 17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. 18 But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever. 19 Then I would know the truth of the fourth beast, which was diverse from all the others, exceeding dreadful, whose teeth were of iron, and his nails of brass; which devoured, brake in pieces, and stamped the residue with his feet; 20 And of the ten horns that were in his head, and of the other which came up, and before whom three fell; even of that horn that had eyes, and a mouth that spake very great things, whose look was more stout than his fellows. 21 I beheld, and the same horn made war with the saints, and prevailed against them; 22 Until the Ancient of days came, and judgment was given to the saints of the most High; and the time came that the saints possessed the kingdom. 23 Thus he said, The fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth, which shall be diverse from all kingdoms, and shall devour the whole earth, and shall tread it down, and break it in pieces. 24 And the ten horns out of this kingdom are ten kings that shall arise: and another shall rise after them; and he shall be diverse from the first, and he shall subdue three kings. 25 And he shall speak great words against the most High, and shall wear out the saints of the most High, and think to change times and laws: and they shall be given into his hand until a time and times and the dividing of time. 26 But the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end. 27 And the kingdom and dominion, and the greatness of the kingdom under the whole heaven, shall be given to the people of the saints of the most High, whose kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey him. 28 Hitherto is the end of the matter. As for me Daniel, my cogitations much troubled me, and my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart.
Daniel is given the interpretation of his vision. This vision is given more clarification in Revelation chapters 19 and 20. The Beast and false prophet are taken and cast into the lake of fire at the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ. The Dragon who is the Devil himself is bound for a thousand years and loosed for a season to gather an army numbered as the sands of the sea and goes against the Ancient of days. Fire comes down from God out of heaven and the whole universe disappears. The Devil is cast into a lake of fire and the White Throne Judgment is set. After the White Throne Judgment the saints will live with the Lord Jesus Christ forever. Daniel 7:28 mentions Hitherto is the end of the matter. This sums up the whole reason for the visions of Daniel chapter seven. The visions in Daniel chapter seven tell Daniel about events that will occur and what happens with Israel and the Lord’s saints. The vision given to Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two deals with the kingdoms of the Gentiles and how they end. The visions given to Daniel in chapter seven deals with how Israel will survive to the end, and how the saints will reign with the Lord for ever and ever. It also shows that the devil and his beast will be brought down and judged. The reason so many scholars have had trouble with Daniel chapter seven is that they keep thinking the visions apply mainly to the first coming of the Lord Jesus Christ when they really are primarily concerned with the second coming of the Lord Jesus Christ and how things will end up. So the four beasts literally are aimed at England, then Russia, then the United States, and the coming of the Antichrist. One might wonder about the three horns that were taken away. The Little horn survives the three previous figures mentioned. It could be that the scriptures is actually telling you the three horns are the United States, England, and Russia who lose their control of world affairs as the Antichrist comes into power.
Chapter seven ends with the Lord Jesus Christ and his saints victorious, the White Throne judgment and eternity.