Daniel 7:1 “In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon…”
Rollback to Belshazzar’s first year.
1 “…Daniel had a dream…upon his bed…”
Begins the dreams of Daniel which will tell of end time events as they relate to the nation of Israel. This dream is a regular one that occurs while he is asleep. Later ones will come as visions while he is awake.
2 “…the Great Sea…”
Would assume the Mediterranean as the kingdoms referenced are around it. Commentary suggests this also.
3 “…four great beasts came up from the sea…
Calls them beasts as they are made up of different parts of animals he recognizes. They come up from the sea, or in other words, from that area. Points to the Great Sea point in verse 2.
4-8 The beasts. First was a lion with eagle’s wings, second was a bear, third was a leopard with four wings and four heads, and the fourth was described as dreadful and terrible, with iron teeth and many horns. One of the horns spoke as a man. These represent the same four kingdoms Daniel saw in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream of the statue, Babylon, Medo/Persian, Greek, and Roman. The descriptions given to each are specific to that kingdom. God was detailed in the information He gave Daniel.
4 “…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”
Good description of what happened to Nebuchadnezzar. He opened his eyes to Almighty God and was raised up from being just a beast.
5 “…raised up itself on one side…”
Interesting comment. Commentary suggests raised up by one front leg while the other was still down, like the bear is rising up from sleeping. Medes and Persians were the combination of the two, one passive and the other aggressive.
6 “…four wings of a fowl…four heads…”
Could move very quickly. Alexander did just that in his conquest of the known world. His kingdom was later split into four pieces.
7 “..great iron teeth…”
Iron refers to the Romans. Hard and unbreakable.
7-8 “…it was diverse from all the beasts…had ten horns…another little horn…before whom there were three of the first horns plucked up…in this horn were eyes like the eyes of man…speaking great things”
Fourth beast is different. Not specific on why or in what way. Perhaps that it didn’t look like anything Daniel recognized. Possibly made up of ten kings or kingdoms before another comes along and conquers three of the originals. It is described as being like a man and speaking pompous words, probably against God. This is the description of the kingdom of the Antichrist, a form of the Roman empire led by one who blasphemes God and Christ specifically.
9 “…the Ancient of days did sit…”
All Daniel was seeing was probably disturbing, but then thrones were set up and God was seated above all. Just like we should remember, no matter what happens, God is still on His throne.
11-12 “…the beast was slain…rest of the beasts, they had their dominion taken away…
The last kingdom was destroyed completely, replaced by the kingdom of Christ. The others were deprived of power, but some vestige of them remained. Not sure to what that refers. Lots of ways to go there.
13-14 “…behold, one like the Son of man came with the clouds of heaven, and came to the Ancient of days, and they brought him near before him. And there was given him dominion, and glory, and a kingdom, that all people, nations, and languages, should serve him: his dominion is an everlasting dominion, which shall not pass away, and his kingdom that which shall not be destroyed.”
Return of Christ at the end of the age to set up His millennial kingdom. His will not end or ever be conquered or destroyed.
17-18 “These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom for ever, even for ever and ever.”
Great summation of what will happen.
23 “…shall devour the whole earth…”
The fourth beast’s kingdom will conquer the whole world. The Antichrist will be in control of it all for a time.
24 “…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”
So there must be ten kings or kingdoms, nations, or sections of this fourth kingdom. The Antichrist will arise and conquer or otherwise supplant three of the kings. This is where the speculation has arisen about any organization in Europe which has ten members. Problem there is, we don’t know if the ten kingdoms will exist before the removal of the family of God at the rapture or after. The person of the Antichrist may be revealed before the rapture, but his ascension to power may come after. Will have to wait and see how it unfolds.
25 “…a time and times and the dividing of time”
Year, years, and half a year. Where we get the three and a half years of the Great Tribulation, the last half of the final week of years known as the Tribulation. Will be brought out in chapter 9.
26 “…the judgment shall sit, and they shall take away his dominion, to consume and to destroy it unto the end”
It is already ordained that the Antichrist’s kingdom, no matter how powerful it may be, will be destroyed completely.
28 “…my countenance changed in me: but I kept the matter in my heart”
Everything he saw troubled Daniel, but he didn’t share it with anyone at the time. He will eventually be told to write down what he’s seen, to an extent. God has provided comfort to us through these visions. We know that regardless of what happens or what we see, God is always on His throne, and one day all will be made right under the rule of Christ, a kingdom that has no end.
I hope you enjoy reading and studying His word. May it accomplish what He desires. Please feel free to comment or post questions. Thanks for reading!