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Daniel 7 Vision: The Four Beasts

Last updated on January 3, 2021

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The Vision Of The Four Beasts

According to the vision of the “four beasts” by the prophet Daniel, there will be four kingdoms that will rule the world.

Daniel 7:2 Daniel declared: “In my vision in the night I looked, and suddenly the four winds of heaven were churning up the great sea. 3Then four great beasts came up out of the sea, each one different from the others:

4The first beast was like a lion, and it had the wings of an eagle. I watched until its wings were torn off and it was lifted up from the ground and made to stand on two feet like a man, and given the mind of a man.

5Suddenly another beast appeared, 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. So it was told, ‘Get up and gorge yourself on flesh!’

6Next, as I watched, another beast appeared. It was like a leopard, and on its back it had four wings like those of a bird. The beast also had four heads, and it was given authority to rule.

The Fourth Beast

7After this, as I watched in my vision in the night, suddenly a fourth beast appeared, and it was terrifying— dreadful and extremely strong— with large iron teeth. It devoured and crushed; then it trampled underfoot whatever was left. It was different from all the beasts before it, and it had ten horns. 8While I was contemplating the horns, suddenly another horn, a little one, came up among them, and three of the first horns were uprooted before it. This horn had eyes like those of a man and a mouth that spoke words of arrogance.

Interpretation

An angel gave the prophet Daniel the interpretation of his vision of the four beasts.

 Daniel 7:17 “Those great beasts, which are four, are four kings which arise out of the earth”. 

We understand from previous interpretations of other visions in the Bible that whenever “kings” and “kingdoms” are mentioned, they are supposed to stand for nations, ruling systems, or for specific persons. The terms kings and kingdoms are sometimes used interchangeably. But in this particular vision, the “four beasts” that the prophet Daniel saw are actually four ruling kingdoms, although the interpretation referred to them as kings.

The four kingdoms that will rule on earth are:

1) Lion with wings of eagle – the first kingdom.

2) Bear with three ribs in his mouth – the second kingdom.

3) Leopard with four heads and four wings – the third kingdom.

4) A terrible looking beast with iron teeth and ten horns- the fourth kingdom.

The angel gave the prophet Daniel more details about the fourth beast that he saw in his vision.

Daniel 7:23 “Thus he said: ‘The fourth beast shall be A fourth kingdom on earth, Which shall be different from all other kingdoms, And shall devour the whole earth, Trample it and break it in pieces.”

Parallel Prophecy

In chapter two of the book of Daniel, King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon saw a “statue” in his dream that the prophet Daniel interpreted for him. The interpretation of King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is the same exact interpretation for the four beasts that the prophet Daniel saw in his vision.

So, there are two visions that are pointing to the same exact prophecy. One was given to King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon, the other was given directly to the prophet Daniel. They are both prophesying about the four kingdoms that will rule on earth.

All we need to do now is apply what we know about King Nebuchadnezzar’s “dream” to what we now know about the vision of the “four beasts” of the prophet Daniel to get a bigger and clearer picture of this prophecy.

Here is what we know:

Daniel’s Four Beasts SymbolismsNebuchadnezzar’s Statue SymbolismsSpiritual Kingdoms or realmsActual meaning = Types of ruling Systems or Governments
First KingdomLionHead Of GoldBabylonThe Leader is both a political and religious figure. A Theocratic System.
Second KingdomBearChest Of SilverMedo-PersiaThe leader is an absolute ruler. A monarchy, dictatorship, or the communist system.
Third KingdomLeopardThighs of BronzeGreeceThe leader is chosen by people through a fair election process. A Democratic System.
Fourth KingdomTerrible-looking BeastLegs of Iron and Feet of Iron and clayBeastA combination of the first three ruling systems.

Babylon is the first kingdom that will rule the world. It is symbolized by the lion with eagle’s wings in the prophet Daniel’s vision and by the head of gold in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. When a leader of a nation is both in charge of the religious and political affairs of that nation, that nation is under the spiritual realm of the kingdom of Babylon.

Medo-Persia is the second kingdom that will rule the world. It is symbolized by the bear with three ribs in his mouth in the prophet Daniel’s vision and by the chest and arms of silver in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. When a nation is ruled by an absolute ruler, that nation is under the spiritual realm of the Kingdom of Medo-Persia.

Greece is the third kingdom that will rule the world. It is symbolized by the leopard with four heads and four wings in the prophet Daniel’s vision and by the thighs of bronze in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream. Any nation that chooses a leader through a fair democratic election is considered under the realm of the spiritual kingdom of Greece.

The terrible-looking beast is the fourth kingdom that will rule the world. It is symbolized by the beast with ten horns in the prophet Daniel’s vision and by the legs of iron and feet of iron and clay in King Nebuchadnezzar’s dream.

The fourth beast in the prophet Daniel’s vision is not yet fulfilled. We will look into what the fourth beast is about in a separate blog in the future God willing.

Conclusion

The “dream” of a “statue” by King Nebuchadnezzar in chapter two of the prophet Daniel’s book is pointing to the same prophecy as the “four beasts” that the prophet Daniel saw in a “vision” in chapter seven of the same book. Both the dream of Nebuchadnezzar and the vision of the prophet Daniel are pointing to the prophecy about the “four kingdoms” or ruling systems that will rule on earth.

The first three systems prophecied in these visions have already manifested here on earth. Those are Babylon, Medo-Persia, and Greece. Babylon rules with a leader who is in control of both the political and the religious affairs of a nation. Medo-Persia rules with absolute rulers. Greece rules with elected leaders. The fourth kingdom is yet to come. The fourth kingdom is the Beast system. We will look into the Beast system in future blogs, God willing.

I hope that you’ve learned something from this blog. Until next time, May God bless you friends and brethren.


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