2. What did he see first in his vision? Verse 2. (See note 1.)
3. What came up out of the sea? Verse 3.
4. What inquiry did Daniel make concerning the vision? Verses 15, 16. (See note 2.)
5. What did the angel say concerning these great beasts? Verse 17. (See note 3.)
G. Describe the first beast. Verse 4.
7. What change did he see in it? Verse 4. (See.note 4.)
8. Describe the second beast. Verse 5.
9. What did it have in its mouth? Verse 5. (See note 5.)
10. Describe the third beast. Verse 6. (See note 6.)
11. Describe the fourth beast. Verses 7, 19.
12. What did it represent? Verse 23.
13. What was it to do? Verses 7, 19.
14. How did it compare with the beasts before it? Same verses. (See note 7.)
15. How many horns did it have? Verse 7, last part.
16. What did the angel say in regard to the ten horns? Verse 24. (See note 8.)
17. What was the fate of the beast that had ten horns? Verses 7, 8, 11; Rev. 13: 1 ; 19: 19,20.
18. What is said of the other beasts? Dan. 7 : 12. (See note 9.)
19. What kingdom is to follow these earthly kingdoms? Verses 13, 14.
20. Who will then possess the kingdom? Verses 18, 27. (See note 10.)
1. “WiNDS” in prophecy are used to symbolize war, strife, and commotion. See Jer. 25: 31-33, where, as the result of a great whirlwind, the slain covered the earth. In Rev. 7:1-3 the angels are commanded to hold the ” winds/’ prevent war and strife, that God’s work may not be hindered. “Sea,” or waters, is used to symbolize nations and peoples. (See Rev. 17: 15; Isa. 8: 7.) This exposition exactly harmonizes with the result described in Dan. 7: 3,—four great beasts came up from the sea; that is, four kingdoms arose as a result of war and strife among the nations.
2. DANIEL had a desire to know what these things meant; so he inquired of one who stood by and asked him the truth of all this, that is, what he was to learn from the vision. The one who stood by was no doubt the angel Gabriel, whom the Lord had sent to give him the vision and explain it, as he did the visions of the eighth and ninth chapters. (See Dan. 8:15-19; 9:21-23.) The Lord gives to all the precious promise, “Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find.” Luke 11: 9.20
3. ALL students of history agree that Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome ruled the world in the order named, beginning in the time of Daniel. And nearly all Bible expositors agree that the four beasts of Daniel 7 symbolize those four universal empires that successively bore sway over all the earth. Verse 17 says that “these great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise;” that is, four kingdoms, “kings” standing for “kingdoms.” That these beasts represented kingdoms and not kings merely is clearly proved by verse 23, which says that ” the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon earth.”
4. THE lion and eagle’s wings would fitly represent it nation both great in power and rapid in movement. This was true of Babylon in the days of Nebuchadnezzar. (See Jer. 4:13; Hab. 1:6-8.)
The change described in Dan. 7: 4 evidently represented the change which took place in Babylon after Nebuchadnezzar passed away and the kingdom became weak and degenerate under the rule of Nabonadius and Belshazzar.
5. THE bear raising itself up on one side no doubt symbolizes the greater power and influence of Persia in its relation to Media, with which it was united. One side, Persia, was raised up higher than the other, Media, in the Medo-Persian Kingdom. The three ribs in the mouth of the bear are generally supposed to represent the three countries, Babylon, Lydia, and Egypt, which were conquered by Medo-Persia, the conquering of which further incited it to cruelty and conquest.
6. THE leopard is a fleet-footed beast, hence, with four wings added, it would represent a nation of more rapid movement than one symbolized by a lion with only two wings. Grecia, under the leadership of Alexander, made more rapid conquests, .and marched her armies with a celerity never equalled in ancient times. The four heads represented the four parts into which Grecia was divided after the death of Alexander. (See lesson 10, NOTES 4 and 5.)
7. THE fourth beast represents the fourth kingdom upon earth, and this was Rome. It was diverse from all other kingdoms in two important particulars: (1) As a kingdom it changed its religion from paganism to so-called Christianity. (2) It reversed the policy of all pagan nations in regard to the relation of the church to the State. In the pagan- nations the State dominated the church.
This is the pagan principle of government. After Borne changed its religion from paganism to papacy, and the papal supremacy was established, the church dominated the State. This is the papal principle of government.
8. THE angel said that “the ten horns out of this kingdom [Rome] are ten kings [or kingdoms] that shall arise.” This has proved exactly true of Rome, and has never been true of any other kingdom. Rome was divided into ten kingdoms between the years 351 and 476 A. D. They have been known in history as the ten kingdoms of Western Europe.
9. THE rest of the beasts, Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, had their dominion or supremacy taken away, but they still continued to exist as nations, that is, their lives were prolonged for a season and a time,—an indefinite period.
10. How encouraging is such a promise as this to God’s faithful people, who, as pilgrims and strangers in this dark world of sin, are oppressed and ruled over by earthly kingdoms! Soon deliverance will come to God’s people, and they “will take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever.”
Next – The Little Horn and the Judgment
Lesson 1 – Loyalty and Faith Rewarded
Lesson 2 – The Source of Wisdom
Lesson 3 – Nebuchadnezzar’s Dream
Lesson 4 – The Fiery Furnace
Lesson 5 – The Source of Power
Lesson 6 – The Handwriting on the Wall
Lesson 7 – Daniel in the Lions’ Den
Lesson 8 – The Vision of the Four Beasts
Lesson 9 – The Little Horn and the Judgment
Lesson 10 – Daniel’s Second Vision
Lesson 11 – The Time of the Judgment
Lesson 12 – The Time Explained
Lesson 13 – The Time of the End