Looking at the prophecy of Daniel 7. Pt. 1.
The prophecies of Daniel 2 took us from king Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon down to the Roman Empire, then to the divided Roman empire of Europe, and finally to the Kingdom of God which will be set up in the days when Europe is still divided and not united into a super, one state empire. The kingdom of God will last forever with no sin, sinners, or evil existing any more. Won’t that be a wonderful day, folks? All men, women, and governments that reject and defy the Creator God and His guidelines to human living will one day give account for their terrible actions. What a day that will be! Let’s be sure that we are right with God now, at that time it will be too late to turn to God in repentance; man will have sealed his destiny.
Today this article will look at the new prophecies given in Daniel chapter 7. In this chapter Daniel sees four beasts coming up out of the sea. In Bible prophecy ‘beasts’ are a symbol of governments. For example, In Daniel 7:17, 23 the angel explains to Daniel that ‘the beasts, and the fourth beast shall be kings, and the fourth kingdom upon the earth.’ Also in Bible prophecy ‘seas’ and ‘waters’ represent peoples and nations. For example, in Revelation 17:15, the angels explains the vision of 17:1. He said that the ‘waters’ represented peoples, nations and multitudes.
So in Daniel 7 the beasts coming up out of the waters mean that nations were arising out of people groups that existed at those particular places and times. So who are these four beasts, which nations are they? The clue is in verses 17, 18 and 23. In verse 23 we read that the fourth beast shall be the fourth kingdom upon the earth, and the succeeding verses tell us that after this fourth beast Jesus will eventually return to earth to receive His kingdom. Daniel 7:17, 18 make this clear when it says: "These great beasts, which are four, are four kings (kingdoms according to verese 23) which shall arise out of the earth. But the saints of the most High shall take the kingdom, and possess the kingdom forever, even forever and ever. Daniel also introduces another 'Little Horn' power that will arise out of this fourth kingdom which we will look at later.
These four beasts or kingdoms that will rule the earth after which Jesus will come are very reminicent of the Daniel 2 prophecy of the image of four parts, gold representing, Babylon; silver representing the Medo-Persian empire; bronze representing the Greek empire and finally the iron representing the Roman empire. And in the days of the broken up Roman empire into ten other empires, Jesus returns. However, the prophecy in Daniel 7 introduces more information, which we alluded to earlier, that will actually take place before Jesus comes. So in summary what we see here when we look at the prophecies of Daniel 2 and Daniel 7 is this: in Daniel 2 four world kingdoms rule this earth: Babylon, Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome. The fourth kingdom, Rome, breaks up into ten kingdoms of Europe and during these divided kingdoms Jesus returns to earth.
Daniel 7 takes the prophecy of Daniel 2 a little further by introducing more information that must take place before Jesus actually returns during these divided kingdoms. The new information he gives us is that the fourth kingdom had ten horns (in Daniel 2 the fourth kingdom had ten toes representing ten kingdoms) or kingdoms, and that from among these ten kingdoms another kingdom called 'a little horn' arises that speaks some very terrible things against God; eventually this little horn was judged and destroyed (verses 8-14) and Jesus ruled on earth.
We can then safely say as we look at both prophecies, that Daniel 7 is an enlargement of Daniel 2. Daniel 7 puts in details that were left out of Daniel 2. Daniel 2 gave an overall or gestalt picture of world events while Daniel 7 filled in details that were left out. Step by step God leads us to understand the prophecies of Daniel that we may have faith and trust that He is leading in the affairs of this world. As we end part 1 of this presentation on Daniel, let us designate who the four kingdoms actually are. Are they same kingdoms that Daniel 2 spoke of? Here's what the Bible says in Daniel 7:17 and 23: in verse 17 it says that the four beasts are four kings that will rule upon the earth, and verse 23 explains that to mean that these four kings are actually four kingdoms that will rule the earth, and that the fourth is the fourth kingdom that will rule with might and power and break all kingdoms. In Daniel 2 we read that there were four world empires that ruled the earth before Jesus returns to earth. In Daniel 7 we read that there are four kingdoms that will rule over the earth before Jesus comes. These sound like the same kingdoms described in both Daniel 2 and 7. In Daniel 2:40 it says that the fourth kingdom shall be strong as iron and shall break and subdue all. The later verses go on to say that this iron monarchy shall itself be broken into ten. Daniel 7 tells us that this fourth kingdom shall be strong and it shall devour the whole earth and break it in peaces. The next verse goes on to describe how ten kingdoms arose out of this fourth kingdom. This tells us that the fourth kingdom of Daniel 2 is the same as that of Daniel 7.
Daniel 2:38 tells us that the first empire to rule the world was Babylon, depicted as the head of God in Nebuchadnezzar's dream. World history tells us that after Babylon there were three kingdoms that ruled the world: Medo-Persia, Greece, and finally Rome. We can safely say then, that the kingdoms of Daniel 2 and 7 are the same. By these prophecies God shows to humanity that he is sovereign and is in charge of the kingdoms of the world. By this God intends that humanity might believe on Him, and that what He has written in His word is true. God therefore calls all humanity to believe in Him as God, Creator, and Restorer of broken, sinful, and rebellious humanity. Will you allow Him to restore you to His image? To remove your sinful and rebellious ways and make you new person? Now while we have this opportunity given us by our loving God and Creator let us take every advantage of it before it becomes too late.
In part 2 of this article we will look at the beasts or kingdoms of Daniel 7 to see how they relate historically to the actual kingdoms that came and went on the stage of earth's history. May God bless you. Any questions or comments please reach me at: email@example.com. God bless.