Daniel Chapter 7

COPYRIGHT © 2019 by James M. Frye


All scripture quotations are taken from the Authorized King James Bible. Any deviations are not intentional. All underlines, bold and words within brackets are the author's.


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In Daniel chapter 7, Daniel had a dream in which he saw 4 beasts arise out of the sea.


Daniel 7:2 Daniel spake and said, I saw in my vision by night, and, behold, the four winds of the heaven strove upon the great sea.

Daniel 7:3 And four great beasts came up from the sea, diverse one from another.


We will look at each of these beasts one at a time so that we might understand what they represent.


Daniel 7:4 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.


The first beast Daniel saw was like a lion. What does this lion represent? Many people have mistakenly interpreted this lion to be Babylon, but this is not possible. Let me explain why. First, let’s look at when Daniel had this dream.


Daniel 7:1 In the first year of Belshazzar king of Babylon Daniel had a dream and visions of his head upon his bed: then he wrote the dream, and told the sum of the matters.


Daniel had this dream while Babylon was still in power, but in the interpretation of this vision which was given to Daniel, we read the following.


Daniel 7:17 These great beasts, which are four, are four kings, which shall arise out of the earth.


The 4 beasts Daniel saw represent 4 kingdoms which shall (future) arise, in other words they have not yet come to power. But Babylon was already in power when he had the dream, therefore, the first beast cannot be a reference to Babylon. The first beast would have to be referring to the next kingdom to arise AFTER Babylon. What was the next kingdom to arise after Babylon? We find the answer in Daniel chapter 5.


Daniel 5:1 Belshazzar the king made a great feast to a thousand of his lords, and drank wine before the thousand.

Daniel 5:4 They drank wine, and praised the gods of gold, and of silver, of brass, of iron, of wood, and of stone.


Belshazzar, a descendant of king Nebuchadnezzar was now reigning over the kingdom of Babylon. During a drunken feast, he calls for the holy vessels which Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple of God to be brought. He then drinks from them and blasphemously praises the gods of Gold and silver, etc.. God responds by causing fingers to appear and write upon the wall. Once again Daniel is sent for to interpret the writing.


Daniel 5:26 This is the interpretation of the thing: MENE; God hath numbered thy kingdom, and finished it.

Daniel 5:27 TEKEL; Thou art weighed in the balances, and art found wanting.

Daniel 5:28 PERES; Thy kingdom is divided, and given to the Medes and Persians.


That very night Belshazzar was slain and these things came to pass (Dan. 5:30-31). So the next kingdom to arise AFTER Babylon was the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. So this lion in Daniels dream represents the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians. Here is what we have learned so far.


1. Beast like a Lion = The Medes and Persians


We then hear about a second beast which would arise.


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.


This Beast which was like a bear must then refer to the next kingdom which arose after the Medes and Persians. We read about this kingdom in Daniel chapter 8.


Daniel 8:1 In the third year of the reign of king Belshazzar a vision appeared unto me, even unto me Daniel, after that which appeared unto me at the first.

Daniel 8:3 Then I lifted up mine eyes, and saw, and, behold, there stood before the river a ram which had two horns: and the two horns were high; but one was higher than the other, and the higher came up last.

Daniel 8:5 And as I was considering, behold, an he goat came from the west on the face of the whole earth, and touched not the ground: and the goat had a notable horn between his eyes.

Daniel 8:7 And I saw him come close unto the ram, and he was moved with choler against him, and smote the ram, and brake his two horns: and there was no power in the ram to stand before him, but he cast him down to the ground, and stamped upon him: and there was none that could deliver the ram out of his hand.


Daniel has a vision of a ram with two horns which is then defeated by a male goat with one horn. The angel Gabriel is then sent by God to give Daniel the interpretation of these things.


Daniel 8:20 The ram which thou sawest having two horns are the kings of Media and Persia.

Daniel 8:21 And the rough goat is the king of Grecia


The ram represented the kingdom of the Medes and the Persians, and the he goat represented the king of Greece. So the next kingdom after the Medes and the Persians was the kingdom of Greece. So here are the kingdoms we have so far.


1. Beast like a Lion = The Medes and Persians

2. Beast like a Bear = Greece


Daniel then sees a third beast arise out of the sea.


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 beast would then refer to the next kingdom which arose after Greece. What is the kingdom which arose after Greece? The Old Testament ended while the Persians were still reigning. Then during the time between the end of the Old Testament and the beginning of the New Testament (approximately 400 years) Greece game to power just as it was foretold in Daniel chapter 8. But by the time the New Testament scriptures begin to be written, Greece has fallen and has been replaced by another kingdom. What is that kingdom?


John 11:48 If we let him thus alone, all men will believe on him: and the Romans shall come and take away both our place and nation.


Luke 2:1 And it came to pass in those days, that there went out a decree from Caesar Augustus, that all the world should be taxed.


Luke 3:1 Now in the fifteenth year of the reign of Tiberius Caesar …


Acts 28:17 And it came to pass, that after three days Paul called the chief of the Jews together: and when they were come together, he said unto them, Men and brethren, though I have committed nothing against the people, or customs of our fathers, yet was I delivered prisoner from Jerusalem into the hands of the Romans.


During the times of the New Testament, Rome was in power with a succession of Caesars ruling. Rome is this third kingdom which was “like a leopard”. Here is what we have so far.


1. Beast like a Lion = The Medes and Persians

2. Beast like a Bear = Greece

3. Beast like a Leopard = Rome


Finally, we are told about a fourth beast.


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.


Many people mistakenly interpret the first beast to be Babylon so they have each of the following beasts off by one. Therefore, when they come to this fourth beast, they mistakenly interpret it to be Rome. It is only when we correctly interpret the first beast to be the Medes and the Persians, that all of the other beasts fall into line. This fourth beast is clearly a future beast referred to in Revelation chapters 13 and 17.


Revelation 13:1 And I stood upon the sand of the sea, and saw a beast rise up out of the sea, having seven heads and ten horns, and upon his horns ten crowns, and upon his heads the name of blasphemy.


Revelation 17:7 And the angel said unto me, Wherefore didst thou marvel? I will tell thee the mystery of the woman, and of the beast that carrieth her, which hath the seven heads and ten horns.


This beast rises up out of the sea, just like Daniel said, and it has 10 horns, just like Daniel said. The cross reference is unmistakable. Once we see these cross references, it becomes clear that Daniel’s fourth beast CANNOT be a reference to the Roman Empire. Consider the following verse.


Revelation 17:12 And the ten horns which thou sawest are ten kings, which have received no kingdom as yet


John specifically said that these 10 horns were NOT YET reigning when he wrote the book of Revelation, but the Roman Empire WAS reigning at that time. Therefore, the beast with 10 horns CANNOT be a reference to the Roman Empire. There is a lot more to these matters, but that will have to wait for future articles. The purpose of this article is ONLY to explain what these 4 beasts in Daniel chapter 7 represent. So, interpreting scripture with scripture, here is what these 4 beasts represent.


1. Beast like a Lion = The Medes and Persians

2. Beast like a Bear = Greece

3. Beast like a Leopard = Rome

4. Beast with 10 horns = Future beast in the book of Revelation