At what time was Daniels
second vision given?
In the first year
of Belshazzar king of Babylon, Daniel had a
dream, and visions passed through his mind as he
was lying on his bed. He wrote down the substance
of his dream.
What effect did this
dream have upon Daniel?
I, Daniel, was troubled
in spirit, and the visions that passed
through my head disturbed me. Verse 15.
Note The effect of
Daniels dream upon him, it will be noticed,
was similar to the effect of Nebuchadnezzars
dreams upon him; it troubled him. (See also
What did Daniel ask of
one of the heavenly attendants who stood by him
in his dream?
I approached one of
those standing there and asked him the true
meaning of all of this. So he told me
and gave me the interpretation of these things.
What did the prophet see
in this vision?
Daniel said, In
my vision at night I looked, and there before me
were the four winds of heaven churning up the
great sea. Verse 2.
What was the result of
Four great beasts,
each different from the others, came up out of
the sea. Verse 3.
The Meaning of the Beast
What did these four
These four great
beasts are four kingdoms that will rise out of
the earth. Verse 17.
In symbolic language, what is
represented by winds?
Strife, war, commotion. (See
Jeremiah 25:31-33; 49: 36, 37.)
Note That winds
denote strife and war is evidence from the vision
itself. As a result of the striving of the winds,
kingdoms rise and fall.
What, in prophecy, is
symbolized by waters?
Then the angel said to
me, The waters you saw, where the
prostitute sits, are people, multitudes,
nations and languages. Revelation
Note In the second
chapter of Daniel, under the figure of an image
of a man, the mere political outline of the rise
and fall of earthy kingdoms is given, preceding
the setting up of Gods everlasting kingdom.
In the seventh chapter earthly governments are
represented as viewed in the light of Heaven
under the symbols of wild and ferocious
beasts the last, in particular, oppressing
and persecuting the saints of the Most High.
Hence the change in the symbols used to represent
What was the first beast like?
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 to the ground so that it stood on its two
feet like a man, and the heart of a man was given
to it. Daniel 7:4.
Note The lion, the
first of the four beasts, like the golden head of
Nebuchadnezzars dream, represents the
Babylonian monarchy; the lion, the king of
beasts, standing at the head of his kind, as gold
does the metals. The eagles wings doubtless
denote the rapidity with which Babylon rose to
its peak of power under Nebuchadnazzar, who
reigned from 605 B.C. to 562 B.C. (605 B.C. was
his ascension year, and the following year was
counted his first official year.)
What symbolized the second
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!
Note This was
the Medo-Persian Empire, represented here
under the symbol of the bear
. The Medes and
the Persians are compared to a bear on
account of the cruelty and thirst for blood, a
bear being the most voracious and cruel animal.
Adam Clarke, Commentary, on Daniel
7:5. The first year of this kingdom of the Medes
and Persians is dated from 538 B.C.
What symbolized the third
After that, I looked,
and 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.
Note If the wings of
an eagle on the back of a lion denoted rapidity
of the movement of Babylonian Empire (Habakkuk 1:
6-8), four wings on the leopard must denote
unparalleled celerity of movement in the Grecian
Empire. A study of Alexanders campaigns
proves this to be historically true. In the
spring of 334 B.C. Alexander crossed over to Asia
Minor at the head of his army of some thirty-five
thousand Macedonians and Greeks
. Four years
later, he had overthrown the Persian Empire
founded by Cyrus the Great, and set himself up as
its ruler by the right of conquest. Another four
years were spent in the subjugation of the wild
tribes of the Iranian Plateau and the more
civilized peoples of the Indus Valley. In the
shot space of eight years Alexander had annexed
an area of little less than two million square
miles, containing a populace of more than twenty
million persons. The amazing rapidity of his
conquest, a feat all the more remarkable in view
of his small force at his disposal, was due in
large part to the superior organization of the
Macedonian army, the excellence of Alexanders
generals, trained in the school of his father,
Phillip, and his own superior superlative
qualities as a general and a leader of men.
A.E. R. Boak, Albert Hyma, and Preston Slosson, The
Growth of European Civilization (1938), Vol.
1, pp. 59, 60. (Copyright, 1938, by F.S. Crofts
& Co., Inc. Used by permission of
The beast also had
four heads. The Grecian Empire maintained
its unity for a short time after the death of
Alexander, which occurred in 323 B.C. Within
twenty-two years after the close of his brilliant
career, or by 301 B.C., the empire was divided
among four of his leading generals. Ptolemy,
Cassander, Lysimachus, and Seleucus.
How was the fourth kingdom
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 destroyed its victims and trampled
underfoot whatever was left. It was different
from all the former beasts, and it had ten horns.
What was the fourth beast
declared to be?
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 and
crushing it. Verse 23.
Note This is
allowed, on all hands, to be the Roman Empire. It
was dreadful, terrible, and exceedingly
and become, in effect, what the
Roman writers delight to call it, the empire
of the whole world. Adam Clarke, Commentary,
on Daniel 7:7. World power may be said to
have passed from the Greeks to the Romans at the
Battle of Pydna, in 168 B.C.
Finally, in 168, the
. Won a complete victory over Perseus
[of Macedonia] in the battle of Pydna. The
Macedonian kingdom was at an end
disposed of Macedonia the Romans turned their
attention to other Greek states with the
intention of rewarding their friends and
punishing their enemies
. Henceforth it was
clear that Rome was the real sovereign in the
eastern Mediterranean and that her friends and
allies only enjoyed local autonomy, while they
were expected to be obedient to the orders of
A.E. R. Boak, A History
of Rome to 565 A.D. (1938 ed.), p. 109.
(Copyright, 1921, 1029, 1943, by the Macmillan
Company. Used by permission.)
What was denoted by the ten
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.
Note The Roman Empire
was broken up into ten kingdoms in the century
preceding A.D. 476. Because of the uncertainties
of the times, religious writers have differed in
the enumeration of the exact kingdoms intended by
the prophecy. Says one writer on Bible prophecy.
The ten horns may not
be strictly permanent, but admit of partial
change. Some may perhaps fall, or be blended, and
then be replaced by others. The tenfold character
may thus be dominant through the whole, and
appear distinctly at the beginning and close of
their history, though not strictly maintained
A tenfold division,
such as some have looked for, mathematical and
unvaried, would frustrate one-half of the
prediction; and would deprive the rest of all its
freedom and moral grandeur. But now every part is
alike accomplished. At the same time, by these
partial changes in the list of doomed kingdoms,
the reproach of a stern fatalism, which otherwise
would cloud the equity of divine Providence, is
- T.R. Birks, The Four
Prophetic Empires, and the Kingdom of Messiah:
Being an Exposition of the First Two Visions of
Daniel (1845 ed.), pp. 143, 144, 152.
What change did Daniel see
take place in these 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 of a man and a mouth that
spoke boastfully. Verse 8.
Note The little
horn spoken of in Daniel 7:8 symbolizes
papal Rome. The three horns that were plucked up
symbolize three barbarian nations that were
overthrown and completely destroyed. These three
nations of kingdoms were among the principle
obstructions to the rise of papal Rome to
political power. They were the Heruli, the
Vandals, and the Ostrogoths; and all three of
these nations were supporters of Arianism, which
was Catholicism most formidable rival.
What inquiry on the part
of Daniel shows the fourth beast, and especially
the little-horn phase of it, constitutes the
leading feature of this vision?
Then I wanted to
know the true 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 had
eyes and a mouth that spoke boastfully.
Verse 19, 20.
Note The first three
beasts of Daniel 7 were comparable to other known
animals in some respects, but there seemed to be
no parallel in the world of nature that could be
used to represent the terribleness of this
hideous fourth beast. There is no question but
that this beast represents the same power
portrayed by the legs of iron of the great image
of Daniel 2. Daniel was particularly interested
in this particular beast because it was so
different in its form and behavior. His words
I would know the truth of the fourth beast
bring to attention the great persecuting power of
When was the little horn to
After them another
king will arise, different from the earlier ones;
he will subdue three kings. Verse 24.
Note The ten horns,
as already shown, arose from Rome, the fourth
kingdom, was divided into ten kingdoms. This
division was completed by A.D. 476. The
little-horn power that was to arise after them
and before whom three of the other kings
the Heruli, the Vandals, and the Ostrogoths
fell was the Papacy. [Roman Catholic
Out of the ruins of
political Rome, arose the great moral Empire in
the giant form of the Roman Church.
A.C. Flick, The rise of the Medieval
Church (New York: G.P. Putnams Sons,
1909), p. 150.
Under the Roman Empire
the popes had no temporal powers. But when the
Roman Empire had disintegrated and its place had
been taken by a number of rude barbarous
kingdoms, the Roman Catholic Church not only
became independent of the states in religious
affairs but dominated secular affairs as well.
- Carl Conrad Eckhardt, The Papacy and
World-Affairs (Chicago: University of Chicago
Press, 1937) p. 1.
With the place and time of
the kingdom of the little horn identified, the
study of its character and work will be
considered in the segment that follows.